By: Big Rygg
So have we finally seen enough? Wait…wrong question. We definitely have. Allow me to rephrase…
So…have they finally seen enough?
Of course the “they” in the revised question refers to Milwaukee Brewer Manager Ken Macha and General Manager Doug Melvin. And whatever might I be talking about when I ask if enough of it has been seen?
That’s a simple answer as well.
Julio almost single-armedly threw the Milwaukee Brewers from a series-opening (and road trip-beginning) victory into a loss. Between walks, hitting a couple of batters and general ineffectiveness all the way around, Julio was ultimately charged with four earned runs without recording a single out.It skyrocketed his ERA from 5.71 (still poor by itself, don’t get me wrong) to 7.79.
Now, to be fair, over his last four outings, Julio had put together 5.2 innings of scoreless ball. This was is mostly low pressure situations. Monday night should have been another low pressure spot again, just bridging the gap between Jeff Suppan who Houdini’d his way around trouble for the most part but did so by racking up 100 pitches in just 5 innings. All Julio was charged with was pitching through the 6th so that Coffey, Villanueva and (if necessary) Trevor Hoffman could take the game over and close the door.
But what did Julio accomplish? He loaded the bases, pushed a run across whether the Marlins wanted it or not, and finally gave way to Coffey who couldn’t stop the bleeding and actually allowed a run of his own in the inning as well. But with a a four run lead, facing the bottom of the order…you just can’t do what Julio did tonight and expect to stick in the big leagues very long.
I’ll admit that after seeing the numbers Julio put up in Atlanta at the end of last season, I was optimistic when the Brewers signed him in the off-season.
After a rough spring, Julio surprised everyone by making the 25-man roster when the team headed north to San Francisco for the opening series of the 2009 regular season. That could be as much of a matter of timing that he’s stuck with the team as long as he has. Julio made the team in the first place primarily because Hoffman was injured so there was an opening. When Hoffman was ready to come back, David Riske needed time on the DL (from which he’s still rehabbing). Even now, when the rumors are that the Brewers will be calling up someone from the minors to help the bullpen out, there’s talk that Mark DiFelice might have to go on the DL due to some elbow inflammation.
But truly, I don’t see how the stars continue to align to allow Julio to ply his trade at the Major League level. Maybe it’s because he does have a live arm and can throw very hard. Maybe it’s because every now and then he comes out and has a few appearances in a row where he doesn’t allow any runs to score.
Therein lies the problem, however, is because you just don’t know who is coming to the mound from the bullpen on a given night despite Ken Macha having Bill Castro call Stan Kyles with the exact same name.
Julio’s earned runs allowed over his last 10 appearances? 0, 0, 1, 0, 4, 0, 0, 0, 0, 4. How can a manager be expected to trust that arm?
So, to quote some lyrics from the song that the Miller Park audio crew has been using for when Jorge Julio is summoned from the bullpen:
“Well, I’m on my way
I don’t know where I’m going
but I’m on my way
I’m takin my time but I don’t know where”
Allow me to respond to those lines the way Doug Melvin should have tonight after the game in Miami…
You’re going to the waiver wire because you’ve been designated for assignment. Oh, and as for taking your time? Don’t bother. Get to steppin’.
(I mean seriously…could you see Doug Melvin say “Get to steppin'”? That’d be hilarious.)