Thursday, May 7, 2009

Shake-up Part Two - The Bullpen

Vinny Chulk DFA'd just 5 weeks into the season?
Who saw that coming?

Ah, but for every Vinny Chulk, there's a Matt Herges.

The Indians, as you probably know by now, shook up their moribund pen a little last night, designating Chulk for assignment and farming out Raffie Perez.

To fill their spots in the pen, the Tribe recalled righty Matt Herges from Columbus, moved lefty Aaron Laffey from the starting rotation to the pen and brought up Jeremy Sowers to replace Laffey in the rotation.

That move paid off last night, as Laffey tossed three scoreless innings of relief against the Red Sox to pick up a save. He got the save for holding a lead for three innings, not by protecting a slim lead as the game ended 9-2.

So what to make of this?

The general plan I like. They needed to move someone who was getting people out into the bullpen. That turned out to be Laffey. It's not a choice you like to make, but - in this instance - it's one you had to make. There was no real bullpen help down below and the bleeding has to be stopped.

But Matt Herges? I guess they went for experience on that one. Or they just figured he is one more die to roll. Herges' ERA is nearly 6 and teams - International League teams - are hitting .316 against him.

Hey, I guess we can't knock it 'til we try it. But if I'm forming an opinion now, I think Herges goes the way of Chulk sooner rather than later. Herges' life-time MLB ERA is just about 4 and his last good year was 2007 (5-1, ERA 2.96; WHIP 1.01). That's sounds good, but the only season prior to that where he comes close to those numbers is in 2003, with San Francisco and and San Diego.

No one else was lighting it up in Columbus, so let's say we give the nod to experience and see what happens - while telling ourselves not to expect much.

The other move, filling Laffey's spot with Jeremy Sowers, also probably has to do with experience - as in at least he's been up here before. Sowers was off to a good start in Columbus, 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA. But we've seen his act before and we know what we are likely to get. Adequate at best.

While I don't really knock the move, I would have liked to see what David Huff could do instead.

Huff (4-0 with a 3.21 ERA and 23 Ks in 28 innings) was touted by the front office late last year as someone who could have an impact on the parent club this year, This might have been a good time to find out exactly what kind of impact.

As for Perez, it was obvious he had to go and get his head straightened out outside of the limelight.

Still, with all the moves made since Friday, lets give the brain trust an A for effort. At least they are not sitting on their hands like last year while the season melted away.

Do I expect these changes to turn things around? If been around this team too long to get my hopes up. But let's just say I'm still watching the games every night, so there must be some hope there.


Anonymous said...

you have been talknig about pitching - better talk about hitting 2 #%#*(%_#()% HITS, 2 HITS

Hard luck Lee on poor defense no less

Unbelievable Will it ever end

go cavs


Anonymous said...

another day another bunch of goose eggs

closed door players meeting - that will help - wedge is in love with this new infielder valuenza - or whatever his name is - looks like peralta may be odd man out.

OF - put laporta, sizemore, and choo out there - with francisco as a sub - let delucci go

pitching -there no answer although the SP has been good the past week

somebody has to go soon