Saturday, July 27, 2013

If Raul Valdes Is Starting, Ruben Amaro Needs To Be Departing

35 With The Potential To Be 36
Tonight in Detroit, the Phillies had to scratch Cliff Lee due to injury -- honestly, if they had any smarts at all, they'd forbid him to pitch until he's traded  -- and went with Plan Z, which is Raul Valdes. A guy who hasn't started for a year. A guy with 2 career starts. A guy who should, well, never start for a major league team. Or even pitch for them in relief. Raul got to face a Tiger team that welcomed back Miguel Cabrera from injury, also known as the best hitter in the world.

Easier rehab assignments have never been offered.

The team came in with a six-game losing streak, no real chance at the division, no real chance at the wild card. And when you start Valdes -- seriously, Raul Valdes -- it's obvious to everyone involved that you aren't trying anymore. (Valdes, for those who aren't familiar, is a 35-year-old lefty with a career 4.6 ERA in the majors, which is to say, he isn't just a has been. He's a never was. And if this guy is in your organization, your GM has No Clue, or Valdes has photos of him in bed with a dead girl or a live animal.)

Would it really have been so bad to give, say, Jesse Biddle a start? You know, the best prospect in the system, might actually have a career? How about Adam Morgan? Mitch Gueller? Shane Watson? Hell, so long as they aren't trying to win games, why not at least learn something about a young guy?

OK, fine, you don't want to start the clock early on a guy's career. Or maybe you are worried about ruining his confidence. I get that. It's weaker than a three day old kitten and an organization that employs Raul Valdes, but what the hey.

Here are some guys that I would have been happier to see get the start. Carlos Zambrano. Jamie Moyer. Terry Mulholland. Brad Lidge. Whatever position player throws a knuckleball this week. Maybe Rich Dubee, just to prove once and for all that those who can't, teach. So long as you have no chance to win the game, and have an utter and complete lack of organizational depth, to the point where Raul Freaking Valdes gets a start.... why not buffoon it up?

You know, even more than you just did?

Cabrera said thank you for the gift, going yard in the first, and the rout was on. 5-0 after one, 8-0 after two, 10-0 final, in a game that lasted 2:25. The Phillies managed 3 baserunners and struck out 7 times against Max Scherzer, Al Albuquerque and Evan Reed.

When your team loses by 10 in under 2.5 hours, there is really only one explanation involved, and that is this.

They don't want to be there.

And when your organization is putting Raul Valdes on the mound, can you blame them?

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