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Rays Have One Too Many Loogy's; Brian Shouse Or Randy Choate?

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A day after a healthy bullpen discussion, it's time to discuss some more. No, I'm not talking about J.P. Howell being taken deep by the evil Dr. Langerhans. I said yesterday even the best bullpen will have a hiccup and that was a full burp. I'm talking about the unnecessary carrying of two members of a seven man bullpen that have exactly the same job. When you carry any specialist on your team, you are basically putting yourself down a man on the roster most nights. When you carry two you are severely limiting the manager's flexibility. Sure, the Rays have four or five relievers capable of going multiple innings, but carrying both Randy Choate and Brian Shouse is a bit redundant.

Maybe the game-tying single by Ichiro is too fresh in my mind, but I think at this point I'm ready to see Shouse go and hand the LOOGY key to Randy Choate. If you look at the overall numbers, there isn't even a question about who should stay or who should go.

 

IP

ERA

FIP

K/9

HR/9

Shouse

16.2

5.4

5.89

5.4

2.16

Choate

17.1

2.6

3.88

7.79

1.04

However, we all know that sometimes the lefty specialist has suck it up in lop sided games and face right handed hitters that can easily skew some of the numbers. Here are the important numbers against left handed batters.

 

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

HR

Shouse

31

0.25

0.268

0.425

2

Choate

33

0.22

0.273

0.317

1

Choate has allowed less hits, but walked three lefties while Shouse has the higher BAA, but not walked any. Their BABIP's against LHB are similar with Shouse having a .267 and Choate at .276. The big difference is in opponents slugging where opposing hitters are slugging over .100 points higher against Shouse.

If you really wanted to make the argument that Shouse has the longer track record of success against lefties that's fine, but I'll take Choate in this one. The best case scenario would be Andrew Friedman finding a team looking for a LOOGY and flipping Shouse or Choate for a PTBNL or in Shouse's case maybe a team taking on his contract will do. Either way carrying two loogy's or loogi is similar to carrying a third catcher. Its fine in September, but when you are clawing your way back to the top in a pennant race all you are doing is leaving your gun one bullet shy of a full round.