It's going to be a long year in Marinerville, so from time to time I'm going to have to use this as a sounding board for the betterment of my mental health. Perhaps consider this the first installment of "Hargrove Watch."
Wednesday's game situation: 2-1 lead, 7th inning, bases loaded, one out, a righty due up for the Twins
OK, so Mike Hargrove looks to his pen and tabs ... Julio Mateo?? Yes. The worst righty late-inning reliever in his pen. Forget Chris Reitsma (not that he's nails, but still), he's a set-up man so he can only pitch the eighth inning, of course. Forget Brandon Morrow, his mid-90s fastball was good enough to land him a spot on the team where he can pitch once a week and waste his No. 1 draft pick arm istead of being groomed as starter in the minors, but he's still apparently too green to pitch in such a high-leverage situation.
No, instead, let's go with a guy who's "fastball" tops out at about 88 mph, who allowed more than third of his inherrited runners to score last season, and, most important, a guy who is a fly-ball pitcher (career G/F 0.61) when you are praying for a inning-ending double-play ball.
Think managers don't make a difference?
This is also a perfect example of why trading Rafael Soriano was so bad. Last year, it would have been either Soriano or Mark Lowe is this situation. Soriano is gone, Lowe is injured, so the answer is now ... Mateo??