I love Bob Melvin, I think he has done an amazing job. I am a huge fan of Beane (as my user name suggests) and he has done a magnificent job putting together this roster. In the grand scheme of things this is a minor quibble. However, this is not a "grand scheme" kind of time. The A's are fighting for the AL West and the Wild Card. Every move has a lot of implications. This is not a time to get cute with expanded rosters, and give playing time to the likes of Jesse Chavez and Evan Scribner, kings of suck.
Since Evan Scribner was recalled on August 5th, he has allowed 7 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings. That comes out to a 5.4 ERA. If you want to be generous and look at his whole season, which I find generally irrelevant in deciding who to pitch right now, I will humor you. He has a 3.51 ERA for 2012. Not bad, you say? This is the worst of all A's relief pitchers on the roster.
Well, actually, it's not the worst. The worst is actually his compadre in suckitude, Jesse Chavez.
Since Jesse Chavez joined the A's, he has allowed 7 earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. This translates to a nice, tidy, 27 ERA. His season stats also fail to impress: 10.27 ERA.
Results, Not Excuses
One may talk about small sample sizes and peripherals like FIP. These are indeed small samples. But there are 15 games left in the season, each and every one critical. Then comes the postseason, another tiny sample. The point is, if someone is not getting it done, we don't have the luxury of waiting for their stats to regress to their peripherals, or for them to start playing at their "true talent level." Work on it in the offseason, come to camp as part of the 40-man and try to earn a spot in the spring. Right now is not the time for coddling. This is a time for results, and the results are bad.
Mop Up Duty? I wouldn't let them mop my floor.
One might also say, the only time you would use these relievers is to eat 3 innings when we're losing by at least 3. Assuming we bring them in with no runners on base (i.e. a clean inning), both of these relievers are virtually guaranteed to put the game out of reach. Taking their recent stats, Chavez would allow 9 runs in those 3 innings and undoubtedly piss off all of his teammates in the process. Scribner would allow 2 runs, giving the other team a nice 5 run cushion, and the A's only a few innings left to come back from a near-insurmountable deficit.
The "stuff" of benchwarmers
If ERA isn't your thing; neither of these pitchers are good at getting groundballs, which is important with runners on base. Neither of them has an out pitch; Scribner's only arguably plus pitch, his curveball, can be fouled off or taken deep with regularity. Chavez has no movement or ability to locate his fastball.
My point is there is no good situation to bring in your worst relievers down the stretch in a pennant race. Your worst relievers cannot save your bullpen for the next game, because they will play themselves out of the game before they can eat innings. Your worst relievers will not keep your team in the game.
If you're Bob Melvin, your worst relievers are Evan Scribner and Jesse Chavez, and they should not see the mound for the rest of 2012.
If they stay on the bench, I guarantee playoffs! Go A's!