Monday, January 19, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2005 Toronto Blue Jays

Gustavo Chacin and Josh Towers will soon be competing for the Jason Simontacchi memorial roster spot reserved for sub mediocre starter on the 2009 Nationals.  Maybe sub mediocre is not descriptive enough.  Let's call him your #7 starter.  Or perhaps warm body that has enough skill not to balk on every other pitch and can resonably be relied upon to be in the vicinity of home plate with most of his pitches.

11 different pitchers started games for the Nats last year. And two of those (Redding and Od. Perez) who started over 30 games are not on the roster at the moment.  To me, if the over/under on starters for the Nats in 2009 was at 11, I'd play the over.

So, who might be ompeting for those coveted spots.  Why it's the surprising Toronto Blue Jay pitching staff circa 2005!

Chacin's 2005
203 IP  213h 121K  3.72 ERA  119 ERA+

(we'll ignore the obvious warning signs like the 4.45 lgERA and the 70BB driving the WHIP to 1.39.)

Josh Towers' 2005
208 1/3 IP 237H 112K 3.71ERA 120ERA+
(warning signs: 4.45 lgERA hit and k totals)

I wonder is someone has done a study of how these two managed to get bitchslapped with the lucky stick in the same year for the same team?

Anyway, fast forward to the 2008-09 offseason and these two are both NRI's for the Nats.  Which means it's damn likely that one or both will be on the hill for the Nats come August.

They both feature strong Simontacchi credentials since their one good season:

2006  ERA+ 54
2007 ERA + 83

2006 ERA+ 90
2007 ERA+ 80

Towers is hittable but doesn't walk anybody. Also (to understate it slightly) is homer-prone.

Chacin gives up fewer hits but walks way too many batters. 

The possibility exists for Towers to be somewhat useful if used properly.  First, under no circumsances should he be allowed to take the mound in Cincinnati or Philadelphia.  Colorado too just to be safe.  Second, defense will be important especially in the OF.  Maybe that's the game L Millz takes a break and Kearns gets his one start a week. 

If we see Chacin, it will be time to start scouting for the #1 pick in the 2010 draft.

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