Will Davis Wade into the Bullpen Pool?

The one thing that always seems constant in baseball is change. I know that sounds more like a comedic riddle you might hear on a sit-com, but it is too true in baseball. The game is an ever-changing microbes always feasting on the element of change and forcing its hand whenever possible. So why doesn’t Tampa Bay Rays starter Wade Davis go with that flow and at least have an open mind to possibly taking a short-term stint in the Rays Bullpen. What is the worst thing that can happen?

For one thing, he could like it and not want to ever go on that every 5 day ritual. Seriously, the balking and chatter now coming out of the avid bear hunter sounds a lot like the same vowel and constants that were uttered by former southpaw J P Howell when the Rays brought up the same idea back in 2008 after a few horrendous outings. So far the change of rituals seemed have done wonders for Howell.

Sure it will take some getting used to, and adjusting of both your schedule and workout regimen to get you into a habit of getting your arm loose in ½ the time, and basically being “on-call” for all 162 games. But it beats the alternative of alienating a Coaching staff that likes your work ethic, applauds the way you approach the game by suddenly not wanting to embrace a change that could benefit not only you, but the Rays chances over the course of a season.

And maybe the Rays want you to take that lone spot of long reliever that usually is vested to a player who has a starter mentality, but also has the cunning and wilds of a reliever. Buck up bow hunting camper, you got the intestinal fortitude and the determination to not only own this spot, but make the position your own, and possibly find yourself destined for another path that could reward you greatly in the future.

It is not like the Rays are trying to convert you into the closer role like they did Esteban Yan or Seth McClung and you find yourself in a fun house of emotions and transitions trying to switch back and forth from starter to reliever to starter again before your arm either falls off, or your confidence hit empty. Look at it as a blessing, a bit of a seasonal vacation that could again produce a starting gig if fellow fishing/hunting buddy Jeff Niemann falls off the healthy wagon again in 2012.

Take it as a time to explore an option that might surface again in your latter baseball years and see if it has a nook or cranny that fits your style of baseball before spouting off or acting like the upset teen on that 16 hour trip in the backseat. I have faith in you Wade. You have shown time and time again to adjust on the mound between innings, the Rays are now asking if you might adjust through a course of a month to accept a new assignment, a new adventure, a possibility of a change in your long-term baseball livelihood.

Who knows, you might get out on that mound in the bottom of the 6th or 8th inning with a lead and just as quickly the competitive juices within you take over and you strike out the side and flash a smile on the way to the dugout rail. Just give it a chance. It is not a gurgling hot tub that will burn you up, it is a switch in-game situations and mannerisms. Heck, think about that 600 pound bear you bagged a few years ago and go after each hitter with authority if it helps you get the job done.

Just wade into the pool, check the water out and see if you can make the adjustments, ritual changes and quick muscle relaxation needed by today’s reliever corps. If you have any problems, there is always that “dude” down near the end of the Bullpen who also fought kicking and screaming when he first made the move to the Bullpen. Now you can’t keep J P away from the Bullpen. Try it for a bit, you might possibly find out it suits you better than starting, and has less stress and still pays you the same….kind of like a “win-win” situation.

8 Comments

I’d love to see Davis succeed, whether it’s in the rotation or bullpen. If being a relever makes you valuable to your team, then that’s just what you have to do, I guess. He was one of my favorites back when he played in Southwest Michigan.
–Mike

I love WD-40 and I think he would be great out of the bullpen. He should give it a shot.

Lilee,
WD-40 shgould see it for the pure fact this team wants to keep him and they are trying anything and everything not to trade him or Jeff Niemann or anyone else unless it upgrades the team. The comments might have been under frustrations because the Rays did the same thing to Jake McGee, who was a starter for a long time in the minors, then shifted to reliever, then back and forth a few times dowqn at Triple-A. Wade probably rememberrs that being a good friend and teammate at that time with Jake.
Hopefully within the next few weeks he will see the confidence the Rays have in him not only switching his role, but bringing his usual work ethic and magic to the change.

Yeah, Jake and Wade played on the SWM D-Rays, too. I’ll be seeing the Durham Bulls this season, so wouldn’t mind seeing either one of these guys pitch live again.
–Mike

I think Davis will fit in with the Rays but i hope he isnt on his game this year because the Jays are looking for a playoff spot please check out my blog at gojays.mlblogs.com

GoJays,
I attended a recent golfing tournament before Spring Training began, and the Jays major and minor league players were all raving on the possibilities for 2012. The AL East is a feeding ground for pitching right now, and with your hitting already established, pitching could get you in position late in the season for a possible slot in the post season. Toronto is always one of the teams I fear personally against the Rays because they feast on a pitcher when he is struggling and produce some huge run totals. Just ask James Shields.
Should be a fun season and who knows, the Jays could be the MLB edition of “ANGRY BIRDS” down the stretch..

i really hope so whats the Rays bullpen like compared to the Jays because that where we were week last year but it has been greatly improved so we will see.

Mike,
Even though SP Wade Davis has 2 minor league options left, plus RP Jake McGee has one, it is doubtful they will go back to Triple-A unless it is for a rehab assignment in 2012. But weirder things have happen to the Rays pitching staff, and until Davis and McGee have planted their feet firmly on AstroTurf….nothings is a sure thing for 2012.

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