Tuesday, March 29, 2005

May's Struggles

Today, when I was driving home from work, I listened to the end of the Royals-Padres game on XM Satellite Radio. The broadcast was that of the Padres' radio network, and the annoucers were discussing the Padres pitching rotation.

It seems Darrell May was slated as the fifth starter, but after having a terrible outing on Saturday, his position is in jeopardy. May gave up eight earned runs on nine hits and didn't make it out of the first inning.

While with the Royals last year, May (along with the rest of the team) struggled mightily. But unlike other stand up guys like Brian Anderson, May seemed reluctant to take responsibility for his own poor performance. I seem to remember one newspaper account that had him quoted as saying something like, "I can't hit or field, I can only pitch."

This attitude made it easy for the Royals to seek out a trading partner to send May on his way. The Padres responded, sending outfielder Terrence Long to the Royals in exchange for May.

After Saturday's horrible outing, May still seems to have that attitude:

"Mentally, it kind of pulls you down a little bit when you're giving up that many hits and that many runs in two-thirds of an inning. But it's Spring Training, and I've got to get past it."

The "it's just Spring Training" excuse is fine in February, but when you're one week away from Opening Day, you'd better be showing that you can pitch. May hasn't shown it, and so the Padres today acquired Tim Redding from the Astros.

Redding will most certainly lock up the fifth spot, leaving May out in the cold. May will probably end up in the bullpen as a long reliever or LOOGY. Based on May's reaction in 2004 when he was sent to the bullpen, he will complain about it. If only his performance had given them another choice...

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