Thursday, July 5, 2007

Marred in a 10 game losing streak, Rays get bad news

The Rays got very lucky in the off season when they signed Al Reyes. Reyes who was coming off of two Tommy John surgeries was brought into camp to see if he could compete for a bullpen job. Reyes not only competed, but won the closer job outright. Reyes has been the only consistent player on the team and has been dominant in his save opportunities. Reyes has now gone onto the the 15 day DL with shoulder inflammation.

The Rays now have not only to try and win, but may need to score a lot of runs to do so as there star closer will not be around to help. The Rays have decided to turn to Gary Glover to close while Reyes is on the DL. Glover had a great streak going where he looked dominant and had garnered the 8th inning role, but since than has been very inconsistent. Glover either comes in and dominates, or gets absolutely destroyed. The inconsistency needs to stop so he can be effective, especially in the closers role. Looking at the pen, Glover is the best option to close as he has had the best numbers, and has been dominant at times.

With Reyes on the DL the Rays called up left hander Jon Switzer from AAA Durham to take his spot on the team. Switzer who had been rehabbing a shoulder injury of his own for most of the year has come back strong in Durham. Switzer has only given up one earned run in 22 innings in Durham. Switzer was called up last season and did not put up great numbers, but some of that was contributed to a shoulder problem that he was hiding from the staff. With Fossum as the only left hander in the pen this will be a welcome addition to the pen. If Switzer can come in and be average, he will be the best pitcher we have in the bullpen. Switzer will be someone to keep an eye on in the pen and hope he can pitch better than the bums in the blowpen, which won't be hard.

With Reyes going to the DL and having another injury problem maybe they should look at getting another reliever in here to close if Reyes does not come back effectively or stays on the DL longer than expected. One guy who wants out of his position is Salomon Torres in Pittsburgh. Torres was dominant last year in the set-up role, but faltered a bit in the closers role this year in Pittsburgh. Many scouts believe that Torres is a great arm and is still getting better. The Rays could maybe trade Wigginton or Dukes to the Pirates for him. The could also move one of their youngsters down on the farm to sweeten the deal if need be. Torres is pretty cheap for a good reliever and he could be a great set-up man or even a closer.

The Rays got bad news at a bad time. They need to do something to change whats going on and maybe the Switzer move will help. I would love to see Torres here in Tampa and I think it makes a lot of sense.

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