May 12, 2010
Double Your Pleasure
Placed RHP Brian Stokes on the 15-day DL (shoulder), retroactive to 5/10; recalled RHP Bobby Cassevah from Salt Lake (Triple-A); rescinded optioning RHP Matt Palmer to Salt Lake, and placed him on the 15-day DL (sprained shoulder), retroactive to 5/7. [5/11]
Optioned UT-R Ryan Raburn to Toledo (Triple-A); recalled RHP Alfredo Figaro from Toledo. [5/12]
Even with the benefit of yesterday's rainout, Monday's pen start caused by Dontrelle Willis' latest absence exacerbated the workload for a hard-worked pen. Eddie Bonine and Phil Coke had both worked in three of the previous four games, Brad Thomas had to hurl three frames as the titular starter on Monday, and with a doubleheader on tap today and Jeremy Bonderman and Rick Porcello on tap, anticipating that the pen will have to throw another six or seven innings today seems like a moderate course. So Raburn was shipped out as a matter of being optionable, but the odd thing is that Figaro started just three days ago, spinning six innings and throwing 91 pitches, so it isn't like he's coming to the team on normal rest. Unfortunately, the alternatives on the 40-man are a bit limited: Armando Galarraga started yesterday, and right-handed reliever Jay Sborz pitched on both Monday and Tuesday for the Mudhens as well. Daniel Schlereth would give the pen another lefty when they already have Coke and Fu-Te Ni (and Thomas), and given the extent to which they've had to work Bonine and Thomas of late, a starter for any long relief chores to come up today seemed to be the better order of the day. Even so, they're just at 39 on the 40-man, and even then, they could have transferred Bobby Seay—not due back until June anyway—to the 60-day DL, if they had wanted to bring up a fully-rested Enrique Gonzalez or Casey Fien.
Placed LHP Franklin Morales on the 15-day DL (shoulder), retroactive to 5/6; activated OF-L Carlos Gonzalez from the Bereavement Leave List. [5/12]
Even with yesterday's rainout delaying the reactivation of Jason Hammel, this seems like a straightforward swap-in, with Hammel coming back into the rotation and bumping the less fortunate of the two tyros pasted in when the Rockies lost both Jorge De La Rosa and Hammel to injury. So, Jhoulys Chacin will stay in—and keep his scoreless innings streak going—while Esmil Rogers goes to the pen, perhaps sticking around until the team determines who's making Sunday's start. Somebody will have to, of course, but whether or not they bring up Jeff Francis after a pair of rehab starts at Double-A remains to be seen, and today's doubleheader pushes both of today's starters off into next week, creating a temporary sixth slot. Even if the Rockies choose the needs of the present and bring Francis back soonest, he wouldn't be ready on regular rest until Sunday, having started yesterday, so that gives Chacin and Greg Smith one more turn apiece to make their respective cases for why they should be left alone as the club's fifth starter of the moment. (Unless of course the Rockies do something silly and bump Aaron Cook into the pen, but they wouldn't take their cue in such matters from the Cubs, would they?)
Meanwhile, losing Morales to his latest arm issue is disappointing if you're a fan of what he can do when he's on, but it isn't the sort of setback that should hamper the Rox all that much. As noted yesterday, the pen's doing quite well, Morales' late-game pyrotechnics aside. Indeed, if you rely on measures besides BS-sensitive WXRL (for Blown Saves, really people), per FRA and ARP the Rockies rank among the five best teams in baseball, a far better measure of unit-wide excellence. Save-mongers will no doubt be scrambling to sort out who gets the statistical footnote in the two weeks remaining until Huston Street's anticipated reactivation, and Manny Corpas' Morales-like combustion on Monday certainly contributes to the confusion, but whether it's Corpas or Rafael Betancourt or Joe Beimel on any given day, the Rockies should be OK.
One rain-related wrinkle was that yesterday's cancellation also blotted out the intention to add Edgmer Escalona to the pen in Morales' place, however temporarily. Instead, with a dead day on the schedule, the expected addition proved unnecessary, and Escalona didn't get to debut, and never did officially get added to the roster.
Outrighted 1B-L Mike Lamb to New Orleans (Triple-A). [5/12]
Placed C-R Henry Blanco on the Bereavement Leave List; recalled C-L Josh Thole from Buffalo (Triple-A). [5/10]
Designated PH-L Frank Catalanotto for assignment; recalled 1B/OF-L Chris Carter from Buffalo. [5/11]
As exciting as it might be to see Thole and Carter join Ike Davis and Jenrry Mejia as part of the club's tantalizing “future now” movement, in each instance it's important to temper that enthusiasm. Blanco will be back, after all, and Rod Barajas' nine homers will do plenty to distract the brass from a Barajas-standard absence from the basepaths with anything like league-average regularity. While Carter's been raking for the Bisons (.336/.390/.611, and a .284 TAv), there's still a Jeff Francoeur-sized stumbling block in front of him out in right field. Early-season heroics aside, the Mets' dose of furia francese has involved too much of the usual happy hacking that made Frenchy so readily available in the first place. While this is being spun merrily enough—he's having trouble with fastballs, not pitch selection—the end result is a right fielder who enjoys the club's continued confidence while failing to thrive at the plate. Carter could be a fine spotter for both Francoeur and Jason Bay in the corners, as well as an improvement upon Cat in the pinch-hitting slot if he can adapt to non-starting, but it'll be up to Jerry Manuel to create the kind of usage pattern that keeps Carter sharp.
Placed RHP Kevin Correia on the Bereavement Leave List; placed RHP Tim Stauffer on the 15-day DL (appendicitis), retroactive to 5/10; recalled LHP Cesar Ramos and RHP Adam Russell from Portland (Triple-A). [5/11]
While Stauffer's out for four weeks after an emergency appendectomy, Correia's not expected to miss a turn, so this should really only boil down to an eventual choice between carrying a second lefty in the pen in Ramos (behind Joe Thatcher) versus retaining Russell. Sean Gallagher's eventual rehab should become part of that picture, but for the time being, it's quibbling over who gets to be the seventh reliever in what is, by several measures, baseball's best bullpen.