Billy Beane's Actual Next Move Is To Release Russ Springer

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IMay 24, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 12:  Russ Springer #36 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Seattle Mariners during a Major League Baseball game on April 12, 2009 at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

One of Billy Beane's worst free agent signings has got to go. His name Russ Springer. There's a reason why Springer has never stayed on a team more than three years. It's because Springer is absolutely terrible.

Springer tonight against the Arizona Diamondbacks job out of the bullpen was to get three outs in the top of the eighth inning. Yet, Springer wasn't able to even get an out.

He faced three batters and all three hit singles squarely. They weren't blooping the ball over the infielders they were crushing the ball. Springer should have been done as soon as he gave up his second hit, yet he wasn't.

He stayed into face Mark Reynolds who he got a two strike count on. We're talking about Reynolds who struck out over 200 times last year. So what does Springer do? He gives Reynolds a pitch to hit.

If this was a rookie reliever fine, but Springer is a veteran he should already know better than to give Reynolds a pitch to hit especially when Springer is ahead in the count on a hitter who strikes out a ton.

So, with no outs and the bases loaded it forced Andrew Bailey a rookie into a pressure situation. Of course, Bailey has been one of the better A's out of the bullpen this season, but he's not a machine.

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Bailey gave up back to back doubles and the lead the A's had which was 5-1 was gone and the game was back to where it started a tie ball game this time at 5-5. Thanks to Springer not being able to do his job in essence Springer wasted four home runs by the A's, including Jason Giambi's 400th career home run.

Luckily though the A's were able to get out of the inning without giving up the lead with Bailey on the mound and with that it meant Bailey gave the A's a chance to reclaim the lead and win the ball game.

With the three runs given up Springer's ERA is now at 5.19. It's time for Bob Geren to realize that the only time to use Springer is if the A's are getting pounded otherwise at all times have another reliever throwing in case Springer can't get any outs because more times then not Springer isn't going to get the job done.

Sure Springer has 19 strikeouts to 7 walks, but the problem with Springer he isn't that crafty with his stuff and he doesn't throw hard enough if he gets behind in the count.

Even though Springer started the season out very well he's come back down to earth and he doesn's show any signs of getting back to the form he had during the first few games he pitched.

It's time to let go of Springer and move on to someone else. In the past two games that Springer has appeared in he hasn't recorded an out and has given up four hits and four runs in that time frame.

In his last 11 games out of the bullpen including tonight's game he's given up 17 hits and nine runs. In his first nine games six hits and three runs (two earned and one unearned).

Yes, Springer will eventually be able to get a batter out but his ERA and will remain high, so it's time for Billy Beane to say good riddance to Springer. His career ERA is at 4.53. There's no need for that kind of pitcher in the A's bullpen.

The A's are better off without Springer. Bring up Jeff Gray, Gio Gonzalez, or heck even a position player like Eric Patterson or Daric Barton. At least each one of those could contribute for the A's.

Patterson could add speed off the bench, Barton would add defense for Bobby Crosby, Jason Giambi, or Nomar Garciaparra at first base, Gio Gonzalez could either be relegated to the bullpen to be the second left handed reliever, and Gray could at least get a chance to show what he can do because pretty much anything is better than watching Springer coming into the game.

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