Dana Eveland is not a major-league pitcher, and tonight's game proves exactly why he doesn't belong in the major leagues. The only reason why Bob Geren and Billy Beane have kept Eveland around is because of his age, and it's not a good enough reason to keep him in the majors.
Eveland has had control issues since he has joined the A's rotation. In 33 starts for the A's, he's walked 89 batters, including tonight's game, which was his 34th start as an A. He has walked a total of 92 batters in 193.1 innings.
This, for a starter towards the top of the rotation, is unacceptable, and it's embarrassing that the A's continue to use Eveland in the rotation. Eveland has proved that he doesn't belong in any part of the rotation.
For one, as mentioned before, he has control issues. Secondly, he doesn't throw very hard, and since he can't throw a strike to anyone he gets hit hard. That's why his ERA starting today's game is at 5.95, and now after giving up seven runs to the Seattle Mariners his ERA is at 7.40
His batting average against is at .349, and last year the league hit .269 against him. These numbers do not scream major league pitcher do they? Yet, the A's continue to trot Eveland out to the mound.
Either put Eveland into the bullpen to become a left-handed specialist, which is more than likely the best area for Eveland to be in because it's obvious he does not have the stuff to be a major-league starter.
The second problem for Eveland is that he'll never be able to build any confidence with Bob Geren running the show. Geren's slow hook is also one of the biggest concerns for such a young pitcher like Eveland even though he is one of the oldest Oakland starters.
In tonight's game, it is the perfect example of what Geren's issue has been this year and, of course, last year.
Eveland had struggled all game long. There was no point in keeping him in the game, yet since the score was 6-3 Geren was trying to get Eveland to qualify for a victory instead of giving the A's the best chance of winning by putting in a reliever.
The A's had a 6-1 heading into the bottom of the third. The Mariners were able to score two runs in that inning. Eveland gave up three singles that lead to two runs inching the Mariners to 6-3.
Bottom of the fifth starts. Eveland walks Mike Sweeney and gets a struggling Adrian Beltre to fly out. Next up for the Mariners a player in Russell Branyan who's been hitting for a lot of power against the A's, so instead of bringing in a reliever to face Branyan.
Eveland then proceeeds to give up a two-run homer making the score 6-5. Instead of taking Eveland out after giving up that home run for some reason Geren let Eveland try to work out of the inning.
Bases are empty again and Eveland gets Jose Lopez to line out to Eric Patterson at second base. The next batter up is Kenji Johjima who promptly hits a solid single up the middle. Again a chance to remove Eveland from the game, yet still there goes Eveland.
Franklin Gutierrez is the next batter up. So what did Eveland do? He gives Gutierrez a pitch to hit and Gutierrez didn't miss it and instead of at least going into the top of the sixth inning with a 6-5 lead for the A's they were now down 7-6.
All because Geren would rather try to have Eveland get a victory instead of giving the A's the best chance of winning by putting a reliever into face Gutierrez.
So, it's time for the A's to make a change they have the pitching to bring up from Triple A and secondly the A's need a right hander in the rotation and a left-handed reliever in the bullpen.
Some of the options for the A's, even though he's a left hander: They can bring up Gio Gonzalez, Edgar Gonzalez, and right hander Vin Mazzaro. Right now Eveland has proven one thing in his one plus season with the A's he doesn't have the consistency to be an effective starter at the major league level.
He needs to be sent down to Sacramento where he can build his confidence up as well as find his control which he has never shown since he's joined the A's.