I like Gardy, I really do. It is impossible for him to please me, or any other blogger, all the time, so I appreciate his work. However, sometimes he and the rest of the management fail to do things that I think are the easiest decision in the world.
This year the main chopping block on which the management’s head has been thrust over is the bullpen. It’s not the pitchers fault. It’s just that they stink, and Gardy needs to remove his “Brian Bass-colored glasses” for a minute and look upon the light of day.
Here are my “three simple steps” that I think would drastically improve (or in keeping with the theme of this blog; “fix”) the way the bullpen performs. To be honest, I have no idea why these same moves haven’t been made months ago.
Step One: Remove Brian Bass from all things having to do with the Minnesota Twins.
I know it sounds totally brutal, but most, er — lots, er — at least a little of it doesn’t come from frustration. Brian Bass is at best a good minor league starter. For the record, the decision to try him out in the majors after the injury to Pat Neshek was completely fine by my standards. He had posted a 7-3, 3.48 ERA, 1.16 WHIP in 2007 with Rochester, and needed to be tested out.
His first appearance was a great prologue to what lay ahead. Bass went 1.1 innings on April 1 giving up two runs on three hits. Although that ballooned his young ERA he never managed to get it below the 3.18 mark he achieved on April 17. In fact, his ERA hasn’t been below 4.45 since May 22.
I could dive right in trying to explain to you people how bad a pitcher Brian Bass is, but you guys have that down pretty good, right? Let me know if you need a refresher. The bottom line is that he needs to go.
Step Two: Call up Bobby Korecky Now. Right now. Right-this-minute-now.
With Bass gone, the only reasonable thing to do is to call up Korecky. He has only had nine games of experience with the major league team in his life and posted a respectable 3.48 ERA.
Just to be clear, he doesn’t have a long-term future with this team. He is 28 years-old and Minnesota certainly has better pitchers than him, or at least better than he is right now. Once Pat Neshek is back either late this year or in 2009, Korecky probably won’t be playing for the Twins anymore.
Step Three: Prepare for September Call-Ups
The Twins need to have a plan. If they actually released it to the public I would consider changing my team to the Kansas City Royals, so this is between them and themselves. Before I take on too much of a school counselor role I will provide the public with exactly what (I hope) the Twins are going to do in September regarding the bullpen:
-Call up Kevin Mulvey. As I read somewhere recently (I’m sorry I forgot who. If you said this, please comment and I will give you proper credit!) it can’t hurt to have two mop-up guys in the bullpen for this upcoming September stretch. Yes, it does hurt to admit it, but the Twins will probably struggle in at least a few games this next month. Mulvey and Bonser can soak up the damage and provide the Twins with a “statistical scapegoat.”
That’s it. The Twins don’t really need to do anything more than flip-flop Bass and Korecky and call up Mulvey. Those moves will greatly reduce the stress of the bullpen and allow them to be much more effective. Without an effective bullpen the Twins will really have a difficult time pulling ahead of the White Sox for good this year.