Texas beefing up the bullpen with Mike Adams and Koji Uehara meant other relievers had to go to make room and today the Rangers designated Arthur Rhodes for assignment.
Rhodes is 41 years old, so his lasting this long as an effective pitcher is pretty amazing, but his performance has definitely slipped this season.
After posting a sub-3.00 ERA in 2008, 2009, and 2010 he has a 4.81 ERA and 15/8 K/BB ratio in 24 innings, serving up six homers while right-handed hitters knocked him around to the tune of a .333 batting average and .633 slugging percentage.
Rhodes remained effective versus left-handed hitters, but his average fastball velocity is down two miles per hour compared to last season and 41-year-old left-handed specialists aren’t exactly in high demand. Plus, he’s still owed about $1.5 million for the remainder of this season, with a $4 million option for 2012 that will obviously be declined.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)