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Friday, April 08, 2005

Have We Found Bobby's Replacement? 

Conventional media wisdom has Ryan Franklin shimmying his way into the rotation for a start or two to replace the injured Bobby Madritsch. Franklin is a Proven Starter, whatever that's worth, and would be an easy choice for Mike Hargrove and Bryan Price. Because of a scheduling quirk that has the Mariners playing a day game Monday with an off day Tuesday, Franklin is probably the only real option for the Mariners.

In Tacoma's opener last night, Raniers starting pitcher Jorge Campillo pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on just three hits with one walk and four strikeouts. There was speculation that Campillo might have broken camp as a part of the Mariners' rotation, and his first start does nothing to dissuade me that he doesn't belong on the big club. Unfortunately, the Mariners need a replacement for Madritsch for Monday's game against Kansas City. Campillo pitched Thursday, which means a Monday start for the Mariners would come on just three days' rest and is probably as a result not going to happen.

Keep an eye on Franklin tonight and tomorrow night. If he pitches either game, he probably won't start Monday. If he manages to stay out of both games, he's probably throwing the opener against Kansas City. Either way, Ryan Franklin pitches, so it's ultimately a lose-lose situation. And if it's not Franklin on Monday, than it's Ron Villone, and nobody needs to see that.

What do you do in this situation? Root for Franklin to do well, thus lengthening his time as a starter, or root for him to bust quickly and spectacularly?
Root for Felix Hernandez to strike out 30 guys in his next 20 innings. Problem solved.
I heard Franklin interviewed on KJR yesertday, and if he doesn't get put into the rotation, he might get down right pissed. Not that Franklin would turn into Danny Fortson, but he deserves a shot. Honestly I think he's better in the pen.
Bavasi could probably convince the Tigers that Franklin would be awesome in Comerica with its huge outfield, maybe try to get their second-best prospect for him.
Save him for trade bait at the deadline when the Brewers realize they can't afford Ben Sheets. He could be the "proven starter" included in that package.
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