White Hat Sports Headlines

Thursday, July 3, 2008

You want answers......I have them.

They say never write anything for public consumption when you're angry. I was going to make a sentence long post saying I wouldn't be writing anything for a week and I would be holed up in solitary confinement for a week at my camp in the woods. I can listen to the games, and not have to see what I saw last night. That's all I'm going to say about last night.

Mr. Jackson laid out a big problem for this team, now it's time for me to come up with some options for the bullpen because right now it ain't right. There is a ton of talent in the bullpen, I've well documented how hard the bullpen throws, but right now they can't throw strikes. There needs to be an option for the more crucial moments of the game, so that guys like Hansen and Delcarmen can pitch in games when it isn't a save/hold situation. As well as the organization has done with bringing guys along, but only if they are starting pitchers. They monitor their starts and their pitch counts, but the guys that they have seemingly brought into the bullpen it's hasn't been as such except for Papelbon.

Delcarmen has had a nice little streak up until the final game of the Houston series. He was showing signs of promise and suddenly he had wrested the set up role from Okajima. It was like the team was so worried about their all-star set up man that they didn't care how they patched the hole, so they thrust Delcarmen into the role probably before he was ready. Hansen is a lot the same way, he has so much talent and really good stuff. When he started to throw well and more consistently they started giving him the 7th inning almost instantly. It's very hard to make two young guys some of your most important pitchers. Now maybe these last few appearances have been revelations, and just happened to be at the same time which is what is putting me in the Chicken Little Scenario.

Here are some options of where the team can go for bullpen help.

1. The biggest name on the block seems to be Brian Fuentes of the Rockies. The word among baseball circles are that Fuentes is going to be added to a playoff contender because Colorado is seemingly out of the running before the all-star break. Rumor has it that Tampa would like to add him and but so would the Red Sox and Yankees. A warning sign with Fuentes is he has an ERA hovering around 4, and granted that's at Coors Field but it's also in the National League. Change could be good for Fuentes, but we'll see who lands him and how he reacts to pitching on a big stage and pitching in the big bad American League East.

2. This is the option that I like the best, but it is something for it to work should be instituted at the end of this month or mid-August. Move Buchholz or Colon back into the rotation (my guy says Buchholz, but another veteran would be nice) and move Masterson into the bullpen. Not saying that Masterson hasn't been good as a starter, he has been, realistically he could be 7-1 right now. The thing that makes me believe he would be better in the bullpen the rest of the season, besides limiting his innings which is big for a guy who started the year in Portland. Plus his power sinker would be great coming out of the bullpen and he might actually get inherited runners out by getting ground balls with it. Masterson has had some problems with his control at time, but it's that power sinker that makes me think he would be more valuable coming out of the bullpen for the rest of the season, especially with someone like Clay Buchholz taking his spot in the starting rotation.

This is the solution that I think should happen, will it? Fuentes might be more likely, because there will be a battle for him between these three teams, we'll see who overpays for his services. Especially if you're the Red Sox and have better in house options.
Sterling Pingree

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