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I don’t think this is particularly controversial, but Manny Delcarmen, noted Boston native and mediocre relief pitcher, should be left off the playoff roster.
This has been a very tough year for Delcarmen, who somehow manages to turn three above average pitches into a decidedly below average performance. After a promising start, with a 0.00 ERA in April, Delcarmen’s ERA has gone up every single month, and has been an astronomical 7.27 since the All-Star break.
At 27 years old, he should be entering his prime, but he has regressed significantly. He has given up more hits and walks than his career norms, while striking out fewer batters. It isn’t just the numbers. There is an aura of Greek Tragedy that surrounds him. He seems destined to fail.
The Red Sox seem to sense this, as every year they bring in competition for the coveted eighth inning slot. First it was Hideki Okajima. Then, it was David Aardsma. This year is has been Takashi Saito, Daniel Bard, and even Billy Wagner. These last three, in particular, have elipsed Delcarmen. The Sox cannot afford his dismal countenance, erratic control and propensity for ill-timed gopher balls in the post-season.
If the team decides to carry eleven pitchers, and I suspect they will, Paul Byrd is a better choice for the final spot. He is a veteran presence who will be able to pitch multiple innings if needed. Byrd doesn’t have Delcarmen’s stuff (few do), but he also doesn’t exude impending doom. Delcarmen does, which is why he should watch the playoffs from home.