Saturday, September 22, 2007

Correia Stepping Up to the Plate

Kevin Correia has made it clearly known that he views himself as a starter and wants to be a starter, but has been equally the good soldier in doing what the team told him to do. For nearly two seasons now, he has been a reasonably reliable reliever for the Giants, with a good ERA, when injuries to starters created a need for starters, giving opportunities to Jonathan Sanchez, Pat Misch, and Kevin Correia. Each has made a nice case that they deserve a chance to start next season.

Correia's Case in Point

Obviously, as the title says, I'm focusing on Correia here. Today he pitched another good start - heck, it was a great start: 7.0 IP, giving up 5 hits and 2 walks but no runs, and struck out 6. That would be a PQS of 5, a dominating start, and, of course, would count as a quality start under that definition. Unfortunately, the offense failed to give him any support, but the bullpen picked up the team so that the offense could finally deliver 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th on a pinch-hit 2-run single by Durham (another RBI PH turn on his part) and get the team a win. I think the Giants are currently in a tie for the 6th draft pick with two other teams.

In six starts, starting August 14th, he has pitched 33.0 innings, gave up 27 hits and 10 walks, struck out 23, allowing 8 runs/ER, plus gave up 2 HR, for an ERA of 2.18 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 6.3 K/9, 2.3 K/BB, 0.5 HR/9. Hitters had a batting line of .220/.278/.317/.595 in his starts.

That's excellent pitching, and thus he has made the big statement he needed to do in order to get his name back in the mix for the starting rotation, once he finally got his opportunity to show what he can do. He had to put up or shut up, and he put up with a restounding "yes!"

The rotation as it currently stands consists of Lincecum, Cain, Zito, and Lowry, which means that there is one spot to fill. Jonathan Sanchez has been assumed to be the guy who would take that 5th starter spot in 2008, but I think Correia and Misch have made a strong case for themselves. Given the recent talk from management about the need to trade off young pitching (while also making the point that Cain and Lincecum are untouchables) and the Barry Bonds decision, it appears that someone(s) from the group of Lowry, Sanchez, Misch, Correia, and perhaps Hennessey could be traded in order to get position prospect(s) to aid the reload of the Giants to return to winning in 2008.

I have had a rooting interest in Kevin Correia since he first came up in 2003. Steve Shelby turned me on to him early in the season and I have followed him ever since. He seems to be a nice kid, good head on his shoulders, and is a fighter. I hope he gets the chance he has been fighting for and get to start for the Giants. It might not happen, though, depending on how well Sanchez does (he's considered a higher potential pitcher) and whether Lowry gets traded or not (another open rotation spot would give his chances a huge boost), plus Misch is tempting due to his good K/BB and high K/9 (I like Misch too). Go Correia!

2 comments:

  1. To my way of thinking Correia has already won a spot in next year's rotation. The question in next year's rotation is Lowry's spot. Will Lowry be traded? Will Lowry be healthy? This is the spot that could open up for Sanchez or Misch.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, I'm pretty convinced too, but that's not how it works in baseball. I think he'll be the front-runner for a spot, much like Wilson was the front-runner to take a bullpen spot this past spring, but he'll still have to perform or be put back in the bullpen.

    Lowry appears to be healthy, or healthy enough. He's doing a little throwing and if it wasn't the end of the season (and the team so far out of it so early), probably would be preparing to return. Apparently there were bone spurs that he has to battle, and they affect him late in the season. The surgery is simple, but recovery is never assured, so they are just resting him.

    However, just given the Giants statements, he's the one to be traded. Giants say that they realize that they need to trade some of their young pitching to get hitters. Zito is untradeable due to his contract. Cain and Lincecum have been labeled untouchables. That leaves Lowry and Sanchez as the most valuable young pitchers, and Lowry would bring way more than Sanchez since he has performed so much better.

    As much as I like Correia, Sanchez has the pizazz and Misch has the high strikeout rate. It should be an interesting competition.

    ReplyDelete

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