In which we ponder the fate of Luis Vizcaino.
Earlier today, the White Sox optioned struggling relievers Mike MacDougal and David Aardsma to AAA. In their place, they recalled some dude named Ryan Bukvich. Oh yeah, and our old buddy Bret Prinz. Dude must have been hurt, as he’s thrown just 29.1 IP over the past two seasons. He’s sporting a 0.56 ERA in 16 AAA innings this year, but those nine walks don’t help his cause.
While chatting on the Banter last night during the heart attack-inducing end of the game, I noticed a fellow commenter state that Kyle Farnsworth should be the David Ortiz specialist. The numbers, albeit in limited plate appearances, bear out that statement. Farnsworth has faced Ortiz 9 times. Ortiz is 0 for 6 with 4 Ks and 3 BBs. When you compare those numbers to Ortiz’s .313/.333/.563 line in 17 plate appearances against lefty specialist Mike Myers, it’s clear who should be pitching to Ortiz with the game on the line.
It’s theÂ nature of the draft to give second chances. The Orioles yearned forÂ Mark Teixeira’sÂ middle-of-the-order bat in 2001, but sat and watched as Texas popped himÂ with the 5th overall pick, 2 spots ahead of the Orioles.Â Instead of sulking and blowing the 7th overall pick on, ugh, Chris Smith, the O’s could have made up for losing out on Teixeira by drafting Ryan Howard, who the PhilliesÂ took 135 picks after Teixeira’s name was called.
Stuff like this happens every year. Twenty-seven teams didn’t even have a chance to draft Red Sox killerÂ Alex Rodriguez in 1993, but all 27 passed on Scott Rolen at least once. Now of course it’s easy to go back and say these teams missed out, but the point is that there’s talent out there, you just have to look for it. Here’s a couple of the guys that could keep you from throwing a chair when some team picks your guy on draft day:
What You Want: An outfielder that profiles as aÂ middle-of-the-order bat and should move quickly.
The Top Dogs: Kyle Russell, Texas &Â Kellen Kulbacki, James Madison
The Alternative: Grant Desme, OF, Cal Poly. After transferring from San Diego State, Desme was monster for the Mustangs this spring, going .405-15-53 with 12 stolen bases and 17 doubles. Alas, Desme’s season came to a premature end when he was hit by pitch that broke his wrist. He’s a solid athlete with a nice arm and good baserunning skills, and obviously, a plus hit tool. For a team looking to land that masher without breaking the bank, Desme’s the guy.
I have to admit: I just finished watching the game (It’s 7 a.m. as I write this). After Alex and Jorge failed to deliver with runners on first and third in the seventh, I was done. The deadly combination of frustration and sleepiness convinced me to turn off Miller and Morgan and hit the sack. “If they come back, they come back,” I said. After all, I have MLB.tv and could watch the game in the morning if I had to.
Which is exactly what I just did.
We’ve been asking Andy Pettitte to shoulder so much burden this year that it almost seems unfair. It’s even less fair that when we ask him to do this, we don’t score any runs behind him (though that obviously wasn’t the case last time he faced Boston). Thankfully, Pettitte isn’t easily discouraged, and continues to pitch like the ace that no one thought he could be.
In the fifth, though, things unraveled. We saw the medical team head out to the mound, which is a unpleasantly familiar sight for this team. Pettitte stayed in, but wasn’t very effective. He loaded the bases and wound up being charged with all five runs scored by the Red Sox. Though they weren’t really all his fault — Bobby Abreu’s complete misplay let in three runs.
It’s clear that the Yanks are facing an uphill battle if they want to make the playoffs. But in their last two series against the Red Sox, the Bombers are 4-2 (and could have been 5-1). After their early-season struggles against Boston, that’s a statement. I think I see life in these Yanks yet. A series win against the White Sox this week would be a huge step. Now if only we could wave good bye to Luis Vizcaino.