Suffice to say, I didn't see that coming. One wonders if this is a response to Jesus Colome and Kanekoa Texeira being completely incapable of throwing strikes on Sunday. Not that you'd expect an organization like this to do something so reactionary, but it wouldn't be the first time a team tried to send a message by shaking up the roster.
Out: Jesus Colome, Kanekoa Texeira (designated for assignment)
Up: Sean White, Garrett Olson
In essence, the team has swapped out its fifth and six relievers and replaced them with fifth and sixth relievers. Colome's problem is that he doesn't throw strikes. Texeira's problem is that he doesn't throw strikes. We're looking to remedy the situation by bringing back White, who doesn't throw strikes, and Olson, who - the last time we saw him - didn't throw strikes.
Let's take this in order. Colome isn't a loss. Jesus Colome is 32. He's always had a good arm, but he's never had command, and though the team brought him in because they thought they could fix him, they were far from the first organization to be fooled. He's no better now than he ever was, and the inning he threw against LAnaheim was an appropriate illustration of his skillset. He doesn't suck - he's not a gascan - but he's both bad and not a part of the future, which made him expendable.
Texeira comes as more of a shock, given that he was a Rule 5 selection and all. On the other hand, though, he was a Rule 5 selection. The M's brought Texeira in because they thought he could keep the ball down and miss some bats. To date, he's done neither, and he's struggled with his command. Texeira has pitched like a mop-up guy. Just 24 and having come straight from AA, you want to be more patient with a guy like this, but let's not delude ourselves into thinking Texeira did well.
White, we know. White isn't good. Sean White is Kanekoa Texeira + years.
And finally, Garrett Olson. The Garrett Olson we saw in 2009 was a disaster. He had one good relief outing where he got out of a bases loaded jam, but he got throttled in the rotation, and he wasn't real great in the pen. Those memories remain fresh in our minds, so no one's excited to have Olson back. However, it's worth considering what he's done in Tacoma, where he's filled two roles. As a starter, he's thrown more strikes and missed more bats than he did in Tacoma a year ago. And as a reliever, he's been nothing short of brilliant, whiffing 17 in 11.1 innings while walking just three. Even more encouraging, he's been good against righties. Olson's just a slop-thrower, and those guys tend to have a lot of success in the high minors, but without knowing what's changed (if anything's changed), there is valid statistical reasoning behind bringing him up. It looks like he might've figured something out in relief, and he also offers the flexibility to jump into the rotation if Snell gets bounced again.
I don't like the idea of designating Texeira for assignment. The M's are just getting rid of him, even though he's younger than White, under team control for longer, and has a higher ceiling. As far as I'm concerned, Sean White has done nothing to deserve that bullpen spot over Texeira. However, when you agree or disagree with a team's decision, you have to stay aware of its ultimate significance, and though I disagree with throwing Texeira away, he's a mediocre middle reliever with upside as a decent middle reliever. This isn't a move we're likely to regret, just as trading Sean Green for Aaron Taylor isn't a move the regret. Texeira'll be good if he hits his peak, but until then, he's just a replaceable bullpen arm.
So. Losing Colome? Good. Ditching Texeira? Bad. Promoting White? Bad. Promoting Olson? Interesting. All in all, this barely changes anything, but it makes people feel like a lot has changed, which buys the front office more time. Just what they'll do with that time remains a mystery.
They will have two freshly-opened spots on the 40-man roster to work with.