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After giving up six more runs, Javier Vazquez has to go

May 15, 2011, 6:25 PM EDT

Florida Marlins v Washington Nationals Getty Images

It’s just not happening for Javier Vazquez.  

In allowing six runs over four innings Sunday in a loss to the Nationals, his ERA jumped to 7.55.  Even when Vazquez has struggled in the past, it’s usually come with a respectable or better WHIP.  This year, he’s at 1.91.  He’s struck out just 20 batters and walked 24 in 39 1/3 innings.  He’s given the Marlins all of one quality start in eight tries, and he did the absolute minimum that day, surrendering three runs over six innings in a loss to the Rockies.

Things seem hopeless at this point.  He hasn’t regained any of the miles per hour he lost off his fastball last summer, and in trying to throw harder, he’s lost command.  Since hitters no longer worry about his fastball, he’s not getting any swings and misses with his slider or curve.  All signs point to him being done unless he finds some of that velocity he lost.

Unfortunately, the Marlins are short on replacements.  They were feeling pretty good about their pitching depth entering the spring, but their sixth and seventh starters, Alex Sanabia and Sean West, are shut down with elbow injuries. 

I’m kind of surprised they didn’t try stretching Burke Badenhop out after sending him down to Triple-A New Orleans, but he’s back in the major league pen now.  They have stretched out reliever Jay Buente, and he’s been a nice surprise with a 1.91 ERA and a 32/6 K/BB ratio in five starts for New Orleans.  He’d probably be the choice if Vazquez gets bumped this week.  Tom Koehler is their other option. 

Kevin Millwood is still out there, and while he didn’t show much of a fastball in his stint in the Yankees system, he might be able to finesse his way to being an average fifth starter for the Marlins.  Giving him a look wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  1. dirtyharry1971 - May 15, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    was very surpriseed when the marlins signed this bum, they dont usually make bad decisions like this

  2. deathmonkey41 - May 15, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    Ha ha- as long as he’s not on the Yankees anymore- that’s all I care about.

  3. Old Gator - May 16, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    Let me make a slight correction. Vasquez gave up all six of his runs in the first inning. To the Gnats. The next three innings were just a mopup operation. By the time the Feesh came to bat for the first time, they were in it so deep they needed bioluminescent appendages to find the bat rack. They might as well have rested their regulars and fielded the crew of the Kursk. They were so far down that they began metabolizing sulfur. Why the hell not send Javy out for a few more innings at that point?

    As for Javy, is there such a thing as a “starter” in the reverse sense of a “stopper”? He needs to get together with R. A. Dickey the next time the Mutts come to town and learn to throw a knuckleball.

    Dirtyharry: you haven’t been paying attention. The Feesh have signed or traded for a long, long string of mound and boolpen disasters. The second coming of Al Leiter is Macondo’s locus classicus for implosive mound presences. Does the name “Kevin Gregg” ring any bells? Look at the boolpen staff last season – it resembles a pile of leaky gascans. This year isn’t so bad – yet.

    • wlschneider09 - May 16, 2011 at 8:51 AM

      Look on the bright side, it really takes the pressure off the bullpen when you’re always down 5 or more…

    • natstowngreg - May 16, 2011 at 1:02 PM

      Yes, the Nats. A rare occasion when the Nats scored early.

      I suspect it would have been 6 runs in less than an inning, if Jason Marquis had not been thrown out trying to stretch his 2-run double into a 2-run triple.

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