Results tagged ‘ Ryan Drese ’
Was this his last chance?
Most likely. He’ll turn 36 on opening day 2012, and in 44 innings with Norfolk last year gave up 64 hits with a 14-11 BB-K ratio. He was released in late May and didn’t hook up with an independent team. If you were to rank all the pitchers in the International League last season in order of their likelihood of having a future major league career, Ryan Drese might rank at the very bottom.
The Tides returned home after a surprising 5-3 road trip to Indianapolis and Louisville. Before that trip the Tides had been 5-13, so a 5-3 road trip provided hope, especially since this eight-game homestand featured the two teams — Indianapolis and Syracuse — with records comparable to Norfolk’s. Unfortunately, the hopes were dashed after three innings of Thursday’s game against Indy.
The Tides were scheduled to start veteran Ryan Drese, but shortly before game time changed to Chris Jakubauskas. Jakubauskas was on the opening-day roster, but was promoted to the Orioles before he made an appearance. After a couple of appearances, he was placed on the disabled list with a strained groin. Sunday, he made a rehabilitation start for the Tides and lasted less than two innings. Despite that, the Orioles optioned him to Norfolk on Monday and he made the start on Thursday.
It was clear that Jakubauskas was not in condition to be a regular starting pitcher, as the Tides declared that he would be on a 50-pitch limit. That limit proved to be about 40 pitches too many. The first Indianapolis batter fouled out, and then the second blooped a single to center. That second batter was then caught stealing second base. That was ten pitches. After that, Jakubauskas gave up a double and a two-run home run (granted, the home run was wind-aided) before escaping the first, then walked two batters before giving up a three-run home run in the second. After he gave up a single to the leadoff batter in the third, he reached his pitch limit and was replaced by Drese, who was unable to strand that runner although the run was charged to Jakubauskas. Down 6-0, the Tides were unable to do much against crafty lefthander Brian Burres. When the shouting was over, the Tides lost 9-1.
On the face of it, it made no sense to send Jakubauskas down when he was not ready. The Orioles returned Chorye Spoone to Bowie when Jakubauskas was sent down. Maybe the Orioles really wanted Spoone at Bowie; but that still doesn’t excuse them from sending Norfolk a pitcher who isn’t ready to pitch. Especially since there are other pitchers — Troy Patton and Armado Gabino — who could step into the rotation while Jakubauskas works into shape.
I worked last night’s Norfolk – Gwinnett game. It was a battle of the old-timers, as 35-year-old veterans Ryan Drese and Rodrigo Lopez started for the Tides and Braves, respectively. It’s understandable that Rodrigo Lopez might be on the Gwinnett Braves. He pitched 200 innings for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season; the Atlanta Braves are a contending team; so it makes sense that the Braves would want a potential injury replacement waiting in the wings. It’s completely inexplicable why Ryan Drese is on the Norfolk Tides. The Baltimore Orioles should not fancy themselves contenders, so there’s no real need to keep a veteran on hand. Drese hasn’t pitched in affiliated baseball since 2008, when he pitched 7 innings with a 11.57 ERA. Why would the Orioles organization want to waste a spot in the starting rotation on a 35-year-old?
Several of us came up with humorous speculations (Drese invested in the Orioles; the Orioles lost a bet) but it wasn’t until last night that an impeccable source told me that Drese is with the Tides because Orioles manager Buck Showalter thinks he can pitch. This illustrates the difference between a baseball insider, like Buck Showalter, and a baseball outsider, like myself.
I watched Ryan Drese pitch last night. He wasn’t overpowering. He didn’t impress me with his ability to paint the corners. His breaking stuff didn’t buckle knees. He was hit hard. In short, there’s nothing visibly impressive to an outsider. In his three starts this year, Drese has given up 27 hits in 16 1/3 innings. Over the past three seasons, he’s pitched okay for the Camden Riversharks in the Atlantic League — but not very much; 17 innings in 2010, 32 innings in 9 starts in 2009.
Even at his best, Drese wasn’t all that good. Drese pitched in the major leagues from 2001-2006. He pitched for two months in 2001, and was impressive; his 2004 with Texas was a superficially nice season. But, other than that, he had an ERA of 6.55 in 2002, an ERA of 6.85 in 2003, an ERA of 5.78 in 2005, and an ERA of 5.19 in 8 2/3 innings in 2006. He gave up more than a hit an inning in every season after 2001, including his good year. Again, to an outsider like myself, it doesn’t look like Ryan Drese could pitch even when he was pitching.
But, for some reason, the insider — Buck Showalter — sees Ryan Drese and thinks he can pitch. I don’t know what it is — that’s why I’m an outsider. Maybe Showalter sees a small mechanical glitch that Drese can correct. Maybe Showalter thinks he can teach Drese to change his pitching style. Maybe Showalter is just impressed by how well Drese competes. The point is that Showalter, as an insider, may have insight that outsiders don’t have; or, conversely, outsiders have an objectivity that the insiders don’t have.
The best insiders respect the outsider’s insights and the best outsiders respect the insider’s insights.