Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hi, Brian. How was your off day?

Brian Barton's off-day turned into a travel day to another city. He was swapped yesterday for the Braves' Blaine Boyer. Reports indicate this move was made to shore up the Cardinals shaky bullpen. And it has been shaky. Currently the bullpen boasts of a 4.77 ERA in 43.3 innings pitched. Not good. Not to mention the 4 games where the bullpen surrendered a lead late. That's over a quarter of their games played so far this season; also not good.

But is this the best move? The guy was just designated for assignment by Atlanta, not exactly a ringing endorsement. And, in 117 innings over parts of 5 years, his ERA is north of 5.00. I gotta say I'm surprised by this one.

Was he worth one of our trade chips? Time will tell. What is true is the only reliable guys down there are McClellan and Franklin. In this day and age, it's hard to go through a whole season with two reliable guys in the bullpen.

Barton was one of a bunch of guys vying for playing time in a crowded outfield, but, he was worth more than a mediocre (at best) middle reliever.

Anyway, the team heads home to play the Mets. As the Cubs series is now two days in the rear view mirror, thanks to the rainout Sunday night, I won't dwell on it, except to say they could have won all 3 games, and should have won on Friday night. Which brings us back to this trade, and the reasons for it.

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