Around the trade deadline yesterday, as Scott Proctor packed up his stuff and headed west, everyone assumed Proctor was traded because of his inconsistent pitching. He had after all allowed 20 baserunners in this last 10.1 IP and 40 over his last 28.2 IP. It’s amazing he hadn’t been hit harder.
But what if the Yankees traded Scott Proctor to protect the team from Joe Torre? That’s why Tyler Kepner intimates here:
On July 8, the day before the All-Star Game break, the Yankees led the Angels by 10 runs when Scott Proctor was sent in to pitch the eighth inning. To the Yankees’ decision makers, this was an obvious sign that Manager Joe Torre would probably always favor Proctor over a pitcher just up from the minors, no matter how promising that pitcher seemed.
So when the trading deadline arrived at 4 p.m. yesterday, the Yankees took away Torre’s go-to reliever, shipping Proctor to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the utility infielder Wilson Betemit.
At the time, that was Proctor’s fourth appearance in a span of six days, and it was an unnecessary one for sure.
Now, if what Kepner writes is true – that is, if the Yankee braintrust has figured out that Joe Torre’s bullpen management is actually hurting the arms of the relievers – why is the solution to trade the reliever in question? Wouldn’t a better solution be to root out the problem?
Steve Lombardi today notes that, increasingly, coverage of Joe Torre makes him sound like a lame duck manage. I couldn’t agree more. When your manager is hurting your team, it’s time for him to go.
Author’s Note: I could have sworn another blogger noted this last night, but I couldn’t find that post this morning. If anyone has it, drop me an e-mail, and I’ll add the appropriate hat tip.