Thursday, September 24, 2015

The 2015 Lugnuts pitching corps in 2016

On Tuesday, I looked ahead to next year for the Lugnuts' position players. Today, it's time to talk pitching.
As a bonus -- I'll look ahead to what could be a pretty darn great starting rotation.
strikeout
I made this at midseason, starring Sean Reid-Foley. (Photo: Kyle Castle)
Mark Biggs: The next step, it seems to me, is a trip up to Dunedin for the sinkerballer. His 4.28 ERA indicated that he didn't dominate the MWL, so I wouldn't be hugely surprised if Biggs came back to Lansing -- but I would be a little surprised.
Andrew Case: Heck, why not? Case began last year in Lansing, thanks to a surprise showing at the end of Spring Training, struggled, and then met with better success in Vancouver. He certainly could pop up again in the Lugnuts bullpen next year.
Shane Dawson: Dunedin Blue Jays starter, with a chance at Double-A by midseason. Keep on keepin' on.
Chase De Jong: Double-A starting pitcher in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and a reasonable chance at a Major League debut next summer.
Jose Fernandez: A-Advanced Dunedin reliever, moving right up the ladder. I'd love to see if his fastball velocity can maintain in the 90s (and perhaps increase a touch).
Conor Fisk: A-Advanced Dunedin, likely as a starting pitcher. Good solid 2015 for Fisk!
Alonzo Gonzalez: Alonzo made his way from Lansing to Dunedin this summer. On August 8, his ERA was a pretty darn good 2.86, but he was roughed up in four of his final five outings. It would not be out of the question to see him reach Double-A early next year, but I suspect he returns to Dunedin.
Conner Greene: Double-A New Hampshire starting pitcher, with a potential Major League debut in his future.
Clinton Hollon: Step 1 - serve the remainder of 50-game suspension. Step 2 - return to Lansing.
Dusty Isaacs: A-Advanced Dunedin reliever; if he gets in great shape and continues to hone his 90s fastball / slider / change combination, there could be something great in store for the former Georgia Tech Yellowjacket.
Phil Kish: Ernst and Young this offseason, then back in the A-Advanced Dunedin bullpen.
Michael Kraft: Like Andrew Case, he started in Lansing and scuffled before moving down to Vancouver. Unlike Case, he wasn't all that great with the Canadians. Still, the path would seem to lead him back to the Lugnuts.
Chase Mallard: Chase actually led the Lugnuts in innings pitched in 2015, posting 123 frames. I'd expect him to pitch in Dunedin next season.
Tim Mayza: A-Advanced Dunedin reliever, with a chance to go to the Arizona Fall League at season's end.
Carlos Ramirez: A-Advanced Dunedin reliever; the velocity is great, but he's still learning.
Sean Reid-Foley: A-Advanced Dunedin starting pitcher is my guess -- and if he excels, he could jump. He started last year so raw and inconsistent with killer stuff. By the end of the year, I loved what we were seeing. The work ethic/fight is there for a big 2016.
Tom Robson: A-Advanced Dunedin starting pitcher and a sleeper prospect for great things.
Justin Shafer: Justin is heading to the Arizona Fall League this Fall in a relief role. Do the Blue Jays keep him as a reliever next year? Whatever is the case, he'll be in Dunedin.
Starlyn Suriel: After a year and a half in Lansing, Starlyn gets his first chance at A-Advanced Dunedin.
Jesus Tinoco: A-Advanced starting pitcher in the Colorado Rockies' organization.
Colton Turner: A-Advanced Dunedin reliever.
Jon Wandling: It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for Jon, who made only three starts for Lansing, to return to the Midwest League. I wouldn't mind it, he's a heck of an engaging guy. Otherwise, ship him up to Dunedin!

A rather blind but educated guess at the 2016 Lansing Lugnuts starting rotation, best-case scenario:
  1. Jon Harris, 2015 1st-round draft pick, Blue Jays #2 prospect
  2. Ryan Borucki, 2012 15th-round draft pick, Blue Jays' #11 prospect
  3. Clinton Hollon (following suspension), 2013 2nd-round draft pick, Blue Jays' #13 prospect
  4. Angel Perdomo, international free agent, Blue Jays' #28 prospect
  5. Tayler Saucedo, 2015 21st-round draft pick, 4-2 / 2.48 in pro debut between Bluefield/Vancouver
Honorable mentions: a returning Chase Mallard and Jon Wandling; an ascending Francisco Rios and Evan Smith (Jays' #27 prospect) from Vancouver; a super-ascending Juliandry Higuera, Miguel Burgos and Geno Encina from Bluefield.

No comments: