Hayden Penn, RH Jae Seo, RH (0-3, 27.00) (3-10, 4.98)
Seo hasn't won since July 29, and it wasn't even a good start (5.2 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K), it's just that the Rays scored 19 runs that day. He started his season with the Dodgers, where he went 2-4 with a 5.78/1.49/.284 line in 19 games (10 starts). With the D-Rays, he's gone 1-6, 4.28/1.67/.320 in 14 games (13 starts). It's been a tough season for Seo. I've always liked him for no particularly good reason.
Tampa Bay has lost nine straight. I say let's give them a tenth and make it a nice, round number. If we can continue to say one thing, it's, "Well, at least we aren't the Devil Rays." I always think maybe, sometime, we'll have to stop saying that, but Tampa Bay is still a mess, and they've had promise for years now. They are almost snake-bitten with their prospects. There was Josh Hamilton, who was a good one that just got injured and injured and injured. Hamilton was the first overall pick in the '99 draft, then hit .347 in a 56-game audition in the Appalachian League in '99, as an 18-year old. He made it up to AA Orlando in 2001, but again, he could not stay healthy. His last time in real ball was 2002, with Single-A Bakersfield (I wonder if Merle Haggard ever goes to their games?), until this season, when he came back with Hudson Valley in the New York-Penn League, a low-A.
Then you have Brent Abernathy, who was going to be their second baseman of the future, and just never worked out. Toby Hall didn't work out. Baldelli got hurt, although he's had a fine comeback season -- at least when he's been healthy. Dewon Brazelton was horrible. Joe Kennedy has wound up a valuable reliever and spot starter, but he's done it with Oakland. Nick Bierbrodt and Delvin James both got shot. And Delmon Young and BJ Upton seem like they should be good players, but so did those other guys. Crawford has panned out. Cantu had a nice 2005 but has stunk this season, the same going for Jonny Gomes, although Gomes is the better of the two despite hitting .216 this year. Kazmir's fantastic, but he came to them via Met insanity.
I figured this would be a year where the Rays would get it together, but it hasn't even come close to happening. They're still awful, it's just that now they have a young ace to anchor a staff of total crap otherwise, and plus they have Carl Crawford, who is getting better every year.
As for the Orioles and their prospects, ehh, let's not get into it. I'm not passing any judgment whatsoever on Hayden Penn for what he does this September. The dude is barely able to drink legally and has had what amounts to about a half a season at Triple-A in his career. I still don't think he's the savior of the staff, glowing like a rising angel over the mountain tops or the like, but I'm not worried about him based on what he does in the majors at 21. He's not a phenom prospect. He's a pretty good prospect. He's never been projected as an ace-level starter. Penn never making it and Penn having a solid career are two things that would not surprise me. He's that type of prospect. I hope he does make it, obviously, because we've got him, but I won't hold my breath waiting for him to make a big impact, you know what I mean?