Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Luis Ayala and cognitive dissonance

"Cognitive dissonance" is the psychological term for conflicting beliefs held simultaneously. We can identify it at work in almost any field, but since this is a baseball blog, I'll stick to baseball.

We see it in the strange case of Luis Ayala, who is said to have complained a few weeks ago to Ron Gardenhire that he wasn't being used as the primary eight-inning setup man.

The reason is fairly obvious:

Matt Guerrier: 0.86 WHIP, 2.76 ERA, 22K, 6 BB, 4 HR (32.6 IP)
Jose Mijares: 1.38 WHIP, 2.57 ERA, 17K, 10 BB, 3 HR (21 IP)
Luis Ayala: 1.42 WHIP, 4.18 ERA, 21K, 8 BB, 4HR (32.6 IP)

What there suggests Ayala deserved a more prominent role in the Twins bullpen?

Ayala was the primary set-up option for years with the Expos/Nationals, and fell into the closer role last September with the Mets, so one can understand why he's attached to the notion that he belongs in that role.

Clinging to that belief requires him to disregard the evidence.


Monday's print column on possible bullpen trade targets was echoed, more or less, by this posting on NBC's Sports' Circling the Bases blog. It mentions several of the names I did Monday, and a few others — and contains details (such as the expanding salary of Takashi Saito) that I didn't have.

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