2011 MLB Draft Fallout: Each Team's Player Who Could Lose His Job
The MLB draft is a time for teams to stock up on players and strengthen their weakest links. Unfortunately, this leaves the weakest links to find work elsewhere.
Because we are less than three months into the season, there is still plenty of time for the drafted prospects to work their way up to the MLB.
Each player listed has a reason for potentially being replaced. Some may be young players who are not living up to expectations. Some may be the last pitcher of the staff and their team drafted a few pitchers. Some may be on the verge of being replaced for another reason.
Baltimore Orioles- Brian Matusz
Brian Matusz is a starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, and he is currently listed as their last starter.
Matusz is only 24 years old, and he is struggling. Matusz currently 1-3 with a 6.85 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP. Matusz has made five starts, and he has yet to make it out of the sixth inning. Matusz has surrendered 14 earned runs in his last three starts, going 0-3 over that time.
The Orioles drafted a lot of pitchers during the draft. Baltimore started with fourth overall pick, Dylan Bundy. Bundy has been great, and he was considered a bit of a steal even at No. 4.
The Orioles then continued to draft Mike Wright, Kyle Simon and Matt Taylor in the first five rounds of the draft.
Matusz definitely is going to have some competition for that spot in the rotation.
Boston Red Sox- Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller is a starting pitcher who is taking over for injured pitchers for the Boston Red Sox.
Miller has only made two starts this season, but with the Red Sox staff being injured on-and-off this season, it would not be surprising to find out that he will get a lot more work.
Miller is only 26 years old, and he has never been very good. His career ERA of almost 6.00 is terrible, and he has gone 16-26 in his career.
The Red Sox drafted Matt Barnes with the 18th overall pick. Barnes has been a very good pitcher, and rumor has it that he is almost MLB-ready and that he could see action in the majors as soon as this season.
The Red Sox also drafted pitchers Henry Owens, Noe Ramirez, Miguel Pena, Cody Kukuk, Kevin Brahney, Deshorn Lake, Mathew Ott and Michael McCarthy in the first 15 rounds of the draft.
The Red Sox loaded up on pitchers during the draft, and Miller will have some competition for the role as the sixth starter.
New York Yankees- Ivan Nova
New York Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova is at risk of losing his job as a starter.
Ivan Nova is a 24-year-old starting pitcher, and he has been less-than-stellar this season. Nova has an ERA of 4.26 and a WHIP of 1.45.
Nova may be 7-4, but any pitcher could have that record with the kind of run support Nova has been getting. Nova has averaged 6.4 runs of support per game in his last 10 starts.
The Yankees selected pitchers Sam Stafford, Jordan Cote, Phillip Wetherell, Zachary Arneson and Jonathan Gray in the first 10 rounds of the draft.
Nova has not been as good as the Yankees want, and he could be replaced by one of these talented prospects.
Tampa Bay Rays- Reid Brignac
Reid Brignac is a 25-year-old shortstop for the Tampa Bay Rays. Brignac is a good defender, but his offense has been pitiful.
In his 56 games, Brignac is batting .182, with only nine RBI and one home run. Brignac's OBP of .232 is lower than most batting averages in the MLB.
Brignac has been awful, and the Rays could be looking to replace him.
The Rays took Jake Hager in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft. Hager has been unbelievable, and coming right out of high school, Hager could be ready to make it to the MLB soon.
The Rays also took Brandon Martin and Johnny Eierman in the first three rounds. These two guys are almost as good as Hager, and Brignac could be out of a job in a few months because of them.
Toronto Blue Jays- Zach Stewart
Zach Stewart of the Toronto Blue Jays has been a replacement option for the starting rotation.
Stewart has a record of 0-1, with an ERA of 5.91 and a WHIP of 1.97. Stewart is more of a sixth man for the Blue Jays, but he won't be for long.
The Blue Jays drafted Tyler Beede first, and he was one of the best pitchers in the draft. Beede has proven himself over and over again, and he could step up this season.
The Blue Jays then went on to draft pitchers Joe Musgrove, Kevin Comer, Daniel Norris and Jeremy Gabryszwski before the second round ended.
Taking five stellar pitchers before Round 2 ended tells us that the Blue Jays are looking to add a lot of pitching.
Chicago White Sox- Will Ohman
Will Ohman is a 33-year-old reliever on the Chicago White Sox.
Ohman has been having a tough time this season, posting an ERA a hair under 5.00, and Whip of 1.25. Ohman's ERA hit 6.00 at one point this season, and he has been letting down the White Sox.
The White Sox took pitcher Erik Johnson with their second pick in the draft, and then Kyle McMillen, Jeff Soptic and Scott Snodgress with their third, fourth and fifth picks respectively.
The White Sox are trying to bolster their pitching, and a few of these guys are relievers. Ohman has not shown much, and he very well could lose his job to one of these prospects.
Cleveland Indians- Lou Marson
Lou Marson is a 25-year-old catcher for the Cleveland Indians. Ever since Victor Martinez left, the Indians have not found a solid replacement, and Marson is not the answer.
Marson is batting .233, without a home run and with only seven RBI. Marson has done nothing at the plate, and he could be replaced.
Mark Lowery is a catcher out of James Madison, and he was one of Cleveland's first picks. Lowery can manage a pitching staff nicely, and he can also hit well. The Indians also drafted Eric Haase, another catcher.
These two guys are suitable replacement for Marson, and he could be out of a job in less than a month.
Detroit Tigers- Austin Jackson
Austin Jackson is a 24-year-old center fielder for the Detroit Tigers.
Jackson has performed poorly this season, batting lower than .250 and only hitting three home runs. Jackson has not given the Tigers the offensive presence they need if they want to win the AL Central crown.
Tyler Collins, Chad Wright, Jason Krizan and Jeff Holm are all outfielders who the Tigers drafted early on. The Tigers set out to strengthen their outfield, and they may have found a replacement for Austin Jackson.
These four guys are all good, but Tyler Collins is amazing. Collins can play every outfield position, and he is their best bet to take over for Jackson this season.
Kansas City Royals- Matt Treanor
Matt Treanor is getting old. The 35-year-old has been crouching behind the plate for decades, and he might need to be replaced.
Treanor is batting only .214, with three home runs and 14 RBI. Treanor is struggling, and the Royals may need a new catcher.
The Royals drafted Cameron Gallagher with their second pick, Gallagher has shown that he has a lot of potential, and drafting a catcher so early makes it seem like the Royals want to be rid of Treanor soon.
If Gallagher does well in the minors, Treanor could be out of a job soon.
Minnesota Twins- Tsuyoshi Nishioka
Tsuyoshi Nishioka is a 26-year-old who came over from Japan to play for the Minnesota Twins during the offseason.
Nishioka has been struggling at the plate to say the least. Nishioka has only played 16 games due to injury. Nishioka is batting .200 with no home runs and only four RBI.
Nishioka may be replaced by the Twins' first pick, shortstop Levi Michael. Michael is out of North Carolina, and he has been great.
Tyler Grimes and Nicholas Bryant were also picked by the Twins early on, and they are both great shortstops.
If Nishioka wants to keep his job, he is going to have to earn it.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim- Mark Trumbo
Mark Trumbo is a young first baseman for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Trumbo is hitting only .257 this season. Trumbo has some power, but he cannot hit consistently. While other big name players like Ryan Howard do this, they have consistently done well, where Trumbo can be on-and-off.
The Angels seem to be trying to find a replacement for Trumbo, however, because they drafted first baseman C.J. Cron with their first pick. Cron is a great player, and there are high expectations for him.
Even if Cron doesn't pan out, the Angels also took Jackson Whitley.
Trumbo is doing pretty well, but signs point to the Angels potentially wanting a new first baseman for the playoffs.
Oakland Athletics- Graham Godfrey
Graham Godfrey is a 26-year-old reliever for the Oakland Athletics.
Godfrey is struggling this year, posting a 4.24 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Godfrey is a long-reliever for the A's, and he has not gone an outing without allowing a run.
Godfrey is at risk of losing that job because of the talented class that Oakland drafted.
Sonny Gray was their first pick, and he could be ready to take on the MLB in about a month. Thomas Walz and Tanner Peters were also drafted very early by the A's, and they could take Godfrey's job too.
Seattle Mariners- Brendan Ryan
Brendan Ryan is a 29-year-old shortstop for the Seattle Mariners.
Ryan is batting a hair over .250 this season. In his 68 games, Ryan has yet to hit a home run, and he only has 24 RBI.
Ryan could be replaced because of his problems at the plate, and the prospects of the Mariners can hit. Bradley Miller was the Mariners second pick, and he can do what Ryan cannot at shortstop. Miller can hit, and he can field incredibly well. If Miller does not replace Ryan, then Cavan Cohoes also has a chance to do so.
Ryan may be out of a job in as little as one month.
Texas Rangers- Derek Holland
Derek Holland is listed as the third starter for the Texas Ranger, but he is playing like the fifth.
Holland has an ERA of 4.68 this season, and a WHIP of about 1.50. Holland has been pitching poorly, and he has only allowed less than three runs three times in his last 10 starts.
Save for one shutout, Holland has been horrendous, and he could be replaced soon.
Kevin Matthews and Will Lamb were among Texas' first picks, with Matthews actually being their first. These two pitchers have proven that they are superb pitchers, and that they are ready for the MLB.
If one of these two is going to be starting for the Rangers this season, they will likely bump out Holland, who has been struggling even more of late.
Atlanta Braves- Jordan Schafer
The Atlanta Braves are a solid team, but their weak point may be out in center field.
Jordan Schafer, a 24-year-old, has been their center fielder for the Braves for 29 games this season and is now starting for them.
Schafer is batting a mere .222 with one home run and four RBI. Schafer has never been much of a hitter, and that makes him a target to replace.
The Braves drafted Chase Larsson and eight other outfielders during the 2011 MLB draft. The Braves chose a lot of outfielders, and any one of them could potentially take Schafer's spot in center field.
Florida Marlins- Chris Volstad
Chris Volstad is a 24-year-old starting pitcher for the Florida Marlins, and he is their last starter. Volstad is currently their fourth starter, but when Josh Johnson comes back, he will be back to fifth.
Volstad currently has an ERA of 5.42 and a WHIP of 1.44. He has been struggling this season, going 3-7. One sign of Volstad's weakness is the fact that he gave up eight earned runs to the offensively challenged Philadelphia Phillies on June 14.
The Marlins may be looking to replace Volstad, and their 2011 draft makes it look that way.
The Marlins started off with pitcher Jose Fernandez with the 14th overall pick. Fernandez has been incredible, and he could make it up to the majors this season.
The Marlins then took pitcher Adam Conley with their second pick, yet another pitcher who could make it to the MLB, this time a lefty.
The Marlins stocked up on great pitching, and Volstad could be leaving the starting rotation in a matter of weeks.
New York Mets- Manny Acosta
Manny Acosta is a reliever for the New York Mets, but not for long.
Acosta has an ERA over 11.00 this season, and a WHIP of 2.18. Acosta did not pitch before June this season, and with good reason.
The Mets looked for some pitching support during the 2011 MLB draft. The Mets started by taking an outfielder, but followed up by taking five pitchers in a row and 10 before the end of Round 13.
The Mets are going to have a lot of options for who is going to pitch for them this season, but we know that if anyone is going to lose their job, it will be Acosta.
Philadelphia Phillies- Michael Martinez
Michael Martinez did not start with the Phillies this season, but the 28-year-old is on the team now.
Martinez is currently a backup player, playing mainly outfield, although he has played shortstop and second base.
Martinez is solid defensively, but horrendous offensively. He is hitting .190 with four RBI and no home runs in his 37 games.
The Phillies began the 2011 MLB draft by selecting outfielder Larry Greene. Greene has drawn a lot of attention, and he could be in the MLB this season.
The Phillies are not getting any help from their corner-outfielders offensively. The Phils may need to call Greene up early so that he can pinch hit and be a backup, since they won't start such a young guy in the playoffs.
Washington Nationals- Sean Burnett
The Washington Nationals have good pitching this year, save for a few individuals. One of those individuals is Sean Burnett, whose job is at risk.
Burnett currently has an ERA of 5.00, and a WHIP of 1.22. Burnett was supposed to be one of, if not the best, reliever the Nationals had, but he is the worst.
The Nationals were clearly going for pitching during the draft. They drafted 27 pitchers in 50 rounds. The Nationals got a lot of good, young pitchers, and they could give one of them a chance to play in the MLB.
The front-runner for this honor is 23rd overall pick, Alex Meyer. Meyer has great command, and he has the potential to be a great pitcher.
Burnett needs to start doing well, otherwise he may be out of a job.
Chicago Cubs- Tony Campana
Tony Campana is a center fielder for the Chicago Cubs. Campana is currently replacing Marlon Byrd, but he won't be the go-to guy soon.
Campana is hitting .258 with two RBI and no home runs in 31 games this season. Campana has no power whatsoever, and the Cubs need a better replacement for the outfield.
The Cubs selected center fielder Ezekiel DeVoss with their third pick in the 2011 draft, and he is a great player. DeVoss could come up to the majors an replace Campana soon if things stay the way they are.
Cincinnati Reds- Edinson Volquez
Edinson Volquez is a well-known pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, but he has been struggling recently.
Volquez has a 5.77 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP this season, and he is only 4-3 because he gets so much run support.
The Reds are looking for good pitching, and they showed that during the MLB Draft. Three of the first four picks for the Reds were pitchers. The Reds selected Robert Stephenson with their first pick, Anthony Cingrani with their third pick and Kyle McMyne with their fourth pick.
The Reds made it clear that they believe in their offense, and that they need to fix their pitching. One way to do that may be to bench Edinson Volquez for one of these younger pitchers if he doesn't turn it around soon.
Houston Astros- J.A. Happ
J.A. Happ was one of the pitchers who went to the Houston Astros from Philadelphia in the Roy Oswalt trade. Happ was a great pitcher before, but he is struggling now.
Happ has an ERA of 5.54, and a WHIP of 1.54. Happ is 3-9 this season, and the 28-year-old may be sent to the bullpen or demoted to Triple-A soon.
The Astros took pitchers Adrian Houser, Jack Armstrong, Christopher Lee and Nick Tropeano in their first five picks of the draft.
The Astros loaded up on pitchers, and they have to start testing these guys in the majors soon, so why not replace J.A. Happ for a while?
Milwaukee Brewers- Chris Narveson
Chris Narveson is a starting pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, and he could be on the verge of losing his job.
Narveson is struggling this season, posting an ERA of about 4.50, and a WHIP of 1.35. Narveson is actually doing slightly better than usual, but that won't cut it for the Brewers.
The Brewers used their first two picks, No. 12 and No. 15 overall, to pick two good pitchers. They then went on to pick two more pitchers before the end of the third round, and six of their first eight picks were pitchers.
The Brewers may be loading up on good, young pitchers in order to replace Narveson. If they are going to secure the NL Central, the Brewers are going to need a lot of good pitching.
Pittsburgh Pirates- James McDonald
James McDonald is the worst of the starting pitchers for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and that puts him at risk of losing his job.
McDonald has an ERA of 4.52, and a WHIP of 1.59 this season. McDonald has been terrible for the Pirates, and he could be demoted soon.
The Pirates had the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft, and they picked Gerrit Cole, the right-handed pitcher out of UCLA.
Cole has huge expectations, and he very well could be in the MLB in a few weeks. If the Pirates bring him up, the only logical option is to send McDonald down.
St. Louis Cardinals- Skip Schumaker
Skip Schumaker is a 31-year-old middle-infielder for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Schumaker is batting only .252 this season, with two home runs and 17 RBI in 43 games this season. Schumaker has disappointed, and if the Cardinals want to win the NL Central, they are going to need to have a better hitting shortstop.
The Cardinals took Kolten Wong, a middle-infielder with their first pick, and then Kenneth Peoples-Walls with their fourth. St. Louis is trying to make the playoffs, but they may need to rely on rookie infielders to do so.
Arizona Diamondbacks- Zach Duke
Zach Duke is a 28-year-old starting pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but not for long.
Duke currently has an ERA of 5.73, and a WHIP of 1.67. Duke is 1-2 this season, and he has surrendered at least three earned runs in four of six starts.
The Diamondbacks were yet another team drafting pitchers, and they got some good ones.
The Diamondbacks had two first-round picks, No. 3 and No. 7 overall. They drafted Trevor Bauer with the first and Archie Bradley with the second. These two guys alone add some talent to their minor league system, and one of them could be in the MLB as soon as this season.
Five of their first six picks were pitchers, and Duke now has some competition for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Colorado Rockies- Juan Nicasio
Juan Nicasio is a 24-year-old pitcher for the Colorado Rockies, and his youth may make him vulnerable to losing his job.
Nicasio has not done anything to secure his job this season. Nicasio has a 5.08 ERA, and a 1.40 WHIP. Nicasio has only gone one start in which he allowed less than two runs this year.
The Rockies used their first-round pick on Tyler Anderson, a pitcher from Oregon. Anderson is a great player, and he could potentially make it to the majors for a few starts this season. The Rockies also took four other pitchers before Round 10 had even started.
Los Angeles Dodgers- Dioner Navarro
Dioner Navarro is the 27-year-old catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Navarro is a decent catcher but a poor hitter. Navarro is batting .168 this season, with two home runs and seven RBI in 34 games.
Navarro may be starting for now, but not for long. The Dodgers drafted Pratt Maynard, a catcher from North Carolina State with their third pick. They also took Tyler Ogle, a catcher from Oklahoma, for if Maynard doesn't pan out.
Either way, Navarro could be at risk of losing his job.
San Diego Padres- Nick Hundley
Nick Hundley may be near his prime at age 27, but he is not showing it and therefore could be at risk of losing his job.
Hundley is batting only .230 with three home runs and 14 RBI in 41 games this season. Hundley is a decent catcher, but his batting is subpar.
The Padrs drafted Brett Austin, a catcher from high school, with the 54th overall pick. Austin was just the second catcher to go, and that gives him high expectations.
The Padres should be out of the running for the NL West title with about a month to go, and that would give them time to call up Austin and see how he does. If he is called up, then Hundley is out of a starting job.
San Francisco Giants- Brandon Crawford
Brandon Crawford is the 24-year-old shortstop for the World Series champions, the San Francisco Giants.
Crawford is batting only .185 with one home run and eight RBI in 24 games this season. Crawford is not getting it done at the plate, and he could lose his job in a month or two.
The Giants selected shortstop Joe Panik in the first round of the draft. Panik showed us that he is the real deal at St. John's, and he could be ready for the MLB soon.
Panik could very well replace Crawford when the time comes, and Crawford's youth makes him an easy player to replace.