Friday, April 17, 2009
Moseley Leaves Early: Angels 9, Twins 11
Bottom 5th: Speier, inexplicably, has retired the side without incident in two straight frames. Meantime, the Angels have taken a 3-2 lead on another ridiculous string of singles and a groundout in the top of the frame.
The Twinks tie the game on Jason Kubel's RBI single with a man on third to make it 3-3. Rafael Rodriguez, lately called in to staunch the bleeding, did no such thing.
Bottom 8th: The Angels show just how crappy their bullpen is this year by eroding a 9-3 advantage to give up a grand slam to Jason Kubel to make it 11-9 Twins. Jason Bulger left the pitch up to give himself the loss, giving the bullpen a 10+ ERA for the year. Gawd.
Postscript: The Angels started the season with four holes in the rotation (if you count Nick Adenhart's death). It's pretty clear this has affected bullpen depth, and at this point,
- Jason Bulger and Kevin Jepsen are basically the same pitcher, both high-velocity straightball throwers with tendencies to leave stuff up in the zone. Their upside is a Kevin Gregg sort of career; their downside is a quad-A player. Both are showing why they aren't ready for prime time, and probably never will be.
- Scot Shields is another year older and has a lot of miles on that durable arm of his. I don't know if this is just an early collapse here or if it bodes poorly for the rest of the season, but he's looked pretty bad in at least a couple games so far.
- Rafael Rodriguez was no Raphael on the mound today, and I have similar misgivings about him as I do about Bulger and Jepsen. Unlike that pair, Rodriguez hasn't pitched in the majors enough for me to know how well he'll do, but there's little in his paripatetic minor league career to make me think he's going to be anything more than adequate. Write all the patently false and chirpy previews you want, this is a bullpen on the verge of being epochally bad.
- Moseley is day-to-day with elbow stiffness. Yikes.
- Sam Miller in the Register's Angels blog makes a good point: why was Fuentes not called on when the situation got dicey and the meat of the Twins lineup was coming to the plate with the game on the line and the bases juiced? Wins are not coming easily this year, the team is on the road, and you don't play to tie under those circumstances.
All that said, I'm not sure I agree with Seitz' premise. There are a lot of contracts and dollars coming off the payroll in the offseason...the front office could rebuild the team entirely in the 2010 through trades and free agency if they so chose. The only albatross positional contracts left after this season are Hunter and Matthews, and it's really not like Hunter is hurting this club much.