Tipping pitches or pitching poorly?

Manager Dave Trembley said he’ll announce his rotation for the Red Sox series tomorrow. I’m assuming that he’ll skip Steve Trachsel, whose turn is Friday, and go with Daniel Cabrera in that spot because the right-hander would be working on regular rest after starting today.

Pitching coach Rick Kranitz said he reviewed video of Trachsel from Saturday night’s game, but he can’t determine whether the veteran is tipping his pitches until Krantiz returns to Camden Yards and can use a split-screen to compare images of Trachsel’s last start with previous outings and see if anything is detectable.

“I didn’t see any glaring differences, but some guys are really good and they see certain things,” Kranitz said. “It could be as small as his hands being close together on certain pitches. (Evan) Longoria hit a good pitch on his first home run, and the double that (Carlos) Pena hit off the wall was down in the zone.”

Kranitz noted, however, that Longoria’s second home run came on a “mistake” from Trachsel, and a double off the right-field wall also was caused by poor location.

Trembley noted how the Rays seemed to know what was coming, but he’s not convinced that Trachsel was tipping his pitches.

“I don’t believe that to be the case,” he said. “I don’t hold any credence to that at all.”

Whatever the reason, Trachsel’s ERA is 8.82, compared to the 4.16 league average for starters. He hasn’t gone more than three innings in four of his eight starts.

“I think you give them credit. They’ve hit us very well,” Trembley said. “And I think it is a lot of not throwing the pitch where you want to throw it. I think it’s missing with your pitches.”

Trembley made an interesting decision today when he brought George Sherrill into the ninth inning with nobody on base, one out and Carlos Pena coming to the plate. Pena drew a walk and Evan Longoria, who is going to be ridiculously good for a long time if he stays healthy, lined the game-winning double to right-center field.

You’ll recall that Trembley didn’t use Sherrill Thursday night in New York, electing to stay with Jim Johnson because he didn’t want to bring in his closer in a tie game on the road. But he went to Sherrill today in the same situation, this time removing Johnson, and it didn’t work.

Trembley said he wanted to give Sherrill some work. And if he left Sherrill in the bullpen and Johnson gave up the decisive hit, we’d probably be asking why the left-hander wasn’t in the game.

What would you have done in that situation – and don’t use the outcome as a basis for your argument. It’s easy now to second-guess bringing in Sherrill. Was that the right move, in your opinion?


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