Now that we’ve taken a swag at the position players, it’s to time to project the four full-season pitching staffs. This is only the third time I’ve attempted this and I’m reminded every time I work the board why I resisted trying this in the first place: It’s really difficult.
The previous two times, I hedged by “overpicking” — naming more guys than the typical 12-man staff. This year, I decided just to go with the gut and stop at 12. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I think a guy at given level will be released (though that’s always a concern with picking the “A” teams) it just means I’m on the fence about where he fits in the organization’s plans, which I’m not privy to (and if I were, it wouldn’t be guessing!)
I also skipped anybody coming off surgery or that I believe has had surgery or was hurt. This is simply prudent: The only way we know a guy is healthy is when he pitches. Thus, by exension, I’m not designating anybody on the D.L. as I did a year ago.
With the caveats spelled out, let’s review how I picked the 2013 Syracuse pitchers…
|Yunesky Maya||Ryan Tatusko||Erik Davis|
|Ross Ohlendorf*||Fernando Abad*||Pat Lehman|
|Tanner Roark||Pat McCoy|
|Jeff Mandel||Hassan Pena|
|Matt Torra*||Cole Kimball|
|Bold = On 40-Man||Italics = Non-Roster Invitee||* = ’12-’13 MLFA|
Missing on roles doesn’t bother me much because pitchers are moved in and out of the bullpen all the time in the minors, which is part of what the farm is for — finding a role that suits a pitcher so he can contribute when the big club calls him up.
One of the two that I got entirely wrong started at AA (Lehman) and never made it up, the other was released (Pena). All things considered, this is probably as good as it gets for an exercise like this. Still, I’m aware of some the ones I got right were just barely… McCoy and Perry, for example, were demoted in April and June respectively; Cole Kimball was in Viera until late June.
Finally, here’s my projection for the 2014 Syracuse staff, without the cushion of extra picks or the track record of spring training usage:
|Taylor Jordan||Ryan Tatusko*||Aaron Barrett|
|Matt Swynenberg||Tyler Robertson*|
|Danny Rosenbaum||Daniel Stange*|
|Chris Young*||Zack Jackson*|
|Blake Treinen||Neil Holland|
|Bold = On 40-Man||Italics = Non-Roster Invitee||* = ’13-’14 MLFA|
Obviously, I feel the least amount of confidence in the starters… Taylor could win the #5 starter’s job in DC… Young could be released before the Ides of March… Rosenbaum could be converted to relief in an effort to buy more time for Sammy Solis to develop… not to mention any number of possibilities resulting from how the “Big Nats” pitching staff is constructed.
Next up: The 2014 Harrisburg Senators.
UPDATE: Karns was traded literally while this was being written. Given the nature of such a post (a speculative prediction), I’m leaving it as is until more details of the trade are available.