Carrying on this season’s pattern of looking at the Vancouver Canadians hitter’s numbers at the beginning of the month and pitcher’s mid(ish) month it’s (you guessed it) time to break down a month’s worth of hurler’s stats. There’s been a lot of movement on the C’s staff of late — something I haven’t been keeping up with as well as I should have to be fair — so there’s going to be some small sample size alerts in the table below.
That shouldn’t stop us from looking at the names though, as the tweet from Lansing Lugnuts broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler below points out, now is the time that the Jays organization starts looking at the system as a chessboard, moving pieces around in order to ensure those teams with a shot at playoff success are as well equipped as possible.
— Jesse G-S (@jgoldstrass) August 15, 2014
I’ve seen enough promotions to Vancouver to agree, for the most part, with the above statement. However, I still believe development is the main priority. As regular twitter correspondent Ewan Ross noted, if Taylor Cole was a genuine prospect then he would have stayed in New Hampshire. So, while Dunedin loads up for their playoff drive with tweeners Cole and Matt Boyd, and Vancouver gets Phil Kish to help the back end of the bullpen and Mike Reeves to augment the catching depth, prospect Miguel Castro isn’t coming back (author’s note: this post was written prior to the news that Castro is, in fact, moving up again, having been promoted to Dunedin).
Another highly regarded arm took Castro’s place though, and it’s going to be Matt Smoral that gets to experience a Northwest League playoff drive. I reckon there’s more to come from Bluefield, who are very close to being out of any post-season conversation, but we’ll save those predictions for another post.
On to the stats, which are courtesy of fangraphs.com and as of the 19th of August:
|Name||Age||Total IP||Last Month||K/9||BB/9||K/BB||HR/9||AVG||WHIP||BABIP||LOB%||ERA||FIP||E-F||July FIP||Diff|
|Yeyfry Del Rosario||20||21||9||12.43||7.71||1.61||0.86||0.176||1.48||0.256||68.30%||4.29||5.5||-1.21||3.34||2.16|
As you can see, there has been five new additions to the staff since I last looked (which is about a month ago) while Francisco Gracesqui, Starlyn Suriel, and Miguel Castro were all promoted to Lansing. Garrett Pickens is currently on the 60 day DL and Kamakani Usui was sent down to Bluefield when Phil Kish came down.
Jairo Labourt has done a nice job maximizing his pitch count over the last month, pitching through six innings twice. Despite walking nine over two starts in late July his BB/9 ratio has actually decreased over the last month from 5.34 to 4.77. Still high, which inflates his FIP, but overall, Labourt is getting better.
Three Bluefield callups have been excellent in Vancouver thus far. I’ve written about Matt Smoral a ton, so will leave him alone for now. His piggy-back partner, fellow lefty Ryan Borucki, a 2012 draftee who missed all of 2013 due to Tommy John surgery, has been very good upon his return. Not possessing premium velocity, Borucki keeps hitters off-balance with good separation between his high 80s fastball, mid to upper 70s change and hammer curve which regularly comes in around the 68/69 mile per hour mark. He also throws strikes, walking only 1.93 hitters per nine thus far. Making for a very good 5.33 K/BB ratio.
With the success of both Smoral and Borucki, it’ll be very interesting to see what the C’s coaching staff decide to do come playoff time. Another lefty, Zakery Wasilewski has been terrible of late. In his last 10 starts Wasi has thrown 38.1 innings, giving up 57 hits while walking 28 and striking out only 23. For a pitch to contact guy, you would expect to see a FIP lower than his ERA. This is true for Wasilewski, but at 6.09 he just isn’t getting the job done. This goes back to the whole development versus success debate. Even though he hasn’t merited it, I’m guessing Zak makes his final start of the season on the 28th. But come playoff time (if, in fact, they make it) he’ll be pushed to the bullpen.
Which makes it interesting as to whether Borucki and Smoral are given their own days.
Another ex-B-Jay has done a nice job solidifying the C’s bullpen since his promotion. 2014 37th rounder Michael Kraft has done exactly what you want from a relief pitcher. Miss bats. His 10.1 K/9 ratio is excellent. Unfortunately that is offset somewhat by an ugly 5.65 BB/9 ratio. That’s been improving of late though, as the Texan has walked three over his last six appearances for a 3.8 BB/9 ratio.
With the C’s now a game and a half down with only eight to run, the pitching staff is going to need to step up big time over the stretch drive if Vancouver wants any chance of playing for a #4PeatIn14.