Roberto Hernandez pitched last night for the 1st time as a Dodger, he showed up in the bullpen just before game time and was like a caged lion pacing around the bullpen. Most bullpen pitchers retire to the enclosed area behind the window in left field once the game starts but Roberto was walking around the bullpen as though he'd never seen one before. Finally he grabbed a chair and settled down to watch the Lowe debacle unfold. He sat by himself and not surprisingly nobody buddied up with him, probably because they know as well as I do that his stay will probably be brief.
He was so bad this year that he was released by the Indians who are so desperate for relief help they are also looking into acquiring more relief help. Does he sound like someone who can help? He has benefited from a high strand rate for several years, which masked the erosion in his skills. This all caught up to him in 2007 as his poor command continued to be a problem and all those stranded runners in 2006 scored in 2007.
While he isn't the answer it is very possible the answer does lie in AAA. Meloan was promoted to AAA yesterday and while you would think it could have come a little sooner at least it has happened. All Meloan did at AA is pitch 42 innings and strike out 64 for a 13.61 K Rate. Hitters are hitting a combined .151 with LH doing a little more damage at .169 with RH hitting at an anemic clip of .138. His Home Run Rate is < .50. There is nothing not to like at the moment except the walk rate. This warranted a promotion to AAA but I think it will just be a pit stop before he continues his journey to Los Angeles.
In 2004 Yhancy Brazoban made a similar run, when he dominated at AA and made a few token appearances at AAA before being promoted after the "trade". The difference was that Yhancy was being asked to be a setup man for Gagne, while Meloan just needs to be a middle relief pitcher unless Saito arm troubles linger and then we have a whole new ballgame. If Meloan can follow the same path as Yhancy in 2004 then I think we have the answer to our middle relief in house.
Name League IP BB K K9 Whip
Meloan AA 42 18 64 13.61 0.94
Brazoban AA 51 22 61 10.76 1.18
Brazoban AAA 12 1 17 12.41 1.22
Bazoban Dodgers 32 15 27 7.44 1.22