Monday, August 30, 2010

Brian Tallet: World Class Duster

Urban Dictionary defines a duster as - "unfortunate souls who usually only step on the ice with 14 seconds to go when your team was initially down 4-2 but gave up an empty netter to make it 5-2. The coach finally calls the "dusters" number and does so in a way that the duster feels like he is finally getting an opportunity to showcase the talent he doesn't really possess. Why the term duster? Cause this plug has been sitting on the bench the entire game.............Collecting dust. Always the worst player on team."

Nobody better embodies what it means to be a duster than Brian Tallet of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Anybody that watches Blue Jays games regularly knows that if Brian Tallet is brought in to the game then the game is lost.  Even if the Jays are ahead by 4 or 5 runs Tallet will find a way to make sure that they lose.  Tallet is the human victory cigar and does his very best to be absolutely terrible every time he takes the mound for the Jays.

The other night I was driving to my buddies place and remembered the Jays game was on so I turned it over to the play by play and heard this, "Brian Tallet has just entered the game."  Station immediately switched.  The game was over so why bother listening at that point?

Yet for some reason Cito Gaston insists on continually putting this massive duster in games. In fact Tallet is 5th amongst Blue Jays pitchers in innings pitched with 64 1/3 trailing only the 4 regular starters on the team (Romero, Cecil, Morrow and Marcum).  That stat really speaks more to the Jays being behind by multiple runs in numerous games than it does to the talent of Brian Tallet.  Cito knows that if the game is lost he better bring in Tallet to save the arms of the quality guys in the bullpen. 

But how in good conscience can Gaston bring in a guy with these numbers?  As of tonight Tallets's record is 2-5 and he has an embarrassing  ERA of 6.44 and a WHIP of 1.54.  Opponents are batting .262 off Tallet and he has allowed 18 home runs this season (2nd most behind only Shaun Marcum who has pitched almost 100 more innings than Tallet).  He does however have more strikeouts then walks (42-33) but when that is your only decent stat you know you're a duster.

Here are some baffling numbers that Tallet has posted over his last 10 games:

19 Innings pitched
20 hits
17 runs
15 earned runs
5 home runs
7 walks

In those 10 appearances Tallet failed to have a single 1-2-3 inning.  Not once could he get 3 straight outs.  In 19 tries he couldn't do it once.  I feel like you have to purposely try to be that dusty.  He also gave up at least 1 run in 8 of his last 10 games, and gave up at least 1 hit in every inning he pitched over his last 10 games.  The guy is a joke and is statistically guaranteed to give up a run if he enters the game.

Plus he looks like a complete jackass.  I think he was going for the Hugh Jackman as Wolverine look but ended up looking like a cholo on Easter.  Maybe if he didn't have the lamest sideburns/facial hair combo in history it wouldn't be so bad but the whole package just makes him even dustier.  I mean its one thing to suck ass at your position but to also be incredibly ugly?  That's just disrespectful to the fans watching in HD at home.

In fairness to Tallet he hasn't always been a duster.  Back in 2006 he put together a 3 year stretch where he put up some decent numbers and wasn't an embarrassment.  He was a solid pitcher out of the bullpen and had a sub 4 ERA and kept his opponents batting average below .250.

Then last year the Jays tried to make him a starter and everything went downhill.  He pitched 160 innings last year and had an ERA of 5.32 while going 7-9.  Opponents hit .268 off him and he had 72 walks and only 120 strikeouts.  He was a passable 5th starter but was merely a stop gap and not a long term solution.  Basically if he was pitching it meant the Jays needed to score 5 or 6 runs to even have a shot at winning the game.

Now Tallet is back in the bullpen and pissing off Jays fans with every inning he pitches.  Even Tallet knows he sucks telling the Globe and Mail recently, "There’s no doubt about it, I haven’t been myself, I haven’t really been able to help the team out a lot.  And that’s pretty disappointing as far as I’m concerned."  That's putting it mildly.

Not only is Tallet not helping the team by being dusty as all hell but he in fact hurting them by giving up runs at an incredible pace.  If he keeps up his current play he very well might finish the year with an ERA of 7 or 8 which would put him in the running alongside Josh Towers as the worst Blue Jay pitcher ever.
Don't expect Tallet to be going anywhere anytime soon though as Brandon Morrow has been shut down for the year as he has reached his innings count so it looks like we will be seeing even more Brian Tallet in the upcoming weeks.

Ladies and Gentle get your Swiffers ready.

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