With apologies to the National League, today I will look at four players that are either making their debut or returning to their teams’ rotation in the American League. Jarred Cosart pictured above will debut for the Astros, Danny Salazar made his debut on Thursday, Sonny Gray is in Oakland’s bullpen and Erasmo Ramirez had an auspicious return against the Red Sox.
Jarred Cosart – Astros – 7 W, 93 IP, 93 K, 3.29 ERA, 1.33 WHIP
- Cosart was one of the pieces from the Hunter Pence deal from the Phillies. He has a major league fastball that sits at 96-97 and a power curveball that he can throw past hitters. However, his breaking ball is a work in progress and would be better served with more time to harness it in in the minors.
- The strikeout per inning is for real but lurking behind that is 50 walks in those same 93 innings. In fact, in his last 10 games his WHIP is 1.48 as he makes his debut against the Rays tonight. Working in his favor is that fact that he has had more success against lefties in the minors than right handed hitters. But facing Price will probably negate that.
- One positive this season has been his improved ground ball rate and he will need it tonight against Tampa Bay. As the season progresses though, I believe he will need more seasoning at AAA for work on his command and breaking ball.
Danny Salazar – Indians – 5 W, 76 IP, 100 K, 3.08 ERA, 1.10 WHIP
- Unlike Cosart above, Salazar has the command and poise that could allow him to stick around for more than a start or two. Salazar has had TJS once already and a checkered injury past but his debut last night against the Blue Jays has made teams take notice. The only worry here is that it is rumored that the Indians were showcasing him as a trade commodity.
- Line vs. the Blue Jays: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 7 K, 1 BB, Win
- With a fastball that can touch 96, a slider at 87 and a changeup at 85, it seems that Salazar has an arsenal that is major league ready. Question is, will it be with the Indians or another team?
Sonny Gray – Athletics – 8 W, 102 IP, 107 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
- Unlike the two pitchers above, Gray has made his debut with the A’s as a reliever even though he was a starter in the minors. Due to his 5’11” frame, many scouts believed a move to the bullpen was a possibility as he progressed to the majors. Gray’s fastball averages 94 mph, slider at 85 mph, Curve ball 80 mph and a changeup at 85 which may be his best pitch.
- Line vs. the Pirates: 2 IP, 1 H, 3 K, 0 BB in relief Wednesday
- It has not been determined if Gray will get a spot start or remain in the bullpen with the A’s. So it will be interesting to see what his role is going forward. His two innings against the Pirates was impressive, so monitor his usage and keep tabs on him in AL only leagues.
Erasmo Ramirez – Mariners – 3 W, 48.2 IP, 45 K, 2.96 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
- After much speculation, the Mariners promoted “Eraser” to the majors on Thursday and he made his season debut against the Red Sox. Unfortunately, it did not go glowingly to say the least. It should be noted his last 2 starts in the minors were not sharp.
- Line vs. the Red Sox: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 4 K’s, 4 BB, Loss
- Ramirez suffered the same fate as Iwakuma (3 IP, 6 ER) and Harang (5 IP, 7 ER) the two games prior. The only Mariner pitcher to hold his own against the Red Sox offense was Felix Hernandez. Going forward Ramirez should be able to make a recovery. He has a fastball that sits around 92 mph, with a slider and curve ball that he throws on average at 85 mph and a changeup at 80 mph. Not many pitchers are being successful against the Red Sox, so hopefully Erasmo will bounce back after the All Star break. In 2012 at the major league level, his 3.36 ERA and 1.00 WHIP is why he was on fantasy owner’s radar and if he can improve his K rate, may be ready for 12 team mixed leagues. His next outing bears watching.
Greg Jewett is a contributor to RotoAnalysis. Look for his work all season long on the site and follow him on Twitter @GJewett9!
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