The Star Tribune is reporting that Twins pitcher Jose Mijares walked out on his Dominican winter league team. This is not a good sign. I am no familiar with how seriously players take Dominican League ball. Do they treat it like a beer league softball game? Or do they take it as seriously as they do their full-time jobs in the Majors Leagues? I assumed they were just as important, especially to the latin players. If this is the case, we all of a sudden have a lot to worry about with Mijares. Everyone anointed him the second coming last season without even questioning his character. I understand its hard to see the negatives in his dominant (however brief) performance at the end of last year, but I think its time we sat down and took a hard look at Mijares. I personally will not be doing this, since its my job to bitch about things and SirSean picks up the pieces with his “numbers” and other witch doctor type things. But lets give it a shot.
In 2007 he pitched just under 70 innings in 31 games, all in relief. He had 81 strikeouts to 53 walks, while sporting a 3.88 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. 61 of those innings were at AA and the rest were at AAA. Nothing overpowering, his strikeout to walk rate was about 1.5:1 (as a frame of reference Joe Nathan had a 4:1 strikeout to walk rate of 4:1) The ERA and WHIP are really underwhelming, but not all together terrible. I think this really shows that people are putting too much faith in the 10 innings he threw last season for the twins. Could the source of this faith maybe be the fact that everyone else in the bullpen was so terrible during that same time frame and we were willing to crown anyone who showed a flash the next great thing? I think that it could be.
Now with this new revelation that he quit on his teammates, I am starting to have great doubts about the man. In winter ball he was lights out, until two bad outings in a row, then he decided to walk out on his team. What happens when he gets shelled in Minnesota? I’m assuming he has experienced failure before and this was just a fluke, but who knows? From now on we really can’t assume that Mijares is going to be a lights out set-up guy. Outside of Nathan the bullpen really is a bunch of question marks. Guerrier is coming off his worst season as a pro, and we don’t know if he can bounce back from a huge 2008 workload. Jesse Crain will be entering his second full season after major shoulder surgery, word is he is finally back to full strength, but again who knows. Breslow was consistent last year against lefties, and should be given more chances to get righties out. Boof has the talent and stuff to be a great reliever, but the head has yet to come around. It seems like our bullpen is built on a house of cards. The things coming out of the clubhouse sound like this “If Boof accepts his role, AND Crain rebounds from surgery AND Guerrier can regain his 2007 form AND Mijares picks up where he left off, we will have enough guys to get to Nathan.” Could be worse. It could be like this: “We are looking for 4 or 5 guys to get us to our closer. Who we are still looking for” I think thats what it sounds like in Detroit.9 comments