Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Abad not a candidate for the rotation

Fernando Abad is no longer in the running for the SP5 spot, according to Zach Levine.

“In the meetings that we’ve had, we think that the role that he’s capable of playing in the bullpen as a key lefty for us probably takes precedent at this point in his career. That doesn’t mean that at some point he isn’t going to be a successful starter, but for the time being, we’re going to focus on him as a reliever.”

So that leaves the candidates for SP5 as such:
Rule 5 picks Lance Pendleton and Aneury Rodriguez, as well as Ryan Rowland-Smith, Nelson Figueroa, and Jordan Lyles.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. The Astros do already have two lefties in the rotation with Happ and Wandy (and Rowland-Smith is a lefty), but Abad dominated in the Winter Leagues this off-season. It is comforting to note that the Astros haven't completely ruled Abad out for the rotation. Ah, so be it.


Terence said...

After watching what they've done with Wright and Arias the past couple of years, I'd much rather see Abad stick in the bullpen and succeed and be healthy, rather than yo-yo back and forth...

Astros County said...

Terence: Fantastic point. At least they're deciding on a role right now, rather than dragging it out, sometimes throughout the season.

Reuben said...

I think you mean Paulino, not Arias- Arias made 2 starts at the end of 2008, and 0 in 2009 before missing last year. One could argue that Paulino should've just been left in either the 'pen or the rotation and allowed to develop.

That said, if Abad looks like he could succeed as a starter, then perhaps we'll see him ease into that eventually, ala Oswalt, Elarton, etc.

Terence said...

You can throw Paulino in that group as well but I meant Arias. Even though Arais started 0 games in the majors in 2009 he was starting games in spring training, AAA, and the Domican leagues the previous winter (see my concerns with Abad). The starts at the end of 2008 also led us to believe that the Astros were grooming him into a starter. Over the last several years the Astros have been constantly stretching these guys out and preparing them to start and then placing them in the bullpen in much different roles, and often times making the change in expectations in a week or two. This has a damaging effect upon the shoulder as we're seeing played out with Arias right now who missed all of last year and is already having more problems.

There is a difference between bringing guys like Oswalt and Chapman up and saying you're going to pitch in the bullpen this year and later we will transition you to a starter, and changing your mind about a player three different times mid-season. With all of our available options for SP5, and the investment we've made in them, I think it is wise to assign Abad to the bullpen now, let him mentally and physically prepare for that role, and then leave him there.