We begin our annual pilgrimage to Disney’s Wide World of Sports on Thursday morning, which means we’re figuring out which starters we’ll see while we’re there.
It looks as if Derek Lowe, Jair Jurrjens and Kenshin Kawakami have settled into a nice five-day rotation, and those are the three guys we’ll get Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Tommy Hanson has also had a regular spot in that rotation the past couple of weeks, with Jo-Jo Reyes getting the spot-starts.
In his most recent outing, Hanson allowed one earned run on five hits and struck out two in 4 2/3 innings on Friday. He’s developing a changeup to go along with that nasty slider, 99-mph fastball and slick curveball. Meanwhile, Reyes has a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings this spring — a far cry from where he left off last season, when he was winless in his final 13 starts. (Ouch, that’s still painful to write.)
Thanks in large part to five starters with ERAs under 3.40, the Braves are now 13-3. I know, I know, it’s exhibition, but that’s still a good sign as far as I’m concerned.
You can’t have too much pitching — I’m certainly not complaining — but there are only five spots in the rotation, so what do you? I’d start Lowe, Kawakami, Jurrjens, Javier Vazquez and Tom Glavine (in that order) and send Reyes and Hanson to Gwinnett until the inevitable injury to a starter — or two. My only concern is that Glavine is the only lefty in that rotation, which might make Jo-Jo more valuable as a fill-in if he keeps throwing it the way he has been.
By the way, maybe it’s because I’m not a fan of the World Baseball Classic, but I think Vazquez is going to have to work hard and prove his worth a bit when he finally gets into camp. Hanson and Reyes are stepping up, and Vazquez had better watch his back.
So what’s your starting rotation and what would you do with the guys who don’t make it?