What should the Rays do about wobbly Archer?

by Gary Shelton on June 23, 2016 · 1 comment

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Thursday, 5:45 a.m.

Did someone say “ace?”

These days, Chris Archer is a trey. Maybe a duece. Maybe a joker.

These days, Archer is a bad pitcher. Not mediocre. Not slumping. Bad.

On a night when the Rays needed Archer to say “enough,” when they needed him to hold up his hand and say “stop” he did nothing. He threw nine pitches, and he was behind 2-0. Again. It keeps going this way for Archer, who has too often been judged by the break on his slider or the juice in his fastball.

Eventually, though, a pitcher has to beat somebody, a good somebody.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (its at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

Eventually, he has to be the pitcher who dominates on the mound. This seems to have escaped Archer. It is true that wins and losses are not often the tale of a great pitcher; things like ERA and batting average against and home runs surrendered are.

With Archer, those numbers are awful, too.

So what, pray tell, should the Rays do about a big arm with small results? Should they make him skip a start, like they did with Drew Smyly? Should they send him to the bullpen, like they did with Matt Andriese? Should they send him to the minors, like they did with Dana Eveland?

Or should they keep whistling and look the other way?

Look, I like Archer. Everyone likes Archer. He's an engaging kid who cares about the right things. His work with kids is legendary.

But this isn't about that. This is about a team that is circlng the drain, and their best player cannot slow the flow.

Coming into this season, Archer's record was 32-32. He finished 12-13 last year. Again, wins and losses don't tell you everything about a pitcher, but they can provide hints. There are times in a game when a pitcher has an opposing runner on third and the other team's best hitter is at the plate. It's a moment that isn't complelely captured by stats, but it can lead to a lot of winning.

I've said it before. If wins don't matter, why do we notice that the Hall of Fame pitchers have so many of them?

You want other numbers? Archer has given up 15 more walks this year than last. He has given up 10 more homers. He has given up 13 more runs in the first inning.

“It is very frustrating putting the team behind the eight ball numerous times this season,” Archer said “It’s something I need to get better at.”

No, it isn't all on Archer. He would have had to shut out Cleveland to win Wedneday night. For the second straight night, the Rays had three hits. This time, at least they scored one.

Right now, the Rays are in the cellar, comfy, looking like they're there to stay. They don't play very good defense, they don't do much offensively except hit the long ball, and their pitching is extremely overrated.

In other words, someone needs to put a stop to this.

Someone like a stopper.

Someone like Archer.

{ 0 comments… read it below or Subscriptions }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: