Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gimme a break!!

Well the Tribe is giving thier fans a break today, after the twin disasters in Tampa on Tuesday and Wednesday.

There's no game tonight. Thank God!

Even better, there's a Browns' preseason game to view - something to take our minds further away from the Tribe.

What can you say about the last two games?.

It's clear the Tribe has no bullpen to work with for next year.


There is only one guy - Raffie Perez - who can be counted on for next year. (That's using that term loosely - since there were about six guys who could be 'counted on' in April for this season.)

There are lots of other developments with the Tribe as well.

Two new faces will be in Tribe uniforms when the torture resumes Friday night.

Newly acquired Anthony Reyes will get his first start for the Tribe against the Jays in Toronto after two impressive outings at Buffalo since his acquisition from St. Louis.

In addition, Brendan Donnelly - who has been rehabbing on the Tribe's dime all season long - will be joining the so-called bullpen. Donnelly has been impressive in eight minor league appearances since returning from elbow ligament surgery - which was done in 2007.

The good news about Reyes is that his audition for next year will count for something. He is on a one-year contract, but his lack of time in the big leagues ties him to the Tribe for 2009.
Donnelly, on the other hand, has no such obligation.

The Tribe signed the former Angels standout prior to this season in the hopes that he'd be ready right about now to bolster the pen with a fresh arm as the team was heading into the playoff stretch run.
Some stretch run.

Hopefully Donnelly will do the decent thing and accept a position with the Tribe next year if they make a reasonably competitive offer. But this is 21st Century baseball, where there word 'loyalty' doesn't exist.
The bullpen Donnelly will join is in its most chaotic state to date - having been beaten to a pulp in the final two games of the three-game series in Tampa.

Raffie Betancourt got his head handed to him Tuesday. No big surprise. On Wednesday it was Ed Mujica and Masa Kobayshi's turn.

Kobayashi has been decent in a set-up role but inconsistent (being kind) in the closer role.

Mujica had been feted recently for his run of 10 or so good outings. But his first crack at the closer position blew up in his face. He had similar blowups earlier in the year in other roles (does anyone truly have a role in this pen?). So it kind of makes you wonder if his recent effectiveness was just a hot streak.

As a result of the failures of Betancourt, Mujica and Kobayashi, Tom Mastny was sent back top Buffalo. Makes as much sense as anything else that has happened out in the pen this year, no?

Actually, except for that one memorable inning in last year's ALCS against Boston, Mastny has shown little in the past three years. His act has worn thin and I really don't blame Eric Wedge for being hesitant to use him this season - which only added to his ineffectiveness.

So what does that leave in the pen?

Not much.

We've been looking at the lame-duck portion of the schedule as a place to find answers for next year. In the case of the bullpen the answer is resoundingly negative.

We would be remiss if we didn't mention Ryan Garko's indiscretion yesterday - standing at home plate, watching his foul dribbler turn fair. I didn't see the play, but right from coaches pitch league we are taught to run it out until the umpire says it's foul.

That said, Garko's took the right tack after the game saying it was a stupid mistake that won't happen again and that he is fine with Wedge's decision to take him out of the game.

Still, with Garko struggling to hold on to his position and his place in the Tribe's 2009 plans, it's the kind of move that sticks out in management's mind.

The most ironic part about the whole Garko affair is the fact that Wedge finally called someone on the carpet publicly by removing Garko from the gain, but found himself forced to play Sal Fasano at 1B when an injury to Asdrubal Cabrera later in the game forced massive infield position changes to avoid the loss of the DH - the position where Garko started the game.

Only 49 more to go!!


the moose said...

anthony reyes what a freat fantasy pickup - jenson lewis is now the closer

ryan garki get a nice seat cushion

Anonymous said...

how can you expect a relief pitcher to develop any sort of consistency when the d@mn manager doesn't provide any sort of real consistent playing time??? in order to be effective, relievers need to pitch more than just once a week, or in mastny's case, more than once every 9 or 10 days. just look at craig breslow??? when he was here, wedge wouldn't let him pitch hardly at all and ultimately the tribe let him go. now he's a vital part of the twins bullpen and is a big part of the reason why the twins are in first place mainly because the twins have a real manager in ron gardenhire who knows how to handle a bullpen properly and not a pretender like eric "the genius" wedge. up until this year, eddie moo was on "the buffalo shuttle" and never really was able to develop any consistency because wedge was extremely inconsistent on when he brought him into pitch. more recently though, eddie seemed to work his way into wedge's "circle of trust" and as a result, he got more playing time and pitched those 10 straight scoreless innings only to see it all blow up here in his last 2 games. knowing wedge, eddie is back in the doghouse again and won't pitch for another 8 days. in the meantime, gardenhire jettisons juan rincon because he was no longer effective (steroids anyone???) and the tribe picks him up and they wonder why he continues to suck??? oh but wedge keeps marching him out there every opportunity he can get and each time juan looks even worse. why is that???