May 5, 2014

Talkin' Baseball: Stroman, AL East, & the Brewers

49er16: Looks like the Blue Jays have finally called up uber-prospect Marcus Stroman while placing another pitcher on the DL again (poor Brendan Morrow again). The Blue Jays pitching staff hasn't been that bad but their staff does give up a lot of walks over 9 innings and the pitchers don't exactly help themselves with a xFIP over 4. How much will this move help them?

The Colonel: Well they're only 3 games back in what looks like a pretty weak AL East this year. On the other hand looking at their pitching staff's numbers, they look very mediocre overall. Mark Buehrle is pitching well but RA Dickey isn't fooling anyone anymore. Drew Hutchinson won't average 10 strikeouts per 9 innings the entire year. Stroman helps them a little, but not by much. What will be interesting is will that division continue looking mediocre the whole year?

49er16: The AL East is weird this year. All the teams have a negative run differential but they're all ranked in the top 20 for pitching. Does everything even out by the end of the year? Will the Orioles pitching staff catch up with their offense? Will the Red Sox offense catch up with their pitching staff?

The Colonel: Which gets us back to the Blue Jays? Can they compete this year? I don't think they can because their complete starting rotation has flaws up and down it. Injuries, players playing over their heads, pitchers not getting younger. I'm not a believer even with Marcus Stroman getting a call up.

49er16: Speaking of teams playing over their heads, I'm not a believer of the Brewers. Their team OBP is below average and they're hitting home runs. Sorry but I'm not a big believer in home run or bust teams (also looking at you Giants).

The Colonel: I like the Brewers starting pitchers, but that bullpen scares me. Now that is a group who is playing over their head. Now they could keep up that pace all season, like the 05 White Sox, but I highly doubt it. Now we'll see if that bullpen has a complete collapse or can they weather the storm when they're not playing well?

49er16: Staying in the NL Central, the Pirates are in last place but their offense hasn't been that bad. Their pitching staff, which was their strength last year, has been pretty bad this year. Gerrit Cole hasn't taken the next step, Liriano has been mediocre, and Jason Grilli has fallen off the cliff like expected.

The Colonel: I never thought much of the Pirates. They were the ultimate "team held together by spit and elbow grease" last year. What I want to see with them is their prospects. You would think eventually they'd have to call up Polanco and bench Travis Snider?

49er16: Yeah I don't get not calling up Polanco yet. He's destroying Triple-A and they're still trotting out Travis Snider every day.

The Colonel: Should we be worried about Rockies? They get on base and hit a lot of home runs. And their pitching staff hasn't been that bad this year. They're another team though who I don't trust in the long run because of their bullpen.

49er16: Yeah their bullpen has seen a lot of work so far this year and that includes a decrepit LaTroy Hawkins still trotting out there. Still that's a dangerous team IF Tulowitzski and Carlos Gonzalez stay healthy and they have so far.

The Colonel: And that ballpark will always be in their favor. Look at that game on Saturday when they beat the Mets 11-10. On one hand their offense can win games like that, on the other those type of games wear out pitching staffs over the year. I think they'll be in all year and eventually wear down late.

49er16: So what games are we looking forward to this week? I know the Dodgers-Giants series on Thursday will be huge like usual.

The Colonel: A few good series' this week besides that one. You have Reds-Red Sox, Braves-Cardinals, and Rangers-Rockies. Lets see how well the Rockies play against a team like the Rangers who have the players to keep up with their offense.

49er16: Have a good weeks folks.

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