What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
With the trade-deadline looming and everybody anxious as to what moves the Rangers front office is trying to make, I decided to change things up a bit. Assuming the Rangers make the playoffs in 2011 with the starting rotation remaining as-constructed, what would your starting 4 be and why? Here's mine:
1-C.J. Wilson (The obvious anchor to the rotation)
2-Alexi Ogando (Seems to control the game against every team other than the Yankees---the only question is will his arm hold-up)
3-Matt Harrison (Has shown some real toughness and grit on the mound and has been very consistent)
4-Colby Lewis (Yes he dominated the Yankees in the 2010 ALCS, but he has been bipolar to say the least---VERY homerun prone)
I am with you with CJ and Ogando, but I have to go with Colby as my #3 only to make Harrison my #1 lefty out of the pen...he is instantly a better option that Oliver and Rhodes if he is moved to the pen
As of today, I would think Harrison is more likely to be in the top 4 with Holland moving to the pen as a lefty specialist. They both have about the same xFIP but most of Harrison's other numbers are better and he's been more consistent and less prone to meltdowns. And Holland's gotten better results against lefties.
Hopefully, Harrison continues to get better.
Should probably wait to see if Ogando wears down the 2nd half of the season before pronouncing him playoff rotation material.
I love the "hope Harrison continues to get better" view. I think in terms of I "hope Harrison continues to dominate". While you always want a player to get better, no matter how good they are, I think it is selling Harrison short by not pointing out that he is dominant right now...and has been for most of the year. (minus 2 or 3 starts)
Thank you meat227. exactly. the whole theory of Harry being the first lefty out of the pen could be said about holland. harrison is our 3rd best pitcher right now and should be treated as such.
CJ, Colbra, Harrison, Ogando (if healthy) there's your line up as of now.
hopefully with all this GD waiting it can be something along the lines of FELIX, CJ, Colbra, Harrison. a dude can dream right?
Harrison's been consistently good since the couple of games where he melted down early in the season. But I don't know if I'd describe him as dominant. His K/BB rate is improving but it's still not great. He seems to make up for it by inducing a lot of ground balls and double plays. He seems to have gotten to the point where you can expect 6 to 7 innings every outing, which is a lot better than I would've thought at the beginning of the season. I think he can get even better if he can figure out how to strike more people out. That was the point I was trying to make.
Dream away DC!
I knew someone would throw the K/BB ratio at me. K rates don't do a whole lot for me, outs are what count. I see weak contact and an absurd amount of double plays. I do understand why stats guys can be cautious with Harry, but I am sold.
Harrison's K/BB ratio may not scream dominance, but he has been a very important cog in the Rangers' rotation to say the least. You can pretty much expect 7 innings of about 3 ER or less from him every start. It's been difficult for me because of his past failures, but I've grown to trust Matt Harrison on the mound, even in big games. The guy's a legitimate grinder.
Holland's looking pretty good, too. Another complete game shutout.
We have a problem in the rotation we have never had and one most teams would love to have. That is 5 quality arms to fill 4 spots (granted, no true ace, but quality arms nonetheless). Whoever goes to the pen will instantly improve the bullpen situation. We have 5 guys who can (stress CAN) shut down an offense on any given night. Sure, they can also lay an egg but so can the very truest of aces...at least they all have the ability to be great in any small sample. Could bode well in the crapshoot that is the playoffs.
The thing I took away from last year is that the Rangers gained invaluable post season experience while still "going for it." And I think that will be the best part of this drive to the playoffs and hopefully beyond. You gotta keep Ogando, Harrison and Holland in there during the season. Maybe an occasional skip or two for Ogando, but keep him in there. To me, its about this year AND the future.
With that as basis, you go:WIlsonOgandoHarrisonLewis
And Holland in pen as long man like last year. As much as I'd LOVE Holland to start and get that experience, Harrison has simply been better. And maybe we get lucky and dont have to use much in 1st 2 games and he can go long in game 3 if Harrison doesn't.
Rank in the AL amongst starters for WHIP
6th Ogando18th Lewis20th Wilson24th Harrison
Rank in the AL amongst starters for ERA
8th Ogando10th Harrison13th Wilson30th Lewis
The starter not on either list leads MLB in shutouts.
We have great options. When the playoffs arrive you look at the matchups and you look at who is healthy and demonstrating command of their stuff and you get after it.
I don't think you can figure it out today because too much is unknown. But it sure is nice to have five starters that are worthy of taking the hill in the playoffs.
Two months left and a lot can change. Whole discussion is premature.
Is anyone else less comfortable when Colby takes the mound than any other guy in the rotation? Not saying he isn't a good pitcher- he is. I just feel better with the other 4 on the hill than with him.
I'm concerned about Lewis's fastball velocity again. For the year, he's down from 90 to 88.8. But the bigger problem is that he had gotten his velocity back up to around 89-90, but in the last 3 games, it's started to tank. Last night, I believe his average was the worst of the year, including the games early in the year. Watching the game, I didn't see anything go above 89, most were between 86-88, and I saw at least one that was 83. And you can't blame it on the gun. Scherzer was in the mid to upper 90s.
Is he injured or what?
Here's his velocity chart: http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfxo.aspx?playerid=1259&position=P&pitch=FA
My rotation is CJ, Ogando, Harrison, Colby. Holland to the pen. Holland is great against bad teams but lousy against good teams - in the playoffs, guess which kind of teams you'll find? And by having Colby 4th, you have an extreme advantage over the other team by having a post-season tested veteran going against probably a young guy. I'll take that. Harrison can hold his own at 3. But I think winning game 2 with Ogando is critical, especially with a potential matchup of CJ vs. CC, Beckett/Lester, Verlander.
I think we can safely say now that if we face Detroit in the playoffs our rotation would maximize the amount of appearances for Ogando. I think that even means in a 5 game series Ogando pitches 1 & 5, CJ 2, Harry 3, Lewis 4.
It will make me crazy if Wash made it CJ, Colby, Harry, Ogando just because it's "consistent" or to protect egos. Does anyone think we wouldn't face Brett Cecil as many times as possible if we were playing the Jays in the playoffs? Play the matchups no the egos.
RFan, IF, big if, Colby's hurt.... he's been hurt all year. and you gotta give him some mad quabbles for playing hurt all year. and still win 10 games. his velocity is down, its been down all year. i really dont think theyre's any explanation. he lost a lot of weight, that could be it. he's supposedlly changed his grip on the ball to help with his secondary pitches, that could have a lot to do with it. But in my opinion, I think he was gassed around this time last year (when he had 9 wins and it took him like 6 or 7 starts to get that ellusive 10th). I think he's been holding back all year. Dont be surprised as we get closer to the end of the season if you see an increase in his velocity and number of wins etc.
If I recall correctly, the reason it took Colby so many starts to get to 10 last year had nada to do with Colby's pitching. I believe he got something like 14 runs of support over a span of 6 starts. We won a few of those games with late offense, but never when he was still in the game so he got a few losses and a few no decisions.
I agree with Scooby (again) - Colby is the guy I have the least amount of confidence in. That said, you know pretty quick what you are going to get out of him. He either comes out and is hitting his spots and has the velo up around 91-92, or he is wild from the get go and has to struggle to get anyone out. He is either really sharp and capable of going deep in a game or is eratic from the get go. You know Wash and Maddux can see this as well, I wonder why they don't plan to have a shorter leash when they see 'bad Colby'. Or maybe Bad Colby sucks so bad so quickly they dont have time to even pull the leash.
Either way if the playoffs started tomorrow (they don't. Im pretty sure.) I would set my rotation as such:CJHarrisonOgandoColby
Dutch goes to the pen. In spite of feeling better when Dutch takes the mound, I can't completely discount what happened in the post season last year...Colby was huge. That experience can't hurt and I don't want to waste it in a mop up role. Plus, I think adding a power left arm to the bullpen could be more beneficial than a crafty righty who is either on or off. You add Holland to the arms we have now in the bully and you should feel pretty good if you take a lead into the 6th.
Don't forget that the Rangers beat the Yankees last year with Cliff Lee only pitching 1 game. Rangers vs. Yankees rotation:
I enjoyed watching these recaps. I had forgotten how dominate we were.
2010 ALCS - Ranger vs. Yankees
Game 1 ALCS - CJ http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=12833941Game 2 ALCS - Colbyhttp://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=12845429Game 3 ALCS - Leehttp://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=12857169Game 4 ALCS - Hunterhttp://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=12864763Game 5 ALCS - CJhttp://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=12874959Game 6 ALCS - Colbyhttp://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=12893149
Thanks for posting those, Chris. good times...
DC, I know Colby's velocity has been down all year. He's definitely not the same pitcher this year. But he had a 5 game stretch where his avg. was up around 90. A couple of games ago, it dropped some. Then this last game was the lowest it's been all season according to PitchFX. Anyway, watching the game, it was shocking that some of his fastballs almost looked like batting practice type pitches. Guess we'll just have to wait and see whether this is the start of a trend or if it was just a fluke.
I agree with Adam. When bad Colby makes an appearance, it becomes horrific pretty quick. Wash needs to have Feldman ready to go.
How a month can change things. Remember when we all thought Holland was heading for the pen? Now the playoff rotation is CJ, Holland, ?, ?. One of those question marks might turn out to be Scott Feldman! Unbelievable.
I know that Colby built up a lot of goodwill last year, but at this point, I'm not even sure I'm comfortable with him as the long reliever. He's completely fallen to pieces.
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