Enough is enough. It’s time to move on, right?
Let’s start with J-Mac – he will NEVER be a reliable starting pitcher. Even when he was throwing 94-95 mph, he had trouble going more than 5 or 6 innings consistently. The guy is finished as a starter - he has zero confidence, zero command, and his stuff has become wildly mediocre even on a good day. This is just eye-test analysis, but I would be shocked if the saber-stuff doesn’t back this up and identify him as a WELL below replacement-level player since the All-Star break last year. I guess I’m fine with him getting one more start just as a bridge until Liriano and Morton (and eventually Karstens or Cole) are ready, but really I’d much rather have Andrew Oliver get that start, or even JGomez. I just hope nobody gets fooled again if he pitches another smoke-screen 6 inning "quality start" and drags this torture out any longer.
Barmes is more complicated than JMac. The guy is a great defender. No doubt about it. And while I NEED J-Mac to be out of the rotation, I just WANT Barmes out of the starting line-up. It’s beyond ridiculous at the plate with him. I know he placed a couple singles last night to move his batting average a bit closer to .180 or whatever, but the guy is brutal up there. Just a horrid approach combined with more swings and misses than anybody I’ve seen on a long time. And I love how some claim he still has some "pop" just because he hit some homers in Colorado. And his line-drive percentage has to be in the Bottom 10 in all of baseball since last season, right?
I think half of this blog is in the "Give Mercer a chance"-camp and half is in the "Barmes’ defense is so much better than Mercer’s that watching him flail away at the plate is actually the better option right now"-camp. Let me respectfully say that anyone not in the "Give Mercer a chance" camp is wrong. :) Insert Mercer into the line-up tonite, let Barmes play the John McDonald
role, and stop torturing us.
I don’t wish ill will on JMac or Barmes of course, but nothing would make me happier from a PirateFan perspective than reading today that both of these guys were placed on the DL with "inflammation." It’s all about risk-reward, just as it is with everything in life. And the risk of removing these 2 guys from the rotation/line-up is microscopic.
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