Wandy pulled too early?
I realize hindsight is 20-20 and it all ended well, but I can’t help but be bothered that Cecil Cooper didn’t leave Wandy Rodriguez in for one more inning on Sunday in Atlanta.
Rodriguez has been the Astros best pitcher this year — by a landslide. He either has truly turned a corner and is finally living up to expectations — at the age of 30 — or, he’s just on a really, really hot streak that could end at anytime. Whatever the case may be, had Cooper sent him out for a sixth inning — and there was no reason not to, considering Wandy had only thrown 86 pitches and had logged more than 100 in two of his last three starts — it would have sent a strong signal to his left-hander: I trust you, I believe in you, and even though you haven’t been at your best today, I need one more inning from you and I know you’ll come through.
Instead, Coop yanked him after five, turned to a taxed bullpen that was without the services of Chris Sampson and Tim Byrdak, and ended up with the win. But at what cost?
Look for Doug Brocail to officially go on the disabled list today. Coop played it conservatively yesterday for reasons I can’t figure out, saying they’ll just have to wait and see how Doug feels today. See how he feels? The man needed a cart to exit the field yesterday. We know how he feels. He feels like he can’t walk.
Brian Moehler will be activated from the disabled list in time to start today in Washington, so it would seem logical that the Astros would simply DL Brocail to make room for Moehler on the 25-man roster. That’s the short-term solution, but the bullpen is hurting and needs help. The Moehler-Brocail transaction might not be their last. We’ll see.