I can just imagine what was going through Jamie Shields mind as he watched the game last night. I mean Casey gives up 6 earned runs, raises his ERA from 7.43 to 7.80, and still manages to get the win; where was the run support for Jamie in his past two starts? Fossum could easily have given up even more runs as 2 of his outs in the 5th inning were caught at the warning track. It was just another bad outing in a long line of bad starts for Fossum. Casey looked good after he went through the lineup once, but after the hitters got the timing down they were teeing off on Fossum. I am not one who believes that every pitcher needs to throw extremely hard, but Fossum does not throw hard and is not getting the movement on the pitches he needs to be effective. Meanwhile the Rays have no left hander in the bullpen and they are the only team in the league that doesn't. In today's league you need a left hander in the bullpen for special match ups late in the game. Also, Fossum would be a nice change of pace after our other power starters have have been pulled from the game. Fossum seems to get through the order well once, but then gets lit up; so why not let him go to the pen and only see a couple batters late in the game when we need to hold a lead. With the combination of how Fossum pitches well once through the order and the need for a lefty in the pen it seems like a no brainer decision, but Joe Maddon has always stood by his players when they are playing horribly and waits for them to get out of the funk, even when they never do. Maddon needs to sit down and do what is right for the team, put Casey into the pen.
If Casey were to go to the pen that would open up a spot in the rotation for one of the younger guys in Durham to come up and fill. The Rays should look to Andy Sonnastine to fill the spot in the rotation. Andrew Friedman has said that he wants the pitchers to have over 200 innings pitched between Montgomery and Durham, Sonnastine has 231.1 IP. Sonnastine spent all of last season in AA and ended with a 15-8 record, 2.67 earned run average, striking out 153 while only walking 34. So far this year in Durham he has compiled a 5-2 record, 2.05 earned run average, striking out 57 and only walking 9. It looks to me like Sonnastine has gotten his innings and deserves a shot and the rotation. Sonnastine could not be any worse than Fossum and he will gain experience while the Rays also get the left hander they need in the pen. The move makes sense, which means the Rays won't do it, but we can hope i guess.