Rotation Free-for-All

The 6-10 starters beat the 1977 M's rotation

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So, tactically, here's what SSI is watching for in March:

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=== Jeremy Bonderman ===

Tactically, we're watching for a freshly-minted willingness to mix his pitches less predictably.

Bonderman probably has less "pitchability" than any starter in the major leagues, and he has the career ERA-xFIP to show for it.  

With his hard swerveball, and his dancing slider, he should have had a career ERA+ of 110.  Instead, it's been 90.  He's the Brandon League of starting pitchers, coming in with the same 2-0 and 3-1 pitches time after time.  He's always stubbornly refused to change .... but he's had two years away from the game, and maybe he's a listener now.

Who knows.  We're just telling you what we're watching for.

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=== Jon Garland ===

He won 10-18 games a year, racking up 200 innings per, for what, the entire decade of the '00's?  With ERA's around 105-110.   He ran Joe Saunders peripherals from stem-to-stern ... Saunders has a 103 ERA+ liftime, compared to Garland's 104.  They both get 5 strikeouts, 2+ walks, average HR rate.  Garland has been, functionally, a tall, pretty, right hand Joe Saunders.

Garland's coming off almost two years out and shoulder surgery.  Supposing he came back 100% and gave you a second Joe Saunders.  Would you want that?

Well, a 105 ERA+ isn't much for a #2 starter.  It is boring for a #3 starter.  But it's one whale of a #4 starter, and it's a championship #5 starter.

The tactical question is easy.  Is he all the way back from shoulder surgery, not only in velocity but in pinpoint location.

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=== Blake Beavan ===

Tactically:  does he now have a forkball?

Kidding.  Remember now, he's one of baseball's finest pitchers right up until the point where the ump calls strike two.  And then he can't put away a hitter if his mother's kitty cat depended on it.

A putaway pitch?  His career, never mind his 2013, will depend on it.  

It could happen.

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=== The Big Four ===

Paxton:  the front knee and the decel.  Gordon has talked about the fact that the Gio's and Kershaw's of the game are welcome to walk 4-5 men as rookies, for any organization other than the Seattle Mariners.

But even Dr. D wants to see that decel smoothed out.  Who knows - maybe it was always just the injury in the knee?

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Hultzen:  Just the release point.  

It could kick in at literally any moment.  Why?  Because he's had the release point before.  ANY GIVEN MORNING during the spring you could read in the paper, "Wow, Hultzen is throwing the stuffing out of the ball."  Or not.  If you do, then off we go.

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Taijuan:  Tactically, there's probably nothing to watch for.  I'm sure he'd finish 2013 in the top 20 in the AL in earned run average, if allowed to do so.  And I can't imagine he wouldn't do more than any other pitcher to justify the 1-year deals on Morales, Morse and Saunders.

There was some discussion at BJOL this week about HOF-qualified Davey Johnson -- he took Dwight Gooden at what, age 18-19, and said "He's one of my five best starters.  He's in there."  We all have predilections; a person's attitude toward a Taijuan Walker situation becomes a litmus test for him.  It's a good way to gauge what your predilections are.

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Erasmo:  we presume that he has to foul up royally to lose a spot.  Erasmo Ramirez is not known for fouling up royally.  Am looking forward to six most heinous years of Erasmage.

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Klat Categories: 

Comments

Great thread, Doc.

If Z is all in for '13, and if bringing in a Bonderman or Garland is all about finding a couple of cheap 40% bets and hoping one comes in, then Big Foug guys have to be part of the battle plan. Assuming that ERAM is a lock, that means that some of the Big Three must be in, at least, the 2nd wave onto the '13 beachhead. And there's a chance they will be in the first wave.

OK, so we open with Felix, Saunders, Erasmo, Iwkuma and one of Bonderman/Garland/Beavan. Beavan is a fairly safe bet to be decent but if Bonderman and Garland are each less than 40% rolls (and I think that's fair) then you still have, at best, slightly less than 2 out of 3 shot that one of them is a rotation guy on April 1st. It could be a 15% shot, something like that. That means that you have to be considering a Big Three guy, even now. Assuming that one of those three guys shines more than Beavan in Arizona. Not a longshot bet. I'll lay money on that now.

I haven't seen much indication of that from Z/Sarge, but the thought that a Big Three guy just might break camp must be there. if 2013 is all about 2013 and not 2015 then they can't really afford to not consider that. If we're only 1/2 in in April and May, you many get 20 starts out of 4's and 5's before we make a Big Three call-up. If Beavan stumbles then there could be a hole in that plan.

10 starts from a gouged Garland or Bombed Beavan or Blasted Bonderman may dig you a deep and early '13 hole.

Then the All In in '13 strategy collapses.

All In means just that Z. Make your move.

moe

1

M's Watcher's picture

M's Watcher

Bonderman/Garland/Beavan may be just spaghetti for the rotation. I like giving the first two a chance to come back to the bigs, even if they end up playing for another team. The Bonderman/League reference is scary, and Garland could eat innings if healthy. Many forget that Beavan also ate innings in 2012, ~150 in Seattle and ~40 in Tacoma. I look forward to the prospects of one or more of the kids pitching great innings, not just eating innings. That's when the real fun starts.

2

zzdawg's picture

zzdawg

My hunch is two that will come through are Beavan and Smoak. Both get no love, but both are still young. Smoak worked out hard this offseason and I have this feeling he will break out. Beavan will never be a #2, but if these changes work in making his flat fastball not so flat, he could easily be a #3. Or a nice piece in a blockbuster trade. A successful Beavan, another starter and 2 good bullpen pitchers are a great place to start for a megabat trade with a few years of team control.

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SABR Mattindeed, Grumpy...that's why so many docs are quitting right now...it's not a good place to be a doctor anymore.5 hours 35 min ago
GrumpyWell, reimbursements go down but expenses go up. Markets in healthcare are fracturing into competing closed systems so volumes go down. Only solution is to run faster.6 hours 43 min ago
Grumpy(Which I assume G is doing)6 hours 47 min ago
SABR Mattthat's just not healthy...not at all.6 hours 52 min ago
Grumpy70 (or more) hour work weeks are what's required to succeed in a healthcare field these days especially if you are running a small business like a physical therapy outfit.6 hours 54 min ago
SABR MattGordon - why on Earth are you pulling 70 hour workweeks? You should consider a change in career.13 hours 9 min ago
Gordon GrossBoy, do I wish I was not working 70 hour weeks and could contribute to this. Thanks for the great discussions, guys.1 day 5 hours ago
Bat571My part 3 is in the hopper. It repeats a lot of what's being dicussed in the existing threads, but I have a somewhat different take on the constraints on JackZ and their basis. Appreciate it if you could jailbreak it, Doc, and any comments are of interest. Hopefully my take adds something to the discussion.1 day 7 hours ago
jemanji*Super* cool Mo' Dawg :- )2 days 2 hours ago
jemanjiBat571 - many times this happens to me when the pic is too big, or when it's from an unfriendly source (copyright issues?). I try a smaller pic, or one from a different original source, and everything's fine. … I've got a Q in to the boss on it. Thanks for your material! :- ) Jeff2 days 2 hours ago
mojicianThat story is awesome Moe.2 days 5 hours ago
moethedogA short Giants story: Their rookie BU catcher, Andrew Susac, is the grandson of a good friend of mine, a city counsellor I served with. In mid-August Susac hit his first MLB homer, an opposite field job in Wrigley. One of my college roommates, a HUGE Giants fan, was watching the game on TV and called me to tell me.(he knew the hometown connection as he had read about it in a Giant's on-line mag) I was in Missoula dropping Bailey off at college. I called Andrew's granddad, suspecting he would be watching the game on TV. When he answered I just asked if this was the granddad of a guy who had just hit his first career homer. He said "I'm so excited that I can't breath! I think I'm floating on air!" It was one of the coolest calls I've ever made. A game in Chi-Town, a buddy in Portland, me in Missoula and a glowing granddad on the Oregon Coast = the magic of baseball (and cel phones!)!2 days 10 hours ago
mojicianThose who bet against the Giants in even numbered years end up poorer and wiser. Its not about WAR, or roster construction or who has the smarter GM or the better team. The Giants laugh at your logic. Based on that sort of thinking, the Nats or the Dodgers won the pennant. For the Giants, its about making the post season, and then "burning the other cities down, every last one of them". The Royals are Cinderella, the Giants are Vandal maurauders with trophy lust. The Giants are specialists at dispatching Cinderella teams from Missouri. Giants in 5. In a week's time, remember where you heard that. :)2 days 11 hours ago
moethedogOr noticed the lack of a picture...2 days 14 hours ago
moethedogI just noticed it. Not there: Sorry.2 days 14 hours ago
SABR Mattno...I don't see his picture either.2 days 14 hours ago
moethedogYou could try logging out and see if the pic is there.....2 days 18 hours ago
moethedogBat, that has happened to me once or twice. I've eventually assumed that I was the only one who couldn't see the picture.2 days 18 hours ago
Bat571Hey, Doc or KLAT admin guys - my uploaded picture doesn't seem to show in the front page tile view. I changed it twice, and it does show up on the article page, but, did I do something wrong (.png is O.K., right?) or what?3 days 6 hours ago
Bat571Taijuan's Mom has had cancer - I suspect he just wants to be with family. But I hope his Mom has not taken a turn for the worse.3 days 13 hours ago