”I’ve been released a few times in my career. Usually, you have a hunch. This one I didn’t see coming at all… They’re moving forward and that’s fine. I don’t know what their definition of ‘moving forward’ is, but we’ll see…Apparently, my job here was done” – Brendan Donnelly
”It amazed me.” – Octavio Dotel
We have seen many shocked reactions from players, media and fans since the Pirates designated Brendan Donnelly for assignment following yesterday’s loss to the Padres. Apparently, he was very well liked in the clubhouse, particularly among his peers in the bullpen. I understand that it is tough to lose a teammate, especially a strong leader such as Donnelly. But is anyone actually surprised by this move?
I was in attendance last Friday night when Donnelly made his final appearance as a Pirate. He entered the game in the top of the 7th, with the Pirates trailing 4-3. Ball, ball, ball, ball…leadoff walk to Chris Denorfia. He completely ignored Denorfia on first base, allowing him to shuffle a few extra steps off the bag and easily steal second. Donnelly managed to throw one strike to Adrian Gonzalez before walking him, and then walked Scott Hairston on four pitches. Finally, John Russell pulled him from the game. Donnelly threw 12 balls out of 13 total pitches, walked three and allowed an uncontested stolen base. I have seen some pretty awful pitching performances at PNC Park. This one was up there.
Here are Donnelly’s ranks among the 198 pitchers who have worked at least 20 innings out of the bullpen in 2010.
Donnelly has been one of the worst relievers in baseball this season. He had a disastrous outing just a few days ago. If anyone was shocked by his departure, they were not paying attention.