As the Winter Meetings are just around the corner, and Brewers' GM Doug Melvin needs to shore up the pitching, I thought I'd take a quick look at how the arms in AAA Nashville did. Two caveats: 1) As I've never seen any of these guys in person, I am basing my opinions strictly on their stats; and, 2) I'm going to assume that Sheets, Suppan, Gallardo, and Villanueva will be in the rotation for '08, so the Crew only needs a 5th starter.
Without further ado:
- Zack Jackson, age in '08=24, 169.7 IP, 11-10, 4.46 ERA, 123 K's:64 BB's. Jackson started 28 of his 29 games, and appears not ready for the Crew's rotation...young enough to wait a year before trading/value is low right now.
- R.A. Dickey, age=33, 169.3 IP, 13-6, 3.72 ERA, 119 K's:60 BB's. 22 starts and 9 relief appearances mean Dickey is versatile; age prevents him from being a long-term prospect; 20 K's vs. 2 BB's in 23 IP in relief means he should get a serious look at joining the Brewers' pen.
- Tim Dillard, age=24, 133.0 IP, 8-4, 4.74 ERA, 62 K's:37 BB's. Now in the AFL; had 16 starts and 18 relief appearances; like Jackson, still has time, but '07 numbers are not promising.
- Adam Pettyjohn, age=30, 104.7 IP in AAA, 12-4, 3.87 ERA, 83 K's:19 BB's in AAA. 17 starts for the Sounds after having been called up mid-way through the season. A lefty that already has 16 K's in 22 IP in the Mexican Winter League. Could be valuable as a #5 starter for the Brewers, or possibly in relief. Probably has the most value of the first four for a trade.
- Steve Bray, age=27, 77.7 IP, 5-2, 1.62 ERA, 73 K's:26 BB's. 42 games, 39 in relief; 0-1, 11.05 in Mexican Winter League with 2 of 3 appearances as starts. Seems to be tired now in Mexico, so he may be worn come February. Another candidate for the Brewers' pen.
- Mark DiFelice, age=31, 58.0 IP, 4-2, 3.10 ERA, 63 K's:9 BB's in AAA. Also called up mid-way through season and made 10 appearances, all starts, so averaging 5.8 IP/start. A 0.93 WHIP. Age is against him; he'll go if left open for Rule 5.
Conclusions: none of these would appear to be more viable as a #5 starter over Manny Parra, due to Parra's success at all levels in '07, although DiFelice's control merits a close look. Dickey, Pettyjohn, and Bray merit serious consideration as middle relievers. Given the parent club's relative depth at starter, all 6 of these guys are expendable for trades in December.