Rays do not Need this Type of “Quall-ity”

  

 

When the Tampa Bay Rays first acquired Chad Qualls from the Arizona Diamondbacks prior to the end of the Trade Deadline, I thought a change of scenery might be just the thing for him. You know the drill, a change of venue can bring about a change in attitude and also confidence. Plus Qualls was coming to a team that boasted a former team mate (Dan Wheeler) and a Pitching Coach (Jim Hickey) back from when Qualls used to be a sub 3.50 ERA machine. But for some reason know, I am thinking we got a dose of quantity over quality so far.


Sure it was great for Qualls to exit stage right in a hurry from the Diamondbacks, especially considering Qualls had posted a 8.29 ERA over his 43 appearances and only produced 12 saves in 16 opportunities. But the Rays did not bring Qualls here to be an 8th inning set-up man, they brought him here to establish a bit of groundball dominance on a team whose defense wins them games.

As I mentioned before, Qualls accumulated his high ERA (8.29) in only 38 total innings with the Diamondbacks while also giving up a grand total of 61 hits,41 runs and 5 Homers during his stay in the hot desert Sun. I was curious to see if Qualls had actually gotten better since his departure from the Diamondbacks and actually discovered Qualls really might just be more quantity than quality right now, even for the Rays.

Over his last 10 appearances, Quall has seen his ERA bounce from a 7.43 ERA to a 8.20 ERA, coming extremely close to his pre-D-back days. And these stats come from his last 10 Rays appearances, and could be a clue the Rays might have gotten a bit duped by acquiring Qualls. He has pitched 11.2 innings in his last 10 appearances, which include giving up a total of 13 hits and 8 runs while blowing 2 save opportunities. But that is not the most alarming stat. The fact Qualls has given up 6 walks against 7 strikeouts tends to point to Qualls might not be a better addition to the Rays Bullpen than a guy from Triple-A right now.

 

And that is huge when you are in the stretch run trying to catch back up to the New York Yankees and solidify your Bullpen with a playoff mentality. Even more disheartening for Rays fans might be the pure fact he has been a disaster against left-handed hitters since his trade to the Rays. Qualls has thrown 4.1 innings against lefties this year and has blown his 2 save against them, plus bolstered a 14.54 ERA left-handers and a .421 opponents batting average. An accent mark on the whole scenario is Qualls has given up his only Home Run to a left-hander while with the Rays.


But even with all these negative stats floating over Qualls head, he does have a few positives to build on here. Against right-handers, Qualls has posted an impressive 1.23 ERA ( .208 average) with 6 strikeouts. Tends to make you think he will be only posted against right-handed batters the rest of the way through the season. Another sign that Qualls might be finally adjusting back to his old self is the fact Qualls posted a 5.06 ERA for the month of August, his best month of the 2010 Major League Baseball season.

Even with that little ray of sunshine peeking out with his August stats, his September has gotten off on the really rough footing. Right now in his lone appearance of September, Qualls has given up 4 hits and 2 earned run in his only inning of work against the Orioles on Sunday. Boost another fact clear into the light that Qualls has a 13.50 ERA against Boston in his career (1.1 innings), and you get a little more for the Rays to worry about if Qualls takes the mound in this critical series in Fenway Park.

 

Could yesterdays appearance against the Orioles where Qualls entered the game with a Rays 6-5 lead, but did not register an out, and instantly surrendered 2 hits and walk. Qualls also saw two of the inherited men on base score along with two credited to him in this brief outing. Kind of shovels a level of dirt over his last 6 prior appearances, which were scoreless. His 2010 opponents batting average of .351 is the highest among Major League relievers. Adding more dirt to the pile is the fact his 7.79 combined ERA is also the highest among Major League relievers.


Hopefully we will see a reduced role with Qualls over the rest of the season, and that his name was not on the original post season roster submitted by the Rays to MLB on August 31st. Qualls might have some use between today and October 4th, but he should not be added or even considered for the post season roster. And it is a pity that the pitcher who posted a career high mark of 24 saves and led all Major League relievers with a 1.21 BB/9IP ratio and 6.43 SO/9IP ratio has seen his career this season plunder into the darkness.

But it is time Rays. It is time to admit the trade was not going to pan out and cut our losses before something drastic happens, or we lose another game at the hand of Qualls. And it is a real shame that his pitching “Quall-ity” did not bring more success for the Rays as we saw plenty of quantity runs scored against him.

8 Comments

Speaking of the Rays’ tight series in Boston, what’s up with Niemann? He didn’t last long tonight and hasn’t seemed the same since he came off the DL.

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Jane,
Not sure what is going on right now with the Rays pitching staff. But even the best have a bit of a hiccup sometimes during the season. Worst thing is it is happening now and giving the Red Sox a little hope to go with their heart….A deadly combination.
Niemann just could not find any corner of the plate, and it never got better on Monday night.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Sometimes you just can’t find Qual-ity pitching from Chad. That’s all I’m gonna say… oh, and that sometimes is most of the time. Usually.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Jeff,
I wanted to give the guy a chance since he was changing leagues, but Qualls seemed to just flow back into his old style and that is not a great thing. I guess it could have been worse, he could have blown games for us all year long.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Sounds like he just doesn’t have it. I’d give a young guy a shot instead of thowing Qualls out there to fail again.

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Jenn,
As you were writing this, the Rays called up a young reliever Mike Eckstrom back into the fold.
I know Qualls was bruoght onto the Rays for his groundball efficiency, but it is not working.
All we are seeing is his ERA balooning up again before it explodes and leaves egg all over all of our faces. Just my thoughs on the subject (lol).

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Hellickson doesn’t really seem to be doing well out of the ‘pen either.

I think they should give Jake McGee a shot… Sure, he is young and has never played in the majors, so it could be a risk, but he has been dominating as a reliever in Triple-A. There have been a few cases this year where pitchers from like Double-A have come up and dominated.

Well, it’s not like he could do that much worse than Qualls.

Charm,
Some people forget it takes a different mentality and level of preparing to be a reliever than it does as a starter. Some adjust like J P Howell, but others like Seth McClung,never get the totalhangof it.
Hellickson is a starter, and hopefully they will not do a “Joba” on him and ruin the positive steps he took this year as a starter. Jake McGee is probably in the second group called up from Durham after they conclude their playoffs. He is another guy they turned into a reliever,then stretched him out again because of his surgery.
I hope to see Jake too. Another leftie in the Bullpen is never a bad idea.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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