PHXTerry turned us on to Ryan Divish' column. First look was pretty solid. Good call bro'.
Q. Is there anything cool about having Ramirez in the bullpen?
A. Ryan's take was that if Erasmo is sent to the bullpen, it will be for positive reasons -- he's the one who is good there, and he's the one who can go three, four innings as needed.
Dr. D, as you do, loathes the idea of having Erasmo throw MEANINGLESS innings out of the pen. If he went to the pen to get into 7-1 games, that would be a bummer.
But that doesn't have to be the way. I think of the POSITIVE long man role as the Ramiro Mendoza role.
Q. Ramiro Mendoza role? Is that like a "piggyback" starter?
A. Mendoza's career was, in that specific case, a de facto "piggyback starter" arrangement.
In 2000-2002, when the M's were real good, Mendoza was a talented young starter / reliever for the Yankees who could come into 4th and 5th innings and lock you down for several innings at a stretch, allowing the Yank$ to "pirate" victories when their SP had a bad day.
Just f'r instance, on June 15th, 2001, the Yank$ were in a Subway Series against the Mets, up 4-3 in the fourth inning, when Andy Pettitte had to hit the showers in the 4th. Mendoza scampered in out of the pen, slammed zeroes until the 8th, when the Yank$ handed off to their twin closers, Stanton and Mo.
Even though Stanton gave up a run, the Yank$ won the ballgame 5-4 based on their "piggyback" Pettitte-Mendoza game.
Mendoza could spot start, too, maybe 8 GS per year, or he could always jump right in as a permanent starter. The technical term for this is, um, "Swing Man." There is definitely an aggressive approach for the Swing Man like, um, Ramirez. Erasmo, not Mendoza.
It always chapped my hide that the Yank$ had such a tremendous pitcher in their #6 SP role. It made things seem unfair sometimes....
Q. We axed for a more happenin' term than "piggyback." What's the holdup, Doc?
A. In bodybuilding they call them "stacks." The E/C/A "stack" is when you take ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin to jack your calorie burn.
Somebody find us something? M's are going with the R/M/B stack in April? Or hey, last night, another victory for the Capt Jack / Sgt Wedge Stack. "Rangers Fall to Ms' SP Stack." Maybe, in view of Mendoza, we reprise the Ramirez Stack?
Q. Leaving us where? If Ramirez is used as a weapon, rather than an innings eater?
A. We are HOPING that Bonderman's demise is a foregone conclusion -- that Zduriencik is just making people fight for jobs until that very last tenth of a second.
The great, great, GREAT SUPER GREAT news about this would be Brandon Maurer into the rotation. SSI has every hope, and expectation, of Maurer going 16-9, 3.50 with 170 strikeouts and slamming a ROY starter into the M's pockets. (Why we would want to pass on slamming TWO of these pitchers is another question.)
As to the necessary inference that the M's are less shrill about Beavan's mechanics right now than is Dr. D ... you'll have to help me out on that one. No idea why the M's would be less nervous about that than logic :- ) dictates.
But I've been wrong before. Can't think of any right offhand, but it probably happened at some point.