photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
We seem to have a small problem. A small problem with a great number of heads. A small problem that I guess you could call THE BULLPEN.
Although the bullpen beast may look like a hydra to the uneducated eye, it lacks one key hydra feature: if you cut off a head (a Zumaya, for instance), a new head does indeed grow up in its place, but the new head is 100 times worse than the old one. Not exactly the fearsome hydra of legend, this bullpen beast.
I was going to say that the numbers aren’t even so bad, but that’s a lie. The best ERA on the bullpen beast (3.96) belongs to the Macay McBride head, and he has the worst WHIP on the beast (a spine-tingling 1.64; for comparison, Jonathan Papelbon’s WHIP is 0.90), so the relatively good ERA is a pretty empty number. Everyone else has numbers firmly over 4.00 and over 1.35 respectively. It ain’t pretty.
Somehow Fernando Rodney’s impending return fails to reassure me about the state of the bullpen beast situation. It would be nice to hear that Zoom’s return is imminent, but he’s a ways off yet.
With the trade deadline creeping ever closer, this does beg the question of whether or not the Tigers will make a move. This bullpen slump is starting to get dangerously entrenched. Some new blood, even if not particularly better than what we’ve got, might kick some arms into gear.
Yes, I’ve heard the Farnsworth rumors. I think it’s unlikely, unless New York was willing to eat a LOT of his contract… which, heck, they just might be ready to do, given how badly they want him gone. I know what his numbers look like this season, but if he comes pretty cheap, I wouldn’t mind seeing him back here for at least a try. And you never know, his numbers could rebound some if/when he gets out of New York City. That place was never going to be a good match for someone as intensely private and high-strung as The Farns (something that was obvious to apparently everyone in the world except for The Farns and the Yankees).
It’s starting to look like something has to be done, though. The bullpen can’t stay like this. It just can’t. It’s too horrible a thought to contemplate.
You will note that, out of fairness, I left Bobby Seay off of the bullpen beast. He and he alone has managed to not be responsible for any runs of late. Never let it be said that I unfairly hold a grudge (except against Yankees). Miner is off the beast because he’s off the roster at the moment (bereavement list, no specific reason given).
I’ve had to use the “unmitigated disaster” tag way too often these past few series. STOP IT, TIGERS. STOP MAKING ME RESORT TO DEPRESSIVE TAG ABUSE.