McBride Continues to Steamroll

Updated: August 6, 2014

By Shuko Tsuji, Charleston Chronicle

June 28, 2020

Last night, rookie sensation Eddy McBride continued his rampage for the Alleghenies, allowing only one run over 7 2/3 innings, compiling 7 strikeouts against the Fisherman.  McBride was called up from AAA on June 14th as an emergency starter after Tatsui Kouno went down for three months.  West Virginia had already lost Chris Renfroe earlier in the year for four months and Mauro Rocha was still recovering from a torn rotator cuff.  In three starts this year, McBride has pitched at least 7 innings in each and has a 1.64 ERA with a strikeout to walk ration of 8.

After only two seasons in the minors playing single-A ball, McBride started the season in AAA with the Mansfield Mohicans.  This progression looked almost too rapid for young 23 year old McBride, who at the time had a 4.59 ERA in 13 starts with Mansfield.  In fact, he looked more like a AA pitcher than being PEBA ready, which is why his move to the Alleghenies raised a bunch of eyebrows.  While McBride certainly cannot sustain his current ERA, his recent pitching at the highest level goes to show that sometimes, general managers really do know what they are doing.  Hopefully, McBride’s success will appease some of the fans who are still upset about the new GM trading away Wolfe for a bunch of questionable players.  While the team most likely could not have afforded to keep Wolfe anyway, catcher Ray Tuff is not living up to the same potential that a compensatory pick would have yielded and most fans recognize this.  How many more at-bats will the crowd have grimace through as they watch Tuff franticly swat towards a .061 average, all while Diemer continues to keep him on the big league roster, praying that he hits some home runs in order to save face for this horrible trade?  Perhaps Diemer really just got lucky in promoting McBride and really has no idea what he is doing.

Allegheny fans also anxiously await some other answers to several pending problems.  The first is the train wreck named Juan García.  Softballing his way towards a 6.85 ERA will most likely see him moved out of the rotation when Rocha finishes his rehab but it is unclear if García will be put in the bullpen or be demoted straight to the minors.  There is also the possibility in the near future of Forrest Murphy making his major league debut if Pat Green doesn’t start performing for the team, but is Murphy ready?  Surly it is improbable to get as lucky as the team did with McBride.  The Tuff dilemma joked about above is a very serious item of concern.  How long of a chance does Tuff really have at the PEBA level?  Every batter has a string of bad at-bats, but it is concerning that at age 28, Tuff has never put together a consistent big league performance.  While Diemer wants to give Tuff a realistic second chance, Cisco Rivera is chomping at the bit in AAA to get another chance this season and his 15 AB in the PEBA earlier this season just is not enough of a sample size.

Another major problem has been the bullpen.  After three straight years of success in the PEBA, Bill Carpenter seemed to have fallen off into the deep end, pitching his way into AAA due to his 7.03 ERA in 24.1 innings pitched.  At 29, we will most likely see him up again, but his performance is just one example of a horrible virus that has seemed to infect the performance of almost every Allegheny reliever this season.

However, the most anticipated question plaguing all Allegheny fans is what will happen if the team continues its current subpar performance.  While the current season was marred from the beginning with three starting pitchers going down, it is highly possible that even at full strength, this team just does not have the key pieces needed to compete with the best teams in the PEBA.  Fully dismantling the team may be required as the farm system is quite lacking.  This fact is undoubtedly in the back of most die-hards.  The writing is on the wall and there may be a derailing soon.  Alternatively, it is possible that this powerful 2-6-6-6 train just ran out of steam on the way up a steep mountain grade.  Maybe just with one or two additional pieces of coal, it could chug up to the top and sneak by a few other teams into the playoffs.  With the trading deadline fast approaching, fans will continue to wait with horrible fascination as to what fate awaits their beloved team.