Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Keys to the Season: Toledo Mudhens Rotation

The Minor League season kicks off tomorrow. I'm going to step through each team like I did the Tigers. Hopefully, this can be done before any moves are made.

Virgil Vasquez (25): This is a big season for V^2. He's obviously made quite an impression on the organization and is apparently thought of pretty highly. I'm not too high on him, based mostly on the high fly ball rate. If he can take a step forward and turn into a dominant AAA starter, he probably moves into the sixth starter role. As I mentioned with Bazardo, it's likely somebody will be needed for a significant amount of time over the summer. Vasquez currently has the leg up on everybody else in the minors, but all that can change based on this year's performance.

Chris Lambert (25): Don't let the fact that he's a former first round pick fool you. Most pundits thought of him as a reach at the time. Still, as with the rest of the Toledo starters, Lambert figures to get a shot if he pitches well. Remember, these guys can be used in the bullpen too if needed.

Eddie Bonine (26): The only Toledo starter not invited to camp, so less is probably known about Bonine. He was snagged in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft after the 2005 season and has pitched pretty well between Lakeland and Erie the past two seasons. He doesn't have overpowering stuff, but has great control. Stop me if you've heard this before: if he pitches well, he could get some starts at the Big League level.

Armando Galarraga (26): Well, the Tigers won this trade, as it was announced Michael Hernandez was released by Texas today. I'd be willing to bet we see Hernandez back in the organization shortly, but the guy we got for him seemed to take some steps forward this spring. Armando is not related to Andres (who was an overrated player, but that's a whole other topic). I guess the reason I'm so off topic on Armando Galarraga is that the story is the same for him as it is for the previous three. He could be up to the majors if injuries and performance issues deem it necessary. Galarraga does have an extensive injury history, which bears watching. His role this year will probably be similar to Yorman Bazardo last season, as it seems his future is in the bullpen.

Macay McBride (25): Moved back to the rotation, and I am very excited to see how he does and if his arm stretches out. This could be a brilliant move by the organization, or it could backfire, as there seems to be demand for another lefty in the pen. Watch his walks allowed. As I've pointed out before, McBride's control problems didn't start until he moved to the bullpen. We'll find out this season if that was a coincidence.


Derek Andrew said...

Andres Galarraga was not overrated.

Anonymous said...

funny to see this now when galaraga is by far the best pitcher in the tigers rotation