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Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Modest Proposal For Jered Weaver

Jered Weaver is, apparently, learning nothing at AAA; he continues to blank opponents and now owns a sub-2.00 ERA (1.89) pitching in one of the toughest circuits for pitchers in the minors. The newspapers all wonder when he will be called up, but the official word from the Angels is that he has no place in the rotation. It may have occurred to some people that the Angels aren't exactly lighting the world on fire with their offseason bullpen "fixes"; Hector Carrasco and his 4.00 ERA don't make me feel comfortable whenever he gets called into a ballgame, and don't even get me started on J.C. Romero and his 8.31 ERA, or Esteban Yan and his janitorial-duties-only 6.85 ERA.

So, my suggestion: have Weaver work out of the bullpen for a few games at Salt Lake, and call him up. If need be, release Yan or Carrasco — it doesn't matter which one — and give the kid a shot. He can't be any worse than those guys, and if Bartolo Colón slips on a Big Mac wrapper and bangs up his elbow, he can take over in the rotation.

Or maybe we can rough his brother's arm up a bit?
Or even better...release Yan and Carrasco let Gregg and Jeff handle "mop-up".
Sorry, I don't think sticking the team's best, closest-to-the-bigs starter into the bullpen (any bullpen) is a wise idea. He's a starter. Especially if he'd only be getting spot work as the fifth or sixth man out of the 'pen.

A much better alternative: dump the Yam; slide Gregg into the 'pen, and pencil Weaver the Younger into that rotation spot. Deal with any other issues if and when Colon is healthy enough to reclaim his spot.

Carrasco's #s out of the 'pen are not bad, and he had an impressive outing yesterday against Texas. At this point, I think I'd trust Carrasco more than Brendan Donnelly in 6th/7th inning situations. Simply put, he has better stuff. Donnelly has not been the same pitcher since the pine tar incident.
The Angels would be wise to let him sit in AAA for three more weeks or so, so that he doesn't become a super-2.

Otherwise, you're essentially spending $10 million or so (the extra salary he'd get if he becomes arb eligible a year earlier) for four or five starts.
Interesting point, Ken. I didn't think it would make that much of a difference, but delaying his entry into the 25-man by a few weeks makes a huge difference in his salary. Wiki Gonzalez has more on this.
BTW, I pulled that $10 million figure out of thin air. I have no idea what the real difference would be. But I'm sure there's a difference.

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