Friday, June 24, 2005

Rueckel Report, June 24

Last week's report was the toughest one yet. I bore exceedingly bad news: a horrific June 14 outing for Baby Ruckles. At the time, I reached something of a precipice, but I strengthened my resolve: I would not back down from my touting of Danny Rueckel, and buoyed by the steadfast conviction of "Anonymous" (see the comments below the post), I certainly will not now.

Plus, I've got some interesting mitigating evidence to present.

It seems that several members of the Harrisburg drew short straws and, as such, were subjected to dismal outings. It wasn't just Rueckel, not by a long shot:

---> Saul Rivera, June 13: 1.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER
---> Danny Rueckel, June 14: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER
---> Jason Norderum, June 16: 2 IP, 4 H (4 BB), 8 R (6 ER)
---> Jacobo Sequea, June 17: 1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER

So, you see, obviously there were other forces at play than just Rueckel's abject ineffectiveness over a one-game span. Nope, aside from intractable cosmic forces, I'd guess some of it revolves around the June 14 doubleheader; it looks like Rueckel was fed to the wolves to save the other relievers.

Speaking of other relievers, congratulations are in order to Jason Bergmann,
of whom I was complimentary earlier this month. Bergmann had been extraordinarily effective at Harrisburg and was called up to New Orleans recently. While there is a reason why this feature is called "The Rueckel Report," I should note that---based on the stats, at least---Bergmann certainly earned the promotion. I wish him the best of luck, and so far he's been getting by on more than that for the Zephyrs: 3.1 innings of perfect ball.

Okay, all that aside, let's get to the week that was for Danny Rueckel. And it was a very good week---I'd even call it a redemptive week, if I were being dramatic:

---> June 19: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO (no decision in 2-1 Harrisburg loss to Reading).
---> June 23: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO (credited with save in 6-3 win over Norwich).

SEASON TO DATE: 26 G, 39 IP, 45 H, 24 R, 20 ER, 4 HR, 11 BB, 39 SO; 2-4, 4.62 ERA, 5 SV.

[At the risk of being cast as an unreasonable shill here, I'd like to point out that, if one were to toss the June 14 disaster, Rueckel's ERA would be 3.47 ERA right now. At the risk of subjecting myself to embarrassment later, I'd like to throw down a stone-cold, lead-pipe lock of a guarantee that Rueckel's final ERA will be less than this 3.47 figure. And then we'll all look back at the June 14 game and say, "Except for that one game, man, what an exceptional season!"]


I would be remiss if I did not note that
Bill Bray, the first-rounder last year, is now a member of the Harrisburg bullpen. In his first appearance, Bray allowed two runs on three hits in 2.2 innings pitched, but he also struck out five batters. I will, of course, track Bray's progress in future Rueckel Reports.

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