Bullpen Plug

The Houston Astros just released veteran RH reliever Dave Veres. He had shoulder problems last year and missed a good chunk of time, but he says he's now healthy and has pitched well in limited spring duty with Houston. Unless the shoulder is balky, the Giants should go get him.

Last year his ERA was 4.68, the worst of his career (barring a 5.00 he posted pitching for the Rockies). Veres's big problem recently has been the long ball: 28 in about 180 IP the past three years, or one every 6 innings. Notgood for a short reliever. (Over the same time frame, Tim Worrell allowed 12 HRs in about 230 IP; Felix Rodriguez 15 HRs in 210 IP.) But in a big park with a spacious OF like Pac Bell, Veres handled correctly, and on a minimum contract, might be a good solution to the short-term bullpen woes until Nen is ready.

I advocated a couple days earlier making Zerbe the long man and turning Brower into a set-up guy. With Veres on board, Brower could remain available to spot-start, which might be necessary if Schmidt's out longer than the first couple weeks.


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