Saturday, January 24, 2009

Projecting Texas Rangers Pitching

Links to Mike Hindman's 2009 Rangers Pitching Prospects series here.
Candid photos of Rangers Pitching Propects here. h/t The Newberg Report

Potential 2010 Rotation:

McCarthy..Rangers property through 2012; Replacement: Main in 2012
Harrison...Rangers property through 2014; Replacement: Martin Perez in 2013
Diamond..Rangers property through 2015; Replacement not in org
Holland....Rangers property through 2015; Replacement not in org
Feliz.........Rangers property through 2015; Replacement not in org

22 Year Old Pitcher Derek Holland ==>

I love every pitcher on that potential staff. I predict McCarthy will ripen and become a championship pitcher.

Some careers will end due to injury. Let's speculate Hurley's career is over. Otherwise, he would be a factor.

Main replaces McCarthy in time to trade McCarthy for prospects.

Martin Perez replaces Harrison in time to trade Harrison for prospects.

I recommend both Main and Perez serve at least half a season in the bullpen before moving to the rotation. The Rangers will have so much pitching and depth at that point, there will be no reason to move pitchers directly into the rotation. Give the young pitchers all the advantages - including acclimation time. Let the veteran starters continue giving outstanding performances.

<== Pitcher Joe Wieland turned 19 on Wednesday

These four big arms are potential championship quality starters: Poveda(94mph), Beavan(I project 94), Castillo(96), Wieland(I project 95).

B/c the starters ahead of them will be so outstanding, the above second group might shift to the bullpen.

B/c Rangers management likes the idea of Diamond in the bullpen, opportunity could occur for Beavan, especially, to break into the rotation. Beavan's outstanding control would serve him well.

Potential 2010 Bullpen:

Francisco.Rangers property through 2010; Replacement: Poveda or Beavan in 2011
Madrigal..Rangers property through 2014; Replacement: Carlos Melo in 2014
Rupe........Rangers property through 2012; Replacement: Wieland or N. Ramirez in 2013
Nippert....Rangers property through 2013; Replacement: (1) (any year replacement is ready)
Feldman..Rangers property through 2012; Replacement: (2) (any year replacement is ready)
Wilson.....Rangers property through 2011; Replacement: Murphy or Corey Young in 2012
Gabbard..Rangers property through 2013; Replacement: Kiker in 2011

Every reliever who is replaced before free agency (Madrigal, Nippert, Feldman, Gabbard) is traded for prospects.

<== Pitcher Doug Mathis

(1) Bannister(96mph) or Strop(94) or Laughter(94) or Castillo(96)

(2) Feldman holds the long relief spot. Rangers have a deep cast of control pitchers who could hold that spot: Hunter(90), Mathis(92), Murray(a favorite of mine, 90), Mendoza(92+), Ballard(88ish+), Schlact(I've a hunch he will be a factor, 93+), Hyatt(92?), Moscoso(94), Phillips(90), Reed(94), Gomez(90)

Catcher Max Ramirez==>

The Rangers have other outstanding pitching prospects who were not mentioned. The developing pitching is so outstanding that the Rangers ought zealously guard their hitting prospects. At this point, there is no reason for the Rangers to trade a hitting prospect for a control pitcher who throws between 90 and 95 mph. Unless the pitcher prospectively controls 96+ heat, the Rangers should hang onto, for instance, a hitter like Saltalamacchia. The Rangers should hang onto Catcher/DH Max Ramirez under virtually all scenarios. The organization must zealously guard their championship hitters.

The organization is in a weird spot. They haven't had outstanding pitching since Fergie Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, and Jim Bibby left town. And yet, and yet: the organization must have faith they already control a deep group of outstanding pitching. They cannot mess up if they simply let the existing pitching develop, and let injuries and successes occur as they may. That is a brash potential 2010 Pitching Staff. The Rangers are one year from having something like it in place - at dirt cheap prices - if they just sit tight. On the other hand, they can mess up if they trade a talented hitter - Justin Smoak, for instance - for pitching depth which they do not need. The organization must ignore a long history of pitching trauma in favor of having faith in the pitchers they have. They must believe what they see with their own eyes.


Bro 64 said...

1. Moscoso, Strop, and Bannister (in that order) are coming sooner than you suggest.
2. Neil Ramirez and Wilfredo Boscan will challenge Diamond and McCarthy in the starting rotation.
3. When you consider this group as a whole, it makes you realize that we really, really, really need either Matt Harrison or Kasey Kiker to succeed big time, so we have a left handed starter to pair with Derek Holland. FYI, there should be no question about Derek Holland's future, because Kris has declared him a sure thing and her favorite Ranger. Kris has a crush!
4. Carlos Melo is a looooong way from being a sure thing in 2014, but you also left off Wilmer Font and Kennil Gomez. I'm willing to buy that one of those three will break through to the Show, but I wouldn't put money on all three.
5. Tommy Hunter, Doug Mathis, Jared Hyatt, and Michael Schlact - all are favorites of the guys who interact with them, all are highly regarded character guys. Root hard for each of them to make it through, because their presence in the clubhouse and on road trips will only make our team better, but ............ the signs are ominous that they may not have the stuff to make it big.
5. Totally agree that we should resist trading a talented everyday player for another pitcher who adds depth. It's an odd place in Rangers history when the pitching depth is greater than the everyday depth, but here we are. The Rangers are at that place with their pitching staff where they are like Bill Simmons' Stouffer's Pizza analogy: yeah you can microwave the pizza and it's ready faster, but the crust doesn't cook right and it's never as good. To make it right, you've just gotta take the time to put it in the oven and let it bake.

Bro 64

gcotharn said...

I edited to reflect that Nippert and Feldman might be replaced before their controllable years expire. Didn't mean to imply differently, so glad you pointed to this.

Excited about N. Ramirez, but watching for his fastball control to improve. To me, starters need the best control of anyone on staff. So, I kind of project N. Ramirez as a reliever.

Agree re Harrison and Kiker. We need them BOTH to succeed, so one can man bullpen. We don't have that many LH who throw really hard. C.J. and Kiker and BeauJo are the only ones who are in Arlington or close to Arlington. Speaking of: this is perfect nickname for Martin Perez: "Marpez". I made it up, and I like it.

I like your #5 pitchers chances of succeeding with somebody, even if not with us. Schlact: 6'7", throws 93 with sink. I like him. Poor Jared Hyatt. What a great guy. Hello, Tokyo.

Let it bake!