Bullpen in a China Shop

Ron Washington is a good manager. A lot of people don’t think so, but I do.
You can call me a Ron Washington apologist, fan, or homer. All 3 would be appropriate labels.
But consider a few things…
  1. Wash beat out 4 other candidates for his position.
  2. All 4 have since been hired and then fired as managers of other clubs and, in that time frame, he has only taken his team to the World Series.
  3. His players play for him and he loves the game of baseball.
The biggest complaint out there about Washington is that he “doesn’t know” how to handle a bullpen. Even I find his moves a little perplexing at times, but I don’t believe that there will ever be a right way and a wrong way to implement bullpen arms.
Wash is a mix & match manager, which is frustrating to some. On the flip side, there are other managers* that adhere to more strict and rigid strategies, which is frustrating to others.
*For instance, Joe Girardi of the Yankees pretty exclusively uses Joba, Soriano, & Rivera (or Jo-So-Mo) in the last 3 innings to shorten the game. This strategy has had severely mixed results.
The big difference between this year and years previous is that right now it doesn’t matter who Washington puts in the game, because everyone has been equally terrible at times.
Wash has said repeatedly that he’s not worried about guys with “track records” like O’Day, Oliver, Rhodes, & Lowe. That’s the kind of thing you expect to hear from a player’s manager, but at this point none of those guys has really stepped up.
Oliver and Rhodes are looking more old than experienced. O’Day is on the DL after hip surgery. Lowe was sent to Round RockĀ  to figure things out and has since returned to replace Pedro Strop (but hasn’t redebuted in the majors yet).
At this point there isn’t much Wash can do. CJ threw a complete game last night, but you won’t see that 5 nights out of 5.
Eventually he’s got to go to his bullpen and that’s become a problem.
Last week I wrote that the bullpen might lose more games than they’re going to win and it’s truer now than it was when I wrote it.
Something is going to have to happen before too much longer. Feliz comes back tomorrow, but the issues run far deeper than just his shoulder inflammation. The old guys look too old, the young guys look too young, and Ogando will likely remain in the rotation well into the foreseeable future.
Maybe the answer is a trade of some kind, but that won’t happen for at least another month.
Other than that, all we can do is wait and hope for some of these guys to put it together.

About Mike Luna

My name is Mike. I am an avid fan of the Texas Rangers. I like reading and jogging, but I don't do either nearly as often as I should. I like writing about more than just baseball. Your opinion is your own, but please be respectful. Everyone is welcome in The Bleacher Seats.
This entry was posted in pitchers, Texas Rangers baseball, the roster and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bullpen in a China Shop

  1. I trust Washington.

    I don’t trust some of these pitchers…

  2. Nick says:

    Unfortunately the market for right handed relievers last winter was pretty minimal. The Rangers are working with what they have right now. Perhaps closer to the trading deadline, once a few more teams have given up on this season, the Rangers can pick up a right handed setup man. Granted that wont solve all their problems in the bullpen, but it will take a great deal of pressure off everyone.

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