Saturday, April 28, 2007

Armchair GM - Looking for pitching from within

Some helpful advice for J.P..

The Jays are not in a position to go get a Major League arm for either the bullpen nor the rotation, and it remains to be seen if shifting Towers to the pen and starting Zambrano will help.

With this in mind, let's take a look at who could possibly be ready this year to step in from the system.

Brian Wolfe, AAA, RHP, 26 years old - 11.0 IP, 0.82 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 11 Ks/3 BBs
Matt Roney, AAA, RHP, 27 years old - 10.0 IP, 0.90 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 12 Ks/3 BBs
Jordan De Jong, AA, RHP, 28 years old - 11.2 IP, 0.77 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 16 Ks/5 BBs
Jo Matumoto, AA, LHP, 36 years old - 10.2 IP, 2.53 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 8 Ks/4 BBs
Lee Gronkiewicz, AA, RHP, 28 years old - 10.1 IP, 2.61 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 12 Ks/2 BBs, 3 Saves
Connor Falkenbach, A, RHP. 25 years old - 9.1 IP, 0.96 ERA, 0.54 WHIP, 8 Ks/1 BBs, 6 saves

Dustin McGowan, AAA, RHP, 25 years old - 22 IP, 1.64 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 29 Ks/9 BBs
Geremi Gonzalez, AAA, RHP, 32 years old - 16.2 IP, 3.78 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 20 Ks/8 BBs
David Purcey, AA, LHP, 25 years old - 25.2 IP, 2.81 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 28 Ks/4 BBs
Jesse Litsch, AA, RHP, 22 years old - 17.1 IP, 1.56 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 13 Ks/5 BBs
Michael MacDonald, AA, RHP, 26 years old - 24.2 IP, 2.19 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 10 Ks/4 BBs

Now, obviously these stats are from a very small sample size, and these numbers would not translate to major league performance. But there are clearly some arms in the Jays system that may warrant a look, especially give what has happened late in games all season long.

So what should the Jays do?
-Give a good look at
Gronkiewicz, who has closed successfully at AAA.
-Roney has MLB experience (with Oakland last year and with the 2003 Tigers), and might be a reasonable extra arm should Towers flame out.
-McGowan likely needs a few more starts at AAA, but he will need to be ready to pitch for the big club within the next 12 months, so why not now? It's not like rushing young prospect to Show, since McGowan has pitched in the bigs before, and is likely mentally ready for the challenge.
-Purcey might have to wait until next year, but should be moved to AAA soon to challenge him.

Now, we're not experts. We just know that we can't continue to watch the Jays saunter out to the mound in late innings, gas cans in hand.

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