I can't believe I'm actually going to suggest this, but I think the time has come to replace Wade Davis. His performance has been decidedly sub-par in his 8 starts this year. He tERA (True Runs Allowed) is a staff worst, 6.54, even topping HR prone Kelvin Herrera (6.33). For perspective, last year Jonathan Sanchez (yes, THAT Jonathan Sanchez) had a tERA of 6.33.
Opponents are also seeing him very well, hitting at a .345 clip. While still a relatively small sample size, Vin Mazarro last season in 6 starts had almost the exact same numbers (actually slightly better) and he simply wasn't good enough. Davis certainly isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and I can't believe I'm actually going to suggest this, but I think a case could made to replace him with one Luke Hochevar.
Luke kind of makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit every time I see him, but I'm trying to be somewhat objective here. Here is the case:
1. Luke is pitching well.
Granted he has only been called upon to eat meaningless innings so far, but his tERA is a solid 2.51. His K/BB ratio is a career best 5.67, and opponents are only hitting .182 against him. I imagine this is only serving to build his confidence and if he has an ounce of competitiveness in him, he has to be itching to get another shot at the rotation. The facial hair may indeed be working.
2. Davis is historically much more effective out of the pen.
Maybe, just maybe, the Rays knew something about Wade when they chose to move him exclusively to a relief role last year. Here are his career numbers (As Starter/As Reliever):
Yes, a case can always be made that a reliever benefits from only having his arsenal seen once by opponents, while starters have to see batters multiple times. To date, however, Davis hasn't been able to keep batters guessing in the starter role.
Quite simply, paying Hochevar $4.6M to mop up is absurd. Davis is making $2.8MM (not a paltry amount either), but could easily be transitioned into a valuable setup role that could justify his salary. This would be Luke's last stand. Paulino and Duffy are on "protocol" and should be ready mid-season. If he ever has any hope of returning to the rotation, the window is now.
There. I can't believe I just wrote that.