Florida Marlins v Washington Nationals

After giving up six more runs, Javier Vazquez has to go


It’s just not happening for Javier Vazquez.  

In allowing six runs over four innings Sunday in a loss to the Nationals, his ERA jumped to 7.55.  Even when Vazquez has struggled in the past, it’s usually come with a respectable or better WHIP.  This year, he’s at 1.91.  He’s struck out just 20 batters and walked 24 in 39 1/3 innings.  He’s given the Marlins all of one quality start in eight tries, and he did the absolute minimum that day, surrendering three runs over six innings in a loss to the Rockies.

Things seem hopeless at this point.  He hasn’t regained any of the miles per hour he lost off his fastball last summer, and in trying to throw harder, he’s lost command.  Since hitters no longer worry about his fastball, he’s not getting any swings and misses with his slider or curve.  All signs point to him being done unless he finds some of that velocity he lost.

Unfortunately, the Marlins are short on replacements.  They were feeling pretty good about their pitching depth entering the spring, but their sixth and seventh starters, Alex Sanabia and Sean West, are shut down with elbow injuries. 

I’m kind of surprised they didn’t try stretching Burke Badenhop out after sending him down to Triple-A New Orleans, but he’s back in the major league pen now.  They have stretched out reliever Jay Buente, and he’s been a nice surprise with a 1.91 ERA and a 32/6 K/BB ratio in five starts for New Orleans.  He’d probably be the choice if Vazquez gets bumped this week.  Tom Koehler is their other option. 

Kevin Millwood is still out there, and while he didn’t show much of a fastball in his stint in the Yankees system, he might be able to finesse his way to being an average fifth starter for the Marlins.  Giving him a look wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Astros leave Chad Qualls off playoff roster, add Preston Tucker

Chad Qualls Getty
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Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.

Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.

Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.

Royals leave Jonny Gomes off playoff roster

Atlanta Braves outfielder Jonny Gomes, who was pitching in relief, tips his cap as New York Yankees' Chris Young rounds the bases after a solo home run in the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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It’s been a tough season for the mythology of Jonny Gomes‘ veteran clubhouse savior reputation.

First he signed with the rebuilding Braves and performed poorly while Atlanta fell apart after a surprisingly decent start. Then he was traded to the Royals, for whom he played just 12 games and hit .167. And now Kansas City has left Gomes off the ALDS roster.

It makes sense, though. Gomes’ only real use to the Royals would be as a pinch-hitter versus left-handed pitching, but manager Ned Yost rarely pinch-hits and will no doubt be more willing to use 25th man Terrance Gore as a pinch-runner in the late innings.

Beyond that, not many surprises on the Royals’ roster for their series against the Astros. They went with 11 pitchers, which means both Chris Young and Kris Medlen are on the roster. Jeremy Guthrie is not.