Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Lumsden in relief: a step in the right direction

I was a little surprised to see Tyler Lumsden's name beneath starter Matt Wright's name in tonight's O-Royals box score. The lefty Lumsden was used in relief only once last year, and all his appearances this year (before tonight) have been starts. However, they've pretty much been bad starts.

I'd love to tell you that I'm a saintly, ever-optimistic superfan, but there have been days where I see that Lumsden is the starter and my first thought is "automatic loss." That's horrible, but his numbers this year bear it out:
>12 hits/9 innings
5.83 BB/9 innings
WHIP of nearly TWO (1.95 before tonight)
and of course, the 7.33 ERA.

So to say the very least, it has been a bad season for Tyler Lumsden. I've always wondered where the cutoff is between "just a bad start" and "horrible season, release this guy immediately." I believe the midway point is a pretty good starting point; I have to assume that if Tyler was going to right the ship he would have started doing it by now. Instead, he was tossed in to mop up a mess that Wright made.

I was suprised for a few reasons:
1) I didn't know a move to the 'pen was coming for Lumsden (if tonight's game is an indication of his role for the 2nd half)

2) The Omaha rotation has been very shaken up lately, with Carlos Rosa and sometimes-starter Jeff Fulchino up and back down, and other roster moves, I figured the guys who have always been starters would continue to start until the rotation settled back down a bit. Roman Colon and Brad Salmon, generally relievers, have been making starts lately, but I don't know if that's permanent or just filling holes. But then that creates holes in the bullpen, especially after the release of Roberto Giron (about which I am still scratching my head).

Anyway, I don't like giving up on players but is it maybe time to do something with Lumsden? I guess moving him to the bullpen is OK - he was pretty decent tonight, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings. Ironically, those 5 innings were greater than his average IP for all his starts this season; he averages just 4.88 IP per start.

I continually feel grateful that the Royals got Dan Cortes in addition to Lumsden for MacDougal, so that trade stays on the positive side. (By the way, I really liked Sam Mellinger's evaluation of Dayton Moore's trades and signings. If you missed them, here are Part I and Part II.)

Anyway, I don't know if any of this even means anything. After all, it was only one relief appearance. But I am curious to see how Tyler will be treated for the rest of the season - will he be Starter Tyler Lumsden who sometimes relieves (as many minor league starters are), or Reliever Tyler Lumsden who used to start? And whichever title he gets...will he still be a Royal when he gets it? It is July now.

Moving on:
I have said before that when I get particularly upset, I bake cookies. Tonight's KC game...that's a cookie-baking situation. The bottom of the third was enough to drive a woman to drink, and drink heavily. I don't know whose fault it was that Mike Aviles didn't throw home on the cutoff from Jose Guillen. I don't think it was Aviles' fault, because his back was to the infield while he waited for the throw, and although he has many great qualities, he does not possess eyes in the back of his head. So whose job should it have been to tell him to throw home? Gordon? Olivo? Hochevar? I don't know.

And what was the deal with Guillen pretending to be a statue on that fly ball in the 2nd? Gathright had to run a looooong way over to that ball, and when the camera finally panned that far over, Guillen hadn't moved at all. LeFebvre and Splitt laid into Guillen pretty hard for that, and rightfully so. It was just bewildering. They brought up the point that if he's hurting so badly that he can't even cover his share of the outfield, he should suck it up and DH even though he hates DHing. I agree completely. Or if it wasn't the injuries that made him stand so still, what was it? Good thing Gathright made the play; that play would have made the SportsCenter stupid reel if it had plopped down so near Guillen and resulted in an inside-the-park homer.

Ugh. Such a stupid game, but before I go off to bake my anger-cookies, I have to ask:
Was Mark Teahen's homer hit with his grandmother's ash?


Mike in Omaha said...

OK, so I have to talk to someone about this, and leaving a comment on this site will have to do. MLB Trade Rumors mentioned the Royals as one of the teams that could make a trade for Matt Holiday...really? I mean, I know the central is weak, but are they really looking to make a move to win the division? That actually makes me a little optimistic. I mean, I don't know if we have what it would take to get him...I'm thinking along the lines of Teahan, German, Rosa and Cortes, and two pitchers is a lot to give up...but are we really THAT close? Depending on the cost, I'd love them to pull the trigger and try to outbid the others. I know late season trades rarely work for a team trying to play catch up, but sometimes you get a Carlos Beltran and it turns the team around.


Minda said...

Mike, I'm happy to indulge your need to talk Royals trade rumors. I had also read the Royals/Holliday rumor, but I don't know how much stock to put into it. With the weighted schedule, a 10.5 game deficit at this point would be far from impossible to overcome, so making deals that would help the team contend NOW is semi-realistic.

I suppose if we did trade for Holliday, Teahen or DeJesus would be part of the package. We have so many utility infielders, so one of them (you mention German, and I agree) would go in too. I'm pretty attached to Rosa; I'd hope the club doesn't deal him away just yet, but a highly touted arm who is in a lower level of the minors (like Cortes) would nicely round out whatever package we'd offer for Holliday.

I do believe the Rockies will be selling (maybe not as big a fire sale as the Mariners are sure to have, but selling nonetheless), but I was a little surprised to see US as their potential buyers, especially a big name like Holliday. (I'll get used to that eventually, I'm still scarred from the Baird era.) ANYWAY, if the team was wanting Holliday to contend THIS year, I think we'd be more likely to send Teahen than DDJ their way, given the great season DDJ has been having.

As always, thanks for stopping by. July ought to be an interesting month around these parts.

Max said...

Good catch on Lumsden. Hopefully a change will help him. Some guys increase velocity when they only have to gear it up for an inning or two. Maybe he can become a LOOGY.

Hopefully you won't be baking cookies for awhile! DJ is back tonight!

Minda said...

Max, I hope I don't have to bake any more cookies, for the sake of my waistline. I'm definitely glad DDJ will be back tonight.