FanPost

What's wrong with Howell this season?

 

What the crap has gotten into J.P. Howell this season? Last year, he was one of our best arms out of the pen. This year, no lead is safe with him. I cringe everytime Maddon brings him in. He's given up game-winning HR's in extra innings, in the bottom of the 9th, he's given up the lead in the 8th inning, etc. And he's done it once again tonite. Bases loaded with 1 out, he just barely avoided a grand slam from the Tigers. Very next pitch, he gives up a single to left and in doing so, gives up the lead. Maddon has again, gone out to the mound to pull. The difference here is that last season, Howell was a set up guy, or a middle relief pitcher. This season, Maddon has tried him as the teams closer. And it has back fired TERRIBLY. There should be two big areas the Rays ought to look at correcting this off season: getting a true closer (or at least a reliable reliever), and looking at our catching situation. On a related note, Friedman's decision to pass up Victor Martinez still has me frustrated. We passed on an All-Star catcher who has been nothing short of hot since going to Boston, and instead get an aging 38 year old catcher in Gregg Zaun. Zaun has filled in decently and has batted over .300 since joining Tampa Bay. But I would much rather have a player the caliber of Victor Martinez instead of Zaun. Not to mention the fact that in passing him up, he goes to our arch rival whom we're staring up at in 1st place in the Wild Card race. So please, Andrew Friedman, try and get us a decent catcher this off season. And more importantly, a solid relief pitcher so that we can move Howell back into his better role where games aren't on the line. You've been a sensational GM in turning around our franchise. But there have been two (and only two) moves that you've recently made that I think has really blown up in all of our faces- signing Pat Burrell and passing on Victor Martinez.

This post was written by a member of the DRaysBay community and does not necessarily express the views or opinions of DRaysBay staff.

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