Matt Maloney, staff savior?
by, 05-22-2012 at 03:19 PM (1435 Views)
In a Marquis-out/DeVries-up thread, it was mentioned by more than one that Matt Maloney ought to be put into the Rochester rotation. I had been thinking along those lines for a while now, too.
In fact, I wonder if the Twins considered doing this in April for the parent club, before sending Maloney down, by putting him into a long-relief outing or two. Unfortunately he pitched so poorly that they couldn't even "stretch him out" for a few innings, in anticipation of a trial as starter. He might at one point have been Plan A for replacing Liriano or Blackburn if need be (the "need" has since then been proven), as he was the one brought in to relieve them on April 17 and 24 respectively. If he had done well in 3-5 innings he would have then been on the cycle to enter the rotation at the next turn. But he didn't. By May 2, according to this theory, they had given up on the idea, letting him finish only the 3rd inning after registering two outs plus an RBI double; all his other appearances were in later innings with no scope for long work.
Perhaps he pulled a (reputed) Kevin Slowey-ism by making excuses saying he could only be effective as a starter, pissing off the coach and manager and earning the DFA to Rochester. That's just libelous speculation of course - my apologies, Sir.
But his track record has been as a starter who put up promising AAA numbers, more impressive at Louisville 2010-2011 than DeVries has been in the same league 2011-2012 for instance. Then suddenly in 2010 when Cincy brought him up they stopped using him as a starter after two more-or-less decent starts (ERA 3.09) and used him exclusively in the bullpen, with OK results as well. In 2011 Cincy used him very inconsistently, mostly as a reliever, and his unsightly season ERA (despite good numbers during his AAA time) came about in 3 putrid games out of 8, with one start in late April and then one start during September garbage time.
After Cincy dropped him, Minnesota seemed to decide he's purely a reliever, if I just go by his usage and stop trying to read between so many lines. Considering the thin state of the Twins starting staff, I don't think they should overlook any potential resource to help them get through the season, even if he's no long term answer.
I'd plug him into the Rochester rotation and see if he's worth a July or August call-up. My fingers would be crossed that Cuellar there can get him on track, if the problem had been either the mental approach of trying to prove worth as a starter while in the bullpen, or perhaps some mechanical tweak to help him. So far, 4 innings into his Rochester career, he's given up two baserunners and no runs, so maybe the Cuellar magic is already working.
Again, he's not going to be a difference-maker, and my title for this post is tongue-in-cheek. But I hate to see my team leave a stone un-turned.