The Trouble With Tallet

The image above is something we’ve become all too familiar with this season: Cito Gaston leans on his lanky left hander Brian Tallet and more often than not, things get ugly.

There’s no denying he’s had a rough season, but the more I think about it, I’m starting to think Brian Tallet is the victim of bad circumstances. If Tallet is the one to dig his own grave, Cito Gaston is certainly the one who hands him the shovel.

How many times has Tallet unnecessarily come out for a second or third inning when there’s a bullpen full of well-rested arms just waiting to get some work?


Just one run away from tying the game, there were a slew of options yet Cito Gaston chose to go with Brian Tallet.

It’s especially frustrated when there are guys like Josh Roenicke, Rommie Lewis and even Taylor Buchholz who are just itching to get some innings. These are players who could possibly be key cogs in the future of the Blue Jays bullpen, and yet they’re sitting on their hands watching from afar.

If this situation feels familiar it’s because we experienced it with Brandon League last season. The manager seemingly became fixated on League and would give him ample rope which he would proceed to hang himself with.

Don’t get me wrong, Brian Tallet seems like a great clubhouse guy and he did exactly what was expected of him last season and earlier this year as a member of the starting rotation. I think the coaching staff knew he was predominantly an interim solution as an innings eater.

Brian Tallet is killing left-handed pitching this season holding them to a .181 batting average, but Cito isn’t playing off that strength and using him as a LOOGY: he’s keeping Tallet in there multiple inninngs.

When the manager inserts Brian Tallet into high leverage situations, he tempts fate just one too many times. You have to know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em.

Unfortunately for Cito Gaston, I’m sure his card playing abilities are just about as sharp as his bullpen management skills.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

5 thoughts on “The Trouble With Tallet

  • September 23, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Tallet had no business coming into a 3-2 game last night.

    11 more games. Of Cito and, perhaps, Tallet. But, like you say, he's done well against lefties this season. Perhaps he comes back as a specialist next season.

  • September 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Navin, perhaps Tallet does come back, but I think $2 million plus is a little too much to pay for a LOOGY.

  • September 23, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Someone on DJF was kind enough to run the numbers.

    Tallet has given up runs in 22 of 31 appearances. Of the 22, he has given up earned runs in 20. Not exactly a stopper.

  • September 23, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Of all the things to get on Cito Gaston over playing Tallet for three innings isn't one of them. Tallet was supposed to be our long-relief/spot-starter for the season, he was supposed to "eat innings" It really isn't objectionable to expect that guy to pitch three innings.

    Really if you want to get on Cito for anything Tallet related get on him for giving him the ball in the first place (cause he stinks) and get on AA for retaining his "talent" to begin with.

  • September 24, 2010 at 1:52 am

    Matt, check out this stat too: Tallet's HR/9 rate is 2.31. That is far any away the worst out of all relievers in the American League.

    Anon, I totally agree Tallet was brought in as the spot starter/long relief guy, there's no questioning that. The problem I have is Cito tends to stretch out Tallet just a little too much when there are much more viable options out there in the pen. Especially now with September call-ups, there's no excuses for letting Tallet enter a 3-2 game when they're trying to build David Purcey as a high-leverage reliever.

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