Kevin Sherrington asked some interesting questions in an article in yesterday’s Dallas Morning News.
It was about Mike Minor, and the curious case of the Rangers not letting him pitch the final game of the first half, and preventing him from pitching in the All-Star game.
It seemed like the former was a total surprise to Minor. The latter was a disappointment.
Fighting for their wild card lives and desperately needing a win, and even more importantly a moral victory to curtail the slump they were in, the Rangers made the head-scratching decision not start their best starter on Sunday.
They told Minor about it only the day before.
Because he was supposed to pitch Sunday, that knocked him out of a chance at pitching in the All-Star Game, which would have been his first. It was an honor he was very proud of and looking forward to, especially in light of how far he had come back from injury, and how he had been banished to the bullpen until last season. He told Sherrington that the thought of not pitching in that game wasn’t much fun to think about. He wanted the chance.
But, since his team’s win was more than a league win in a meaningless exhibition game, he took it in stride like a professional and gave up his slot on the All-Star team.
Then, out of the blue, the Rangers reversed course and did not, in fact, pitch him yesterday, which would have allowed him to pitch in the All-Star Game after all.
Minor told Sherrington, “It’s a weird situation.”
There’s nothing wrong with Minor. He’s not tired. He hasn’t had any decline in performance that would indicate he needs a break.
Which lead to a darn good question being asked by Sherrington.
If they knew they were going to give him Sunday off, why didn’t they tell him sooner so he could have made the All-Star Game? He would have pitched maybe one inning, certainly nothing taxing.
But Chris Woodward shot down that theory, saying, “If he was going to pitch, he was going to pitch for us, not in the All-Star Game.”
That seems disrespectful to both the All-Star Game and to Minor.
“First one,” Minor lamented. “Would have been exciting to get out there and compete against those guys.”
But he was denied that honor.
This is new ground for the Rangers. Rarely do they have a pitcher good enough to be an all-star. So, rarely do they have to run up against a situation like this.
It seems, though, that for a team that has such a fundamental problem developing pitching, they’d want to develop a little good faith with the few exceptional pitchers they do get.