Optioned OF-R Chris Denorfia
to Louisville (Triple-A). [8/10]
Returned LHP Kent Mercker
to the 15-day DL (elbow inflammation); purchased the contract of LHP Chris Michalak
from Louisville; designated 2B/SS-R William Bergolla
for assignment. [8/12]
Optioned RHP Elizardo Ramirez
to Louisville; recalled LHP Brian Shackelford
from Louisville. [8/13]
Let's get this straight: the team needs three lefties in the pen beyond having a left-handed closer? And it's potentially going to make a journeyman like Michalak its fifth starter down the stretch? And it wants to go to the mat with Todd Hollandsworth
(replacing Denorfia) and Juan Castro
as key reserves? I guess that combination of events might make you think the Reds were in the International League while being managed by Tony LaRussa, but such is not the case.
Instead, you have a team that has shipped out Ramirez after starting him without
any restóread that again, but I assure you, he pitched in the 14-inning game on the 11th, then got drubbed starting on the 12th. Now, maybe if this was still a team being managed by Bob Boone, you could accept this as some sort of weird experiment, destined for failure like all of Boone's passing fancies. But that isn't the caseóthis is a team in the thick of the wild-card chase, and it should be minding every roster move and every game carefully. Maybe this is a mistake you put on manager Jerry Narron, but I think this is more basically a screwup by Wayne Krivsky, in what has become a litany of stretch-drive missteps. Ramirez hasn't been outstanding of late, but two quality starts in his five since the All-Star break before that sort of mismanagement indicates to me that he isn't Joe Mays
. The fact that, after the game, Narron talked about how well things worked out, when Ramirez got drubbed, should leave any observer boggled. The Reds may lead, but when you get this punch-drunk on roster management, it hardly bodes any better than making the Bray/Majewski deal did.
So what about this latest addition to the rotation? Michalak's had a nice year at Louisville, allowing 3.8 runs per nine. He's also allowed 17 home runs in 132.1 innings, and he can't dent bread with his best cheese. He's not really a groundball pitcher
, so put him in the GA(B)P, and it seems to me you've got a formula for big-fly mayhem. It's a reflection on the Reds' relative desperation that they've reached this spot, but between mismanaging Ramirez and winding up with an overstocked pen that still isn't that good, its become pretty obvious that things aren't working out all that well.