The Palm Beach Post is reporting that Ricky Nolasco is being sent down to AAA New Orleans while Sean West will be called up and make his debut being called up from AA Jacksonville.
Nolasco’s ERA is at 9.07 now and the Marlins have finally realized he has to get “straightened out” and the best way to do that is to do it at the minor league level. Look, I have been very suspicious of Nolasco – I like the guy but he is not consistent year to year. He is Jekyll and Hyde. Last year Dr. Jekyll, this year Mr. Hyde.
The crisis isn’t as metaphysical as it seems – this is not the battle between dual personalities, just the fact that Nolasco can’t spot his pitches. Everything is staying up and looking like a beach ball up there for hitters. His BAA is .344 giving up 66 hits in 43.2 innings pitched, he has 37 Ks to only 13 BBs. Nolasco was anemic for hitters last season – they starved on him with only a .239 BAA. This year, he’s more like Nabisco as hitters feast on his pitching.
I am also skeptical that Nolasco can get straightened out at AAA. Perhaps an adjustment needs to be made as to where he fits in with this team – he seems to fit as a 4 or 5 slot starter in a rotation. The hope is that he can get things straightened out and perhaps get some momentum going against minor league hitters – but is that really what this team needs?
It is a disguise for what really ails this team – all of a sudden they are just a bad team. But can this really be too much of a surprise?
You can’t have an offense rely on players expecting them to all of a sudden “get it”. You have several of those players in your lineup right now: Emilio Bonifacio, Jeremy Hermida, Chris Coghlan, Cody Ross. Sure, they all have talent but they are going to be inconsistent – Coghlan is a rookie and a converted middle infielder; Bonifacio hadn’t been able to catch on with Arizona or Washington and is learning a new defensive position at 3B; Cody Ross strikes out a lot and is a streaky hitter; Jeremy Hermida teases you with his talent but just doesn’t seem to have the talent he may have projected to have – he’s just plain inconsistent.
So with the starters not getting consistent innings of quality pitching, the bullpen is starting to be used up and exposed. The offense gets an early lead, but fails to add on runs later in games to stave off an eventual attack.
The Marlins have reversed the trend they started the season with. They are running out of gas and now instead of progressing they are calling up more and more rookies to make debuts in the hopes that they find a magical combination. I already called for a trade for Peavy as a fantastical elixir which could ail what is infecting the Marlins’ playoff chances – but that is definitely in the realm of fantasy as the ownership has already shown a lack of ability to spend money to improve this team.
And that, friends, might be the real problem. We have higher expectations for this team than perhaps we should. The defense and pitching just isn’t there to give this team the foundation it needs to win. Until that gets fixed, this season is far from playoff possible.