Editorial note: never mind...Enright was sent back to AAA Reno today.
The first start back from AAA for Barry Enright obviously did not go well. Three innings, seven hits, six runs, four homers -- it could not have gone much worse. Already many fans and much of the media are expecting an expedited return to Reno for Enright and for the team to look for anther option at the end of the starting rotation, perhaps in trade, perhaps in other players in their farm system.
However, I would not book Enright's ticket out of town just yet. Before his start on Tuesday, Kirk Gibson indicated that the move to go with Enright was a decision made by the team. "The organization has decided that this is the way we want to go," he explained.
After the game on Tuesday, as expected, Gibson was reluctant to say what the team's next move would be. "We're not thinking right at this second, 'what am I going to next?'" he said. "We'll absorb it and move on."
Obviously it was just after a bad game and the team had not had any opportunity to get to together and plan for things moving forward, but it would not surprising to see Enright go again in five days.
One of the things the manager noted on Monday is how young players can press when things aren't going perfectly and they have to worry about being sent back to the minors. I can't imagine Enright getting sent down immiediately.
While he was in AAA, Enright worked on several things and found improvement with his breaking pitches. After the game, he noted that what he struggled with was his fastball, something that was odd. He knows that to be successful, he has to "pound the zone" with his fastball and work in the breaking stuff.
Gibson noted that in his time in Reno, Enright "got himself back on track to where he was last year."
It is also important to remember that he occupies the fifth starting spot. How effective are most teams' fifth starter?
Performances like the one on Tuesday will not do, but if he bounces back and give the team five or six innings while allowing two or three runs, that is exactly what you hope to get from a number five. Anything better is extra. Yes the team is fighting to stay alive in the pennant race and win the NL West, chasing the world champions and as GM Kevin Towers noted on the radio this morning, "the rope gets shorter," referring to the patience you can have with mistakes in young players.
But let's give Barry the Red at least another couple of starts before we definitively say that he isn't the answer at the back of the rotation. If he continues to struggle, well then everyone can bring out the pitchforks and torches to run him out to Nevada again. But the D-Backs have managed to be where they are without much production in the fifth spot in the rotation. And as Gibby said, "we've been playing pretty damn good." Let's hope it continues.