I went to a small liberal arts college outside Philadelphia that few people on the west coast have heard of. I love the school and am always pulling for fellow alumnus. Josh Byrnes is a fellow alumnus, so this hurts to write, but he is killing me and the team. It is one thing to have a small market team struggle, understandable given the spending differences in MLB. And it may be defensible given the rash of injuries to our young, good pitching. But it is quite another thing to create self-inflicted wounds. Those fester.
I did not like the Cincinnati trade at the time and am still amazed at it. At the time, for some uninformed reason, I thought Volquez was good. Now I realize he is the type of pitcher, always available, to whom you pay $3-4m on a one year deal. We gave away a top starter for players we did not need. Volquez is replacement fodder. We had Rizzo so we did not need Alonso. We had Hundley, warts and all, and am not sure we needed Grandal. Now with the PED, I would bet on Hundley being our starter even when Grandal returns. Boxberger has some promise, but we did not need a marginal impact reliever.
And then he trades Rizzo because he brought in Alonso, an inferior player. Classic "good money after bad".
Yes we are waiting for guys to heal and Casey went down somewhat unexpectedly, but this starting rotation is horrible. Last in ERA and OPS allowed in the NL. Maybe he had some salary constraints in the off-season, but assembling a rotation comprised of Volquez-Richards-Stults (who I kinda like)-Marquis-Ross/replacement is gross negligence or incompetence. Richards had the worst PVORP of any pitcher in baseball last year. And he is our #2? Yes, I hope that Cashner will become a stud but that is mostly aspiration at this point.
This rotation is consistent with throwing in the towel. Fine, rebuild, etc. But why in the hell do you sign Quentin and Street if you are throwing in the towel? And then hang on to Headley who we will absolutely not be able to keep once he hits free agency? If you are not throwing in the towel, what the hell is he thinking with this rotation? None of these guys are regressing; they are just not very good.
So I just get pissed when I watch this team struggle. Rizzo already has 6 HR and is 23. Latos has 29K/4BB ratio in 26.1 IP pitching in the bandbox in Cincinnati. We could use those guys and build around them. Instead I get to watch our team struggle.
I hope things turn around, but I sincerely doubt Byrnes is helping us much and is the guy to craft a winning team. I really hope, sincerely hope, I am dead wrong and get to laugh at my misguided opinion in the future. But I doubt it.