Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 26, 2008
BASEBALL: Hearing Footsteps

Well, two pitchers who are living on the edge were on the mound last night. Livan Hernandez, his job threatened if the Twins decide to promote Francisco Liriano, did not pitch especially well (5 runs in 8 innings), but he did what he does best, going the distance (119 pitches).

Then there's Edwin Jackson, the winning pitcher for Tampa with 2 runs allowed in 5 innings. I have to figure that Edwin Jackson is hearing footsteps at this point from the approach of top pitching prospect 22-year-old David Price, who may yet be brought up for the stretch drive for the first place Rays.

Ex. A: Price is now at AA and is 8-0 with a 2.01 ERA on the season. His Ks are down below 1 per inning and his HRs are up (4 in 37.1 IP) since going to AA - his numbers to this point look a good deal like Mike Pelfrey's at the same stage. In other words, he's beating AA hitters but not utterly overwhelming them as top prospects often do, and thus he's no guarantee to dominate immediately at the big league level. But given everything I've heard about his stuff and the fact that he's a polished college pitcher, the 6'6" power lefty is a prime time talent and almost certainly ready to help the big club. I could easily see him coming up and giving Tampa 10 starts and a 3.60 ERA.

Ex. B: Jackson's the likely odd man out if you looked at how Tampa's 5 young starters are pitching from June 1 entering last night. Note the perilous drop in his K rate to go with the 4.99 ERA over that stretch. I foresee a demotion to middle relief in Jackson's near term future. Jackson probably does too, and I assume that was on his mind last night.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:56 AM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

This is why the Twins are frequently the bridesmaid but never the bride. They pinch pennies and dont have the killer instinct to make moves half way through the season to put their team over the top. Leaving Liriano in the minors to delay his arb time while they are only 2 games out and his ERA is 0.26 recently is simply a crime. Pohlad's a cheap ass, plain and simple. It's a shame cuz their player development has been high quality.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at July 26, 2008 5:28 PM
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