Saturday, July 17, 2010

Poor Rotations/Possible Replacements (N.L. Edition)

Last time out (way back on Tuesday), I took a look at some under performing American League rotations, with an eye on possible replacements. Today, I'll look at the National League.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Rumors surrounding Pirates pitchers have been light if not non-existent, so I suspect they'll ride out what they have the rest of the way. I don't foresee any trades either. Paul Maholm is tied up with a relatively cheap contract, while Zach Duke's performance probably means he's not going anywhere either.

Name to Know: None. The arms sitting in Triple-A for the Pirates are either stinking up the joint or already stunk up the joint in the Majors. I suppose Dana Eveland might make another go-round in an effort to boost the self-esteem of the sweaty and bearded, but from a Roto perspective it won't make much of a difference.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Despite the lousy ERAs, this is another situation where the team is simply hoping that the performances get better. Dan Haren's xFIP has been providing hope to his owners all year long even if his ERA hasn't. Now that Dontrelle Willis has been jettisoned, there aren't that many obvious opportunities for the team to cut bait with any of their established pitchers. Haren's the guy who could get moved, but I still think he's going to be expensive and as a result isn't going anywhere.

Name to Know: He's already in the rotation, but Barry Enright is the guy to watch here. There are a number of negatives I don't like in the long-term (he doesn't have overpowering stuff, he's a fly ball pitcher in Arizona, his stuff is better suited for the pen), but I could see Enright being the kind of pitcher who fools the league the first time through.

Milwaukee Brewers
Doug Davis' return trip to the DL eliminates the "drama" over whether Chris Narveson or Manny Parra was going to get bumped from the rotation in Davis' favor. If Yovani Gallardo returns quickly, then the Brewers rotation is probably set for a while; otherwise, they will need to reach into the minors for an emergency arm on Tuesday (ESPN lists Monday as "Undecided", but I imagine they'll just move Dave Bush to Monday). This is another clubhouse where there aren't many trade rumors surrounding starting pitching.

Name to Know: Amaury Rivas. Rivas has put up some nice numbers at AA, and is at an age (24) where the Brewers might decide to call him up to see what he can do over the course of a few starts. Mark Rogers is another interesting name, but with a prohibitively high walk rate, I don't think the Brewers will push him this year.

Washington Nationals
The Nationals rotation obviously improved a great deal with Stephen Strasburg's call-up, but Livan Hernandez has continued to pitch well and J.D. Martin has also been a quiet surprise since his addition to the rotation. Luis Atilano and Craig Stammen are the pitchers who are in danger of being replaced down the line. Scott Olsen should take one of their spots when he returns (probably in August).

Name to Know: Tom Milone. I don't expect to see Milone this year, but he's the best performer of the AA/AAA set who hasn't already seen time in the Majors. Milone is a soft-tossing finesse pitcher, but he seems to be passing the AA test with flying colors (though I do worry about his H/IP). He will probably be up at some point in 2011.

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