The thing about the game of baseball is that it’s extremely fickle, once you get hot, in the back of your mind you know that at some point you’re going to turn cold. And when you’re in a slump, whether you’re a pitcher or position player, you know your struggles won’t last forever; cue Ryan Franklin.
Right now the right hander isn’t pitching well, that’s obvious, and something needs to be done ASAP. The reason a change needs to be made right away is because the National League Central will be decided by a couple of games, and the Redbirds can’t keep throwing away close games. The Birds very well could have done better on the road trip but settled for a respectable 6-4. I would sit Franklin for a while, let him relax, and when you have a good size lead in a game then put him in and let him rebuild his confidence, because no what matter he says, his confidence can’t be too high right now.
So who’s going to be the guy who runs out of the bullpen in the 9th inning when the Cardinals have a one-run lead? Right now, it won’t be Franklin; I think it should be a bullpen by committee situation. Tony La Russa is the king of matchups, and he needs to continue to do that. There’s no reason one person such as Mitchell Boggs needs to be your absolute number one without a doubt closer. If someone has better numbers against a left handed hitter put him in, if Jason Motte has more success against a particular batter, use him. Until Ryan Franklin gets himself back together every person in the pen should play a role.
Whatever profession you’re in, you go through rough patches, whether it’s a subpar sportscast a particular night, or you might lose a couple of cases, or your sales might drop for a month, no one is perfect. Does Franklin need to find the right stuff quickly, absolutely, but don’t write him off completely. In 2005, Albert Pujols hit a game winning home run off Brad Lidge in game five of the NLCS. Lidge had 42 saves that year, but after that homerun, mentally, you had to wonder if Lidge could bounce back; he did, the next season he turned in 32 saves, and in 2008, 41. For the Cardinals sake, lets hope Franklin can bounce back as well.