February 8th, 2014
When we last got together, I wrote about some pitching woes lingering in the American League. This time I’ll check out the NL to see what’s happening with the rotations.
The Braves will turn to youth for their pitching future. They are solid with Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, Julio Teheran, Brandon Beachy and Alex Wood to fill their rotation. But health issues remain. Can Beachy and Medlen take the grind of an entire season? I’ll be writing about Aaron Northcraft soon on MLBPipeline.com. But in the end, most teams would love to have as solid a rotation as the Braves-if those guys can stay healthy.
This Miami Marlins team is just a hint of what is yet to come. With Jose Fernandez leading the pack, the Marlins could be set for years. Just wait until prospect Andrew Heaney joins him.
For me, Fernandez is a top of the charts pitcher. Few are better. Period.
I’m very bullish on Nathan Eovaldi. I’ve seen what he can do when his command is sharp. He’s a guy to watch this season.
Beyond Fernandez and Eovaldi, I think the rotation cools off with Jacob Turner being only average in my book. Henderson Alvarez and Tom Koehler probably take the last two spots. But with Heaney and Justin Nicolino on the way, things brighten.
Noah Syndergaard is the real deal, but he likely won’t make the Mets rotation out of Spring Training. However, Bartolo Colon is their ace, and that’s not bad. With the exception of Zack Wheeler, I’m not too excited.
For example, will Jon Niese find consistency in his release point? How about Dillon Gee? Can he be a big winner? Jenrry Mejia has an electric arm, but some of that has been lost in his elbow injury. Lots of questions on this staff.
I think this is the last hurrah for the Phillies and their staff. Cliff Lee will be dominant as usual and can be counted on to throw strikes, walk few and get little run support.
Cole Hamels pitches in bad luck as well. But after him, I think the rotation has issues with Kyle Kendrick, Miguel Gonzalez and Roberto Hernandez. This is not the pitching juggernaut that brought fear to the opposition in the past. But I do like Kendrick.
Then there’s the Nationals.
They are about as solid a rotation as one can find in baseball.
Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmerman, Fister and Detwiler. Yikes!. And can you explain to me how in the world they got Doug Fister from Detroit? For what? I’m just askin. That was the greatest steal of the last 10 years. What am I missing here?
The Cubs. You want pitching issues? This is a team with one of the greatest collections of position prospects I’ve seen in years! But where’s the pitching?
I like Jeff Samardzija. And I can spell his name. However, I begin to shake my head when I look at the rotation of Edwin Jackson, Travis Wood, Jason Hammel and Jake Arrieta. Maybe they’ll surprise. But the pitching looks a little thin through these thick glasses.
The Reds will miss Bronson Arroyo. They’ll miss his innings and his ability. And they haven’t replaced him as far as I can tell. Can Johnny Cueto stay healthy? I do like Mat Latos and Homer Bailey. I think Tony Cingrani can be a stud. But what if Mike Leake leaks? Which I believe he is capable of doing. So overall, I don’t think it’s bad. I just think Arroyo is a huge loss.
Just who is Yovani Gallardo? Will the guy I thought he would be ever show up? Can Matt Garza stay healthy and not give up homers in Miller Park? I thought last year we would see Wily Peralta and Marco Estrada become big winners. Maybe this is their year. I like them both, but was disappointed last season. Kyle Lohse does help the Brewers.
I do think the top of the Pirates rotation is very formidable with Liriano and Cole. A great one-two punch. But they need A.J. Burnett to come back and eat some innings. I’m not a huge Wandy Rodriguez fan, but he is a solid 4th starter. Charlie Morton and Edinson Volquez if Burnett bolts. That’s a bit scary for a pennant contender, no?
Here are my issues/concerns with the Cardinals rotation.—————————————
How would you like to be a manager and be able to throw Wainwright, Miller, Wacha, Garcia, Lynn, Kelly, or Martinez at the opposition day in and day out. Unfair!
Beware the Dbacks if you play in the NL. They got much better yesterday with the signing of Bronson Arroyo. They can absorb an injury now with Randal Delgado in the wings. And Archie Bradley, too. Corbin, Arroyo, McCarthy, Miley, Cahill. Not too shabby.
Yes, I feel sorry for any pitcher working in Coors. Even with the humidor. But the Rockies have some great arms such as Jorge de La Rosa and when healthy, Brett Anderson. Jhoulys Chacin can shine, but has to be healthy. Tyler Chatwood and Franklin Morales round out the rotation. BUT-Eddie Butler and Jon Gray are in development and just wait until you see them. They are both the real deal. Electric.
Yes, for me, it’s Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu and then who?
The Dodgers go three deep and then fall off the ravine. I hope Josh Beckett is healthy. If he is-he’ll be fine. But it’s a big IF. I hope Dan Haren isn’t totally spent. If he is, they have issues. Zach Lee awaits his turn.
Health issues? What team has had to deal with more pitching injuries than San Diego?
But I think Ian Kennendy, Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, Josh Johnson and Erik Stults will give the club a chance to win every night. That’s all that can be asked of a starter. But will Johnson pitch past May? Tyson Ross is a real, real sleeper. The guy has a great arm. I’d like to see more movement on his fastball, but what an arm.
Lots of innings on the arms of the Giants starters. Especially Matt Cain. I’ve seen him very, very good and at times, bad. Madison Bumgarner just keeps getting better. I’m Tim Lincecum’s biggest fan and I want that fastball to miss bats. And I want him to throw strikes with it. Tim Hudson? I’m not sure. And I don’t know who the 5th starter is. David Huff? The Giants pitching has never been a question. Until last year. Now, I see some holes. And I’m really pulling for Lincecum to right the ship. I think he can.
As always, thanks for reading my work on MLBPipeline.com. And you can follow me on twitter @BerniePleskoff and on Short Hops podcast available free on iTunes.
It’s time for baseball. I’ll be here all season. From Spring Training on. Hope you’ll be with me. And bring your friends to BERNIE’S BASEBALL WORLD.
That’s it. I’m done.