Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Somehow, Farell Managed

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If you've seen the second to last episode of The Office, you're probably familiar with Michael Scott's self-penned management guide entitled "Somehow I Manage".

On his last day at Dunder Mifflin, Michael bestowed Darrell with the honour of caring for it. It was a touching moment in which the baton was passed from one manager to potential future manager.

I can't say for certain whether the same thing happened between Cito Gaston and John Farrell, but the way Farrell managed last night, it was as though he took a page out of Cito's book of mismanaging.

Up until this point, I haven't had many qualms with John Farrell. For the most part he's done a great job at transforming a one-dimensional lineup into a more well-rounded offensive threat, and he's helped create defined roles for the relief corps.

However, the decision to bull Brandon Morrow in the fourth inning was a little premature. Had this been Kyle Drabek on the mound, no one would have argued the move to take him out of the game. But this was Brandon Morrow.

He's arguably the best arm on the starting staff, yet Farrell treated Morrow like he was a rookie making his second career start. The Blue Jays don't need to protect Brandon Morrow, they need to let him be free to make some mistakes.

Shouldn't John Farrell have given Brandon Morrow the doubt and tried to let him work out of the jam? Yes, there were concerns about lost velocity and arm slots, but unless your pitcher is visibly hurt, what's the point of pulling him when your team is trailing by four runs?

I don't know whether Farrell's extensive pitching background had something to do with it, but I can't see much benefit to babying your starting staff when the game isn't on the line at that particular moment.

And then of course we have John Farrell's decision to bring in Octavio Dotel to face left-handers in the seventh inning. I'm not saying Dotel should never ever face a lefty, but he should never face four in one outing.

His career splits are just too lopsided to ignore, and even some effective at bats against left-handers won't change that for Dotel. Last year, lefties hit .300 off Dotel, and this year they're hitting .250 off him.

Ultimately, the Blue Jays players lost the game, but the onus is on the manager to put them in the best position to win the game. By yanking Brandon Morrow and putting in Octavio Dotel, John Farrell didn't give the Blue Jays the best possible chance to stage a comeback.

In this case, I'll give John Farrell the benefit of the doubt because after all, this is only his second month on the job. We shouldn't be calling for his head 35 games into the season.

4 comments:

  1. I'm torn on the decision to take Morrow out, and I think it may be blown out of proportion.

    Some specialists suggest that the likelihood of an arm injury does not actually increase with the number of pitches thrown in a game, but rather the number of pitches thrown in one inning. Morrow was up to 31 pitches thrown that inning I believe, and he had just come off an injury, so I don't think there is anything wrong with playing it safe here. There is no need to burn out what could be the team ace in a season that doesn't matter.

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  2. Peter, it's a tough call - I just wish they would've given Morrow more of a leash. Let him work his way out of it because he was cruising up until the fourth inning. Just 71 pitches total.

    On that same token, had Farrell left Morrow in and he had gotten injured, we'd all be lambasting him for keeping him in that game.

    So I guess in that situation you're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't!

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  3. I think Farrell is quickly becoming the evil step-dad from the movies. In the beginning we liked him. He's smart, witty, funny, intriguing, etc.

    Now we're at the part of the movie where his true colours are starting to show. We've seen snap judgments, he's getting testy with the media, he puts Dotel up against lefties repeatedly, etc.

    I'm scared for what comes next...

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  4. Darrell, excellent analogy, sir! No more Dotel vs. lefties please.

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