Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Give Up on Minor?

Below are the statistics for several Braves pitchers starting out their career. Some stats were for part of a season, others are for more than a single season. Which should be given up on?

win/loss-ERA - K/BB

Some pitchers mature quicker than others. When promoted to the majors, almost every player requires an adjustment period. Very few will be lights out right out of the box.

Several questions need to be answered (feel free to reply!):
1. How long should you stick with a talented young pitcher?
2. Is two months long enough?
3. Should a talented pitcher be allowed to find his way over the course of a season?
4. Or demoted to the minors if they’re still struggling after a month or two?
5. Should all pitchers be treated the same?
6. What expectations should be placed on a young pitcher?
7. The same expectations as a veteran, number one starter?

Talented young pitchers are valuable commodities. Since they all don’t blossom into stars, it’s prudent for a team to stockpile as many pitchers as possible. Braves fans are still upset that John Schuerholz traded Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison to the Rangers. Neither has become an All-Star, and the Braves have developed several starters and relievers to take their place.

Going into the season, the Braves starting pitchers lined up thusly:
1. Hudson: missed April due to surgery, but feels great.
2. Jurrigans: 2011 All Star first half, then faded. Now at AAA.
3. Hanson: 2011 similar to Jurrigans…coming off injuries.
4. Beachy: impressive 2011 rookie year, but still a # 4 starter.
5. Minor: rookie lefty installed as # 5 starter while others are seasoned in minors.
6. Delgado: rookie replaced the injured Hudson, then the demoted Jurrigans.
7. Teheran: grumbled about starting season in AAA, then struggled.
8. Medlin: started season in bullpen, now being groomed to start.

The Braves made the decision to dump veteran Derek Lowe. After several poor seasons in the National League, he has started his 2012 campaign strong (though he was roughed up in his most recent start). perhaps he’s more comfortable in the AL.

More Questions:
1. Should the Braves trade for more pitching (or hitting)?
2. Who should be traded?
3. If prospects should be traded, why shouldn’t the Braves just play them instead?
4. If a starting position player should be traded, who takes their place?
5. Remember, teams trading with the Braves will demand value in return.

Experts say a player doesn’t reach his prime until a player is between 25 to 29. Knowing this, how soon should a young player be given up on?

Today the Braves are three games above .500, with 111 games yet to be played. They’ve played the past week without Chipper, McCann, Ross, and Freeman. Diaz played sick. The number one starter spent the first month of the season on the DL. The number two starter has spent most of the season in the minors. The starting five has been made up of two rookies, a sophomore undrafted free agent, and a third-year man coming off an injury. Should the Braves panic?

I say no.

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