Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tigers @ the All-Star Break: 2006 vs. 2007 - The Bullpen

There's actually not much to say about the bullpen; it's pretty much an outright disaster. The middle relief has been a revolving door; Jason Grilli, Bobby Seay, Fernando Rodney, Wilfredo Ledezma, Chad Durbin, Tim Byrdak, Joel Zumaya, Zach Miner, Aquilino Lopez, Jose Mesa, Eulogio De La Cruz, Jose Capellan, Yorman Bazardo, Macay McBride, Virgil Vasquez, Todd Jones.

The number of relievers pretty much says it all. Seay has been good of late, Miner and Capellan have been alright in the short time they've come out of the pen. Other than that...blah. Mesa, Ledezma, Lopez, De La Cruz, Bazardo and Vasquez are either in the minors or with other teams now because they suck. Rodney has been hurt most of the year, and when he hasn't been on the DL, he's been a trainwreck on the mound. Byrdak was decent until he started pitching hurt, and he's on the DL now. Durbin has been entirely average since moving to the pen. Grilli's been a mess.

Jones....seriously, he should come out to Crazy Train playing at the CoPa everytime he trots out there. It's like there's an anxiety clause in his contract, that he is obligated to surrender hits, and if he has more than a one-run lead, he must give up runs. Since getting his brains kicked in in Cleveland on June 1st, he's lowered his ERA from 6.04 to 5.20 and hasn't blown a save, although he did give up 3 runs to Texas and lost the game on June 26.

And then...Zumaya. He's been gone for over two months now with that damn finger injury, and still quite a while from returning. He wasn't his usual "omfg this guy is god" self, walking a LOT, even by his standards. But Mr. 103 brought an attitude and swagger that nobody else in the bullpen has. Even if he's rusty and a little shaky when he returns, the edge he brings into the game mentally with his thermonuclear fastballs is HUGE.


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