It’s closing in on two months into the major league season and not a lot of action yet with closers losing jobs. I’m trying hard folks to get some changes but it isn’t working out too well.
However, there are a couple other roads we could look down. With the Tampa Bay Rays starting Sergio Romo two days in a row against the Los Angeles Angels last weekend, I thought I would look at some potential situations in which teams might be able to pull something like this off just for fun. It will look more like a “bullpen” day for each team, assuming they have a pending off day or a long stretch of games.
New York Yankees
The first team I want to look at is the New York Yankees. With all of that fire power in the back end of the bullpen, it would be interesting to see how far Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green and David Robertson could go. For the sake of argument, I think I would break it down as follows: start Betances, Green, Chasen Shreve, and Robertson for two each, then bring in Chapman.
Houston Astros is the next team not because of the greatness of their bullpen but more because of the versatility of the pitchers they have. I honestly think this team could do it and not miss a beat. The wild card would be Collin McHugh starting. He is listed as long relief which means he could throw multiple innings. I’ll take that and assume he can give me three. Even though he only pitched 19.2 innings in 15 appearances this season, he has some starting experience.
I’ll follow McHugh with Brad Peacock for two, Will Harris for two, Ken Giles (typed that very nervously), then Chris Devinski. The great thing about the Astros is that I could switch around Peacock, Giles and Devinski and really not miss a beat. The Astros bullpen is one major reason why they are the team to beat in Major League Baseball.
The Milwaukee Brewers are my third, what if they had a bullpen day, experiment. If you’ve been reading my column the past few weeks, you’ll know that I’m very big on Josh Hader. Stud. Now that closer Corey Knebel is back, that moves Hader into the setup role, although I still think he should and will have the closer job sooner rather than later.
That being said, the Crew’s bullpen is legit. I’d start with Dan Jennings and as he is long relief, and try and get three innings out of him. Then it’s a piece of cake: Matt Albers for two, Jeremy Jeffress for two, Hader and then Knebel closing it out.
I think the Crew is a starting pitcher away from being mentioned among the contenders in the National League. Their bullpen is better than the Nats, Dodgers, Rockies, Cards, Cubs and Braves. A July trade may give Mr. Baseball, Bob Uecker, another world series in Milwaukee.
Last week I went on my soap box about Robinson Cano and how people have a tough time taking accountability for themselves. This may sound hypocritical because the guy I want to talk about today is about as beloved a player there is in the league right now. Happy Birthday to Big Sexy Bartolo Colon, who turned 45 on Thursday.
Watching Colon over the years, he is a guy that as a Minnesota Twins fan, I was terrified to see when he was with the Indians. He threw heat plain and simple. I don’t know the exact record against the Twins while he was in Cleveland but I do know I didn’t go to bed happy very often when he pitched.
Then came the PED suspension in 2012 while with the Oakland A’s. Katrina Hamrick of Fanside’s Call to the Pen wrote an article on why we as fans celebrate Colon even though he had the PED suspension. Colon’s quote, in my opinion, is why.
“I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A’s,” Colon said in a statement released by the players’ association. “I accept responsibility for my actions and I will serve my suspension as required by the joint drug program.”
Yes he apologized but he also took accountability for it. It wasn’t a doctor’s fault or he didn’t know what he was doing. He said I did it and moved on. We are a country of second and third chances and Colon fits into this.
So with this I say happy birthday Bart. You’ve brought smiles to a lot of fans around the country and in the game. You are all of us 40-somethings living through your successes on the field.