Let’s face it, Shawn Camp and Ruddy Lugo are not major league pitchers right now. In spring training Joe Maddon made it clear that there were no more free lunches. No more “scholarships”. This is why we were puzzled when Papa Joe appeared to guarantee Camp and Lugo spots in the bullpen at the beginning of the spring, despite being two members of the worst bullpen in baseball in 2006. Camp said during the spring that he was working on being more consistent. Mission accomplished. He has been consistently bad in 2007. In four appearances, he has recorded only 7 outs, yet he has surrendered 6 hits, a walk, and a hit batter, to go with 4 runs.

Last night Camp relieved Edwin Jackson with 2 outs in the 6th with runners at first and third and the score tied. Two batters later the Rangers were leading 4-2. Papa Joe had seen enough. Now it was Lugo’s turn to stop the bleeding. Four batters and zero outs later, the game was 8-2 and out of reach. Lugo has actually been worse than Camp so far in 2007. He has recorded 6 outs, and he has given up 7 hits and 4 walks which have led to 5 runs. That equates to an era of 22.50 and a 5.500 whip. That’s not an easy thing to do.

So now we will see if Maddon and Andrew Friedman are true to their word. Are Camp and Lugo on “scholarship”? If not, they need to be in Durham. We have no idea what the problem is, but it is clear that neither is capable of getting major league hitters out at this point. If this continues, it will be damaging to this young team. This team started the season with a lot of confidence. To compete with the monsters of the AL East, this team needs confidence and there is no way they can be confident in the bullpen right now. The idea of Camp or Lugo even warming up in the bullpen during a game in which the lead is less 10 gives us the hibidy-jibidies.

We don’t know who should be in their place, but right now a Fungo could get more hitters out. At Durham, Steve Andrade has 7 strike outs in 4.1 innings, but gave up 2 runs in his first appearance. Tim Corcoran and Scott Dohmann both have major league experience and have been solid so far. Chad Orvella has struggled a bit early on, but was strong this spring with the Rays. Hell, we would rather have Seth McClummm, nevermind. We aren’t that desperate yet.

Is it any coincidence that these are the two pitchers that were used during the now famous “Cat in the Hat” reading? Durham parents are checking the transaction page daily. Soon they will have to lock their children in the basement.

The good and, well, just the ugly [St. Pete Times]


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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Rays seem to hate Orvella, so I doubt he gets the first call. I'm betting it will be McClung because he has the best chance of stinking.

    In June I'm hoping the entire bullpen is flushed ... and refilled with the starters from Durham. All pitchers should get their feet wet as relievers at the major league level. Can you imagine a bullpen with Talbot, Sonnastine, Niemann, Howell and Hammel? Yow!!

  2. The Professor says:

    I am actually a big proponent of starting pitchers breaking into the bigs as relievers. But i never want to see them in the roll too long. there is a big difference in pressure between taking the ball in inning one and taking the ball in inning 6 of a 10-2 ball game.

    However, i think a handful of appearances is enough just to get their feet wet. Anything longer than that and the adjustment back to starter can be difficult.

    Keep in mind there is clear difference in mentality and approach to the game. A reliever doesn't know what days he will pitch and a lot of times, at what point of the game. And there is the endurance factor. relievers are conditioned to throw 100% on every pitch bc they throw fewer pitches.

    That being said, I do agree changes need to be made.


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