MiLB RH Starting Pitching – DanO could be right?
With the recent Ubaldo trade I got to thinking what ever happened to all that Rockies pitching depth in the MiLB that everyone was so high on just a couple of years back. If my memory is correct the Rockies have traded away a hand full of right handed starting pitchers that at the time seemed like good bets to at least become serviceable pitchers at the MLB level. In other words I cringed when DanO traded these players at the time the trades were made.
1. Anuery Rodriguez – If you want to count the Houston Astros as a MLB team, then yes he has made it to the MLB although the 4.66 ERA is really not all that impressive. Still here was a guy that dominated at AA Tulsa for the Rockies and has yet to see that success translate in a similar way to higher levels.might be a very comparable type pitcher, although Rogers could still have a higher ceiling just based on talent.
2.– Doing just ok with Oakland and has apparently been moved from the rotation to being merely a bullpen arm. The 4.47 ERA at AAA is just alright, and with that he certainly fills the pitching “depth” description for Oakland. He was always projected to be a bullpen piece for the Rockies at some point anyway, and it seems that is where his ceiling will ultimately end up – except in Oakland.
3.– A personal favorite of mine, even though he was a bit old to really be a prospect and walked a few too many batters to be considered a reliable MLB starting pitcher. Again Deduno dominated the hitters at Tulsa and I really thought he had an outside chance at a bullpen spot with the Rockies. After being traded he did have some injuries however he is currently finding it hard to break into MLB with the Padres – still that 3.38 ERA at AAA looks pretty solid.
4. Chris Balcom-Miller – CBM was a huge minor league Rockie favorite of mine because his strikeout vs walk ratio was fantastic (just like C Bettis) at the levels below AA. Control will always be a valuable asset when a pitcher expects to end up pitching in Coors Field. The 2011 season however has been somewhat of a struggle for CBM as illustrated by his combined 4.34 ERA for Boston at the A+/AA levels. In short he dominates at the A levels but gets shelled when he jumps up to AA. And for the record this was one trade that I absolutely hated at the time.
5. Connor Graham – Like CBM, Graham had decent numbers at the A and under minor league levels. He was a strong arm fastball pitcher with some control issues as I remember. He now has struggled a bunch over the last two seasons and was recently released by the Cleveland organization. DanO pretty sure you were right on the money with this one!
The Rockies left handed MiLB starting pitchers like Frierich, Matzek and Hollingsworth – well that is another story for another day.
Only Rodriguez and Deduno would appear to have even marginal value for the Rockies MLB roster at this point. Even at that – the value would likely fall at the bottom part of the bullpen, or to say that another way a right handed bullpen pitcher similar to E Escalana. That’s not terrible at all, but it is not the same value as a pitcher that can hold down a spot in the MLB starting rotation. So even though I hated to see the Rockies trade these MiLB Rockie starting pitchers that I thought had significant value for the future – looks like I was wrong.
Good job DanO – now how about finding that RH power corner IF/OF bat?