For the first time we are going to start answering the mail bag on a weekly basis right here. We’re starting to get a little overwhelmed with answering on a one off basis and thank everyone for their questions. So we’ll still be keeping in touch with everyone that writes in, but we decided sharing the Q&A with everyone should be beneficial. To us all. We love to hear from you and get your opinions as well. So while George is frequenting the Northwest League, Dave making his Midwest League rounds, Aaron holding down the Sally League and me at the FSL and GCL, we will all be brainstorming on the incoming questions. Here are some questions that have gotten by in the mailbag.
What’s with Jose Campos’ injury? How can his arm still be sore this far after the injury and there be no concern about TJ?
The bottom line is that the Yankees are a very secretive organization and the news out of Charleston and Tampa is that there is no news. Campos hasn’t thrown a pitch since April 28th when he gave up 8 runs in 2.2 IP.
Elbow inflammation could be nothing. But nothing usually doesn’t last more than 2 months. There’s a high chance that there is something serious with the elbow condition and they are giving him an extended period of time hoping that it can heal and he’ll move past it. TJ surgery at this point would put the front office in the cross fires of the Montero trade all over again that isn’t something a playoff club needs mid season.
And is Ethan Martin’s turnaround for real?
As far as Ethan Martin goes, I would say his 2011 season looked far worse than it actually was. While his 7.36 ERA at High-A looks horrible it was a product of some bad luck and his FIP of 5.16 is more palatable. One of his main issues was a very high BABIP of .365 and then giving up more than a home run per game at 1.31/9. Add those two together and you a recipe for disaster.
He’s never had good command and his 6+ walks per 9 in his career are proof of that. In 2012 he’s reigned in his command some with a 4.57 walks/9 rate but that is still 12.4% and not a number that will lead to success with the big club. His K rate has actually come down as well from 9.6+ K per 9 in 2011 to 8.16 in 2012.
What’s truly driving his success is a switch in luck. Where he was very unlucky last year, he has been very lucky in 2012. His BABIP has dropped to .262 which is more than .100 points below where it was last year. The HR/9 is down to just .45 per 9. That’s where the 3.14 ERA comes into play. The FIP is 3.62 so you see where the regression point is.
In Martin’s favor, he is keeping the ball in the park and keeping it on the ground. So the turnaround is for real. But the upside that he had when he was drafted should be tempered. He’s not an Ace in the making and if he can refine himself into a mid-rotation starter for any period of time, I think the Dodgers will need to call that a success. Don’t be surprised if his name gets a lot of mentioned in the middle of trade talks this year and next.
What’s going on with Casey Kelly? Is he having TJ surgery?
Well as it turns out, despite the elbow injury, it looks like Kelly is going to battle back with rehab. He had two starts before the injury this season and they were nothing short of spectacular. 12 innings pitched with 14 K’s and zero walks. It’s been that career K rate that keeps him from being the top level SP he can be. Here is the pre-season Instinct on Kelly:
91°. Casey Kelly, RHP, Padres, 10/4/1989 - Acquired as a centerpiece of the Adrian Gonzalez trade prior to the 2011 season, Casey Kelly is trying to validate the Padres decision to trade-off an elite player such as A-Gon. Unfortunately, the early promise of his first couple of years in pro ball has diminished somewhat. His K and BB rates were simply outstanding during his 2009 season in Single A ball, but both of those rates have been going the wrong way in 2010 and 2011. Our scouting reports, Prospect Instinct|Casey Kelly indicates that he has good command of his fastball and changeup, but is erratic with his curve. ETA 2013.
And a special thanks goes out to Christian Oertle from over at www.giantsboard.com for making me privy to some lesser known information about Padres RHP Casey Kelly. Here’s that link to the article.
Stick with Baseball Instinct and we’ll keep you a step ahead of the game. Check back soon for more Prospect coverage. While you’re here, check out our Baseball Instinct 360° – it’s our top 360 prospects for 2012. Also check out a friend of ours for all of your fantasy sports needs. Fantasy Rundown is updated religiously and is truly an awesome resource. Thanks for checking Baseball Instinct. We’re working hard to bring you the best of the minor leagues and make the site the best experience it can be, so don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about. Email us now at email@example.com. And while you’re at it head over to Facebook and join the Instinct page.