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It all starts with Chris Voldstad...because we're going by height.
Mess. Total mess. Our starting pitching was so bad last year. Two of our brightest spots, Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm are gone.
Jeff Samardzija was a revelation. Have to say, I had this guy written off. Didn't think he had the stuff to pull off the turnaround we saw last year. Guess he needed time to lose the football muscles and tone and tweak the baseball ones. This is definitely a guy we can build around. He's not a No.1 starter, but he's a solid 2/3.
Matt Garza is a stud. Which is why we all hope he puts up Cy Young numbers through June. This guy could bring back a hefty sum if he pitches to his ability. This is a case of his ability totally trumping his Wins/Losses. He's not going to have a good record next year because even with a high 2, low 3 ERA, he's going to lose a lot of games 3-2 and 2-1. Our offense is simply that bad. Fortunately I do believe his numbers will speak for themselves, and I think we will trade him at the deadline because we have to. But for the first half of the season this guy is our ace.
Travis Wood is schizophrenic. I thought this was a pretty good get for an inter division trade that saw Sean Marshall go to the Reds. Wood went 2-3 in June with a 7.36 ERA. He went 0-5 in July with a 4.14 ERA. In September he dropped the ERA to 3.34 and went 2-2. Love that his ERA dropped three consecutive months. Great sign for next year.
If Justin Germano is anywhere near our rotation next year we have veered off path. He finished the year 2-10. This cannot solely be blamed on lack of offense not backing his stellar performances. In August he was 1-3 with a 6.67 ERA. Sweet! In September he was 0-6 with a 7.76 ERA. In September games he had a 23/13 K/BB ratio. I'm not down for that.
Brooks Raley needs some time. The kid is 24. He was thrown into five starts last year and pitched...well, let's be honest. He pitched poorly. But again, he's 24. The kid is feisty and athletic.
Down on the farm we have precious few pitching prospects. Don't get me wrong, this is a far cry from having no pitching prospects in our minor league system.
Casey Coleman could grow up to be something some day. He has to find his control, harness his power and learn to pitch. He's not going to blow guys away with his velocity anymore.
Arodys Vizcaino is our reward for trading Maholm. He's coming off of Tommy John surgery but looks to be on track. This guy's stuff is nasty, and he doesn't turn 22 for a couple weeks. In 2011 he was the Atlanta Braves' top pitching prospect. The Atlanta Braves! Those dudes know pitching.
Trey McNutt has an awesome name. I hope he ends up with a personality like Brian Wilson so we can yell things like "You're McNutts!" I fully plan to employ the phrase "You've just been Nutted" when someone strikes out against him. McNutt needs to cut down on the walks. His overpowering fastball is a great weapon, but his curve is what will get him out of a lot of jams.
Trade: Send Jeimer Candelario, a corner INF for the future, and Lahair, a nice player who can play 1B, OF and DH to Seattle for Danny Hultzen.
Starting 5: Garza, Samardzija, Wood, Hultzen and Raley