Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Big Fly Scotty

Yes, "Big Fly" Scotty was at it again last night, and the results, as you mentioned, were not pretty. You declined to mention my favorite Elarton statistic, which I believe is the perfect index of his complete incompetence as a major league pitcher: in 35.1 innings of work (over 8 starts, incidentally), Elarton has given up no less than 12 home runs. Twelve! Worse still, he has only struck out 13, while issuing 19 walks. Remind me again, is it good when a pitcher's walks outnumber his K's? Anyway, if all this weren't bad enough, BB is sticking to his catching platoon, which means that Elarton's battery mate last night was once again Jason LaRue, whose BA continues to hover below the Mendoza Line. (On a positive note, his OBP is up to a sparkling .236.) Meanwhile, John Buck continues to do his best Josh Gibson impression, slugging his thirteenth HR of the season Monday night, which I believe ties him for the league lead for catchers. So, instead of having Buck's stick in the lineup when Elarton pitches, we have LaRue's, which is a kind of double whammy for the Royals, assuming they are in fact trying to win baseball games. With BB at the helm, I'm not so sure anymore.

You mentioned Greinke as a possible rotation replacement for Elarton, and he would be my top choice, too. The Royals need to reinsert Greinke into the starting rotation, and, well, LEAVE GREINKE IN THE STARTING ROTATION! He will have nights where he looks nearly as bad as Elarton, but he will also have nights where he looks like Sandy Koufax. But the Royals need to leave him alone, even if he struggles initially. If they're unwilling to do this, they do have a couple of other intriguing possibilities. They could try Soria, the rule 5 pickup who has been a stud in the bullpen. Soria has been a starter his whole career, and he even pitched a perfect game in the Mexican Leagues (granted not the Major Leagues). Still, the Royals envision him as a starter in the future, and I wouldn't be opposed to giving him a shot now. They could also try Billy Buckner, who is big-league ready according to the scouts, albeit his numbers don't really bear this out. What they shouldn't do is rush Hochevar or Lumsden, two rotation prospects who need time to develop in the minors. Considering we're talking about the genius that is Buddy Bell, what will likely happen is Elarton's spot in the rotation will be moved so that he and Odie Perez don't start back-to-back games. That should fix the problem.

To circle back to last night's game, a couple more BB gaffes merit mentioning. First, following DeJesus's double to lead off the first, BB, in his infinite wisdom, asks German to bunt. This wouldn't have made since if DeJesus was on first, but then it would've at least been defensible, as it would've disrupted a potential double play and put a man in scoring position. As it were, with DeJesus on second, it was a piece of sheer lunacy. Also, in two pinch hitting scenarios last night, BB called on Shane Costa and Joey Gathright, respectively, despite the fact that Billy Butler (who could hit 30 homers in the bigs right now...if he only had a position) had just been called up from AAA. Butler will be DHing once the Royals return to AL play and, according to BB, is available to pinch hit for the remainder of interleague play. He was ready on the bench, and yet BB chose to go with his man-crush Costa and the punch-and-judy Gathright. Not that Butler would've been the difference in the game, with "Big Fly" Scotty on the hill.

Okay, Dayton, we've seen enough--Fire Buddy Bell!!

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