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Odorizzi and de la Rosa: 2012 Debuts

After looking at Chris Carpenter‘s 2012 debut yesterday, today I will look at two other pitchers that made their 2012 debuts this past week, Jake Odorizzi and Jorge de la Rosa

Jake Odorizzi – Jake made his debut on Sunday night for the Royals after being called up from AAA. His start was good and bad. Through 5 innings he allowed no runs. Then when the Indians saw him for the 3rd time, they lit him up for 3 runs in 6th with only 1 out recorded. He ended the game with 3 Runs, 6 Hits, 1 HR, 3 K and 1 BB. It could have been better, it could have been worse.

The death blow was a Carlos Santana 2-run home run. I think home runs will issue for him for several reasons. First, his fastball averages around 90 MPH. Not good enough by itself. Second, it doesn’t have a bunch of life as seen here:

Finally, he has a tendency to leave the ball up in the zone which led to fairly low 30% GB rate in AAA. These factors all add up to only 4 ground balls out of 19 batted balls in his major league debut.

Jake may end up being a decent 3ish major league starter. The key for him is to try to keep his fastball as low as possible in the strike zone.

Jorge de la Rosa – Jorge had his first major start of the last Thursday since late May 2011. He has been recovering from Tommy John surgery. The start was not pretty. Only 3.2 IP with 6 Runs allowed on 7 Hits, 1 HR, 1 BB and 1 K. Hopefully his start tonight will be better.

His main issue is a decent drop in fastball velocity.

His velocity is down 4-5 MPH from his recent peak. It is not a good sign that a power pitcher has lost his power.

Besides the loss in velocity, he had problems throwing strikes. Only 33% to 40% of Jorge’s pitches were strikes. He was able to get some swing and misses, but not enough to record more than one strikeout.

Jorge gets the start again tonight at home in Denver. I see no reason to start him this season.