Arquimedes Caminero Needs Designated For Assignment
Relief pitcher Arquimedes Caminero had a strong rookie campaign for the Pirates in 2015, but he has been terrible in 2016.
Entering the 2016 season Arquimedes Caminero figured to play a prominent role in the Pittsburgh Pirate bullpen. However, due to extreme ineffectiveness, this has not been the case. Arquimedes Caminero has been nowhere near the pitcher he was in 2015, and the time has come for the Pirates to designate him for assignment.
In 74 2/3 innings pitched last season, the most among any National League rookie reliever, Arquimedes Caminero had a 3.62 ERA and a 3.80 FIP and a 3.77 xFIP to back that up. Also, he averaged 8.80 K/9, just 0.84 HR/9, and while his 3.50 BB/9 was a little too high but it was survivable due to his .223 opponent batting average against.
The 2016 campaign has been completely different for Arquimedes Caminero, though. In 15 2/3 innings pitched Caminero is averaging 6.89 BB/9, 1.72 HR/9, and just 7.47 K/9. All of those numbers are bad and the rest of his numbers are even worse. Caminero has an ERA of 5.74, FIP of 6.41, xFIP of 5.63, and his opponent batting average against is .323. I’m not really sure there are words to describe how bad Caminero has been this season.
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Arquimedes Caminero has not had a 1-2-3 inning since his first appearance of the season in game two. Also, Caminero has allowed at least one run in three straight outings and in five of his last seven. So, it’s not like he is showing signs of coming out of this anytime soon either.
While Caminero does indeed have phenomenal stuff as he possesses the ability to throw his fastball at over 100 miles per hour, that stuff is not translating to outs. Unfortunately for Caminero and the Pirates, he is out of options and can not be optioned to the Minor Leagues. Therefor, the time has come to designate him for assignment.
I understand that Arquimedes Caminero has an explosive arm with all kinds of talent, but that talent can only be given so many chances. The Pirate bullpen has struggled due to its middle relief this season, and Caminero is a huge reason for that. Arquimedes Caminero has been given more than enough chances. All he is doing at this point is hurting the Pirates.
This makes the question, who would replace Arquimedes Caminero? I would go with either Rob Scahill or A.J. Schugel. Both Scahill and Schugel have pitched in the Majors for the Pirates this season, and both have been more effective than Caminero has been.
Rob Scahill pitched six innings for the Pirates this season. In those six innings Scahill had a 3.42 FIP, five strike outs, and he walked three batters. Scahill had a very strong 58.8 percent ground ball rate, and his .353 BABIP indicates he may have been the victim of some bad luck.
At AAA Indianapolis this season Rob Scahill has been even better. In 6 2/3 innings pitched at AAA Scahill has a 0.37 FIP, he has not walked a batter, his WHIP is just 0.90, and he is averaging 12.15 K/9.
Even though you would never guess this based on Pirates Twitter, A.J. Schugel was a reliable reliever for the Pirates this season. With the Pirates this season Schugel showed the ability to give the Pirates both length, as well as being an effective one inning reliever. Also, Schugel showed what was very much so a plus change up.
Schugel appeared in 11 games for the Pirates this season and pitched 16 1/3 innings. In those 16 1/3 innings pitched Schugel averaged 9.37 K/9, 2.20 BB/9, and he had a 1.35 WHIP. Schugel’s 4.96 ERA was inflated by literally two bad outings, April 23rd against the Diamondbacks and when he allowed a walk-off home run to Matt Carpenter on May 7th, but his advanced metrics were much better than that.
Schugel had a 3.33 FIP and a 3.58 xFIP. Furthermore, his .333 BABIP indicates that he was victimized by some bad luck and that his ERA is due for some regression. Ultimately, Schugel made 18 appearances for the Pirates and allowed runs in just three of them.
In my opinion, both Rob Scahill and A.J. Schugel are better options for the struggling Pirate middle relief than Arquimedes Caminero is. Due to this, I believe one of these two pitchers should be in the Major Leagues over Caminero. And if I had to choose one, I would choose A.J. Schugel.
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Arquimedes Caminero was a solid, reliable reliever for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015. However, it has been a completely different story in 2016. At this point Caminero is doing nothing except hurting the Pirates, and the time has come for the Pirates to designate him for assignment.