Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Embarrassing loss to lead to changes

The Rays suffered there most embarrassing loss of the season last night giving up 14 runs on 22 hits. Outside of a four inning stretch by Corcoran, the Rays pitchers were hit extremely hard and looked horrible. Casey Fossum started the game, but only lasted 1 inning before being pulled after giving up 3 runs and leaving the bases loaded with no outs. Jae Seo, who the Rays were hoping would be helped by a stint in the pen, pitched the last 2 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits.
The Rays started the year off with 5 starters, but have discovered they have 2 starters, 1 pitcher showing a little promise, and 2 bums. Every game I watch in which Jamie Shields or Scott Kazmir are not on the mound I just know we are going to lose the game or will need to score 10 to win. It has been obvious to most of us that Jae Seo and Casey Fossum are not Major League pitchers and need to be removed, but the Rays kept waiting to see if they would turn it around. From what I am hearing that ended yesterday. Apparently Rays GM Andrew Friedman, who was in attendance last night, stormed into the locker room after the game was over irate over what he had just watched. The Rays have been quiet only saying that they are having conversations and looking into who may be able to come in and pitch, but expect changes to come soon.
As I have said before I am in total agreement with the Rays on the need to season our young pitchers in the minors, but there are some guys who are ready and couldn't be any worse than the pitchers we are throwing out there now. I have mentioned Andy Sonnanstine before, Jason Hamel and JP Howell are two other pitchers who have looked good in Durham and are likely to be called up to fill out the rotation and the pen. It is time to make a move and I believe the Rays front office has seen enough as of last night. The time the Rays 5th starter spot comes up coincides with Andy Sonnanstine's turn in the rotation in Durham; coincidence? I believe that JP Howell, who almost made the team out of ST and is a lefty, will be the other starter to come in and take Fossum's place. Howell on the year in Durham so far has compiled a 3-5 record with a 3.96 ERA, 64 strikeouts, and a 1.26 WHIP. Hammel is also a poss ability as he has better numbers, but I think the fact that Howell has more MLB experience and is left handed gives him the edge.
While Jeff Niemann and Mitch Talbot may be the most talented of the Durham pitchers and people want to see them, they are simply not ready. Talbot has struggled for much of the year, but has turned it on recently. Niemann is only in his first full season pitching after coming back from shoulder surgery. These two pitchers will be great additions to the Rays staff soon, but not now.
It was painful to watch the Rays last night and apparently that pain finally go to the Rays front office. All I can say is that if the loss finally made the Rays realize that these pitchers are not MLB pitchers that we need to keep starting, than i am glad for the loss. The addition for Sonnanstine and Howell/Hammel will be welcome addition to the staff. I am looking forward to watching a game when Shields or Kamir is not pitching and actually believing at the start of the game we have a chance to win.

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