Friday, August 7, 2009

Am I Missing Something?

The Milwaukee Brewers made a strange roster move today. They designated R.J. Swindle for assignment in order to make room for Jesus Colome.

When a team designates a player for assignment, they have 10 days to do one of the following. They can trade the player, release the player, or they can place the player on waivers. If he is not claimed by a team, he can be sent to the minor leagues. The benefit of DFAing someone is that it clears a spot on the 40-man roster.

I cannot understand why the Brewers took this approach. Swindle is a very good pitcher that was never given a chance in the major leagues. He was only allowed to pitch six big league innings for the Brewers. Anybody can get lit up in six innings. It is just too small of a sample size to get an accurate judgement on a player. If someone were to judge Yovani Gallardo solely on his performance Tuesday night, he wouldn't be considered a good pitcher. It is so tough to accurately judge young talent without an extended look at the player.

Swindle really deserved a shot. He absolutely dominated AAA this season while he played for the Nashville Sounds. In 43.3 innings, Swindle posted a ERA of 1.03. He struck out 41 batters in that time, while only walking 13.

I think one of the reasons I like Swindle so much is the movement he is able to generate on his pitches. He throws three pitches consistently. My favorite pitch is his 52 MPH curveball. Every time Swindle throws that pitch for a strike, the batter is completely frozen. Here is a link to Swindle's baseballcube page. He has put up amazing numbers everywhere he has pitched.

I wish Swindle the best going forward and think that he will be a very good major league pitcher. I'm disappointed that the Brewers showed no patience with him. He has already been claimed by the Tampa Bay Rays.

Swindle's replacement on the Brewers roster will be Jesus Colome.

Colome, 30, has an amazing arm. He has always struggled with control and location while pitching in the major leagues. He pitched very well in his brief time at AAA Nashville this season. Colome didn't surrender a run and struck out 11, while only walking two.

The only problem is that Colome has only pitched seven innings in the Brewers organization. I think it was a little premature to DFA Swindle based on 6.2 innings of poor work in the majors and promote Colome based on just seven innings in AAA.

One good thing about Colome is that he is able to go multiple innings. This is something that Swindle wasn't able to offer and something that this team desperately needs. The bullpen has been overworked due to short starts and needs some help eating up innings. Colome at the very least should be able to provide this.

I hope that I am wrong about Swindle, but I think the Brewers are going to regret this move in the long run. Colome wasn't going anywhere. There was no rush to make this move after only seven innings of work that we saw from him. I would have waited until more work was displayed before I gave up on a young lefty like Swindle.

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