Recently, Dave Trembley has been talking about giving pitchers defined roles, so that they are more comfortable and so they have a better idea of when they will be pitching.
In general, that is a fine idea. But it is important to be flexible and to not be too specific regarding those roles. Trembley, many times, fails miserably at that.
Jim Johnson pitched the 9th inning, got 3 easy outs if not for his bobble, and threw 6 pitches. He looked very solid.
Sherrill has been struggling lately, and the great majority of his early saves have come with more than 1-run leads. Sherrill has always been known as a guy who is very tough on lefties, but who struggles at times to get right handers out. That is evidenced by the .414 average that righties are sporting against him this season.
With 3 very tough right handed hitters in Hill, Rios, and Wells due up, it makes absolutely no logical sense to take out your best RH set up man, and bring in Sherrill. Acutally, there is only one possible reason to support this decision…Keeping Sherrill in his defined role. What a joke!
Sherrill is not your common closer. He does not have the stuff of a Rivera, Papelbon, Wagner, K-Rod, or Valverde, which would allow him to be equally as tough on both RH and LH hitters. He is an average bullpen arm who was thrown into that role last season. There is no reason why he needs to have the 9th inning regardless of who is due up in the inning.
Time for Trembley to be flexible and adjust to the circumstances of the each game. He needs to be more than a push-button manager if he wants to stick around here for the long-haul. He doesn’t have the talent to win, but he also doesn’t make the most of the talent that he does have. He needs to put his team, and his players, in the best possible positions to succeed. Bringing in Sherrill to face 3 power hitting right handed hitters is not putting him in the best position to succeed.
Also, by taking out Johnson after 6 pitches to bring in the “closer,” Trembley takes the chance of being short on pitchers if the Jays tie it in the bottom half of the 10th, which they did. Case in point..Brian Bass is now pitching the 11th inning. Our best bullpen pitcher in Johnson threw 6 pitches and showed no signs of struggle. That is not the way to maximize the value and production of the bullpen.
Hey, we might lose the game…But old Dave and Georgie are comfortable in their defined roles, so who cares?