Sunday, August 19, 2007

Jorge Campillo says 'Hi.'

Horacio Ramirez has made sure that discussions about the M's 5th rotation spot are fairly common. Ryan Feierabend hasn't exactly excelled in that role, and while many fans have talked about bringing Robert Rohrbaugh up, many M's insiders (incl. USS Mariner) have cautioned that his stuff simply isn't MLB quality.
The forgotten man in a lot of these discussions is Jorge Campillo. Well, Jorge's doing what he can to make sure his name is included in the never-ending list of guys who could do better than HoRam. With 7 scoreless innings today, Campillo dropped his RA to 3.4 - and he didn't have his best stuff. Despite missing consistently with his change, and despite lowering his WHIP to peg Lou Merloni (yes, it was on purpose), Campillo consistently got out of trouble by getting the first man, and by limiting the extra-base hit. Campillo has pretty sizeable home/road splits, so I should caution that how he's looked in Tacoma is not necessarily how he's looked away, but hey - Tacoma's a decent proxy for Safeco. And let's cut to the chase: I'm much more comfortable with the M's giving Jorge a shot than paying $20 million to give an aged Jose Contreras a shot. Do you need a back-up plan? Of course. But Campillo is pitching his way into this conversation, despite long odds after his injury and removal from the 40 man roster (thankfully, the 40 man roster isn't really a concern with a couple open spots, and with the rosters expanding soon).
The knock on Campillo has been his, well, Rohrbaugh-level stuff. And it's true; he generally doesn't get tons of strike-outs. But if you've followed Cha Seung Baek (or Carlos Silva), you know that there's a place at the back of an MLB rotation for a guy who severely limits walks. Campillo's been quite stingy with the free pass at home (1.41/9 coming into today), and compensates for his lack of an outpitch to righties by going for the strikeout more against lefty hitters. I think his weird reverse-platoon splits (at least as far as strikeouts go) is one of the reasons people underrate him. It's easy to say it's a statistical fluke, but he's K'd more lefties every single year he's been in the US. At some point, you've got to say it's part of his arsenal, or at least his approach, to go for the K against lefties and to put it in play against righties.

Jose De La Cruz (AKA the Aircraft Carrier) made things interesting by giving up 2 runs in the last 2 innings, and putting the tying run on 3rd in the 9th, but he induced the game ending pop-out from Nick Blasi and picked up the save. Campillo struck out 7 in 7 innings, to go with 3 BBs and just 4 hits.


At 8/20/2007 3:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny - did you see how DMZ wrote 'the case against Contreras' over at USSM?

And Churchill at PI is saying Campillo will likely be called up after 1-2 more starts. Seems odd they wouldn't do it now, but hey.

The TNT has this note in it's Rainiers article today:
"Campillo has a chance to be the first Tacoma pitcher to lead the PCL in ERA since Denny Stark in 2001".

Denny Stark - now there's a name from the past.

At 8/20/2007 10:33 AM, Blogger marc w. said...

Yeah, good ol' Denny Stark, part of the unforgettable Jeff Cirillo trade.

I was just talking about Stark somewhere...maybe LL. Weird.

Yeah, I saw that DMZ wrote the 'case against contreras' - obviously, I think it's an easy case to make. Save the cash, and look at the most obvious candidate. It's just weird how overlooked the guy is - I mean, people were on the Rohrbaugh bandwagon for a while, but what the heck is wrong with Campillo, who's been a lot more consistent.
I'd also worry that the player devel folks might be biased towards their prized pupils - the prospects. Ergo, we might see Justin Thomas or...well, that's really about it. The M's have a number of these soft-tossing, change-of-speeds fly ballers in the high minors, and it makes sense to me to go with the one with the most experience.
Taking on salary/multi-year contracts for a guy like Contreras just doesn't make sense. You can argue David Wells, but I'd still go with Campillo first. It's not like you've got to move quickly - as DMZ said, it's not like people are lined up to talk with Contreras' agent.

At 8/20/2007 9:29 PM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

Yeah, I was talking to Churchill about Campillo and why he wasn't already up.

Since Rohr, Fear, HoRam and Campillo are more the soft-tossin' "Here it is, hit it" variety (as opposed to the "Here it is, I dare you to try and hit it" like, say Felix, Morrow, Putz, etc...), he understood the Mariners to be looking a completely different direction in trying to patch HoRam's spot in the order. Obviously, the stuff that's out there is more along the same lines, and, of course (in the case of Contreras and, previously, Morris), expensive.

It makes a little more sense, too, when you see how little playing time Adam Jones is getting, in favor of the 'veterans' -- merely because, well, the M's seem to have a problem putting a "rookie" into an everyday slot, even when they clearly need to.

I'm just baffled as to what Bavasi & Co. saw in HoRam in the first place that made them feel like they had to had him on their roster, let alone stick with him, when he's clearly been, well, TERRIBLE. It's clearly this "genious" that holds them back from truly helping their team.

Yeah, though, I'd love to see what Campillo could bring to the Mariners. He couldn't be worse than HoRam, and he might actually surprise a few folks.

Interestingly, I've actually never been able to see Popeye pitch. I've really wanted to, but in the few games I've actually been too in Tacoma :-( I've seen Parque (2x), Rohr, and Thomas.

At 8/21/2007 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Didn't see you at today's afternoon game, what, couldn't talk any of those losers you work with into it? And to think, you missed Jeff Clement's grand slam home run on his 24th birthday... Sheesh.

Bill Bavasi and Lee Pelekoudas were both in attendance for the whole game. I went over to talk to Pelekoudas briefly to see if he'd be willing to come speak at our Nov SABR meeting in Seattle. That was pretty bold for me. He said yes tentatively, but thinks the winter GM meetings are that weekend in which case he wouldn't be here.

I also asked Gregorio Petit what the deal is with the whole Lou Merloni necklace chewing thing. He said he keeps the necklace in one cheek, the gum in the other, and that the players wonder what the deal is to, but they don't ask. I thought that was pretty entertaining for an answer.

I think Cha-Seung is pitching either Thursday or Friday. Sean White the day before.

At 8/22/2007 2:44 PM, Blogger marc w. said...


True answer: I straight up forgot. I was planning on going, then fired up minorleaguebaseball, and boom, the game was in the 4th inning or so. Very annoying.

The RCats players have been remarkably friendly. I remember Kurt Suzuki talking with us early in the year, and Gregorio Petit certainly seemed pretty cool; most guys seem to just blank everything out, which I guess is understandable.

I actually can't wait to see Baek again. And I'm also interested to see some actual data on both Rohrbaugh and Campillo. Is Jorge's FB really only 85? I seem to remember it being 88-89. Did Rohrbaugh really do the whole Washburn thing and throw a ton of fastballs the other day? It kinda looked like it, but then, it's a bit weird to see it from the side.

Wonder what Bavasi's thoughts were on Mr. Lehr. He's been the forgotten man in the promotion discussions. I guess it's all but certain he'd go up and help out the 'pen. Not like the R's are going to be busy with a postseason.


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