The Texas Rangers sent Robbie Erlin in the deal that sent Mike Adams to the Lone Star State. He was rated highly as a prospect as he was projected to be a guy with decent stuff but good control. Unfortunately, Erlin hasn’t really put things together in the majors since debuting in 2013. He has pitched 133 major league innings including 23 starts and four relief appearances. But in none of Erlin’s three seasons has he done better than a 4.12 ERA. He has, indeed, had low walk rates, but his lack of control within the strike zone has hurt him. Erlin enters only his age 25 season with increasingly improving peripheries.
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Colin Rea came out of nowhere and soared to the top of Padre prospect lists in his age 24 season. He made 6 starts in 2015 pitching 31.2 innings with a 4.26 ERA and 3.45 FIP before his season ended on the disabled list. The pattern with Rea was that he would pitch lights-out for all but one inning, when he would blow up and surrender a few runs. It isn’t uncommon for young pitchers to have a difficult time pitching out of jams. Rea’s peripheries were good during his September call up.
Drew Pomeranz came over in the deal that sent Yonder Alonso to Oakland. But before that, he was a highly-touted Cleveland prospect who was packaged in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade. He was a bit of a disaster in Colorado, but improved in Oakland. However, one cannot escape his splits: 4.60 ERA in 228.2 innings as a starter and a 2.14 ERA in 63 relief innings. It would seem as though Pomeranz should be ticketed for the bullpen for the same reasons as Brandon Maurer. In fact, that was what I was thinking heading into writing this article. But Pomeranz pitched in Coors Field as a young pitcher. After all, 2016 will be only his age 27 season. As it turns out, in his 19 Oakland starts, Pomeranz pitched 97 innings for a 3.52 ERA. Are being so highly rated, it had seemed as though he was a bust. But, sometimes and particularly with lefties, prospects can take a while to adjust to the majors before realizing their potential. Were Pomeranz’s 19 starts in Oakland a fluke? Is he really better suited for the bullpen?
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