Was Rincon’s value less than that of Dontrelle Willis?


He was only a spring training invitee. One invitee that had put together three straight seasons with an ERA below three before the 2007 season. It seemed like things had clicked again this spring training, where Rincon was more than dominant. He was one of the best setup men in the American League. From 2004-2006, Rincon compiled 227 appearances, striking out 255 and only walking 86 in 233 innings.

But now, after a slow start when he did get into the game for the Tigers, and with Dontrelle Willis now getting his second chance, It looks like Rincon will move on to his fourth team in the last two seasons.

Like Willis, Rincon has had questionable situations in the last two seasons. Since testing positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2005, Rincon has put up some questionable numbers.  After putting together another solid 2006 season, the wheels fell off the bike. Rincon posted back to back 5+ ERAs in 2007 and 2008. His last three seasons have been spent in the AL central, with three different teams (Indians, Twins, Tigers).

Though it is obviously too early to tell, I’m wondering this weekend if bringing up Dontrelle Willis was done a bit too soon. Granted, Zach Minor will be a better option in the pen than Rincon in the long run, losing Rincon gives this bullpen hardly any depth. What happens if Joel Zumaya or Fernando Rodney find their way back to the D.L.? Well, there is Motor City Bengal’s love Freddy Dolsi in Toledo. Eddie Bonine is pitching tremendously… as a starter for the Mud Hens. As Jeremy Bonderman heads back to Detroit too, the question has to be, “What is Dontrelle’s  role?” Could he move  to the bullpen? Only time will tell on the situation.

Heck, for all I know, the baseball gods will be looking down on Willis tomorrow, placing Angels in the outfield to help out his cause in Comerica. It is too easy to put a verdict out on Willis, but losing Rincon hurts just a bit depth wise.

What do you guys think?