Disabled Donnelly Delaying Painful Team Decisions


Posted May 11, 2004


Troy Percival has 9 Saves in 31 games.

Francisco Rodriguez has yet to allow a run in 14 appearances.

Kevin Gregg, expected to be a Starting Salt Lake Stinger, instead has an ERA of 0.42 in 21+ innings.

Long Reliever Scot Shields has traded his traditional blow-out pitcher role for a more respectable 6th and 7th inning Hold.

The miserable starting pitching of Ramon Ortiz dropped him in the bullpen as the mop up man, giving Aaron Sele a chance to recapture his spot in the rotation for good.

Meanwhile at Triple A, Matt Hensley and Derrick Turnbow can probably name 20 major league teams for whom they would be pitching out of the bullpen.

Ben Weber has been the odd man out, losing a few miles off his fastball at the same time Gregg happened to shine under pressure. The league seems to have caught up to Ben's pre-pitch twitch as he has allowed 25 hits in under 15 innings.

The clock is ticking in the current bullpen arrangement. The minor league rehabilitation assignment of Brendan Donnelly has commenced. The most talked about nose job in Orange County will soon be returning to Anaheim. The hard choices are ahead.

Will Weber be released? Will Gregg be sent down? Does another team want to trade for fifth starter Ortiz? Would Weber make a dominant closer in the National League? A package of Weber, David Eckstein and Triple A starters Chris Bootcheck and Bobby Jenks might pry away Todd Helton from Colorado or Carlos Delgado from Toronto as a season long replacement at First Base, depending on the severity of Darin Erstad's recent hamstring injury.

Perhaps the return of a healthy Nomar Garciaparra to Boston would reignite the offseason talk of Eckstein, Weber and Ortiz (a best friend of Pedro Martinez), maybe with the hard-throwing Turnbow whetting John Henry's appetite.

Depsite his consistency, Troy Percival's 7 million plus salary could see him traded to a contender, especially one seeking to unload a healthy First Baseman. Francisco Rodriguez is ready to close and Shields, Gregg and Donnelly could carry 6, 7 and 8 as smoothly as a jazz trio at happy hour.

Although he cannot be bothered with the inevitable impact of midseason roster moves, Donnelly's domino effect will have a lasting impact in the Anaheim clubhouse.





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RP Brendan Donnelly (profile)
SP Kevin Gregg (profile)
SP Aaron Sele (profile)
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