It seems that every time Jesse Crain steps onto the field for the Minnesota Twins, bad things are bound to happen.
When Crain is given the chance to get the Twins out of an inning unscathed, he fails. When Crain is given the chance to hold onto a five run lead, he fails. When Crain is given the chance to pitch at all, he fails.
Crain has been on a downhill slide since 2008 and while things are okay as of late, I don't expect them to last too long.
Crain has an ERA of 5.33 as of June 10. While that's much better than his 7.31 in mid-May, it's far from being decent. There are better options than letting the veteran find his groove again.
We hear it all the time from pitching coach Rick Anderson, "Crain is struggling right now. We're working on an error in his mechanics and it should help."
Unfortunately, the Twins are beating a dead horse.
Crain is not improving and he is hurting the bullpen more than he's helping. With young arms waiting in the minors, it's time to let Crain go.
The Twins have a historic record of letting pitchers work things out, but for many pitchers, it just hasn't worked. Examples include Sydney Ponson, Livan Hernandez, Carlos Silva, and Juan Rincon. Unfortunately, it didn't work out for any of them.
I don't mean send him down to the minors. Let him go, as in cut him.
With Anthony Slama tearing it up in the minors, it's time to give the 26-year old a shot at the major league level. He's not getting younger and I think he's more than proven himself.
With a solid 1.83 ERA and a strikeout ratio of 10.5 per nine innings, he needs to be called up to improve an already solid bullpen.
The rest of the Twins bullpen has been great this season. While Ron Mahay is another reliever with an ERA above 5.00, he had a bad stretch of three games where he allowed eight runs.
Mahay has been more clutch than Crain and is still a valuable member of the bullpen. I think as the season goes on, Mahay will regain his form and be just as good as he was in April and mid-May.
Crain is the guy that needs to go. He doesn't have any trade value right now. His ridiculous salary of nearly $2 million needs to find its way out the door.
We all know that Gardenhire loves his grinder players like Punto and Crain, but in order for this team to move forward, they need to cut their losses and move.
Crain has failed the Twins and the fans long enough. Let's see what Slama has to offer.