Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stetter Down, Consternation Totally Pointless

I don't think anyone will really argue that this makes the Brewers better, but it does give them "more innings." That was the rationale for calling Suppan "effective" back when Melvin and Milwaukee radio retards were still defending the washed up piece of trash.

In something of a surprise move, the Brewers will option left-handed relief specialist Mitch Stetter to Triple-A Nashville on Thursday so Jeff Suppan can return from the disabled list to start against the Cubs.

Stetter was one of three left-handers in the bullpen but the others -- Chris Narveson and Manny Parra -- are starting pitchers who were beat out by Suppan in the race for the fifth starter's spot. Stetter was the team's top late-inning option against left-handed hitters, coming off a 2009 season in which he made 71 appearances and limited lefties to a .178 batting average.

The club's decision was complicated by the fact that so few Brewers players have Minor League options. Narveson and Parra are both out, so the Brewers would risk losing either player on waivers if they tried to send them down. Likewise, fifth outfielder Jody Gerut and backup infielder Joe Inglett are out of options.

The only relievers with options were Stetter and right-hander Carlos Villanueva.

"There were only two choices," said general manager Doug Melvin, who informed Stetter of the move following Wednesday's 7-6 loss to the Cubs. "Nothing against Mitch, it's not that he hasn't done the job, but we feel that Carlos can give us some more innings.

"It was a tough call. We went back and forth on it. Obviously, we're taking a little bit of a chance."

To be honest, the decision doesn't really bother me. Sure Narveson showed that Stetter is the only reliable lefty reliever in the pen (Narveson earned a rotation spot, so I'm not really knocking the guy) and having three lefties was a nice luxury, but Stetter won't be available to mop up the 3-6 innings after Suppan and Davis fail to work through the second.

Villanueva is only important to this team as a "holy shit we are f'd" option. Going into this season, Villanueva really was only going to get important innings if Hoffman, Hawkins and Coffey were unavailable. Early results are in...Villy may have just gotten important. The problem comes in when you look at just how important he is. Having a 4th right handed option in the bullpen is the hallmark of a team with a mediocre-to-shitty bullpen. Having a LOOGY is indicative of an extremely strong pen with versatile and dependable arms. Keeping a player who at best will pitch an out or two per game and can face a minority of opposing batters is a huge luxury. Lets face it, the Brewers don't have that luxury.

The Brewers find themselves in a spot where they need guys who can sop up innings when 40% of the rotation is hopelessly worthless. Villanueva fits that role perfectly.

To me this is confirmation that the Brewers aren't playing for the playoffs, they are playing the 2010 season to avoid humiliation.


Anonymous said...

Let's not go all Chris just yet. The season is young.

E.S.K. said...

Well, read the last part within the context of my 78 win prediction. Plus, Suppan is the man trying to avoid the sweep, no such thing as hyperbole in this situation!

tracker said...

A LOOGy is a necessity, not a luxury. Proper use of one yesterday (vs. Fukudome in the 8th) likely would've delivered the Brewers to the 9th with the lead.

E.S.K. said...

It's generally a necessity for a playoff team.

It's a luxury for a team who knows they will need a number of long arms in the pen.

And sorry, Hawkins is the "set-up man" his God given powers of 8th inning outs trump a LOOGY.