Certain English colloquialisms befuddle me. Included among them is the idea of “throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks”. Why would you want to do this? Why are things that stick to walls good? Pretty much everything I love will do no such thing. A baseball. A steak. “Bull Durham”. Zooey Deschanel. This IO Digital Cable commercial. None of these things will stick to a wall and would actually concern me if they somehow did.
But this mindset really is the only possible explanation for this: The Colorado Rockies claimed pitcher Livan Hernandez off waivers and designated Kip Wells for assignment.
Make no mistake. Wells hasn’t been a very effective pitcher for years, evidenced by his career 4.64 ERA. But really, neither has Livan. And this year, that’s a total understatement. If you read Rob Neyer’s blog (subscription only) over at ESPN regularly, you probably already know that Hernandez is currently on pace to make some history. So far in 2008, he has allowed 206 hits in 142 1/3 innings pitched. That’s 1.45 hits allowed per inning and over 13 hits allowed per nine innings pitched. At this rate, Livan is going to hold the #2 spot on the list on the most hits/9IP in a single season in which the player has thrown enough innings to qualify for the ERA title, beating out Ray Benge’s abysmal 1936 season. While he (for his sake, hopefully) won’t catch Les Sweetland’s 14.6 hits/9IP mark set in 1930, Livan has easily been the most hittable pitcher in baseball. To make matters worse, he’s now averaging only 3.3 strikeouts per nine, which actually makes Carlos Silva’s K-Rate appear astronimically larger.
So what exactly makes the Rockies front office think that he’d do a better job than Wells? I really don’t know the answer, except to assume that a) Livan Hernandez is a recognizable name who has had success in the past and b) they’re hoping he sticks. But I often am against making roster changes just for the hell of it, and this seems like such a case.
I know this seems like I’m trying to kick a team that’s down and it’s really not an intended consequence. The Rockies are 8 games out in the very mediocre NL West and it appears that every starter in AAA Colorado Springs is doing his best to NOT get his shot at a big league rotation. So it’s not like they’re blocking any deserving pitchers and someone has to pitch or else there’s no game. Plus, they’re hardly the first front office ever to do something like this. I suppose I’m just curious as to why they felt that this was the way to go. Do they think that Livan Hernandez will do a better job than Kip Wells? Or are they just hoping that he does?
You know what they say. One man’s trash is another man’s 24-K gold iPhone .