Friday, May 14, 2010

Random Thoughts About The Starting Rotations

Yesterday I wrote about the Durham Bulls open spot in the starting rotation and who I thought would get the job. Turns out I guessed correctly (I'm really starting to like your graphs too, Chris). Today, some random thoughts about the other affiliates' rotations. This is really just a continuation of the conversation in the Comments, primarily between FreeZo and I (make sure to follow his great work over at DRB too).

Think about the Rays starting pitching depth for a moment. The Montgomery Biscuits have lost Aneury Rodriguez and Richard De Los Santos to Durham, have Darin Downs in the bullpen, and still have a solid starting five. Pretty amazing. David Newmann has a nice ERA, 3.03, but his peripherals aren't great, 17 strikeouts and 13 walks in 32.2 IP. Alex Cobb just started his season after a stint on the DL, and Alex Torres has been fine. Jake McGee is beginning to worry me, he's only averaging 3.2 innings per start and he's giving up 4.5 walks per 9 innings. If the Shane Dyer promotion to Charlotte creates a chain reaction and a Stone Crabs starter moves up to the Biscuits (Barnese?), Jeremy Hall would be the one I'd move to the pen, and even he has a 2.90 ERA through 6 starts.

The most likely scenario to me with the Dyer promotion is Charlotte moving Chris Andujar to the bullpen, it just seems early to promote Barnese or anyone else to Montgomery. Interesting thing about the possibility of Andujar to the pen is, if you remember last season when Dyer was removed from the rotation it was Andujar who took his spot and pitched well. Then Andujar was promoted to Charlotte to start this season, while Dyer was left in Bowling Green. Now, Dyer gets promoted and may force Andujar back to the pen. Funny how things work out.

Overall, there is no lack of arms for Montgomery and Charlotte. But Dyer's promotion does create an opening in Bowling Green. Possibilities to replace him are sketchy at this point. Alex Koronis made a spot start this week, but he didn't last long or pitcher particularly well. I don't see anyone else on the current Hot Rods active roster that is a likely candidate. But they do have 3 pitchers on the DL (really in extended spring training) that could be considered: Will Kline, Tyree Hayes, and Woods Fines. I don't know how they are doing in XST, but I would be surprised if any of them would immediately assume a starting role.

I suppose someone could get demoted from Charlotte: Andujar, Mike Jarman, Kevin Chavez. I don't think Andujar or Jarman will be sent to Bowling Green, but Chavez makes sense. He made 8 starts (out of 16 appearances) for Hudson Valley last season and was recently added to the Stone Crabs roster. It was a surprising move, rarely do the Rays skip a pitcher from Hudson Valley to Charlotte, so perhaps it was done with the knowledge of the impending Dyer promotion.

Other possibilities among guys in XST (guys who pitched at Hudson Valley last season really) would include Kyle Ayers, Aaron Dott, Devin Fuller, and depending on his recovery from TJS, Albert Suarez. I have no inside information, but if you forced me to pick who would replace Dyer in the Bowling Green rotation today, I'd pick Chavez 1st, Fuller 2nd, Ayers 3rd, and Dott 4th. How's that for hedging my bets?

It will be fun to see how all this plays out, and most importantly, congrats to Shane Dyer on his well-deserved promotion.


  1. I second the congratulations to Shane Dyer. After last years results to come back and pitch like he did is very impressive.

  2. I hope its fuller who gets to replace Dyer.