Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Rhodes not the answer

With the team and management trying to patch up a bullpen, we keep hearing the name Aurthur Rhodes pop up. He is eligible to be promoted to the club shortly, and at this point it sounds like a foregone conclusion he will be getting the call from McLaren in critical games.

I'm sorry, but any question that has Rhodes as the answer for helping your club win games at this point reeks of desperation. I was disappointed when they announced they signed Rhodes last spring. He was coming in on the inevitable downward slope of his career and I thought his injury was a blessing in some ways. It removed the temptation for Hargrove/McLaren to put him in a game in '07.

The injury wasn't just a pulled muscle- it's the kind of injury that causes plenty of players in Rhodes position to hang up the cleats. Late in their career, their bank account well off, why go through rehabilitation to try and salvage a season or two. Plenty of players don't want to be remembered as the guy who lost a bunch of games at the end of their career.

But Rhodes wants to come back. Good for him, but that doesn't mean the club has to feel obligated to for anything. They gave Arthur one million last season to never pitch a single inning. This spring, he faced mostly sub-major league opponents and didn't look that great. Frankly, he needs to prove himself before he is thrust in a major league game with anything on the line.

But the Mariners seem ready to give him the ball, regardless if he has been successful in years. I think it will be a huge mistake, and expect it to cost them games in the process. Every player is going to look like David Justice up at the plate.

McLaren loves his veterans, but Rhodes is not going to get this club out of the cellar.