June 12, 2009
With the Big Unit getting his 300 victory at age 45, he is clearly coming to the end of a great career. So, it is time to pick his replacement—The Big Unit 2.0.
Okay, this is a stretch at this point. A large statistical-stretch, but only a small physical stretch.
Florida Marlins starting pitcher Sean West stands mighty at 6'8" and, after his amazing performance during his duel with the great Randy Johnson, he can temporarily claim the title of "The Big Unit 2.0"—at least for a couple of weeks.
West's stature is commanding, but not enough to even say hello to his legendary counterpart.
"He's pretty intimidating. I had plenty of opportunities, but I never said anything. I got a little stage fright,'' West said a day after his 4-0 victory over Johnson and the San Francisco Giants.
West pitched eight shutout innings, giving up just two hits and one walk while striking out six in his duel. He had a no-hitter though six innings.
The 23-year-old Lefty is 20-17 with a 3.36 and 298 strikeouts in 313 innings in his Minor League career.
West has a mid-90s power fastball and a nasty power breaking ball, but his awkward delivery can be problematic for it puts a lot of stress on his arm. In addition, he is basically a two-pitch-pitcher and this could mean the bullpen at some point.
He was called up from Double-A Jacksonville after going 4-2 with a 4.85 ERA because of Florida's desperate need for healthy starting pitching.
West's debut wasn't as successful. He went just 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks. Not a disaster, but nothing like his last performance either.
Like all young pitchers, West will be a gamble to put on your fantasy roster, but if you are in the need for starting pitching, he is worth a definite look.