How To Fix Our Bullpen

I am sure most of you find it as amazing as I do that Krivsky has failed so miserably to build a league average bullpen.  League average right now probably gets us 5 to 7 more wins than we have.  Everyone can yell for Narron's head, but is it really his fault?  Prime example was Sunday's game.  Everyone was screaming McBeth, but do you want a guy making his ML Debut with the bases loaded and a 3 run lead in the bottom of the 8th inning?  I wouldn't.

Right now our Bullpen Depth Chart we have:

  1.  David Weathers.  Our Closer.  He has been the best the pen has had to offer this year.  A 3.95 ERA, and a decent 1.10 WHIP, his command has improved this year, and has been a victim of some bad luck, with some bad defensive plays.  One thing that has hurt David is inherited runners are scoring, and he often is going for 4,5, or 6 out saves.
  2. Victor Santos.  How bad is it that Victor F-N Santos is one of our top Bullpen Options.  Mostly used in long relief, he has been fairly tolerable.  I don't feel comfortable using him in late innings, but he has saved our asses when our starters don't make it out of the 2nd inning.  His ability to go 3 or  4 decent innings keeps his value high to our bullpen.
  3. Jon Coutlangus.  If anyone has been overused, its been Cooter. His 5.12 ERA is a bit misleading, as Jerry thought it would be a sensational idea for him to pitch a 4th day in a row, and he gave up a grand salami.  Take that outing out, and his ERA is in the 3's.  He has had control issues at times, but is clearly the best option against lefties.
4&5.  Brad Salmon & Jared Burton.  Pretty much the same pitcher.  Both have good "stuff", but they have little to no control.  Can't use them in bases loaded situations because you aren't sure they can throw strikes. If Burton was not a Rule-5 Pick, he wouldn't be here.
  1.  Marcus McBeth.  Dude hasn't even thrown a pitch in the bigs yet.  But Narron will be nervous to use him in high pressure situations until he gets 2 or 3 apperances under his belt.
  2.  Gary Majewski.  Outside his first outing, I haven't been too impressed with the Majik Man.  Of course the sample is small, but opponets are over .500 against him.
  3. Lefty Mike Stanton, who has proved he can't get batters out, even lefties.  His lone bright spot this year was an apperance where he didn't even throw a pitch, he picked off Hunter Pence.  Opponets are hitting over .400 on him.  Even Jerry has had to use him in close ball games, he should be relegated to Blow-Out Duty.
So we have 4 Guys Narron isn't comfortable using with a game on the line (Stanton, McBeth, Salmon, & Burton).  The Long Guy (Santos).  That leaves Coutlangus, Weathers, and Majewski.  Not really that intimidating of a bullpen.

So how do you fix it?  You have Todd Coffey at AAA, but he struggled mightily early this year.  I would wait until he does a few more appearanced like last night (1 IP, 0 H, 3 K) before we bring him back.  Saarlos is getting hit at AAA (4 Hits, 1 ER in 1.1 innings, again small sample size).  There is not much else there.  We do have some interesting options at Chattanooga, but you would like to see some AAA time on them.

That leave the trade route.  To be honest, not many teams have Bullpen arms to spare.  Maybe the Padres, Dodgers, and Red Sox, and thats about it.

Our best Trade Chips:

Scott Hatteberg
Kyle Lohse
Jeff Conine
Ryan Freel
( I won't list Dunn & Griffey, because I don't think we should trade those two for just bullpen arms.)

2 1B guys, a SP, and a Utility Guy.

The team most in need of 1B Help right now is the Yankees.   I could see Hatteberg or Conine there real soon.  Problem is, other than Brian Bruney, I don't see any real intriguing Bullpen options at the MLB level.  But the state of Yankee pitching, it would be hard to get a MLB caliber pitcher for Scott Hatteberg.

In the Starter market, you would have several interested teams.  You'd think the Orioles, Cards, Brewers, Yankees, Blue Jays, Mariners, Marlins, Braves, and Mets all would be interested in Lohse.  Of course, all the Reds gave up to get him last year was a Low-A Ball Pitcher.  

Once healthy, many teams would love to have Ryan Freel, including Wayne Krivsky, which Is why I don't think the Reds would trade him.  Narron loves his flexibility and speed, and he is a fan favorite.

So Until the Trade Market Opens Up What can we do?

  1. Use McBeth.  If he does well, it is a 4th reliever Narron can use in a tight game.
  2. Bite the Mike Stanton Bullet and D-F-A him.  I'm not so sure you can do this until Eddie Guardado or Bill Bray is ready, so you have another lefty to replace him.  I think the only Lefty at Louisville is Brian Shackelford and his nifty 6.19 ERA.
  3.  Once he gets his form back, Bring back Todd Coffey.  Choose between Salmon and Burton.  I think this bullpens biggest Problem is we are trying to "hide" Burton.  If he isn't getting used, then send him back to Oakland.
  4.  Hope Elizardo Ramirez and Bill Bray make it back soon.  EZ has nice stuff, as does Bray.  Both have ML experience, and could really help Narron.
As bad as this bullpen is, I hope Wayne doesn't start trading the farm for more 40 year old relievers.

Comments/Ideas anyone?  I think we should E-Mail this thread to Wayne when we are done.

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