Thursday, August 19, 2004

Management By Fear, Redux 

"No one really said anything, but I've struggled of late and they did move (Stephen) Randolph into the rotation -- sometimes, I respond well to stuff like this," Fossum said.  "I tend to pitch better when I'm under pressure, and I had the pressure of losing my job and going back to the bullpen.  I want to start."

So said Casey Fossum, as quoted in the Arizona Republic after his 6-3 win last night over the Pirates.  As I noted earlier this week, perhaps management by fear might not be such a bad idea as Edgar Gonzalez also had a stellar outing last week after being threatened with banishment to the bullpen if not outright demotion to Tucson.  As I also noted, Fossum appears to have had the best year of the non-Johnson/Webb pitchers, as the number of his quality starts exceeds the rest of the non-Johnson/Webb staff combined (I'm not positive, but I'd be surprised if it was otherwise.  Heck, I'm not even sure Webb has 6 quality starts this year.)  Fossum's problem (fan-wise) has been that his other outings have been miserable.  If he could only find some measure of consistency, I'd be more interested in having him stick around next year as a fifth starter.  The only question is whether Lance Cormier or Edgar Gonzalez or anybody else in Tucson have more eventual upside.

In addition to pitching well, Fossum laid down two sacrifice bunts which. the Republic noted, raised our pitching staff's total to 15.  That's right, folks, Fossum single-handedly increased the pitching staff's total for the season by 15%.  Like many sabermetrically-inclined fans, I'm not a huge fan of the sacrifice.  But I understand why pitchers tend to do it, and I'm certainly frustrated that thus far, the pitching staff has been bad in this small thing as well.

Koyie Hill on the DL, Chris Snyder up from El Paso.  Frankly, I would've liked to have seen Ansman get called up, but oh well.

Alan Zinter off the DL, Tim Olson sent to Tucson.  Even in the minor scheme of things that is (currently) Diamondback baseball, this has to be one of the most pointless switches of the year.  It won't affect the team one iota (although, frankly, if I had to choose, I'd take Olson.)

OK, one brief "Get off Terrero's back" comment -- he was in the "Jeers" section of the box score for striking out three times.  OK, he had a bad game.  But his strikeout ratio is improving and is still a barely minor cause of concern for me.  By the end of the season, he'll be just fine...

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