Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Random Stuff+evaluating the fifth starter candidates

So I have a couple things I'd like to go over today. First, we now have full details on the Julio for Petit trade. The Diamondbacks will be sending over 1 million to the Marlins, to help pay for Julio's 3.6 million dollar salary..

Next up, I'd like to note a few thins which i should have touched up in my article on the bench. After looking at Barden's and Hammock's splits against left and right handers, I noticed the following. Barden's line vs LHP: .220/.286/.312, compared to .329/.391/.544 vs right handers. Hammock however, hit lefties to a tune of .280/.331/.551 and righties .297/.349/.502. I think It's safe to say I may be wrong about Barden being the better choice to make the roster. Why? Chad Tracy. His Career line vs lefties .228 /.282/ .349. That's pretty god awful, to be honest. If Tracy he doesn't prove that he can hit lefties this year, he'll soon find him self in a platoon role.

I also should note that Hammock has actually looked pretty good at the catcher's position, gunning down a few guys.

Next up, now that Edgar Gonzales has won the 4th spot in the rotation, the candidates for the fifth appear to come down to Dustin Nippert, Dana Eveland, and Micah Owings. Enrique Gonzalez appears to have pitched himself out of the running. I'll first go over each player's minor league record, then how they're doing this spring. I'll start with Eveland, then Nippert, then Owings. After all of that, I'll give you my opinion on who should win the final spot.

Dana Eveland, born October 29, 1983. Listed 6'1, 220 pounds. All though I'm not so sure he's 220 pounds. I'd say more like 230. He's the only lefty of the three, which is a plus. Eveland has a stellar minor league track record, but hasn't really translated those into big league results yet.

Drafted out of Hill College in the 16th round(469th overall) by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002 at age 19, Eveland was assigned the Brewers Rookie ball affliate in the Pioneer league. Appearing in 19 games and 26IP, Eveland went 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA. He struck out 41, while walking only 8. He gave up onmly one home run. His 14.19K was quite impressive, as was his 2.77BB9.
In 2004, Eveland pitched 117.1 innings for the brewers midwest league affiliate. He posted a 2.84 ERA, striking out 119, while only walking 24, and giving up 8hrs. He was then promoted to the pitching friendly environment of the AA southern league. In 23.2 IP, he posted a 2.28 Era, struck out 14, and walked 4.
In 2005 he pitched in AA again, pitching 109 innings, and starting 18 games. He put up an ERA of 2.72, striking out 98, walking 28 and gave up 4 hrs. During that season he was called up to Milwaukee, appearing in 27 games, pitching 31.2 innings in relief. He fared decently, considering he had yet to pitch in AAA at this point. he went 1-1, with an era of 5.97. He struck out 23, walked 18, and gave up 2 hrs.
In 2006, Eveland started out in AAA Nashville, in the PCL. He appeared in 20 games, starting 19, and pitched a total of 105 innings. His ERA was 2.74. He struck out 110, walked 41, and gave up 4hrs. Eveland earned a promotion to the Brewers again, but this time he didn't fare so well, and was lit up to a tune of an 8.13ERA, giving up 25 earned runs in just 27.2 innings pitched. He did maintain a good strike out to walk ratio, striking out 32, while walking 16.

Dana Eveland did very poor in his last start, giving up nine runs in his last start, but still getting the win. It's worth noting that of the 11 earned runs he's given up this spring, 9 of them came in his last start. His ERA at this point 8.25 and he's got a K/BB of 6/5. That last start came on a ver very windy day, as just about every game held in the cactus league that day was a high scoring affair. San Diego scored 24 runs against Texas. Even with his poor outing, Eveland could still make the roster in the bullpen, as left handed long reliever.

Dustin Nippert. is the oldest and tallest of the three pitchers, born may 6th 1981, and listed at 6'7 and 210 pounds, and throws right handed. Drafted out of West Virginia University in the 15th round(459th overall) by the Diamondbacks in the 2002 amateur draft, at age 21.
He signed quickly and was assigned to Missoula, the Diamondbacks rookie ball affliate in the pioneer league. He appeared in 17 games, starting 11, pitched a total 54.2 innings, with w-l record of 4-2 He posted an era of 1.65, striking out 77, walking 9, and giving up 2 home runs. Impressive at first glance, but he was old for the level.
He started 2003 in Low A South Bend, in the midwest league, appearing and starting in 17 games, pitching 95.2 innings, going 6-4. He posted an ERA of 2.82, struck out 96, walked 32, and gave up 4 home runs.
In 2004, Nippert was promoted to AA El Paso, an extremely hitter friendly enviroment. He started 14 games, going 2-5, with 71.2 innings pitched. He posted an era of 3.64, struck out 73, walked 40, and gave up no home runs.
In 2005, the Diamondbacks had a new AA affliate, in the more pitcher friendly confines of the southern league. He started 18 games, and pitched 118.1 innnings, with an 8-3 record. He posted an era of 2.36, struck out 97, walked 42, and gave up 4 home runs.
He was called up to the Major Leagues, and started 3 games, going 1-0 in 14.2 innings pitched. He posted an era of 5.52, struck out11, walked 13, and gave up 1 home run.
Nippert started out 2006 with AAA Tucson in the PCL, another extremely hitter friendly enviroment. Going 13-8, in his 24 starts, he pitched a career high 140.1 innings, posting an ERA of 4.87. He struck out 130, walked 52, and gave up 11 home runs. He was also called up for 2 starts with the diamondbacks, and unlike his previous stint with the diamondbacks, he didn't fare so well. He was tabbed with losses in both starts, and was lit up to the tune of a 11.70 ERA in his ten innings pitched. He struck out 9, walked 7, and gave up FIVE home runs. A lot of people commented that Nippert looked shaky on the mound, and had trouble pitching from the stretch. Nippert has the most potential out of all three of these guys, he just hasn't been able to show it consistently. He's got one option year left, so he has a year to figure it out.

Dustin Nippert had an excellent outing today against the White Sox, posting 5 scoreless innings, giving up 4 hits, walking 2, and striking out one. He lowered his ERA down to 2.30. Over the course of the spring he's struck out 8, and walked nine.

Micah Owings, born September 28, 1982, listed at 6'5, 230 pounds, doesn't have as long a track record in the minors as Eveland or Nippert, but he does have a long track record as a two-way player for Georgia Tech and Tulane. In his three season in college, he struck out 305, while walking only 80, and giving up 33 hrs. His Era in his three years were 3.99, 3.89, and 3.26. He also batted 318/.394/.549 in 255 ABs, with 15hrs, and 14 doubles in 2004, and .355/.470/.719 in 217 ABs with 18hrs, 3 3b, and 19 2b in 2005. He's won several awards in his amuteur and college career.

In 2002 he was drfted 50th overall by the Colorado Rockies, but elected to go to college. In 2004 he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 19th round, but didn't sign. In 2005, he was drafted in the 3rd round by the Diamondbacks. He was assigned to High A lancaster, appearing in 16 games, pitching 22 innings relief. He had an era of 2.45 with 30 strikeouts, 4 walks, and 0 hrs.

In 2006 he was assigned to AA Tennessee, starting in 12 games, and pitching 74.1 innings. He posted an Era of 2.91 with 69 strike outs, 17 walks, and 4 homers. He was promoted mid-season to AAA Tucson, and put up 3.70 era with 61 strikeouts, 34 walks, and 4 homers.

Micah Owings is by far having the most impressive spring out of the three of these guys, and is a dark horse canidate to win the job, as he's not on the 40 man roster, and has about a year and half expierence pitching in the minor leagues. He's sporting an Era of 1.93. He's given up 11 hits, 3 runs, and has struck out 11 while walking only 6.

Now that we've finished that exercise, who should win the final spot? It's a tough one. Eveland appears to be headed to the bullpen, but he would be my first choice for the spot. Owings is having an impressive spring, and showed that he could handle AAA pitching last year, but he really doesn't have that much expierence in the minors. At this point, I'd go with Nippert. He's having a solid spring, and this is his last option year.


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