April 17, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Randall Delgado (40) pitches in the first inning against the New York Mets at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Jair Jurrjens or Randall Delgado?

Tim Hudson is extremely close to coming back to the Atlanta Braves rotation. As far as I know, Fredi Gonzalez doesn’t think the 6-man rotation would be a fun experiment—although I wouldn’t put it past him—so that means one pitcher has to go.

Before the season it was a common fact that whoever won the last spot in the rotation battle would only be with the club while Huddy was recovering from back surgery. At this point in time however Delgado hasn’t been the worst pitcher in the rotation. Not by a long shot.

March 5, 2012; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher

Jair Jurrjens

  • Games Started- 3
  • Innings Pitched- 13.1
  • ERA- 8.10
  • FIP- 8.65
  • xFIP- 6.03
  • WHIP- 2.25
  • AVG- .362
  • K/9- 5.40
  • BB/9- 6.08

Randall Delgado

  • Games Started- 2
  • Innings Pitched- 10.1
  • ERA- 4.35
  • FIP- 3.53
  • xFIP- 3.06
  • WHIP- 1.65
  • AVG- .279
  • K/9- 9.58
  • BB/9- 4.35

Delgado is doing better than Jair in every major pitching category, and the only reason he doesn’t have more innings pitched is because I am writing this before Randall takes the mound today.

Delgado has walked more batters than he normally does, and is more hittable than he probably would have been if he had more time at triple A. If the team solely wants to win more games than it should be a no brainer to keep Delgado in the rotation instead of Jair. But there are a few other things at work here.

  1. The team probably still would like to trade Jair Jurrjens, and the only way to do that is for him to get some more starts that aren’t so atrocious. His trade value will never be where it was at the All-Star break last year, but it’s not crazy to think that we could get a decent outfield prospect for him.
  2. Randall Delgado is likely much more invested in the team’s long term plans and they want him to get some more work in Gwinnett to refine his off speed pitches and his control of the strike zone.

 

Delgado has the potential to be a number 2 starter in most big league rotations. The organization definitely doesn’t want to hurt any of that by keeping him in the bigs too long before he is ready and at the same time they have a huge need for some impact outfield guys.

Wrap Up

Normally I would argue that it is stupid for the team to demote a pitcher when the guy being demoted gives us a much better chance at winning than the guy who stays. In this situation however, I feel like there are too many moving pieces and I like to think I know what they are. If there is anything positive to pull out of this it’s that Jurrjens can’t possibly pitch any worse than he has already… Can he?

 

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Tags: Atlanta Braves Jair Jurrjens Randall Delgado Tim Hudson

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