Thursday, April 1, 2010

David Huff secures Indians 5th rotation spot.

The battle to decide who would be the Indians 5th starter was decided yesterday with David Huff edging out prospect Carlos Carrasco for the job. Carrasco as you'll recall was the primary trade chip coming back to the Indians in the Cliff Lee trade. Once upon a time Carrasco was one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, but his secondary stuff doesn't appear to be what it once was.

Thankfully to say Carrasco can still reach the mid-90's but operates in the 91-93 range, and his fastball still has plenty of life. If the curve and changeup are still at least league average pitches, anyone with a good enough fastball can have some success, but his secondary pitches, namely his curveball will have to regain it's earlier form for him to ever realize his old potential.

As for Huff, the guy I should presumably be focusing on who led Cleveland in wins last year - an arbitrary stat I know - he's a tad underwhelming. He posted a very pedestrian 4.56K rate last year and his walk rate of 2.88 was around league average. Given his raw stuff, a fastball in the 89-91 mph range, and his secondary pitches (curveball/slider/changeup) he doesn't project much better.

This definitely feels like a move by the Indians to give Carrasco a bit more time at AAA to try and regain some of the bite he had on his curve and to delay his arbitration clock a bit more. Given that the team isn't widely expected to contend this year, that's likely a wise decision. Should Huff be ineffective, or Carrasco impressive (or some combination of the two) a late May, early June call up shouldn't be surprising.

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