Minors Pitching Staff Analysis, pt. 2

The pitching staff for Harrisburg is only marginally easier to scope out the candidates than Syracuse. Most of the FA pitchers signed this past offseason seem destined for upstate New York, but it’s indeed possible for some of them to end up in central PA — especially if the brass wants them to work with Sens pitching coach Paul Menhart.

When I assess the possibilities, it seems easier to select the starters and swingmen versus the relievers. Potomac had eight pitchers start 10 or more games, but that wasn’t a function of injuries or promotions. It was reassignment due to failure in the role.

Most of those P-Nats starters-turned-middle-relievers I don’t see coming to Harrisburg. Unfortunately, the bevy of MLB-fringe relievers is going to make it hard for last year’s men in the Sens pen (sorry, couldn’t resist) to make the jump. In other words, it’s not that some of these guys aren’t good enough for AAA — there’s simply not room for them all in Syracuse.

Danny Rosenbaum Evan Bronson Pat Lehman
Paul Demny Jimmy Barthmaier Hassan Pena
Sammy Solis Cory VanAllen
Tanner Roark Patrick McCoy
Adam Olbrychowski Hector Nelo
Josh Smoker
Marcos Frias
Joe Testa
Christian Garcia

That’s 16 candidates for 12 spots, and that’s not counting the guys that might get pushed down from Syracuse. Presuming I’m even close to calling the field, figuring out the bullpen usage will be a tough task. Even with Josh Smoker or without Cory VanAllen, the bullpen is likely to be one of the oldest in the league, which has been a trend under the Rizzo FO due to drafting so many college seniors and the numerous reclamation projects in recent years (e.g. Segovia, James, Bisenius, Perez).

Next up, we look over the possible pitchers for Potomac — a group which might have some 2011 draft picks (but probably won’t).

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of NationalsProspects.com. Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

6 thoughts on “Minors Pitching Staff Analysis, pt. 2”

  1. Rosenbaum & Solis are the big stories here, potentially the next big deals in the system.
    Provided that Solis is healthy enough to be pitching this year.

    1. I agree. I like a healthy Solis as one of the top Nats starters in all of the minors…maybe the top. But, I think we are strong in LH pitchers which may open the market for some trades.

    2. I hate to sound negative, but based on what I have seen so far, I have no reason to belive Solis can stay healthy. I wish him the best, and hope he can get a couple of consistent seasons together because I think he can help us at the top. I just don’t think its going to happen.

  2. Lehman was sent to the AFL and is sitting at 25.5 on opening day, so am I wrong in looking at his year to be his big opportunity? Luke points out that the HBG pen will likely be amongst the most ‘senior’ out there and Lehman certainly increases the avg. He did pitch pretty solid in ’11 at both HBG and POT for what it’s worth. As for the RP’s, Smoker and Frias are two that I look forward to seeing progress this year.

  3. I think this looks like a good group of arms for AA. I hope Rosenbaum can keep up his roll from last year and Solis has a healthy year. If so, it could be a decent year in Harrisburg.

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