July 25th, 2006

To answer your comments

I found a lot of comments under Monday’s blog entry, and they weren’t about the 1891 Browns. So instead of burying a response in there, I figured I’d make it into a separate entry:

  • I like the MacDougal acquisition for the White Sox. Though he just came off the DL a couple weeks ago with shoulder problems, he’s a big upgrade over Cliff Politte as a late-inning lefty. He hasn’t been downright dominant against left-handed hitters for his career, but he has the stuff to be. They gave up a good prospect to get him, but that’s what the price for quality relief seems to be.
  • As for the Soriano rumors, it’s very challenging to tell what’s fact and what’s spin with these rumors. The Nationals are trying hard to drive up the market for this guy. Out of all the players they have on the block, this is the one chance they have to grab top prospects. The headlines say Jim Bowden refuted the reported deal, but he didn’t deny it. All he said was no deal was in place yet.
  • Yes, it was a worrisome night for part of the bullpen, especially Rodney. He did not mention mechanics after the game last night when asked about his struggles. Even with Michaels up in the eighth, Hafner on deck and his pitch count approaching the upper 30s, he said he had a game plan against him. In his defense, he was sitting a pretty long time after finishing up the seventh, both because the Tigers added on runs in their half and because Indians relievers were working very slowly.
  • As for relief help, I think one more guy who can work the late innings would be helpful. You’re seeing Leyland having to go with multiple innings for Zumaya and Rodney most times out, and he was a batter away from having to do it with Jones. That said, you’re not going to see any trades for relief. It’s such a seller’s market, even for seventh-inning guys, that it’s impossible to get fair value. The help is going to have to come from somebody in the bullpen now stepping up, possibly Jason Grilli. Unless Rogers goes eight innings, somebody’s going to have to fill the role tonight, because Leyland expected to give Zumaya two days off after Sunday’s outing and he won’t have Rodney available.
  • As for rearranging the rotation for the Minnesota series, that’s not going to happen. Leyland has made a point of giving his starters the extra day of rest when they have an off day instead of skipping anyone, and with everyone talking about resting starters, it’s especially important now. The Twins can make a move like lining up their rotation because this is finally their shot at making up ground. The advantage of having a 7 1/2-game lead is that you don’t have to make moves for one series.