Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Ugh, I'm still mentally drained from last night's debacle. Sure, doing the liveblogging sent a ton of readers my way today, but I'm pretty sure it also caused irreversible emotional and mental damage. The only thing I want to talk about at all is Kip Well's performance. Even with all of the talking up I did for Kip in the past couple weeks, I wasn't expecting much last night. He missed almost two full months, then has been expected to complete Spring Training coming off of two months without doing any throwing, and all against non-Major League players. I was hoping for something in the neighborhood of 5 innings, 3-4 runs, 3-4 walks, 5 or so Ks. Nothing special, just a sign that he could pitch at a Major League level. Last night wasn't completely devoid of that. He threw his fastball in the low 90s (at least reportedly, FSP suspiciously didn't give pitch speeds last night), he got through the third inning on only nine pitches against the heart of the Royals order, and besides the first couple batters in the first and the third inning as a whole, he seemed to be able to throw strikes when he knew he NEEDED to. He also didn't get hit terribly hard, though how much of that is a function of the Royals lineup remains to be seen. The downside of last night is well documented, he was a bad caricature of his old self. His strike/ball ratio was nearly 1/1, he went deep into every count, and on a couple of occaisions he lost control completely. My gut feeling after last night is that the team rushed him back for whatever reason. He could've benefitted from one or two more fine tuning starts at the AAA level while Gorzelanny took the open spot in the Bucs' rotation (he's earned it). It's certainly not fair to panic and write Kip off completely only one start in to his season after such a long layoff, but it certainly wasn't encouraging either.