Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bullpen candidate profile: Anthony Swarzak

Anthony Swarzak had a 3.28 ERA
in Triple A in 2009, but almost
doubled that last year.
Pitcher: Anthony Swarzak
Throws: Right
Age: 25
Roster status: 40-man roster, one option left (at most)
Chance of making team: Not going to happen

To be blunt about it, Anthony Swarzak isn't competing for a bullpen job this spring so much as he's competing to remain a "prospect." If/when the Twins need a spot on their 40-man roster, he's a prime candidate to get the ax.

Swarzak got 12 starts for the Twins in 2009. He went 3-7 with an ERA of 6.25, and none of his markers showed much promise. He got drilled, basically, because he deserved to get drilled. He walked people (20 walks in 59 innings), he gave up home runs (12), he didn't miss bats -- there was little there to hang any optimism on, and after a string of August starts in which he allowed 6,7, 5 and 6 runs, he was gone.

Last year in Triple A he was 5-12 with a 6.21 ERA. Nobody pitched well for the Red Wings in 2010, and the quality of the defense was part of it, but again, the leading indicator stats aren't good. A 5.1 K/9 rate in the minors translates to a lot of line drives there  -- and even more in the majors.

He's still on the 40 because he was a high pick (second round in 2004), the Twins are a patient organization and he hasn't run out of options. He pitched winter ball in Venezuela and lost 25 pounds (at least some of it to illness), so he knows that his current path is getting him nowhere. He's young enough still to make something of this.

Still: The Greg McMichael Rule holds that if you get outs, they'll find a job for you. Swarzak needs to establish that he can get outs in Triple A before the Twins are going to find a job for him in the majors.

No comments:

Post a Comment