Monday Morning Rays Wrap Up: The Bullpen Edition

The Rays finish their first series after the All Star break by dropping a 5 hour and 44 minute marathon to the Boston Red Sox and after losing 2 out of 3 to the Sox find themselves 7 games out of first place in the AL East. 


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The Rays offense and their bullpen are the two areas that need to be addressed if the Rays are going to make a run at either the AL East Crown or the Wild Card. The offense was discussed in a post last week (here) and its futility was on full display over 16 long arduous innings last night. Even thought the bullpen held the Red Sox to 1 run over 8 innings last night  there was not a lot of confidence building outings outside of Brandon Gomes whose reward may be a return trip to Durham. Since the Rays only played three games last week, let's take a look at the bullpen moving forward.

Over the last month or so, there has been an uneasy feeling every time Joe Maddon leaves the dugout and calls for a reliever that isn't Kyle Farnsworth.  A quick look at the last 10 appearances from each member of the pen (entering Sunday's marathon) indicates some struggles which leads to the question of how should the Rays address this problem?

  •  Kyle Farnsworth's last 10 games (June 17th through July 15th) he's worked 11.2 innings with an ERA of 2.31,  allowing 3R/3ER on 1HR, 9K/3BB, and has entered the game with 8 inherited runners and has not allowed any to score. He has had to work multiple innings in 5 of the 10 appearances.
  • Joel Peralta's last 10 games (June 20th through July 15th) he's worked 6.2 innings with an ERA of 8.10, allowing  6R/6ER, on 11H, 8K/1BB, 1HR, and entered the game with 9 inherited runners allowing 2 to score (22%).  
  • Juan Cruz's last 10 appearances (June 13th through July 16th) he's worked 9.2 innings with an ERA of 3.72, allowing 4R/4ER on 7H, 10K/4BB, 2HR, and entered the game with 4 inherited runners and has not allowed any to score.
  • J.P. Howells last 10 games (June 20th to July 15th) he's worked 7.1 innings, with an ERA of 7.36, allowing 6R/6ER on 5H, 7K/6BB, 3HR, and entered the game with 4 inherited runners and has not allowed any to score.  Since the meltdown after the homer to Colby Rasmus, Howell has appeared in 5 games, working 3.1 innings, 0R/0ER, with 5K/2BB.
  • Cesar Ramos's last 10 games (June 15th through July 16th) he's worked 7 innings with an ERA of 5.14, allowing 6R/4ER on 7H, 0HR, and entered the game with 6 inherited runners allowing 1 to score (17.7%).
  • Adam Russell's last 10 games (June 13th through July 15th) he's worked 8.1 innings with an ERA of 4.32, allowing 5R/4ER, on 5H, 1HR, 8BB/2K, and entered the game with 9 inherited runners allowing 4 to score (44.4%).
What to do with the bullpen moving forward touches several areas:
  • Should the Rays look to trade Juan Cruz, Joel Peralta, and/or Kyle Farnsworth? If they did decide to move them, what value does each of them have?
  • Should the Rays hold on to Kyle Farnsworth considering his 2012 team option is very affordable?
  • Should the Rays continue to allow Adam Russell to exhibit no control and constantly find himself in a jam?
  • Should the Rays find roster spots for Brandon Gomes and Jake McGee?
  • Is the bullpen an area that Friedman and company will address at or around the trade deadline if the Rays are still within 3 or so games of the wild card?
  • What is the cause of J.P. Howell's lack of control? Is it simply from being away from the game so long, lack of conditioning, or a combination of factors? 
  • Is the bullpen performing better than the numbers indicate and the concern about the pen is something that isn't as worrisome as finding a bat or two to ignite the offense?
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