Tuesday, May 15, 2007

$42 million... for what?

We're seeing firsthand why it's not a good idea to spend $42 million on the bullpen.

Last night, with the game tied at 3, Danys Baez allowed a 2-run HR to Troy Glaus which sealed the deal.

And the O's lose their 3rd game in a row, which, coincidentally, were all lost by the bullpen.

That $42 million would have been much better spent on the offense, which desperately needs a power bat in the middle of the line-up, since Tejada has "lost" his power (.397 SLG) and Aubrey Huff (.691 OPS) is still trying to find his groove. And even at their best, Tejada is a #3 hitter and Huff a #5 or #6.

The $42 million would have also been better spent on the starting pitching, which is doing OK, even with starters Kris Benson, Jared Wright and Adam Loewen out for most or all of the season, but could be lasting longer in games.

Yes, the bullpen did need a lot of help after last year, but it wasn't a problem that was going to be fixed by throwing money at it. Even when the Orioles signed the veterans they did to fill out their bullpen, people were scratching their heads. All that money for Danys Baez and Jamie Walker? All those years?

Small trades can always bring back value for the bullpen, but the Orioles traded away their second best arm in the bullpen in Chris Britton during the offseason to get Jared Wright, who was a severe injury risk and has thrown only 10 innings so far this season and will be lucky to make it to 11.

The tricky thing about bullpens is this. Bullpen pitchers have no rhythm. They pitch one night, then have the next night off, then throw two nights in a row, and then could have a week off before they throw again. So even the best bullpen pitchers are going to be thrown off by the inconsistent workload.

It also hurts when the manager doesn't know how to use a bullpen. Sam Perlozzo has assigned roles to pitchers, torpedoes be damned. Just another reason why he needs to be gone yesterday.

Even though the Orioles may have compiled this bullpen the wrong way, at least they tried, which is more than you can say about the organization in the last few years. They saw a huge need and worked fast to fill it. It would be nice to see them do that with the offense and starting pitching occasionally.

But they were careless with money and now they're paying for it as the bullpen continues to lose games left and right.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just blow the darn thing up already!! We are going nowhere even faster than usual,and if we get sweeped by one of the worst teams in baseball right now the fans are going to revolt like never before.I hope we lose the next 20 straight so something is done,but even then PA will just sit on his hands and count all his free money from MLB he gets for nothing while the fans and players suffer with no hope on the horizon.