Quick Hits: Balfour, A’s, Twins, Plouffe, Cardinals

Links as the weekend comes to a close..

  • A's reliever Grant Balfour is less than thrilled about losing his job as closer, writes Jeff Fletcher for MLB.com.  Balfour has drawn considerable interest from teams around baseball this season and Ben Nicholson-Smith recently looked at what Balfour could net Oakland in a trade.
  • Twins utility man Trevor Plouffe has been struggling as of late and could wind up as a roster casualty if things do not pick up, writes Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.comChris Parmelee is also struggling at the plate but has minor league options remaining, unlike Plouffe.
  • Alyson Footer of the Astros (via Twitter) felt that the Cardinals dodged a financial bullet when Albert Pujols signed with the Angels.

27 Responses to Quick Hits: Balfour, A’s, Twins, Plouffe, Cardinals Leave a Reply

  1. johnsilver 3 years ago

    You have to give Ball-Four some credit there and admit he is right.. he’s better than Fuentes and have to wonder what Melvin is thinking of moving Fuentes to the closer role over him.

    Not a huge Ball-Four fan, but never was a Fuentes fan.. He is a big time choker.

    • andrewyf 3 years ago

      Fuentes is having a much better season than Balfour, who was closing for the first time in his career, and he struggled. Fuentes has 200+ career saves, and obviously can handle the closing role. Balfour kinda started to suck, Fuentes was better, so the manager made a change. Baby can’t handle that he lost his chance to make big bucks for the last time in his career, but he only has himself to blame.

      Is anyone else tired of ballplayers expressing displeasure when their managers do their job correctly?

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

         Several responses as to why fuentes should be the closer Andrew, but will just reply to yours.

        Ball-four has far better “stuff” now than Fuentes did when he was closing for Anaheim and a decent closer. When Beane signed him (as a closer) he was pretty much yanked for blowing games and being not able to do the job in the 1st place. I recall the A’s fans in open revolt over him in fact.

        Fuentes has lost velocity, where Ball-Four still has mid 90’sFB and today for example, saw him get out of a bases loaded jam Parker had gotten himself into in the *6th inning* am thinking without going and looking back at the box score. Watched the latter half of the game and Ball-Four was jam up.

        As said earlier.. Never was a huge fan of his from the Rays days, but Fuentes just is too on and off, where Ball-Four is usually season to season off and on. Maybe have missed his blown games this year, but ones seen him in this year he has been the on the corner and nasty guy remember from earlier.

        • jb226 3 years ago

          Surely once is enough on the “Ball-Four” thing?  Once is humorous, four times per post is over the top.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

             It’s like Mike “Shaky” Gonzalez… Once is never enough… :-)

        • Fuentes was never signed as a closer the A’s had Bailey as their closer at the time. 
            The reason Fuentes is the closer now is simple.  Beane is bringing up Fuentes trade value at the deadline.  The A’s have 3 other lefties in the bullpen.  Trading the guy with a expiring contract is the smartest thing to do.  Balfour is not better than Fuentes in closer situations.  Cook is the A’s future closer. 

        • I repeat, except for two bad outings, as a closer, Balfour has been rock solid for three years,as a setup man.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

             That’s not true at all.. You must not have watched many Rays games.

          • These are his numbers. ’08. TB 6-2 1.54
            ’10 TB  2-1 2.28  ’11 OAK  3-2 2.47. His ’09 season was not good,but he averages about 57 IP a year. Except for  couple of blown saves, his setup work this year has been good, as usual.

          • melonis_rex 3 years ago

            Balfour had one bad year in 2009 with the Rays, and was shutdown in ’08, ’10, and ’11.

            and since the Konerko HR, his pitching in general in 2012 has been not good. in both save and non-save situations, he’s pitched poorly (see: walking in the go-ahead run v. Detroit, allowing the go-ahead run v. Toronto), is allowing inherited runners to score, and is allowing many baserunners.

    • melonis_rex 3 years ago

      some highlights as to why balfour was pulled from closer:

      – 3 blown leads/ties. the A’s were able to walk off and win two of those games, but that doesn’t make it not a problem.

      -quickly giving back a 4 run lead in boston until Melvin pulled him for Norberto.

      -giving up HRs and hits at a torrid pace while Ks are down and BBs are up.

      The A’s really don’t have *one* dominant RP, especially now that Balfour’s struggling. Cook is currently the A’s best reliever, but keeping him out of the closer’s role maximizes his versatility so he can come in high leverage situations and get the K. Ideally, the A’s go with a closer-by-committee, but if someone has to be named the closer, Fuentes is the best choice, and yes, in 2012, he’s pitching better than Balfour.

    • RepOak 3 years ago

      Melvin did the right thing, Boulfour blown 2 saves already. If wants to continue being a closer then he has to prove he can still be effective. He walked in a run in today’s game again as a reliever so he isnt helping his own cause either..

  2. BradyAndersonsSideburns 3 years ago

    First you lose your job to Fuentes, next step is Japan…the decent begins

    although I think going to Japan may be better than losing your job to Fuentes

  3. melonis_rex 3 years ago

    What’s alarming is that Pujols’ walk rate significantly dropped last year with the Cardinals. I’m curious as to whether Cardinals coaching (namely Mark McGwire) had anything to do with that.

    His lack of HRs and slumping in general could be from many different causes, some of which are fluke and non-reflective of ability, but a drop in walk rate demonstrates a decrease in plate discipline, which is really bad.

    • Wainwrights_Curveball 3 years ago

      At this point, his struggles have just become mind boggling. My head hurts just thinking about all the different reasons for his horrible start.

    • jb226 3 years ago

      I’d hate to kind of write off an entire year, but I wouldn’t be too quick to judge Pujols even if he remained awful for the rest of the season.

      The reality is that he’s in a completely new city, a new part of the country, a team that has more difficult travel because they’re on the west coast, a mammoth new contract and the pressure that goes with it and most importantly, an entirely new league full of pitchers he hasn’t seen very often.  He’s Albert Pujols so we’d like to believe that doesn’t affect him, but it might.

      I never liked the contract.  Ten years is simply ridiculous.  But I don’t think giving him some time, even a full season, to acclimate to all the changes before judging it is unreasonable.  It’s going to be bad in the latter years, I think we all know that (and the Angels do too), but the early years might still be salvageable.

      • melonis_rex 3 years ago

        Agreed that its too early to judge the whole contract.

        Worse performance: sure, that’s fine and players adapt. Being arguably the worst player in the AL this year? something else is probably going on.

        If an injury or something mental is going on, he needs to go on the DL and get it sorted out and not let the problem fester.

        If the problem is something that was declining before he even signed that contract, then the situation looks far, far more dire.

  4. icedrake523 3 years ago

    I’d gladly take Grant Balfour over Frank Francisco.

  5. LordBanana 3 years ago

    A guy signed a big contract and has done bad in the first 6 weeks therefore it is a bad signing.
    The analysis is breathtaking

    • stl_cards16 3 years ago

      Who said it was a bad signing? The only thing she said was the Cardinals dodged a huge financial bullet. That’s obviously true whether he performs or not.

      • Philley11 3 years ago

        ‘Who said it was a bad signing?’

        Uh, Alyson Footer? That’s obviously what she is implying. I guess she feels that Pujols would not generate enough profits to justify his salary. But I could be wrong as she did not go into much detail. Considering that one year hasn’t passed since he has signed, it is too early to be able to tell if the signing is good or bad. Don’t forget it is a business and that whilst Pujols sucks it up in LA, it is still very possible for the Angels to be making more income since investing in him due to apparel sells and advertising money, not to mention ticket sells.

  6. HerbertAnchovy 3 years ago

    Balfour always seemed terrifying to me. Like when Melvin told him he was removing him from the closers role he might choke him.

  7. Iconoclast17 3 years ago

    No problem replacing Balfour as closer, but NOT with Fuentes, who’s no better. Balfour started out very well with six saves, but has been struggling the past month or so. Ryan Cook…the A’s, smartly, are not going to rush him into the closer role. He’s likely going to get it soon enough. No hurry, really, with the A’s horrid AAA lineup (why is Daric Barton still in Oakland?) and injuries they aren’t going to eclipse the Rangers or contend for the wild card. Reddick and Inge have been bright spots as have Gomes and Smith.

    Also, the A’s had no intention of delaying Jarred Parker’s ‘service clock’ (silly) as some had insisted. When Peacock shows enough in Sacramento he’ll be up too. And, Taylor/Carter will never be major league caliber players.

    • melonis_rex 3 years ago

      I’ve been a Barton apologist, but at this point, I think its time for Kila to be getting more playing time.

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