In case you missed it, like I did, former Scats reliever Steven Shell was demoted last Friday to the Class AA West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx (by the way, why does Seattle have a AA team in West Tennessee? Hell of a flight for FO guys).
Shell posted an impressive 2.16 ERA in 50 innings last year, but his 4.11 fielding independent ERA and .225 BABIP suggested more than a little luck was going on.
When the flyball pitcher-loathing Rizzo took over, the writing was on the wall for the righty with the 46.3% flyball rate. After only 5 innings and 3 earned runs, Shell was gone. It was probably the one move Rizzo made that's been most questioned, since Shell got such good results last year, and Rizzo pulled the plug so fast.
After being DFA-ed and refusing a minor league assignment, Shell signed with the Mariners and was assigned to AAA Tacoma. There, he gave up 12 earned runs, 20 hits, and 6 walks in 13.2 innings. Now he's playing in Jackson, TN, which is a hell of a long way from anywhere.
Seems like maybe Rizzo knew something those who panned the move maybe didn't?