With all the starting jobs for the position players being finalized, the main concern for the Milwaukee Brewers is the starting pitching rotation. Who's going to start? Who's going to get traded? Will Parra get sent to the minors? Will Ben Sheets play for most of the year?
We've been hearing the questions for a couple months now, and I think it's time that we look at some projections for Brewers pitching. Using Marcel's system for 2008, here are the projected statistics for each of the candidates for a starting job:
Ben Sheets - 10-7 W-L, 3.93 ERA, 141 IP, 119 K
Yovani Gallardo - 8-5 W-L, 3.76 ERA, 110 IP, 96 K
Jeff Suppan - 11-9 W-L, 4.62 ERA, 206 IP, 107 K
Carlos Villanueva - 6-4 W-L, 3.97 ERA, 93 IP, 76 K
Chris Capuano - 8-10 W-L, 4.53 ERA, 155 IP, 126 K
Carlos Vargas - 10-8 W-L, 4.95 ERA, 154 IP, 106 K
Dave Bush - 10-10 W-L, 4.55 ERA, 172 IP, 126 K
Manny Parra - 2-2 W-L, 4.11 ERA, 46 IP, 37 K
I know these are very crude projections. They are mostly averages that take into account the league average and age, yet it gives us a nice starting point to make comparisons.
It's time for BrewersNation to make their cases for who should be in the starting rotation. You all have been quiet for a few days now, and its time to start the banter. What do you think?
Here's what I have -- Sheets, Gallardo, Suppan, Villanueva, and Bush.
Here's why -- Sheets, Gallardo, and Suppan are all locks. Villanueva has garnered high praise from Yost and Melvin, and he seems to have his foot in the door. It seemed like the Brewers were more comfortable with Villy in the starting rotation at the end of the year. Melvin has said that Carlos pitched very well at the beginning of the season in the bullpen and that the Crew may need his presence there again this year. I don't think that's going to happen, however.
Finally, the last spot is a tough choice. I would really like to see Parra in the final spot. It would first give us a lefty at the end of the rotation, so we are not so right-handed in our starting 5. But more importantly, I believe that Parra is the best pitcher out of the remaining candidates. With that said, however, Parra will probably be sent to Nashville to keep his arm out of trouble. He's been very injury prone, and the Brewers want to be careful with Manny while they can afford to do so.
Being reinforced by Melvin's words the other day, Bush is a strong candidate for the fifth spot. He has the most potential out of any other pitcher left, besides Parra. He does have the tendency to pitch brilliantly for 5 innings and blow up in the sixth, I admit it, but Bush has a fastball with a lot of movement and a nice curve when he can get to it. I would consider Capuano, but I believe he'll be traded before the season starts. I didn't even consider Vargas for the last spot, if you were wondering.
Now it's your turn. What do you think BrewersNation?