No one traded at this point in the season is eligible for the playoffs, but that apparently didn’t stop the Red Sox from calling the Mets in search of rotation help.
According to John Thomase of the Boston Herald the Red Sox wanted to acquire veteran left-hander Chris Capuano in time to make Sunday’s start against the Yankees, but the Mets turned down their cash offer for the impending free agent.
And right now John Lackey is in line to make the crucial start at Yankee Stadium.
After missing all of 2008 and 2009 with injuries Capuano got healthy and proved he was still effective for the Brewers last season and then signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Mets, logging 175 innings with a 4.47 ERA and 155/50 K/BB ratio.
He probably isn’t someone the Red Sox will pursue as a free agent this winter, but opening their wallet in an effort to ensure Lackey doesn’t take the mound again in 2011 wasn’t a bad try.
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.