Monday, April 4, 2011

Stepping Up to the Downs Spot

Please excuse my self-indulgence, but GROF favorite Marc Rzepczynski took the mound twice this weekend as a relief pitcher. No way is a momenteus occasion such as the emergence of The New Scott Downs going to slip past me.

Rzep contributed an inning to Kyle Drabek's masterpiece on Saturday and felt the sting of the luck dragon on Sunday. The results were good(ish) but the process was sound. See the strike zone plot below.

Breaking bats and breaking hearts! Rzepczynski, in limited action, stuck with the slider and sinker. Everything is down in the zone save the pitch that plunked that hump Jason Kubel.

Two broken bats, two GIDP, good stuff all around. Still early but encouraging, if Marc Rzepczynski succeeding as a reliever encourages you. Me? It bums me out, as the better he pitches in the pen, the less likely he is to return to the rotation.

I'll keep my complaining to a minimum and simply take what precious satisfaction I can muster from seeing a pitcher come (back?) into his own. Here's hoping the bullpen rigors don't wear him down too quickly.

AP Photo courtesy of Daylife, pitch f/x data from Joe Lefkowitz.


  1. The broken bats are good....8/12 pitches out of the zone, not so much. Zep fits the profile of crafty lefty whether he's in the pen or the rotation, but I think shaky control will prevent him from ever being Downs. Gonna miss that Snakeface.

  2. I'm a big fan of Rzepczynski and was disappointed as well that he wasn't going to be in the rotation. Having said that, it is nice to see him in a role with the big club.

  3. @dougiejays - that is a great point. The walks will continue to dog him, the man needs his whiffs to live.

  4. I'm pretty surprised and happy with Farrell's enthusiasm for Rzep. It seems like he'll get some high-leverage innings, much better than the mop-up/long relief role he held during his brief bullpen stint last year. So far, so good.

  5. Agreed.

    Although he doesn't have the same explosive overall stuff, watching Derek Holland last night had me thinking about Scrabble and his ability to induce ground balls and miss bats.

    I'm with you in the sense I'd rather see him in AAA remaining stretched out and working on becoming/developing into a starter.

  6. I'm also a huge Rzep fan, and I think I'd rather see him get full innings in AAA. But I understand too that he's run out of options down there, and he is at least getting out and playing the the big club even if it's in the pen. I'm like you: the more he succeeds, the less likely it will be that he is considered for a full time starting role.


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