05 March 2010

Scouting Report

The initial results are mostly in now, and at this point in spring training I'd say the pitching rotation stacks up as follows:

1. Justin Verlander - we'll go ahead and tentatively pencil him in as the staff ace, pending the results of his first spring training performance.

2. Rick Porcello - the kid sent six in order back to the dugout in his two innings of work.

3. Jeremy Bonderman - two scoreless innings, highlighted by three strikeouts; good to see him looking like his old self (including allowing the first two batters he faced to reach base).

4. Eddie Bonine - two scoreless innings, one hit and one walk.

5. Dontrelle Willis - the big surprise here is the D-Train, who got out of his two innings unscathed despite walking the lead-off hitter both times.

Waiting in the wings: Phil Coke - at this point he'll be coming out of the bullpen as he did for the Yanks last year, but should one of the top five guys falter, he could be available as a starter, and his two scoreless innings in his start against Florida Southern on Tuesday showed that he would be ready.

Not yet out of the running, but coming off pretty poor showings, are Max Scherzer (ERA: 13.50); Nate Robertson (ERA: 13.50); and Armando Galarraga (ERA: 36.00).


Craig said...

Aw, now you know that two bad innings in their first outings of the spring is hardly determinative of anything (just like it'll take WAY more than two good innings from Dontrelle before anyone really trusts him).

You're 'tentatively penciling in' Justin Verlander as the ace? As if there were any other candidates?

If I had to guess (which I don't, but what the heck), I'd say

1) Verlander
2) Porcello
3) Scherzer
4) Bonderman (lot of questions with him, but so far, so good)
5) not a clue; Willis, Robertson, Galarraga and Coke are all candidates; we'll see who emerges. Robertson's work last Sep. was pretty encouraging. . .

Valverde will be much easier on my blood pressure than Rodney was (or Todd Jones), and the early reports on Zumaya are also encouraging, so the bullpen might even be pretty good. . .

John said...

Well, alright, perhaps I exaggerated the seriousness of tone... ;)

I'd have to say, I agree with your lineup there, and I hope Nate's the one who makes that fifth spot, if only for old times' sake.

Craig said...

Actually, a 'by-committee' approach to the 5th-starter spot wouldn't surprise me a whole lot. It'd be nice to have more than one left-handed starter, but I don't see it, unless Bonderman just can't go. . .

Of course, the major question with this year's Tigers is, can they hit enough to not waste all the pitching they're likely to have. . .

I don't ever remember a team with so many absolutely schizophrenic question marks. Bonderman, Zumaya, Robertson, Willis, Inge, Magglio, Cabrera, - any or all of those guys could be anywhere from a disaster to really, really good. . . And that doesn't even get to whether Sizemore or Austin Jackson are ready to play. . .

Somebody Calls Me Nana said...

Let me just jump in here to repeat last year's mantra -"you're killing me, Rodney!" Almost anyone would be easier on the bp.