I had a conversation with a reader last night about Jason Hammel. Essentially he said the Rays needed to upgrade that mop-up role in case of an emergency. He went on to ask who would come in if a starter in the playoffs couldn't get out of the third which lead to an argument on whether that was even a relevant scenario.
Yes, it's possible a pitcher gets bombed in the playoffs but I went through the gamelogs to find the incidents where a Rays pitcher went less than four innings. It's happened six times all season. Here's the thing about Hammel, no he is not good, but currently he is used in situations less tense than every other reliever on the roster except Juan Salas. Hammel pitches once a week and the game is usually out of reach one way or the other. Yes last night was nasty and memorable because he gave up a load of runs but should come as no surprise to people who have paid attention to his non-ERA numbers, after all both his FIP and tRA are over 5.
So our mop-up reliever is the worst pitcher on staff and we're supposed to be upset about this? Yes David Price and almost all of Durham's rotation would be better, but Hammel's role is less than vital on this team and it's likely he won't be on the post-season roster to begin with.