Thursday, July 29, 2010

Three Players Who Deserve A Promotion

Matt Moore: One of the hottest pitchers in the minor leagues, I don't see what else Moore has to prove at single-A. He's thrown strikes much more consistently, and has walked 23 batters in his last 62 2/3 innings (3.3 per 9) as compared to 31 batters in his first 48 1/3 (5.7 per 9). He's second in the minors in strikeouts with 153, and is striking out over 12 per 9 innings.

The Rays are generally cautious in terms of promotions, but there is some precedent here. Back in 2007, Wade Davis and Jake McGee were teaming up to dominate the Florida State League with Vero Beach. Davis was promoted around mid-season, while McGee got the bump about 3/4 of the way through. Moore compares favorably to McGee, with better strikeout numbers (though worse control) and a more well-rounded arsenal, as McGee was mostly blowing hitters away with his fastball. In fact, the Rays could open up a spot in Montgomery's rotation for Moore by promoting...

Jake McGee: Like Moore, McGee has overcome a slow start to look like his old dominating self. He's striking out well over a batter per inning (91 in 76 2/3) and has his fastball back into the 94-95 mph range. His last start was on July 22 and was a bit of a bump in the road, with 6 earned runs allowed. Assuming that he was held out of his most recent would-be start to control his innings and not because of some injury, a promotion into the Durham bullpen would make sense.

McGee threw 140 innings in 2007, then 77 2/3 before injuring his elbow in 2008. Coming back from surgery, he pitched 30 innings last season and is at 76 2/3 this year. A month and change with the Bulls, who appear headed for a playoff spot, would mean roughly 15-18 innings, putting him just under 100 for the season, a reasonable number. If McGee really shined out of the bullpen and his arm stayed fresh, then a September call-up wouldn't be out of the question. Additionally, it would prep McGee for a bullpen role next season, since the big-league rotation is backed up as it is.

Nick Barnese: Back to Charlotte's rotation for this one. Barnese hasn't quite been at the level of 2007 Wade Davis, but he's been plenty good. In last nine starts, he's walked just 8 hitters, and has walked 22 on the season, a 1.77/9 rate, and his 7.49 K/9 is solid. His stuff doesn't match Moore or McGee's, but he's arguably been the most consistent pitcher in the Rays system this year. Additionally, Barnese and Moore are both 21 years old, and while that's not necessarily "old" for the Florida State League, they are both good enough to be challenged at AA.


  1. I agree with all of these. I was thinking Colome, but he hasn't been himself in a while. If he has stayed good, he could of used it, being as old as he is. Also, is it possible Wrigly could get another promotion? He is still crushing at AA. So is Leslie Anderson. Is it time to worry about Malm, Bailey, and O'Conner? They are doing pretty awful.

  2. Why isn't McGee popping up on prospect rankings? He could start if it wasn't for the Rays starting talent.

  3. Lets not get crazy with McGee, he still needs to improve and be more consistent.
    I agree though with Anderson, he needs to move up especially since he is in his mid 20s.

  4. I agree with Moore. He is in need of a move up. He struggled to get going but has a good handle on things now. His last few starts have been very strong. For the month of July, Moore has a 1.72 ERA and has only given upo 13 hits in 31.1 IP. Not to mention the 153 strikeouts on the season.

    I am also gonna agree with Michael's comment about Wrigley. He has shown he can continue tearing the cover off the ball in AA. Unlike some of the promotions before him that dropped off the radar or took a while to get things going, Henry never missed a beat. He is a combined .295/.515/.338 in both A+ & AA with 18 home runs and 64 RBI's. He has made such a mark in Charlotte and the FSL that he is still ranked second in the league in Slugging Pct and third in league in home runs despite being promoted to AA over a month ago.

  5. what about johnson and wrigley?

  6. Not sure if this counts, but its absolutely criminal that Dan Johnson hasn't been promoted to MLB yet. He deserves a shot.

  7. Don't know if you were only looking at pitchers, but for position players I'd pick Tyler Bortnick.

    He's followed up a nice debut last season in HV (.300/.386/.470 in 217 ABs, 27/38 BB/SO) with another nice year at the plate in BG (.300/.404/.446 in 327 ABs, 48/56 BB/SO). In the field he's made 13 errors, a .964 fielding%, and he can play SS.

    Who is blocking him in Charlotte? Matt Hall, who's hitting .168/.215/.248 in 214 ABs, and Anthony Scelfo .226/.294/.359 in 217 ABs. Hall is a good fielder (7 errors, .972 fld% at 2B) and he can pitch! Scelfo has made 12 errors at 2B, a .941 fld%.

    Of course every promotion needs a corresponding move(s), Hall and Scelfo could be utility guys (not sure how you keep letting Hall get ABs). To replace Bortnick in BG, no one on the current roster looks to be able to handle the job for the rest of the season, so a promotion of either Diogenes Luis or Robby Price (less likely) from HV would be the options (or demote Scelfo or Hall).

    Also, on vacation so sorry the standings are out of date. Should be fixed Friday evening or Saturday morning, then back to daily updates.

  8. Forgot about Bortnck.

    Also, McGee has been consistent for the past month plus.

  9. I sorta think Greg Sexton has earned a trip back to Montgomery. I guess it's a bit crowded at 3B throughout though.