Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Armas, Pirates fall to Rockies

It has been a dismal 2007 season for Tony Armas - AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Tony Armas continues to show why he does not belong in the Pirates' rotation. Last night, Armas was charged with seven runs in 4.1 innings, allowed a grand slam and walked three. That left the Pirates with a 9-2 loss, and left Armas with an ERA of 7.08.

After the game, Jim Tracy was asked why Armas is still starting. His response? "I'd always be happy to have more people step up." I can see where the skipper is coming from on this one. The Pirates do not have much pitching depth right now. Shane Youman is the best choice, and he has been struggling as well. In fact he allowed two home runs in relief of Armas last night. Youman should be starting over Armas because he at least will still be around in 2008, but I am not sure how significant it is right now. Youman should be in Triple-A next year just as much as Armas should be wandering through the free agent market. Many people have been clamoring all season for Bryan Bullington to be called up, and it is not really a bad idea at this point in the season. But, despite his solid record and ERA, his K/BB ratio is 81/57 in 138.1 innings with Indianapolis. I would not expect much success from him at the Major League level. (Speaking of Bullington, he started for the Indians last night. After loading the bases with two walks and a double in the fourth, he served up a grand slam to one Chris Shelton. Indianapolis lost, 4-0.) John Van Benschoten and Sean Burnett are not options right now.

If you are looking for positives from last night, Nate McLouth continued his impression of Adrian Brown/Tike Redman/Chris Duffy with a long home run, a double and two runs scored. Will I be fooled again by a center fielder who takes over the starting job after the season is lost and excels? Yes. Yes I will. McLouth is making me feel much more comfortable about center field in 2008. I will never learn.

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