Purgatory Online

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The quotes this morning are interesting.

On pulling Escobar for Shields:
Escobar added a scoreless eighth, his pitch count reaching 27, but instead of
leaving Escobar in for the ninth, Scioscia turned to Shields, the struggling
setup man who is 2-5 with a 6.13 earned-run average in his last 14 outings.

The reason? Escobar may be needed to replace Bartolo Colon (back spasms)
in the rotation Saturday, so Scioscia didn't want to extend Escobar on Tuesday

"Bart's situation was considered," Scioscia said. "Kelvim was
close to 30 pitches. That was enough."

Fair enough on the surface. But when you think about it, this means that Scioscia has pretty much told the world that Escobar won't be used in relief as we approach Saturday unless Colon is given the all-clear. And that's a disaster.

Obviously, the ability to sub Escobar for Colon is nice. But that's one game - and a game against a weak-hitting team, when you've already got Joe Saunders on your roster, who's made one excellent spot start for you earlier in the year. Even if Escobar is available for an inning tonight, starting him Saturday takes him out of tomorrow and Friday's game, plus Sunday's, probably Monday's, and maybe even Tuesday's. How many situations are going to arise in those games in which the Angels need to protect a lead or keep it close in the late innings?

On subbing Finley for Quinlan:

Right-handed hitting Juan Rivera had three hits in seven at-bats against
Wakefield, and the left-handed Finley, the Angels' most disappointing player
this season, was hitless in three at-bats against Wakefield. But Scioscia went
with Finley, who started one game in the previous week and has a .215 average.

"I felt good with Finley driving the ball, getting the ball to the outfield,"
Scioscia said. "Rivera was an option we considered. But I thought Finley swung
the bat well his last five or six at-bats."

Steve Finley's last six at-bats:

9/4 vs. Seattle (Matt Thornton) - took a ball and two strikes before singling to right.
9/4 vs. Seattle (Shigetoshi Hasegawa) - took a strike, fouled one off, took two balls, grounded out to second.
9/4 vs. Seattle (Jeff Harris) - took two balls, fouled one off, flied out to center.
8/27 at Tampa (Danys Baez) - took a ball, took a strike, took a ball, fouled one off, fouled out to third.
8/27 at Tampa (Doug Waechter) - took three balls, took two strikes, fouled off two and struck out swinging.
8/27 at Tampa (Doug Waechter) - took a strike, grounded to short.

So that's going 1 for 6. In those six at-bats, he swung the bat 11 times, and produced something other than a strike or an out exactly once. He got the ball out of the infield twice.