The J-Train is off the Rails
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.