Transaction Report 6/23/06
The Move-The Rays placed relief pitcher Ruddy Lugo on the 15 Day DL.
The Details-Lugo had been complaining of what was termed a "mild back strain" after being pulled with one out in the ninth inning of Tuesday's game, and that is what he heads to the DL with.
The Analysis-To lose one of your two decent relievers is never good, and certainly Ruddy earned his surprise call to the opening day roster with his pitching this season, as he was second best in the bullpen with a 3.83 ERA on the season, doing an excellent job at keeping the ball in the yard in surrendering just two home runs all season. Hopefully Lugo gets over this back strain when his DL time is done, and we can bring him back and replace one of our terrible bullpen pitchers (Harville, Harper, among others), and most importantly, maybe uproot Brian Meadows from the closing job he was given for no discernible reason.
The Move-The Rays called up LHP Jon Switzer from AAA Durham.
The Details-Switzer will take Lugo's place in the bullpen while he is on the DL, and could remain at the expense of Harper or Harville when Lugo returns.
The Analysis-Well, looks like the Rays finally admitted a mistake on their part and added Switzer back to the 40 man roster after he was taken off last offseason. To make room for him on the 40 man, Sean Burroughs was DFA'd, as detailed in this Transaction Report.
Switzer is the first lefty in the Rays bullpen all season, and it is about time. Maddon's 'we don't need a lefty, we use the best pitchers' philosophy sounds good in theory, but the Rays simply did not have a righty pitcher that could get LHB out consistently, like Chad Orvella did last season, and Switzer fills that role, having held leftys to a .132 clip down in Durham. But don't go thinking Switzer merely is going to be a LOOGY. He held all batters in check down at Durham, pitching to a 0.87 ERA down with the Bulls, and had not surrendered an earned run since April 21st, so this move was long overdue, especially when we had the revolving door of crappy pitchers coming in to games these past few months, all bad, but the DRO never making a change, sticking with those poor pitchers.
There was simply nothing that should have reasonably held Switzer back. His K/BB is good, and has given up but one home run this season. But instead of calling him up, we kept trotting inferior pitchers instead of manning up and admitting a mistake by removing Switzer from the 40 man. But at least he is up now, and hopefully he can continue his pitching level from Durham and live up to the billing that he had just a couple years ago was one of the organization's top pitching prospects. It is about time, good luck Jon!
Lugo Stats [Fan Graphs]
Switzer Stats [MiLB.com]