Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Trade: Four Days Later

Well, after a four game losing streak has the Tigers on their collective knees awaiting a knockout blow, getting a reliever for Ivan Rodriguez in lieu of a prospect or two looks pretty bad. Throw in the fact that Farnsworth cried about leaving the Yankees, didn't show up for two days while the team's bullpen was depleted, and finally giving up homers 12 and 13 today; and the trade suddenly looks like a hapless panic move.

It is very difficult to buy a bullpen. The occupation as a whole is unreliable and the players have a short shelf life. Throw in the decreased flexibility brought on by high payroll players who can't be demoted, and I'm not sure that going out and getting veterans and guys who were good in the past is the way to go. Sure, standing pat and relying on two pitchers with shoulder problems to anchor the pen probably isn't the way to go, but the Tigers' problems with the pen have more to do with the fact that Fernando Rodney can't be demoted, a mediocre pitcher was stuck in the closers role for much of the season because his contract said so. The problems would also be attributed to the fact that Aquilino Lopez, Clay Rapada, and Bobby Seay have been inexplically left out of high leverage innings.

The ideal bullpen would include an expensive true stud or two with groundball stuff and a high K rate. The rest of the pen would include tons of younger guys with options cycled in and out, riding the hot hand. This may be the reason the 2008 draft could turn out to be one of the more important drafts of the past several years.

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