Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's a fight to the death for the rotation

Your starting rotation is as follows:

1. Wandy Rodriguez
2. Bud Norris
3. J.A. Happ

And two of Livan Hernandez, Zach Duke, Kyle Weiland, and Jordan Lyles. Lucas Harrell and Henry Sosa won't be in the rotation, but are competing for bullpen spots with the big club.

The tale of the tape (Spring Training 2012 edition):

Livan: 12.1IP, 16H/6ER, 5K:2BB, 2HR. 4.38 ERA/1.70 WHIP.
Duke: 11IP, 17H/8ER, 7K:4BB, 2HR. 6.55 ERA/1.91 WHIP.
Weiland: 11IP, 7H/2ER, 7K:5BB, 0HR. 1.64 ERA/1.09 WHIP.
Lyles: 6IP, 8H/4ER, 3K:2BB, 1HR. 6.00 ERA/1.67 WHIP.

We do know that Lyles threw in a minor-league game, so there are some stats that we're missing here. The clear leader - from these stats alone - is Kyle Weiland (yes, on the strength of one start). But the veteran statuses of Livan all but assures him a spot. With Myers shifting to the 9th inning, I'd be ecstatic to see Weiland and Lyles get those last two rotation spots. But I don't think that'll happen. What I could see happening is SP4 going to Livan, SP5 going to Weiland, and Lyles waits in OKC under the tutelage of Burt Hooton until something happens - be that injury or trade.


Blazemule said...

Lyles really needs time at AAA, I am hoping for an entire year then he is competing in 2013 for a spot in Spring Training. He needs to work with Burt Hooten to gain velocity and keep his location, maybe even work on another pitch or sharpening those he has. We have enough starters to fill the rotation rather than rush a youngster. Last year bringing him up was stupid.

Brian West said...

I for one would not pencil JA Happ in as #3. I suspect that Happ's moneyball numbers are underwhelming.

My bottom three are

3. Kyle Weiland
4. Jordan Lyles
5. Livan Hernandez

with JA fighting with Livan for the last spot. I give Livan the edge since he has a track record of eating innings and JA does not.

Anonymous said...

Just how is Lyles supposed to work on his velocity? If a pitcher could just do that, don't you think it would have already been done, or did the club just now realize he should throw harder?

Let the guy pitch on the big stage. He will ultimately be the best pitcher out of that whole bunch, and shipping him down just retards his development, which has nothing to do with increased velocity.

Terence said...

21 year olds strengthen their arms. As they get stronger, the velocity goes up. A good coach (Burt Hooten) can help a young pitcher strengthen their arm the right way, and thus add velocity in a healthy manner.

Anonymous said...

Lots of 21 year olds will never throw harder than they presently do. He may naturally fill in and add velocity, but it shouldn't be a primary focus at all. The guy can compete with his fastball as is, and velocity is not holding him back. He just needs to improve his breaking pitches and most all, he just needs seasoning and experience. Telling him to go down to AAA and "work on his velocity" would be a great way to stunt his development and screw up a promising young pitcher.