Fantasy Baseball: Potential June 1 Call-Ups (Pitcher Edition)

Eric StashinSenior Writer IJune 6, 2011

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 18:  Starting pitcher Julio Teheran #57 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on May 18, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Diamondbacks defeated the Braves 5-4 in eleven innings.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Last week, we looked at a few infielders who could soon get the call now that the Super Two Status deadline has come and gone (click here to view the article). Today, let’s take a look at a few of the starting pitchers who may be on the cusp:

Kyle Gibson—Minnesota Twins
The Twins season is on the brink of complete collapse. The injuries and losses have mounted, leaving the team in a rare situation where they are not in contention and are looking toward the future. They have always seemed to be able to develop young pitching, and Gibson could be the next in line.

Through his first 11 starts he has gone 3-4 with a 3.90 ERA. On the surface, those numbers may not seem all that impressive, but over 60.0 innings he’s posted 64 strikeouts and just 11 walks. It’s just a continuation for the team’s 2009 first round draft pick, who posted a 126/39 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 152.0 innings in his debut season.

Prior to the season Baseball America ranked him as the Twins’ top prospect, saying:

“The Twins have produced a bevy of pitchers in recent years who thrive on their knack for throwing quality strikes with solid but not outstanding arsenals. Gibson has similar pitch-making ability to Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn and former ace Brad Radke — and he has better stuff.”

The 6-foot-6 right-hander has a ton of potential, and it may not be long before the Twins bring him up and see what he's  got. He’s not going to be a must-use pitcher (very few rookie pitchers are), but he’s certainly worth keeping a close eye on.

Julio Teheran—Atlanta Braves
He’s already had a cup of coffee with the Major League team (5.19 ERA over 8.2 innings), and now that the Super Two deadline is gone, it’s possible the Braves will turn to him for a bit longer if the need should arise.  Despite his struggles in the Majors, he has been extremely impressive as a 20-year old in Triple-A. In eight starts, he’s posted a 2.36 ERA and 41 strikeouts (vs. just 16 walks).

The numbers had been much more impressive as well, prior to getting beat up a bit on May 30 (5 ERA over 6.0 innings). This comes on the heels of him posting a 2.59 ERA and 159 K over 142.2 innings across three levels in 2010.

We’ve all heard about his potential and know that the talent is there. It’s just a matter of if the Braves will give him an extended look or not. It would likely take an injury, unless the Braves opt to trade some pitching to improve their lineup.

It’s nice to have that luxury, isn’t it?


Mike Minor—Atlanta Braves
The thinking behind his potential shot in the Majors is extremely similar to Teheran’s. Also like Teheran, he has thrived at Triple-A (2.56 ERA, 54 K, 14 BB over 52.2 IP) and struggled in the Majors (5.06 ERA, 11 K, 9 BB over 16.0 innings). Who knows which of these two youngsters could get the first look, but it would not be surprising to see one of them make an impact before the year is out.

Mike Montgomery—Kansas City Royals
If he had been pitching better, he probably already would’ve joined Danny Duffy in the Royals rotation. Unfortunately he has a 5.23 ERA and has picked the wrong time to struggle mightily. Over his last five starts, he has allowed four ER or more four times, including 11 runs (eight earned) over 4.1 innings. In three of the starts, he’s failed to go at least 5.0 innings. Yes, it’s the Pacific Coast League, but this is a little too much.

It’s a shame, because in five April starts he posted a 2.67 ERA and 23 K over 27.0 innings. Overall, he really needs to work on his control, having walked 38 batters over 63.2 innings (5.41 BB/9). Once he corrects this, and starts posting better starts in general, it’ll only be a matter of time before he gets a chance in the Major Leagues. Keep an eye on him, but with the control issues we will have to be cautious.

What are your thoughts on these pitchers? Who do you think will make an impact? Is there any other pitcher you think may be on the brink of making an impact?

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