The Mockingbird

The J-Train is off the Rails

with 7 comments

Talk about a short leash. Evidently J.P. Riccardi has not managed either to deal with or to fully repress memories of Josh Towers’ disasterous 2006 season, because after a mere four starts, he has been yanked from the rotation. It all came down to one inning in his last game, where he gave up three home runs and five earned runs. Later in the game he was strangely lifted when he hadn’t given up a hit in 2 innings, and his ERA for the season jumped from 3.44 to 4.70. But still the average 5th starter in the AL has an ERA of 6.22, and he has some of the best K/9 and K/BB rates on the team!

J.P’s official line was that they wanted to see if they could fine a little more “consistency” out of the 5th spot, which is interesting seeing that the man who replaced Towers won the triple crown of wildness in 2003, leading the league in walks, hit batsmen and wild pitches. And so far this season, he’s been having trouble out of the pen, with a terrible 2.63 WHIP. But ok, it was a toss-up between Towers and Zambrano coming out of spring training, and since he hasn’t been overly impressive, I can see deciding to give Zambrano a shot.

But now Chacin is injured, so we need another starter. Seeing that Towers is certainly good enough to fill in for a couple weeks, and his arm is nicely stretched out (unlike Zambrano’s, who will probably only go 3-4 innings tomorrow), it makes sense to slide him back into the rotation as if he never left, right? Well, no. We’re calling up perma-prospect Dustin McGowan, who only a few days ago J.P. insisted he wanted to leave in AAA for as long as possible to build up his confidence. I’m certain the message has been recieved loud and clear by Josh:

“I think this can be better for me,” he said of his new long-relief role. “I’m not into the back-and-forth thing. I’m embracing the reliever’s role.”

Translation: At least I get to fly planes rather that ride buses for the last 6 months of my career.

Written by halejon

May 2, 2007 at 5:23 am

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  1. OK, I’m working late, so I checked the Gameday feature for tonight’s game.

    Zambrano lasts 2.2 innings, relieved by…wait for it…

    “Mop up in Aisle 2. Towers…get your butt over there!”

    Chris

    May 3, 2007 at 12:49 am

  2. That game was excruciating.

    The starting pitching was excruciating.

    The relief corps was excruciating.

    The fielding was excruciating.

    The umpiring was excruciating.

    The walk-off “double” (if we can call it that) that eneded it all was excruciating.

    I couldn’t even bear watching the middle innings on TV, I had to resort to radio – at least I could imagine a better game.

    Where’s my pet monkey to start flinging poo at games like this.

    And who the heck is going to pitch tonight when the rook flames out in 3 innings??? Lets see how quickly we can crush a budding Major League career when he realizes that he’s got to stay in and face Travis Hafner with the bases loaded because there’s no backup in the pen.

    OH, and no matter how Josh Towers sugar-coats it. HE HATES COMING OUT OF THE PEN!

    Dan

    May 3, 2007 at 4:21 pm

  3. You mean they lost? I had last night erased eternal sunshine of the spotless mind style. Gads.

    By “relief corps” I assume you mean Towers, because everyone else was awesome. That is vintage Towers- get kinda screwed on some improbable hit and an error, and then let up a bomb to cash in the runners. He has this amazing ability to let in massive numbers of runs that you only sort of blame him for- but he does it ALL THE TIME.

    I nominate you to tell Brian Tallet he’s now a long man.

    halejon

    May 3, 2007 at 5:41 pm

  4. Well, that’s true – Downs, Janssen, and Accardo were spectacular. And have been all season – and are the glue that’s holding our bullet-ridden starting pitching together.

    Towers, not so much. Or the Indian’s Jason Davis who was kind enough to walk in 2 runs. Through five innings, nobody WANTED to win the game, they kept trying to give it away.

    And poor Shaun Marcum has just been the whipping boy this season. And he’s still sporting near a 13/9IP K ratio. And a K to BB ratio that’s putting AJ Burnett to shame.

    I feel for the guy. He’s got good stuff in there somewhere.

    Dan

    May 3, 2007 at 5:54 pm

  5. Well last night Marcum induced a weak pop-up and a tapped grounder…heck, even his two blow-ups were to Ramirez and Tejada, two of the best hitters in the league. Sigh. He looked so good that night we put him in as closer.🙂

    Can you imagine if we had a healthy League and Ryan in this bullpen? We wouldn’t need starters!!!

    halejon

    May 3, 2007 at 7:07 pm

  6. […] bouncing in and out of the #5 rotation spot. Carlos Zambrano replaced him after just four starts. The Mockingbird indicated that J.P. Ricciardi may have been compensating for keeping Josh in the rotation far too […]

  7. […] bouncing in and out of the #5 rotation spot. Victor Zambrano replaced him after just four starts. The Mockingbird indicated that J.P. Ricciardi may have been compensating for keeping Josh in the rotation far too […]


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