Tuesday, June 11 – 10:50 PM
I had to have him. And I really didn’t care how much it would cost. It ended up costing nine FAAB dollars, and that was fine with me. 20 bucks would have been fine too. But nine bucks was even better. My hope is that Gerrit Cole, along with fellow top prospect Zack Wheeler, who is set to get called up by the Mets next week, will give my Tout rotation a much needed boost. Even now without Adam Wainwright, it’s a decent rotation, but guys like Bartolo Colon and Mike Leake are due for some regression, and when that fall off does come, things could get ugly.
Anyway, Cole’s big league debut tonight went about as smoothly as I could have hoped. 6 1/3 innings, seven hits, and perhaps most importantly for any young pitcher, zero walks. He only struck out two, which combined with his pedestrian strikeout rate in the Minors this year, is a bit concerning. But as he learns how to get big league hitters to chase pitches out of the strike zone, the K’s will come. For now, it’s nice to see that he can consistently pound the zone. The one legitimate cause for concern for Cole owners is what will happen once A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez return to Pittsburgh’s rotation. With Francisco Liriano pitching so well, that will leave just two open spots for three guys: Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton and Cole. So barring a six-man rotation scenario, Cole will need to produce. But then again, will Charlie Morton, a career-long league average pitcher, really stand in the way of Cole’s continued development? Please. The only way that Cole might get sent back to Triple-A is if he completely melts down, and judging from what I saw tonight, that’s not happening. The former No. 1 overall pick won’t screw up this opportunity.
Wednesday, June 12 – 9:35 PM
If I land up finishing in the bottom half of the standings in Mixed Tout Wars this year, a good chunk of the blame will fall on the shoulders of Diamondbacks’ manager Kirk Gibson. What’s going on in his head these days? Jason Kubel is a guy who is used to playing almost every day, yet Gibson refuses to start him against all left-handed pitchers and is even sitting him versus some righties. Listen, Kubel doesn’t get a free pass here, as he’s been a major disappointment to both the D-Backs and his fantasy owners so far this season. But the fact that he has yet to get consistent playing time hasn’t helped matters. I mean, he hits a home run last night and then gets rewarded by riding the pine tonight? Does this make any sense whatsoever? Tonight’s opposing pitcher, Hyun-jin Ryu, is a lefty. I get that. Yeah, he’s a pretty good pitcher, but he’s no Clayton Kershaw. Wouldn’t this be a great opportunity to leave Kubel in there and see if he can get into some sort of rhythm? Give him a chance, Kirk. Give him a confidence boost. Do something different. Because whatever you’re doing now simply isn’t working. It isn’t working for Jason Kubel and it isn’t working for me.
Thursday, June 13 – 7:40 AM
I hate this. I hate it when I wake up and peruse the box scores of the west coast games only to find out that one of my fantasy pitchers got bombed. I hate it even more when that pitcher is someone who I recently traded for, someone who I thought would once and for all stabilize my closer situation. When I acquired Tom Wilhelmsen, I fully expected a stat correction. After all, it’s nearly impossible to maintain a sub-1.00 ERA through the end of a season (unless of course your name is Fernando Rodney!) But a 14.85 ERA and 2.70 WHIP over his first three weeks on my roster? No, I wasn’t expecting that. Will last night’s colossal implosion in which he gave up five earned runs while recording just one out cost him his job? I’d be very surprised. And I’ll tell you why. This is how Wilhelmsen’s outing last night went:
Wilhelmsen leaves game
ALL 3 inherited runners come around to score
Two earned runs, even three? OK. But five? That’s called very bad luck. Very bad luck for Wilhelmsen and very bad luck for me.
Friday, June 14 – 10:24 PM
Well, I’m very surprised. Now word has it that Wilhelmsen will be “given a break” from the closer role, whatever that means. How long will this “break” last? Who knows. What I do know is that he deserved better, at least another chance or two, especially coming off a stellar 2012 campaign and an outstanding start to this season. It’s not like he has no track record. Wilhelmsen will likely get another opportunity to close games. But, generally speaking, for a demoted closer to reclaim his job, two things need to happen: The replaced closer needs to pitch well and his replacement needs to pitch poorly.
Remind me again why I made that trade?