Plan B was supposed to be Mike Pelfrey. I’m tired of running him down. Of course he’s supremely talented. All former No. 1 picks are. I’m sure he’d seem like a god if we watched him warm up at the local diamond. But he’s not going to be a capable starter with one effective big-league pitch. Pelfrey lacks big-league breaking stuff. Perhaps he can develop a complementary offering in relief as did Aaron Heilman. What we’ve seen from him this spring is significant because he remains unable to miss bats.
Jorge Sosa is a long reliever on a team that isn’t likely to need one 80 percent of the time. So I anoint him swing man. For some reason, Sosa never gets that 30 percent bump we forecast for most starters-turn-relievers. Sosa was 4.59 in 14 starts last year. That, I’m afraid, will seem like Cy Young compared to Pelfrey. And it should be good enough.
You can’t reasonably project Nelson Figueroa, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2004. Discount the spring because guys like him are pitching for their lives and presumably hit the ground running in the spring, facing hitters just trying to get dialed in on fastballs. Look at his 2006 minor league season, where Figueroa put up Sosa numbers at Triple-A. That portends big-league disaster.
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