State of the ‘Pen (2nd ed.)

So, I’m back. Sorry about essentially missing the last three weeks. I had a week of vacation, followed by a week of moving, followed by a week of EIW (early interview week, for those not law-school inclined). But, classes start again on Tuesday, and a more regular schedule will be far more conducive to more regular blogging.

So. Given the name of the blog and what I have been focusing on personally this season, I think I will have a weekly issue on the state of the ‘Pen.

The ‘Pen has not been a happy place to be for the last week for some of its members. Brian Bass went away and ended up in Rochester. Jesse Crain has given up the winning run in the last three games in which he has pitched. Guardado, the newest (and the oldest) face in the Twins’ ‘pen got shelled and nearly lost Wednesday’s game. So, lets go through it, reliever by reliever.

Brian Bass (-) RIP. Bass accepted his assignment to Rochester, so we might see him again on Tuesday after the call-ups. However, this could be the end of “Kerosene Boy.”

Boof Bonser (-) Boof had a very good week, after disappointing for most of the season. In four innings, Boof gave up only one earned run on two hits. If Boof’s coversion to a long reliever continues in this vein, he will have a future with this team, though I still think he should be trade bait for some bullpen depth (or depth anywhere else). That said, his stuff was nearly filthy on Thursday night.

Craig Breslow (-) Breslow has continued a stellar season. One thing that Breslow has been suffering from are high expectations upon his claiming off waivers from the Indians. We all just sort of expected him to be the Reyes of ’06. In the last week, he gave up one earned run on one hit in 4.1 innings. Not great, but when you consider that he absorbed the loss when Jesse Crain allowed an inherited runner to score on Thursday (accounting for the one ER), he really was fantastic. Breslow appears to be earning Gardy’s trust, and I think he deserves a look as a seventh/eighth inning guy on nights when Guerrier and/or Guardado aren’t available. On Friday night, Breslow turned in one of the best performances of the year by a Twins relief pitcher, throwing three perfect innings with three Ks, earning a meaningless save in the 12-2 blowout.

Eddie Guardado (-) So, the Twins made a move that surprised everyone (and no one) when they moved A-ball closer Mark Hamburger to the Rangers for Everyday Eddie. I (personally) was not a fan of the move. Mark Hamburger looked to be the heir apparent to Anthony Slama in Ft. Myers, and his high-nineties fastball was fast for his frame (which could have stood for a bit of added weight). Maybe it’s just me, but getting Eddie for a couple months (I think that’s all we get) for someone with a ton of potential value is just rough. But, then again, there is a huge logjam of relievers in teh lower levels of teh Twins organization, since the Twins are stuck with the likes of Julio DePaula, Carmen Cali, and Danny Graves in AAA, which has kept people down lower than their level should be. Anyway, goodbye, Burgerman. Have fun in the Texas system. Anyway, Eddie immediately reminded us all of why he both made us happy and made us cry when he was acquired. He threw a perfect eighth on Monday, then gave up a run in 2/3 innings on Thursday. Don’t expect anything else from Eddie. He’s a great guy, but he is old and wanted to finish his career in a Twins uniform. I’m happy he got his wish.

Matt Guerrier (-) Matty is slowly redeeming himself as he tries to come back from overuse. He was given seven of ten days of from August 12 – 21,and immediately responded, appearing in every game of the seattle series without giving up a hit. Guerrier will be fine, though his ERA will be horrible for this year.

Joe Nathan (-) I’ll come back when there is something to tell. He had a bad night the other night, but that’s that.

Dennys Reyes (-) Eh. He’s been passable, but still not great. Reyes, as all year, has been wildly inconsistent. In three appearances totaling 2.2 innings, he gave up two hits and one earned run; he once had to be rescued by Breslow.

I am not going to talk about Jesse Crain right now. I am still mad at him from last night, and so talking about him wouldn’t be terribly helpful. Just to suffice it to say that he has become the Guerrier of two weeks ago, and needs to be shut down for at least a week or two.

Any thoughts on the bullpen at this point in the season?

Oh, and by the way, going to instead of was an, ahem, experience. Check it out if you want to wonder what the world is coming to.


One Response

  1. Here’s my take of the relievers right now:

    Bass — garbage
    Crain — garbage
    Guerrier — Okay. He has pitched well in this trip, and he may have been the best reliever on this trip.
    Guardado — Too early to tell. Good acquistion though.l
    Reyes — Good, but only good for facing two batters, and that’s it.
    Boof — Decent lately, but I can never trust him.
    Nathan — Shaky lately, and that’s a huge concern right now. If you saw the highlights of his performance last night, it was bad. His mechanics was bad altogether. It’s easy to blame the third baseman for not catching the ball, but Nathan should have never put runners in the first place.
    Breslow — Solid

    It’s a damn shame Livan stunk in the end because I felt Liriano would help the team out in the pen, and we won’t be moaning and savaging the bullpen often.

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