After the fiasco in Toronto we have to expect at least one roster move today, it's a must. I know Andrew Friedman and company are not the reactionary type, and for the most part that's fine, but Chad Orvella, at the very least, has to go back to Durham. Seven innings, eight walks, ten earned runs, and somewhat amazingly, three homeruns, all turned in by what's became the `Orvellian Nightmare', with due respect to the great George Orwell, our pen has became an Animal Farm all right...
Shawn Camp, Casey Fossum, and yes even Timmy Corcoran are likely to get passes for their roles in the 'meltdown up north', but someone has to go, and that's got to be Orvella.
The disappointing aspect, even more so than the apparent flame out of Orvella's red dwarf, is that really we have no options at Durham. The safe route, and seemingly the route we should take would be to promote Jason Hammel, move Edwin Jackson to the bullpen where he can at least rely on his stuff if not his command and complete the rotation metamorphosis, but of course that does little but add another question mark to the relieving core.
Durham relievers Ruddy Lugo and Seth McClung have posted impressive ERAs, but examining their entire line leads to the disgust and discouragement in their walk per nine innings totals. In 12.2 innings Lugo has a 1.42 ERA and has struck seven out, but has walked eight, nearly six per nine (5.5), McClung on the other hand has a 2.01 ERA through 31.1 innings, has struck out 38, but walked 18, an average of 5.2 per nine, again not acceptable, at least not for the replacement to Orvella who's problems have been with walks and homeruns, 6.2 and 2.3 per nine respectively.
So if those two aren't the answer, and it doesn't appear they are, the Rays would have to look at the next wave of Durham arms, being Steve Andrade, Jeff Ridgway, and, `gulp' Scott Dohmann. Andrade has respectable numbers, and subtracting one abstract eight earned run inning and two-thirds performance his ERA would be closer to 2 than 4.5, otherwise his peripherals don't exactly scream red flag. 10 walks and 33 strikeouts over 30 innings, he does however give up a hit an inning, but that's acceptable as only two out of 30 hits allowed have cleared the fence.
Ridgway and while we're at it, Jon Switzer are situational relievers only, and really would provide little help other than being death to lefties. Since Casey Fossum was incorporated into the bullpen Joe Maddon has seemingly became more adapt to using situational relievers, a positive, but negative in the sense of us not exactly having the key ingredient: pitchers who can come in and get outs no matter the hand. The Dohbermann would really be pushing it, his 1.43 WHIP, all of 0.01 less than McClung's likely spells issues at the major league level, not to mention I don't think anyone really wants to see Scott freaking Dohmann trotting out when we're in need of a lock down reliever to either spell Al Reyes or set him up.
There aren't many options in free agency left (read, none, barring Scott Strickland) seemingly trade would be the only way to cast anything of value, but again lays the problem. Elijah Dukes has been flat out uninspiring, and last night's 0-6 performance was only exacerbated by his lackadaisical performance in the field. I'm not often one to call a player out, but hello Elijah, this isn't Durham, a five run lead isn't guaranteed with our staff, please at least act like you care rather than being indolent, especially considering the owner himself was near to outright releasing you all of two weeks ago. You said "They'll get over it." Concerning your recent divorce issues, and you're right, they, we will, but not with crap like that.
Ty Wigginton is a corpse only at this point, but at least he's hustling still, although with an OPS 40 points lower than Elijah, who is hitting .208, he better be hustling, otherwise I'm in favor of having Josh Wilson and his mythical .375 batting average getting some time over at third base. At least Josh has some answer to the question, range?
Rocco Baldelli isn't healthy, yet, and at this point trading Carlos Pena or really anyone else in the starting lineup is suicide. The only other option for the Rays would be to dig into the farm system and reliquinish some of the young talent that has graced the organization, but unless that's for Chris Ray or Jonathan Broxton it's pointless. Sure we could ship someone off for Jay Witasick, and he could immediately help, but at the end of the day our best two relievers would be a 37 and 34 year old, the Rays need a pen, and with top reliever prospects such as Ryan Reid, Ryan Owens, and Greg Dupas being levels away it's time to start wondering where we're going to get one.
This off-season might be the only legitimate chance, with a hopefully deflated market, and the major market teams fighting over Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome(apparently he doesn't like domes), along with a rash of other outfielders like Andruw Jones, Ichrio, Torii Hunter, and Corey Patterson the Rays could potentially sneak a reliever or two in the house in what's shaping up to be one hell of a relief market. Mariano Rivera, Jason Isringhausen, Bob Wickman, Francisco Cordero, Armando Benitez, Eric Gagne, Todd Jones, Jorge Julio, Scott Linebrink, Kerry Wood, and even or old friend Trever Miller will be out there.
Only time will tell how big of a turnover the meltdown caused, but for now the off-season `to do list' is starting to take a little shape:
- Re-sign Kazmir and Shields
- Get relief help
- Get relief help
- Get catching help
But hey at least for now we're about 24 hours from seeing David `D-Price is right' Price wear a Rays cap, on the flip side we're two hours less from seeing an Edwin Jackson start...ah, that's the great thing about baseball, there's always tomorrow.