Saturday, April 10, 2010

(Past) Time to Move on with Mock

There were reasons to be intrigued by Garrett Mock when the Nationals traded for him in 2006. Even going into last season, his hard sinker and big curveball made it easy to project him as a solid mid-rotation starter or maybe even a late-inning reliever.

If you're looking at his ERA and wondering what on Earth I'm talking about, look at the back-to-back strikeouts of Jason Bay and David Wright last night. He can make a lot of bats miss, and if he could ever hit his spots and work ahead in the count, he could be a poor man's Brett Myers, circa 2006.

Of course, he can't, and
two weeks shy of age 27, he's long past the point of dreaming on, if you aren't seeing results. Last night really ought to be the last nail in the coffin of his career as a Nationals starter. If you can't get out of the fourth inning pitching at CitiField against these Mets, then you just can't do it. Do we really need to watch him take his turn against Philly before moving on?

The big question is why Mike Rizzo is still showing so much faith in the guy. No, Scott Olsen isn't the solution either, nor is J.D. Martin or whoever else we're likely to see. But Rizzo's had a year and a full off-season to come up with a solution, and if Mock is among his top four starters now, it's because he chose to make it so.

Don't forget that Mock was a Rizzo draft pick way back in the day in Arizona, and he fits the ground-balling profile that Rizzo loves so much.

So Mock is just a Rizzo cheeseball. No mystery. And if you want to keep a guy like that around in Harrisburg to see if the light ever goes on, fine. But you don't use precious rotation spots for that kind of thing. This is a mistake, and Rizzo needs to recognize it and move on.


Brian said...

I am still in the camp of turning him into a reliever.

Let him focus on throwing just two of those pitches and not have to save himself for five innings in an outing

Anonymous said...

This team is so damn frustrating to watch. Walks, errors, pitchers getting hits- I can't take it and it's only the fourth game of the season

John O'Connor said...

The Mets must HATE Willie Harris.

Steven said...

It was a nifty catch and a fun ending. Beating the Mets is an entertaining goal for the year.

Souldrummer said...

We've done Mock as a reliever before and it didn't work. No need to try it again. Perhaps this is JD Martin's turn to be the designated placeholder until Mock comes back. Not because he's great. Because he's deserved an opportunity to fail and it's okay if he gets sent down again anyways. I'm still about giving Mock one more turn in the rotation just to see if the cold weather had anything to do with it, though.

LJ said...

Why do I have this sense of deja vu? 7 Nats pitchers with more walks than strikeouts, a SS averaging an error a game, a closer whose approach to saving a game is loading the bases and then giving up a screaming line drive and hoping for a great defensive play, and an offence that makes Bill Lee think of coming out of retirement. I don't now. I guess if you're looking for a silver lining this team has been crap in all regards and yet are only one game below .500. Surely it has to get better.

Mock is an interesting question, not so much because there is anything to like about him, but mostly because it's hard to identify a better solution. How can a guy that has vowed to be more aggressive and throw more stries pitch a game like the last one? And why doesn't someone, anyone, call time and go out to the mound, slap him and say "collectively I'm going to kick your individual *ss if you don't throw some strikes".

I think you give him one more start. He either sorts himself out or you send him out and give Olsen a shot. That lets Olsen get in one more "arm strength building" start.

Aeoliano said...

Guess we'll find out tomorrow ... Have to assume with the team actually winning early that the guys in the clubhouse are going to put up with Mock for very long. McCatty says "stop making excuses" just pitch. Wonder what the guys are saying given what happened to Dukes.

Mock looks like someone you package up in a trade.

Eric said...

On the positive side, if Mock faces the Philies Wednesday he'll get knocked around so bad even Rizzo can't pretend he's a MLB starter, and the Nats chances of winning that game were pretty low anyway.

Joel said...

Well it looks like Rizzo just did what you wanted (send Mock down) so lets give him some credit for reckognizing when its time to pull the plug.