It’s not as complex as the team makes it out to be. A few simple moves and the team can be a little more palatable with a little more hope for the rest of the season.
The first move to add Brad Bergeson to the rotation is a start. Bergeson is a control pitcher who is the most ready of any of the prospects and even though he has had limited experience at AAA it is not a stretch to put him in the majors. The same cannot be said for the likes of Arrieta, Matusz, and Tillman who still need a year of seasoning before they should be considered.
Next, drop Adam Eaton and bring up David Pauley. Over the past 3 years Eaton has consistently had a WHIP of over 1.50 while averaging an ERA around 6.00. Do you really think anyone can do worse than that? You would be hard pressed to find a guy who has had his last 60 starts in the majors go so bad, and yet end up in a major league rotation the next year. David Pauley gets the nod after going 14-4 with a 3.55 ERA at AAA Pawtucket last year. I’m not saying Pauley will be the answer but I would rather see us get beat with a 25 year old pitcher who has a little upside as opposed to the consistent bad performance of Adam Eaton.
Keeping with the pitching, go ahead and send Hendrickson to the bullpen as the long/mop up man. If you have to send someone down, I think Brian Bass may pass through waivers…Then call up Chris Waters to be the lefty in the rotation. Once again, Waters is not going to set the world on fire but I would rather lose with a guy who has a chance to not totally stink. Mark Hendrickson lost that chance long ago as he has compiled a career ERA of 5.06 in 991 career innings. Also, this may only be a short term gig for Waters if he does not produce since we are hoping Rich Hill will get healthy and return to the rotation sometime in May.
Lastly, cut ties with Felix Pie. I know he has only had a handful of AB’s with the O’s but I have never seen someone who looks so awkward in the majors. He is rigid and timid in the field, while he looks to have no approach at the plate. I find it hard to believe that he can master these skills at age 24 (allegedly, he looks older to me). To draw an analogy, it’s kind of like the wide receiver who can’t catch, you learn to catch when you are 7 years old not 23. Pie lacks skills that should have been acquired years ago. And I have a funny feeling he also might pass through waivers at this point…
In Pie’s spot I would give the AB’s to either Montanez or Reimold. Neither guy is young by prospect standards so it’s about time that one of them makes or breaks in the majors. I would give the edge to Reimold mostly because Montanez has had his chances in AAA and failed more than once. His lifetime average at the AAA level is .241 in 510 AB’s before this season. I am not that impressed with his year last year at AA since he was two years older than the league average at that time.
It’s that easy. The team gets a little better, fans will appreciate the fresh faces, and we do not have to rush the young pitching. If you see Andy MacPhail let him know he can hear me on the Sunday Morning Blitz along with Rex Snider from 10am-12pm or email me at Jason@wnst.net for more advice.