Last week I wrote about the then tight race for the last two rotation spots. Well, things have changed rather quickly on that front. Jon Garland was granted his release and quickly scooped up by Colorado, and it was recently announced that Erasmo Ramirez had been optioned to Triple-A.
If you read my last post, you know I was a huge Erasmo advocate. He pitched very well in his brief time last year, and has a great repertoire of pitches, along with good control of all of them. As you may assume, this news rubbed me the wrong way. Ground (Grinded? Groundeded?) my gears. Insert clever analogy for my anger here. It is taking a lot of control to not go all Dave Cameron-John Jaso trade, mixed with the strong language that Jeff Sullivan enjoys to use, on this post. It should be clear to everyone that Erasmo Ramirez is better than both Blake Beavan and Jeremy Bonderman, and safer than Brandon Maurer, but apparently that’s not the case for some. It just so happens that “some” in this case is the people who matter the most and actually make the decisions.
I talked to numerous people about this situation when it was first reported that Erasmo’s spot may be in danger. A majority of them felt like Erasmo was pretty much a lock for the #4 spot, as he should have been. One of those conversations was with our own Joel Condreay on Twitter. He said something to the effect of “I can’t image a situation where Erasmo was not in the rotation.” To which I replied, “Neither can I. But I am sure Wedge can.” Well, unfortunately that turned out to be the case here.
There was a report that Erasmo was dealing with some arm soreness and that could have played a role in the decision. Maybe they want him to start in AAA and stretch him back out to make sure he can handle it. Which very well could be true. However, it seems unlikely as he hasn’t missed any appearances due to injury, so it can’t be too serious.
The other worry I have is that even if Erasmo is injury-free and pitching well, the organization will fail to see that, and will continue to go with Beavan just because they can, and don’t see the errors of their ways.
I have attempted to rationalize this move, and it was difficult. There are a few big reasons why things like this happen: Injury (which I already discussed), past performance, spring performance, and experience.
The thing is, none of these add up. In terms of past performance, Erasmo clearly beats Beavan and for the most part Bonderman. And Maurer doesn’t even have any past performance. In terms of Spring Performance, it makes a little more sense. IF you want to use Spring Training as a basis for your decisions and actual give weight to spring stats (which you shouldn’t whatsoever), there can be an argument. However, Beavan just got roughed up the other day, and Bonderman got shelled today. Maurer is the only person who you can definitively say has been better than Erasmo. And as for experience, that can pretty much be thrown out the window as Maurer looks to be a favorite and he hasn’t even pitched in AAA.
Also, just for funsies, here is a comparison of Erasmo, Beavan and Bonderman for their careers. Obviously the sample size varies with both, especially Erasmo, but it is still accurate in my opinion, and reflects future performance very well.
The only logical explanation actually lies in a lack of logic. Wedge and the others involved are not great decision makers, and just do not know how to effectively build a ball club and evaluate talent. Unfortunately, that is starting to become increasingly apparent as his tenure goes on.
I know I went a little over the top here, but I just do not get this move at all, and it leads me to question the decision making of this current Front Office and coaching staff.