Way too Early Predictions for the Indy Pitching Staff


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Way too Early Predictions for the Indy Pitching Staff

Post by Dutton »

I should wait, but here goes:

Starting Rotation: On our 40-man we have a five starting pitchers with options, including two vying for a rotation spot in Pittsburgh. I’m not sure either of them will win it. Instead, Luis Ortiz and Quinn Priester may lead Indy’s rotation. Jackson Wolf and Braxton Ashcraft should begin their seasons in the Indy rotation, but a MiLB free agent may push Ashcraft down to Altoona. Mike Burrows is hurt and won’t be a factor until later in the season.

One sure starter yet to be added to the 40-man, but full of promise to get there, is Jared Jones. The best known options among the MiLB crowd are Chase Anderson and Wily Peralta. Anderson actually started a bunch (17) of MLB games last season so he remains a longshot for the Pirates.
If management wants to see another lefty starter at Indy, then the best options are newcomer Michael Plassmeyer or holdover Cal Aldred. I would say Josh Fleming, but he’s out of options and I don’t think he’ll pass through waivers if he doesn’t make the 13-man staff in Pittsburgh.

Aaron Shortridge and Sean Sullivan have little left to prove at Altoona and it makes sense that one of them pitches his way onto the Indy rotation.

Not lacking candidates, eh? But since I’m going to make a prediction, here goes:
1. Quinn Priester, only 23, is kept at AAA for some needed seasoning. Luis Ortiz starts with the Pirates.
2. Jared Jones should be added to the 40-man at some point in the season, because pitchers get hurt. But he starts here.
3. Ready or not, Jackson Wolf becomes the sole lefty starter at Indy.
4. Sean Sullivan earns a promotion.
5. Pure guess: Wily Peralta. Chase Anderson makes it to Pittsburgh with a good Spring. Josh Fleming is claimed after losing out to Anderson. Management cautiously places Ashcraft at Altoona.

If I get 4 out of 5 right, I’ll be surprised.

Bullpen: There are 3 relief prospects with options who should lead the Indy bullpen: Lefty Jose Hernandez and righties Kyle Nicolas and Colin Selby. AAA holdover righty Hunter Stratton has the stuff to stick around. Of the remaining holdovers, Cam Aldred has the best shot as a lefty who can start or relieve.

After that, look for MiLB free agents to populate the 3 or 4 remaining spots. Leading this group is Ben Heller, who had decent stats in MLB last season. I like Brent Honeywell’s chances. He has a pedigree, throws a screwball, and has been to the Show before. Ryder Ryan has put up decent stats in the PCL for a few years now. I’ll go with Michael Plassmeyer as my final choice, mostly to get another lefty in the pen.

If you’re counting, that’s a 14-man staff. 5 starters, 9 relievers with a few of them who can spot start. Of course Paul Skenes and Anthony Solometo will make it to AAA, and maybe beyond, during the season. I’m just talking about breaking camp.

One more MLB FA signing will blow this list up, and I promise to smile as I redo it.
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