Revs manager Andy Etchebarren forecast a change to his starting rotation Friday night, making it clear he was not happy with a staff that had not been able to pitch five innings in five straight starts. The same unit also posted an ERA of about 13.00 during that same stretch. Unwilling to pull the trigger on releasing or trading pitchers who he liked, Etchebarren said he would spend Friday night and most of Saturday morning talking, praying and thinking about what to do. He wanted to talk to his coaching staff, but he held the final choice, and he wanted to take his time to make sure he made the right decision.
“I’m not going to make a move just to make a move,” Etchebarren said.
Etch and Revs director of player procurement Michael Kirk pulled off two trades Monday, sending RHP Bob Zimmermann and LHP Shane Youman to the Newark Bears in exchange for RHP Vince Perkins and future considerations. York also sent RHP John Muller to Camden for future considerations. In related moves, the Revs signed former big leaguers LHP Damian Moss (pictured above) and LHP A.J. Murray.
Moss, 33, last appeared in the majors with Tampa in 2004, when he pitched in five games. He has a 22-19 career major league record with a 4.50 ERA through parts of four seasons. He has a 71-84 career mark in 13 minor league seasons with a 4.25 ERA. He went 2-2 with a 7.93 ERA in 25 relief appearances with Triple-A Colorado Springs this season.
He was one of eight players in the Mariners organization suspended for performance enhancing drugs in 2005.
The southpaw is expected to join the Revs’ starting rotation on Thursday night at Sovereign Bank Stadium. A native of Darlinghurst, Australia, the lefty originally signed with the Atlanta Braves and went 12-6 with a 3.42 ERA during his rookie season for the National League Eastern Division champs in 2002, and finished No. 5 in voting for N.L. Rookie of the Year honors. He was traded to San Francisco prior to the 2003 season in exchange for Russ Ortiz, and after going 9-7 for the Giants, was shipped to Baltimore at the trade deadline that year for Sidney Ponson. Moss was a teammate of Matt Riley with the Orioles.
Murray, 28, began this season pitching in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, with the Milwaukee Brewers’ top affiliate in Nashville. The left-handed reliever posted a 4.44 ERA in 23 appearances for the Sounds. Last season, Murray turned in a combined 4-2 record with a 2.86 ERA, spending the majority of the season at Triple-A Oklahoma City in the Texas Rangers organization. Murray spent each of his first seven professional seasons with the Rangers, reaching the major leagues in 2007 and 2008. He is 2-2 with a 4.29 ERA in his major league career, making 14 appearances, including four starts, and owns a 3.40 ERA for his minor league career.
Perkins pitched with Camden in the Atlantic League in 2008, and he earned a contract with the Cubs in 2009. Another hurler who spent most of 2009 at Triple-A, Perkins combined to post a 7-2 record with a 3.02 ERA in the Cubs farm system last year. A native of Victoria, British Columbia, the right-hander was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays, and became one of their top prospects as a starter. He has pitched twice for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic. Perkins was also a teammate of Revs starter Corey Thurman at Double-A Huntsville in the Brewers organization in 2007. Perkins currently has a five-appearance, seven-inning streak where he has not allowed an earned run.
Zimmermann (7-1, 4.43 ERA) was one of only two players — the other was Thurman — who began the 2009 and 2010 seasons with York. He had a great record, but he allowed 101 hits and 53 walks in just 85.1 innings, while striking out only 53. He had allowed nearly an average of two baserunners per inning, among the highest on the staff. But he managed to hold down Newark in York’s 16-9 victory Saturday.
Youman went 2-4 with a 5.49 ERA, and the Revs were just 3-9 in his starts.
Muller posted a 5.96 ERA in 21 appearances with the Revs, and had allowed 12 earned runs on 14 hits in 10.2 innings over his final 10 appearances with York. He looked good as York’s closer for a brief stint during the Revs’ first-half title run, but the Revs needed to clear a roster spot for R.J. Rodriguez when he returns from pitching in international competition in about two weeks.