Friday, September 5, 2008

Don't mess with Trembley (Especially if you're not that good)

This isn't exactly shocking news, but the Orioles' pitching staff has been terrible lately. Since the all-star break, the Orioles have an MLB-worst team ERA of 6.30. Orioles' pitchers have given up 492 hits in 394 innings pitched. They've struck out 271 batters and walked 203, which averages out to a miniscule 1.33 K/BB ratio and an awful 4.64 walks per 9 innings.

But again, I'm sure you knew all that. But what you might not have known is that last Friday in a loss against the Tampa Bay Rays, Fernando Cabrera, who gave up 5 runs (4 earned) in 2 innings pitched, visibly angered manager Dave Trembley when he came to the mound to remove Cabrera from the game. Instead of handing Trembley the ball, Cabrera flipped it to him -- big mistake.

It was bad enough for Cabrera (5.40 ERA, 9 HRs allowed in 28.1 innings pitched) to be pitching poorly, but, as shown above, it's not like he was the only struggling pitcher on the team. But he brought attention to himself with that single move, even if it was surely just one out of obvious frustration.

The combination of the incident with Trembley in Tampa Bay with the rest of his incidents on the mound of giving up multiple runs was enough to justify Cabrera's release today. Trembley offered a few choice words on the matter:

"I think you always make evaluations based on performance first. Not everybody here is a milkshake drinker. They're not all guys that you'd want to bring home and introduce to your daughters. You understand that. But performance is the bottom line. I didn't see Fernando Cabrera fitting in on this club next year. I think we can do better. I told him I appreciated what he did, but I didn't see him making this club coming out of spring training. I think there is no substitute at any time for respect and integrity."

Whether or not Cabrera is a milkshake drinker isn't clear. But what is evident is that at this point in time, it's somewhat acceptable to be a mediocre pitcher on the Orioles. But if someone doesn't display some class and decides to show up Trembley instead, he's gone. Of course, that player being Fernando Cabrera certainly made the decision a bit easier.

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