Very rarely will you hear me questioning the decisions of Andrew Friedman, Mitch Lukevics or Joe Maddon. I’ve seen what they’ve done before and know their record is pretty good when it comes to being right. However, I very much have distaste for the optioning of Chris Archer to AAA. We all know why he was sent down, Chris has “options”, Niemann can’t pitch out of relief and Robby Carmona has a guaranteed contract worth over 2 MIL. It’s the business part of baseball coming out more than “Who is better suited for the spot?” and sometimes even the smartest of teams/GMs have to do it.
It’s not the only option they had, it’s just the safest option for them currently. The other option, in my eyes, is shopping the contract of Jeff Niemann around and seeing which team in need of a starting pitcher would offer them the most in return. This is the 3rd time that Jeff Niemann has been in a battle for a roster spot, with both his adversaries no longer in the organization(Wade Davis, ended up in the bullpen after losing to Niemann for a rotation spot. However, he was dealt nonetheless). Archer, in my mind, is hands down the better pitcher of the trio and likely will be filling Niemann’s rotation spot once he either gets injured again or dealt.
My question to the organization is, what really does Chris Archer need to “work on” in Durham to make him more MLB-ready than he already is? Improve his change-up to at least more than a “show me” pitch that he throws just for kicks? Improve control/command of his 2 “plus” pitches(Fastball and Slider) so that he reaches his ceiling of a top-of-the-rotation starter? I’m really wondering how much work Archer has left to do, it’s not as if Neil Allen doesn’t have his hands full already with the re-inventing of Mike Montgomery and the curious case that is Alex Colome.
Andrew, show me my questioning was made in vain and deal Jeff for something. He had a huge upside when he was drafted long ago, but he’s a guy that you should’ve given up on years ago when you obliterated the organization’s foundation to prepare for the roster that you wanted.