• Nov

    JJ as a starter in the minors and what it means now

    by Sports Guy

    So, JJ last started in 2007(he had one AAA start in 2008, that lasted 4 innings, so I am not counting that).

    In that season, he appeared in 26 games and 25 of them were starts. He threw 148 IP, or just under 6 IP per start.

    His walk rate was just under 3, his K rate was 6.6 and his HR rate was just under 1. He did that at age 24 and in a pitchers league.

    The year before that, in Bowie, he had 26 starts. He again pitched about 6 IP per start. His K rate was .5K better and his walk rate was a little more than .3 higher than what he expereinced in AAA the next season. His HR rate was .75, a little better than it was in AAA.

    So, what do these stats tell us? They tell us that he did a good job eating innings, that his K and BB numbers were respectable and that he didn't give up a ton of homers.

    His ERAs in those seasons were 4.44 in Bowie and 4.07 in Norfolk. I am willing to give him somewhat of a pass on those numbers because his hit rate was a little high and since his a guy who gets grounders, maybe the defense and field conditions behind him hurt him and led to a high BABIP against him.

    In the minors, he showed some promise that he could perhaps be a #4 type guy who could eat innings.

    All of that is sort of encouraging IMO.

    HOWEVER, it has been 4 years since he last started a game on any kind of a consistent basis.

    he threw 91 IP last year, a season after he had some injury issues and only threw 26. In 2008 and 2009, he averaged 69 IP between the 2 years.

    So, he has shown, when healthy, that he can be a BP pitcher that can go out, be effective and give you multiple innings. That's a rare commodity in today's game.

    He has also shown that when he got to the pen, that his stuff got better...of course, that happens to almost every starter turned reliever, so I am not sure we can really put that much weight into that. We can not assume that he is going to be as nasty...The velocity will go down, the movement will not be as good, the hitters will see him more often, so he likely won't be as good.

    Still, does all of that mean that you don't at least see what you have with him as a starter for 15-20 starts?

    I think its a dumb idea to just say, let's see how he does in ST. Its a small sampling of innings and will really tell you very little.

    If you are committed to the idea of making him a starter, then you do it. You do it until at least the AS break.

    I think its a poor idea...I think you capatilize on his value now because he has been up and down and he has been injury prone....So, get rid of him now, get more pieces that are more important and move on. If not, I prefer him in the role he had last year and getting better starters. However, if you feel that you can't attract any decent starters at a good price and you aren't trading anyone to get more pitching in here, then I guess you can try JJ out.

    I think its lazy and I think its a poor decision but at least there is some chance that he can be a guy that can eat some innings and give you a good enough ERA to justify keeping him in the rotation.

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