The Devil Rays are going to make some moves when the Rosters expand in September, but some of the moves they are discussing are puzzling to say the least. The Rays are talking about going to a 6 man rotation to shorten the amount of innings that Scott Kazmir and James Shields will pitch for the rest of the season. I actually like the 6 man rotation because not only will it help to lower the innings that the two Aces throw, but also to allow the Rays to look at some other pitchers that may help in the future. The problem I have is with the names that are being brought up as the possible 6th man.
On top of a 6th man being added to the rotation the Rays have said they are thinking of calling up more middle infield help. With The only Ray on the 40 man roster that plays middle infield that could be called up is Elliot Johnson, it is puzzling as to why they would want to call him up.
The names that are being thrown around as possible call ups for the 6th spot in the rotation are Jae Seo, Jae Kuk Ryu, and JP Howell. Why? Jae Seo was given every opportunity to stay in the rotation this year and he stunk up the joint. Ryu looked terrible in pretty much every outing he has been in as well and Howell keeps coming up having a good game or two and than struggling. We know what we have with this guys and outside of Howell they will not help this team going forward, so why are we wasting our time with them? The Rays future of the pitching rotation will include Jeff Niemann and Mitch Talbot, who have pitched reasonably well in Duram this year. Talbot started out slow this year, but has looked better as the season has gone on. Niemann has inconsistent at times in Durham, but when he is on he has dominated the opposition in AAA. Both of these guys have gone over the required 200 IP between AA and AAA that the Rays organization has set as a standard before being called up. The Rays should call at least one of them up, preferably Niemann, and get them some work in the bigs now so they will be ready to get into the rotation at the beginning of next year. The Rays need to let these guys get some work in now when it doesn't matter what happens than next year when they are trying to show fans they mean business. I don't see the point of allowing the garbage on this team pitch again.
The Rays have also said that they want to call up some more middle infield help after September. To me this makes no sense. The Rays called up Joel Guzman, who they only control until 2009, and he has yet to play in the infield. The Rays have Josh Wilson and Brendan Harris to go with Joel Guzman to play the middle infield spots. The Rays need to let Guzman play everyday and see what they have with him. Guzman is a talented player that has been moved all around by the Rays and the Dodgers. Guzman's numbers were not great in AAA, but Rays fans may remember that when the Rays traded for Guzman the knock on him was that he was not giving good effort in the minors after the Dodgers demoted him. While people who do not play with great effort wherever they are irk me, he does have talent and the Rays could use his bat if he is giving max effort. The Rays should let Guzman play everyday and rotate Wilson and Harris in so that they can see which one will be the better utility infielder going forward. One other move the Rays could make that would involve the middle infield is to call up Evan Longoria from Durham and move Aki to 2b. Aki could move to second much easier than Longoira and if the Rays want Longoira to be the starter at 3B next year they should give him a look now.
The Rays have some decisions coming up when rosters expand and while they should call up a pitcher it should not be one of the recycled starters we have seen. They should continue to play there younger players to get them more work and should do the same with the pitchers.