Just say no.
That is what Fredi Gonzalez is faced with as his first major obstacle as manager comes to bear upon him. And that “no” is not only directed at Jorge Julio’s ego but also towards Larry Beinfest, the man who hired Gonzalez.
In this instance one can ask, would Girardi keep rolling Julio out there when it is evident that this guy can’t find the plate with a GPS locator?
Julio, to give illustration to this point, has thrown 112 pitches in the 3.2 innings he has pitched this season. That is 5.6 pitches per plate appearance. Hitters are batting .769 against him and he has given up 10 hits, 6 earned runs, 4 doubles, and 6 walks. Oh yeah, and NO strike outs to go along with a blown save and pending the completion of last night’s game, that could double.
Beinfest pulled the trigger on a deal that brought Julio to Miami for only Yusmeiro Petit, a solid pitching prospect who could prove to be a serviceable starter. The Marlins traded from a position of wealth, starting pitching, to shore up what looked like a big gaping hole to some – the closer’s role.
Yet, what makes this deal even more redundant at the moment is that not only is Julio struggling with his control, but the Marlins have found a couple of options to end games with – Lee Gardner and Henry Owens. Both easily went out there and grabbed their first major league saves while Julio, who currently has 99 MLB saves, can’t find his first one of the season and has had more opportunities. In fact, Gardner cleaned up Julio’s mess – and Gonzalez made the call on that.
So, why continue?
The Marlins could realistically have only 1 loss right now if not for Julio’s lack of control.
Fredi Gonzalez has to talk with his GM and basically come up with another option for Julio. He needs to be demoted to where he can work on his control, as it seems he is suffering from bad mechanics, at the very least, or possibly has just lost confidence in his fast ball. Whatever the case may be, the Marlins cannot afford to have him learn on the job – that isn’t what they acquired him for. They traded for Julio to come in and close games and so far, he can’t even close up one hitter.
Just say no, Fredi. Say no to Julio and say no to Beinfest. If this situation takes a turn for the worse, it will be on the field first and ultimately, that is how your performance will be determined. The Marlins couldn’t fire two managers in a row.