Last night was about as bad as it gets. Terrible doesn't begin to describe it. They teed off on Arroyo better than most teams do in batting practice. I could go up there and give up 10 runs in one inning. After the Reds blew a bases loaded no outs situation in the second, the game was over. It was depressing and barring a major turnaround in the next 5 games, could mark the end of the 2008 season. Here are some thoughts looking ahead toward what I believe is another fight for 4th in the NL Central.
-Dusty needs to go. His swing first and don't take walks approach is making the whole team a bunch of hackers. It is amazing how many players go up there swinging early in the count. They don't watch a few balls to get in a rhythm. They hack at an offspeed pitch and ground out on a 2-0 count. The bad players(I know that should be all of them but I am talking about Bako, Janish, Patterson, Ross, etc.) need to watch a few pitches and see if they can get a hitters count. Swinging at the first or second pitch guarantees an out. Waiting could result in a walk or seeing a better pitch. Phillips does the same thing. he swings at awful pitches way out of the strike zone because he is a power hitter and it is selfish for him to take a walk. Thanks to Dusty, Bruce and Votto have started hacking at bad pitches. A competent manager would allow them to work count and learn instead of swinging and running back to the dugout after a groundout ten seconds later.
-The following players are not cut out for the major leagues right now: Janish(OPS+ 19), Patterson(OPS+ 45), Bako(OPS+ 76), Arroyo(ERA+ 68). I don't know what you do with them although it was thought that Arroyo could be traded. Anything more than a few maple bat shards in the head would be great.
-Sign Dunn long term. I knwo this may be unpopular but he will get about 14 million and there is simply no replacement for him. Griffey comes off the books this year so signing Dunn won't kill our payroll. We will have players making the minimum in RF(Bruce), 1B(Votto), and at least 3, maybe 4 SP's(Volquez, Cueto, Thompson, Bailey). No one else besides Cordero makes eight figures. When Griffey leaves we can move Dunn up in the order so he could have a decent hitter batting behind him when he walks 100+ times a year. Dunn at 3 and Bruce at 4 would be amazing. Dunn will reach base 38% of the time and Bruce, who is a doubles machine, could drive in him and whoever else is on base.
-Let the kids throw 110 pitches every 5 days. No more. Give them a chance to get deep into a game and then, no matter where they are in the game, take them out once they hit the limit. No point in putting any more stress on their young arms when the game don't matter. Let them get experience and knowledge so we can contend next year with 5 ready to go starting pitchers.
-Give Harang a rest. The SD outing killed his arm. Put him on the 15 day DL and give him a few weeks off. The Red Sox did it with Beckett last year and he came back much better. Harang can still turn his season around and win 12 games but he needs a break to get his mind and body right.
That is all for now. I'm sure I will have more after another debacle tonight.
3 hours ago