Sunday, April 19, 2009
The Trifecta and the Fallout
"The incompetence of the bullpen was drawn to a head today," acting general manager Mike Rizzo said. "It got to a point where it wasn't fair to the fans and it wasn't fair to the rest of the team, the starting pitchers, too, to go status quo."
The Nats optioned Saul Rivera and Josh Bard to Triple-A Syracuse and designated Wil Ledezma and Steven Shell for assignment. The Nats will call up Jordan Zimmerman, Kip Wells, Garett Mock, and Jason Bergmann on Monday to fill the voids created by there departure. Wells, Bergmann, and Mock will all slide into the bullpen roles, while Zimmerman gets the nod Monday night vs. Derek Lowe and the Atlanta Braves.
A day late (try two), and a dollar short (try millions) as far as I'm concerned. The Nationals will pray for lightening in the bottle, but I think they secretly wish for a Maltov Cocktail to blow the whole bullpen to smithereens. Either that, or we might be getting prepared for a Ryan Wagner and Jorge Sosa sighting.
They need to redefine the roles in this bullpen, which include the closing job. Joe Biemel must assume that responsibility in Washington. Joel Hanrahan can not be allowed to blow any more saves this season for the Nats. Not to mention Hanrahan was was only given the responsibility to close by the '08 injury to Cordero, and the trading of Rauch, respectively.
Biemel should slide into the 9th and bump Hanrahan back into the 8th inning role, while Bergmann/Mock/Wells should see action in the middle innings, and Tavarez will worry about the Cabrera/Olsen/Martis nightmares that will happen every so often. Again, common baseball logic that is easily understood and apparent to almost everyone watching the game. And Manny often times misses these obvious adjustments.
Manny needs to redefine the roles of this bullpen and much as he needed to redefine the composition of the roster. Allowing Joel Hanrahan to blow one or two mores games will cost Manny his job. To lose three games in a row in this manner after salvaging the first win, prior to 7 straight losses, is unprecedented. This disgrace is headed for all-time proportions if it continues in this direction.
If Manny sits there and watches it happen while doing nothing, he's done. He's no dope, he knows it. That's why he shook up the roster. To do something. Now lets see if he has enough baseball sense to see if he does what is necessary on the field. It will be interesting, at the very least.
Oh and by the way, predicting 90% chance of rain tomorrow night. Any opinions on whether they should start Zimmerman in lieu of this (there's a good chance this game could be awful conditions and a lot of sitting).