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Solidifying bullpen a priority

 

By Tom D'Angelo, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, June 17, 2004

 

 

 

MIAMI GARDENS -- While continuing to look for ways to bolster their struggling bullpen, the Marlins promoted veteran right-hander Josias Manzanillo from Albuquerque while demoting two relievers, and likely will make a trade before the July 31 deadline.

 

According to sources, Florida is talking to Kansas City about right-handers Jason Grimsley and Rudy Seanez, who was promoted from Class AAA on Tuesday.

 

Two high-ranking team officials said any possible deal likely will not be made until after the All-Star break. The team already has inquired about Red Sox right-hander Byung Hyun Kim and Reds right-hander John Riedling of Wellington.

 

Affordability will be a key factor in any trade because the Marlins will not assume the contract of a big-name player, the official said.

 

 

 

Left-hander Tommy Phelps (1-1, 4.76 ERA) and right-hander Nate Bump (1-3, 4.84 ERA) were optioned to Albuquerque to make room for Manzanillo and starter Josh Beckett, who will be activated today.

 

One team source said the bullpen is in need of a shake-up: "Too many guys have gotten too comfortable.''

 

"All these guys in the bullpen can't say they haven't had a chance,'' manager Jack McKeon said. "Sooner or later, we have to get some consistency.''

 

After Marlins' relievers allowed seven hits and seven runs in four innings Tuesday, the bullpen is 11th in the NL with a 4.23 ERA.

 

Manzanillo, 36, was signed in April, joining his 11th organization in 21 years in pro baseball. He has played in 23 cities and made 32 moves during his career.

 

"When I signed, the whole idea was to come to the Marlins,'' said Manzanillo, who was 0-1 with five saves and a 5.25 ERA at Albuquerque. "I was performing the best I can, and it paid off.''

 

Manzanillo is known for his slider. His fastball is in the 88- to 92-mph range.

 

Phelps returns to the minors, where he spent his first 10 seasons.

 

"Guys who play long enough, you know how the system works,'' said Phelps, who was one of three left-handers in the bullpen and the only one with options remaining. "I could have gotten everybody out this year and still gotten sent down. That's just the way the situation works in the bullpen.

 

"I'm not happy about it, but I don't think you'd expect anyone to be happy about it.''

 

Bump was unavailable for comment.

 

Noteworthy: Albuquerque infielder Joe Dillon was named the PCL batter of the week after going 11-for-22 with six home runs and 11 RBI.... The Marlins' top pick, left-hander Taylor Tankersley of Alabama, is listed as one of the seven sleepers from the recent draft. One scout's take: "Quick to the big leagues, tough, good stuff, great makeup.''

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Grimsley is a Nate Bump clone. Sinkerballer lacking overpowering stuff and command.

 

Reidling has exploded over ths past week or so.

 

Byung Hyun Kim would be solid here. Very few pitch sidearmed in the NL (most are out west). He could dominate righthanders.

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Grimsley is a Nate Bump clone. Sinkerballer lacking overpowering stuff and command.

 

Reidling has exploded over ths past week or so.

 

Byung Hyun Kim would be solid here. Very few pitch sidearmed in the NL (most are out west). He could dominate righthanders.

Problem is they might want a lot for Kim even Pavano maybe(Marlins would get something else), but I agree that Kim would probbaly be the best fit right now but I guess have to take what you can get :confused

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Rudy...Rudy...Rudy...

 

PITCHING STATS

 

Year Team W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV SVO INN H R ER HR HBP BB SO

1989 CLE 0 0 3.60 5 0 0 0 0 0 5.0 1 2 2 0 0 4 7

1990 CLE 2 1 5.60 24 0 0 0 0 0 27.1 22 17 17 2 1 25 24

1991 CLE 0 0 16.20 5 0 0 0 0 1 5.0 10 12 9 2 0 7 7

1993 SD 0 0 13.50 3 0 0 0 0 0 3.1 8 6 5 1 0 2 1

1994 LA 1 1 2.66 17 0 0 0 0 1 23.2 24 7 7 2 1 9 18

1995 LA 1 3 6.75 37 0 0 0 3 4 34.2 39 27 26 5 1 18 29

1998 ATL 4 1 2.75 34 0 0 0 2 4 36.0 25 13 11 2 1 16 50

1999 ATL 6 1 3.35 56 0 0 0 3 8 53.2 47 21 20 3 1 21 41

2000 ATL 2 4 4.29 23 0 0 0 2 3 21.0 15 11 10 3 1 9 20

2001SD-AT 0 2 2.75 38 0 0 0 1 3 36.0 23 12 11 4 1 19 41

2002 TEX 1 3 5.73 33 0 0 0 0 4 33.0 28 25 21 5 0 24 40

2003 BOS 0 1 6.23 9 0 0 0 0 1 8.2 11 7 6 2 0 6 9

TOTAL 17 17 4.54 284 0 0 0 11 29 287.1 253 160 145 31 7 160 287

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Grimsley is a Nate Bump clone. Sinkerballer lacking overpowering stuff and command.

 

Reidling has exploded over ths past week or so.

 

Byung Hyun Kim would be solid here. Very few pitch sidearmed in the NL (most are out west). He could dominate righthanders.

Problem is they might want a lot for Kim even Pavano maybe(Marlins would get something else), but I agree that Kim would probbaly be the best fit right now but I guess have to take what you can get :confused I think now that our starting rotation is almost at full strength (letsee how Beckett Does tonight) We will be using our pen less and less. Remember early in the year when we relied very little on our PEN cause our starters were getting the job done. I look at the other night when Benitez blew up as a fluke. On any other night that will not happen. It hink we need to keep our starters healthy and if they can be effective our pen can be effective. If we only need to use Perisho to face a couple lefties here and there or Toby to face a btter here and there and then Benitez to close out a game we will be fine. It's when we need to use our pen for 3 or more innings that we get into trouble.

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Because I've been spending a large amount of time in the Boston market recently I've heard alot of talk about Kim (on WEEI, the best baseball radio station anywhere!!!) and to say the jury is out would be an understatement.

 

Both radio personalities and writers for the Boston Herald and Globe think the guy may be washed up, that he's lost the fire needed to pitch in the MLs. Whether they are correct or not I doubt anyone knows, I can say the fans have given up on the guy 100%.

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Because I've been spending a large amount of time in the Boston market recently I've heard alot of talk about Kim (on WEEI, the best baseball radio station anywhere!!!) and to say the jury is out would be an understatement.

 

Both radio personalities and writers for the Boston Herald and Globe think the guy may be washed up, that he's lost the fire needed to pitch in the MLs. Whether they are correct or not I doubt anyone knows, I can say the fans have given up on the guy 100%.

The problem is we really don't have the luxury to take a chance on a guy like Kim, we need bullpen help as soon as we can get it, and if we take a chance on Kim and he sucks, we're screwed.

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Guest FishFanInPA

Peter Gammons said yesterday that BK Kim was throwing better then ever and whatever he did in Korea made him better...I'd take him for GOAWAYNUNEZ

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Peter Gammons said yesterday that BK Kim was throwing better then ever and whatever he did in Korea made him better...I'd take him for GOAWAYNUNEZ

 

I cautioned in a post here last week or the week before that Gammons (who can be heard regularly on WEEI radio in Boston and who is much more candid when surrounded by local Boston beat reporters and on-air guys about the Red Sox and his love of them) is a Red Sox fan and supporter first and a reporter/personality second, and as such would try to help the Sox move Kim if that's what Theo et al wanted.

 

It's hard for me to believe that Kim could be pitching so well considering he just got back in the states two days ago (after what would have been an eighteen hour flight) and by his own admission did not touch a baseball while he was in Korea.

 

I'm not going to say Gammons is a liar or that he is shilling for the BoSox but one has to believe at the very least that his comments were wishful thinking.

 

I have enough confidence in Admin Beinfest and the FO that I'm sure they wouldn't trade for the guy unless they were 100% sure he could do the job but until they pull the trigger on a deal I remain skeptical at best about Kim's ability to pitch at the ML level again.

 

Nothing would please me more than to see him come in here and stabilize our bullpen ala Chad Fox last season but there's no indication he can or will based on his performance to date in 2004, or that he's available at a price (either money or traded players) the Marlins can afford.

 

The Marlins' name mentioned most often on Red Sox radio? Carl Pavano, they were talking about him two months ago, and they still were last week. Don't be surprised to hear Gammons linking the two soon.

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There is no reason to make a move for the pen. This I have been saying all along because there isnt a SIGNIFICANT upgrade available for the right price right now. Grimsley? Riedling? I dont see how that helps right now.

 

And I agree that with our starters gradually getting back to full strength, our pen is going to get better. Remember, we took Phelps out of the pen for D Oliver. That shorted us a starter and a reliever as DO didnt pitch for Phelps. Now that Phelps is at AAA, and I think it is because of his arm more so than just to shake up the pen, it may take a little longer for the pen to stablilize. But Howard and Neu will fit in nicely (which is why I dont buy this bullpen shake up as being the main cause here because the bullpen has already been turned over BEFORE Phelps and Bump went down).

 

That said, I trust this FO totally. They know what they are doing and have a very good system and evaluators.

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The Marlins' name mentioned most often on Red Sox radio? Carl Pavano, they were talking about him two months ago, and they still were last week. Don't be surprised to hear Gammons linking the two soon.

:hat The rumors are already out there

 

Carl for Nixon

 

Carl for D. Mirabelli and a prospect

 

all of this trade rumors are Boston fans trying to find a way to get Carl back in Boston.

 

...but it does bring up a good question should we trade a pitcher for help in the bullpen and if possible another bat?

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Grimsley is a Nate Bump clone. Sinkerballer lacking overpowering stuff and command.

 

Reidling has exploded over ths past week or so.

 

Byung Hyun Kim would be solid here. Very few pitch sidearmed in the NL (most are out west). He could dominate righthanders.

Problem is they might want a lot for Kim even Pavano maybe(Marlins would get something else), but I agree that Kim would probbaly be the best fit right now but I guess have to take what you can get :confused I think now that our starting rotation is almost at full strength (letsee how Beckett Does tonight) We will be using our pen less and less. Remember early in the year when we relied very little on our PEN cause our starters were getting the job done. I look at the other night when Benitez blew up as a fluke. On any other night that will not happen. It hink we need to keep our starters healthy and if they can be effective our pen can be effective. If we only need to use Perisho to face a couple lefties here and there or Toby to face a btter here and there and then Benitez to close out a game we will be fine. It's when we need to use our pen for 3 or more innings that we get into trouble. I totally agree with you:

 

At the beggining of the season, most of our starters went at least 6, 7 innings, so we only saw one reliever in the 8th and "automatic" Benitez in the 9th. Still, our pitchers have fallen on a "groove" for the past month or so were we got a lot of 5, 6 inning outings (Willis, Phelps, Beckett, AJ, etc.), so we've had to use our pen for 3, 4 innings at a time, and they can't keep up with that pace.

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