Keeping a 5 Man Rotation

Scott Olsen is allegedly healthy and doing rehab starts in AAA. The success of these rehab can be debated – his last one wasn’t too bad but he has looked spectacular. In his latest, and really only good start of the 3 so far, he went 6 IP, give up 2 ER with 5 K and only 1 BB. But he did give up 8 H. Anyway, Manny was miked up earlier this week and said that when Olsen came back, one of the youngsters would have to either move to the bullpen or go down to the minors. I guess they feel that Olsen has the most experience of the group, might as well start him.

Who Should Be Moved?

I’m taking Lannan out of this discussion. Besides being the only non-rookie, he’s been the most successful starter. He’s the Ace of the staff, even if he’s not a #1 pitcher. As for the others, well let’s look at what they’ve done over their last 5 games. I’ve listed the stats for each one of them, including the average over these games their totals.

4 starters last 5

Well, the first thing that pops up is how well The Double N has been doing. Martis has looked pretty good himself, if not as great as Zimmermann. From there, I’d say it comes down to Stammen and Detwiler. This decision isn’t a simple one. They have similar ERAs, although Detwiler’s is slightly better. Detwiler’s also striking out more batters, although not as many as he first did. And Stammen is giving up less hits and walks. Stammen is 25 with lots of minor league time, Detwiler is 23 with little minor league experience. Some time in AAA (where he has never been) may be more helpful for Ross.

But he’s also an expected part of the future of this rotation. I make no secret of my Detwiler fanhood. As a top draft pick, someone with some real impressive pitches, and someone who’s already seen success in the majors at 23, you’d expect Detwiler to be a strong part of a Strasburg-Zimmermann-Lannan-Martis(?) rotation. He’s got a ceiling to be a #2 or #3 pitcher. Stammen is more of a bonus. Unless he truly amazes, he’s probably not destined for the rotation. So if I am forced to pull one out of the rotation, I guess I’d have to take Stammen.

But Down to the Minors?

However, I don’t think I’d send either one down to the minors. Instead, in order to make room for Olsen, I’d go a different direction. Stammen, as I said, probably isn’t going to be in the rotation in a year or two. But he’s been an effective pitcher and deserves to be up here. Put him in the bullpen. See how effective he is there. Even if he doesn’t have great strikeout rates, he also doesn’t walk many people. He could be a big boost to the beleaguered pen. And to make room, well one guy I can think of that has been pretty ineffective is Joel Hanrahan. Here’s his last 10 games:

Hanrahan last 10

We know he has a good fastball, it’s not his stuff that’s the issue. He’s just not throwing well. I think he could probably use the time in AAA more than Stammen or Detwiler. Plus, moving Stammen to the bullpen in place of Hanrahan could improve the bullpen significantly. There is talk of moving Jesus Colome down to the minors. But the reason I like keeping Stammen and Detwiler up here is that they’ve been somewhat effective and pitching with confidence. Hanrahan, as opposed to those two and Colome, is still young (well, his second full year in the majors compared to Colome’s ninth) so there’s a chance that he will learn, with some time in AAA, to trust his stuff more. He has a blazing fastball and a good slider, he needs to throw those rather than try to nibble. Instead, he gets behind on counts and then becomes predictable and then hittable.

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One Response to Keeping a 5 Man Rotation

  1. neato_torpedo says:

    See, I go the other way on this – I concur that Lannan is out of the discussion, and especially after his start against the Sox I’m putting Hova in that same orbit (finally, he blooms to what we all could see was there).

    I’d just rather be giving Stammen and Detweiller (Rossweiller? Has anyone settled on anything with him yet?) the work.

    Instead, I think Martis is the weak link. His K-BB ratio just makes me terribly uncomfortable – he’s barely above water at 0.87. I’m just not sold on the guy yet, and that’s a big piece of why. Plus (and admittedly, I don’t have the ability to track this down) – how does Martis’ BABIP compare with the rest of that rotation? Is he getting lucky?

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