June 6, 2007


One right move, Cota being designated for assignment, is hopefully the start of some more smart moves. Cota had no place on this team, not anymore. He was an adequate backup when you had a catcher who handled 130+ games a season in Kendall. Cota missed an opportunity when he started last season as the starting catcher.

He blew his chance. Time to move on.

Rajai Davis has been recalled and started in CF Tuesday night for the Pirates. He had a rather uneventful night at the plate, 0 for 3 with a walk.

Does this mean Duffy is heading to the bench?

Don't count on it. Duffy has at least 7 of his 9 lives left.

The odd thing I see from Davis joining the team is the glut of speed that could be on the bench any given day. If the occasional outfield of Bay-Nady-Doumit plays, you have 3 speed merchants on the bench in Duffy, Davis and McLouth. All 3 are of the same mold, though McLouth has shown more power.

One of the three must be on the market. It makes no sense having 3 of the same player on the bench. Package one with Cota and DL can add to the middle reliever collection he has managed to stockpile.

Capps to closer, Torres to setup. That is until Capps gets his suspension from MLB. Torres is more effective when his arm is falling off. Capps throws strikes. Best move that could be made.

On to moves that need to happen:
Sharpless and Armas to Indy. Recall Kolb and a starter and either JVB or Bullington, since Burnett is on the DL.

What does this do?

First the biggest issue this team is having is in the bullpen, it needs to be solidified. Yes, the bullpen is my target over the offense, blowing 6 games this season at home with a leads is just not acceptable. This team is flirting with .500 if even half of those six are closed out.

As I have mentioned before, JVB would add a bat to the bench as well as an arm. He is a starting pitcher and should remain so. If he succeeds, he will make the rotation pretty strong. If he fails, Kuwata may be available to step into Chacons spot in the pen.

Chacon has done well in his last two starts. The first outing was excellent, but his value is in the pen. I can't help but think Tracy would have gone to Chacon to start the 7th Monday and pinch hit for Maholm in the 6th when the team was being no hit. The outcome of the game could have been much different. A few outings by Sharpless, Bayliss, McLeary, etc. would have likely have been Chacon appearances if he is in the pen.

Armas is a waste in the pen, Tracy won't dare use him in a close game. Bayliss was going to be protected, but has been forced into the heat of battle. Sharpless was to be protected. You can't have 3 pitchers in your pen you can't or don't want to use.

Chacon wants to start, but he also wants to win. His place on this team is in the pen, until someone else shows they can handle his spot as a reliever.

Kolb has been hitting the mid 90's on the gun and pitching well in Indy. He could be a solidifying force in the pen, especially in the late innings.

Back to Kuwata, if he is ready and JVB is pitching well, a move of Duke or Maholm to Indy is a possibility with Chacon returning to the rotation.

Right now I would say Duke would be the leading candidate to head to Indy. Maholm has strung together some good outing in his last 3 starts if he was pulled at the appropriate times. On the other hand Duke is allowing too many hits and is too inconsistent in the zone. Maybe working things out in Indy would help him long term.

This team needs its best arms in the bullpen if it is going to make the .500 mark.
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