Results tagged ‘ Stu Pomeranz ’
Where did he come from? Is he for real?
Stu Pomeranz was the second-round draft choice of the Cardinals in 2003, and reached AA in his second full season at age 20. It appears that he got hurt at age 21, because he only pitched in 18 games in 2006 and 6 games in 2007. He was released in spring training 2008 and sat out the season; he pitched in independent ball in 2009. He pitched fairly well as Colorado’s AA closer in 2010, pitched briefly with the Dodgers’ organization in 2011; and signed with the Orioles in spring training 2012.
He pitched about as well as possible in 2012. He started at Bowie, where he faced 48 batters, striking out 20 with a 1-20 BB/K ratio and a 0.00 ERA. He was promoted to Norfolk where he faced 33 batters, striking out 15 with a 2-15 BB/K ratio and a 0.00 ERA. He was promoted to Baltimore where he pitched 6 innings with a 3.00 ERA. He got hurt in late May and missed the rest of the season.
At Norfolk, he was if anything more impressive to watch than his numbers would indicate, and so naturally I’d like to say he was a hidden find, much like Tom Wilhelmsen in Seattle. But he’s been hurt a lot, and it’s impossible to say if he can sustain his success without getting injured. Plus, he success is based on a total of 81 batters at AA and AAA. So, while he’s got a chance to be really good, I don’t know how high that chance is.
The Orioles did not tender Pomeranz a 2013 major-league contract but signed him to a minor-league deal in January.
What’s his ceiling?
If he’s really as good as he appeared in AA and AAA, of course he could become a closer. After adjustment, he should be able to strike out more than a batter an inning with a 5-1 K/BB ratio, which is Jonathan Papelbon territory. More realistically, he could be a strong set-up man. That, of course, assumes he can stay healthy and effective.
There’s really no point in trying to sugarcoat it — last night’s Tides loss to Indianapolis wasn’t a very fun game to watch. Neither starting pitcher — Daniel Cabrera for Indianapolis and Chris Tillman for the Tides — were effective, and neither offense could deliver the big hits to put the game away. There were lots of baserunners, which led to the pitchers’ slowing the game down with looks at the bases and pickoff attempts.
The game was also sloppy, as the teams combined for five errors. One was an error only in the most technical of senses — a throw from the outfield bounced off the catcher, allowing a runner to move up from first to second. While the decision was correct, a less scrupulous official scorer could easily have justified a simple decision that the runner advanced on the throw. But the other four errors included a really wild throw, two missed catches of throws, and a misplay of a routine ground ball.
Despite the general lack of entertainment value, there were still a few things I’m glad that I saw:
- The Tides did make the bottom of the ninth inning exciting, helped by one of the missed catch errors. Trailing 6-3, Bill Hall singled. Ryan Adams hit what should have been a game-ending double-play grounder to second, but the shortstop failed to keep the throw in his glove. After a steal of third and a sacrifice fly, Jai Miller hit a drive to the left-center field fence that might have gone for a home run had it been pulled a hair more. But ex-Tide Jake Fox made a leaping grab of Xavier Avery’s chopper and beat him to first for the game-ending out.
- Miller hit one of the most impressive home runs I’ve ever seen a right-handed batter hit in Harbor Park. In the fourth inning, he drove a ball to the back of the left-field picnic area, a good 400 feet from home plate. But the picnic area is probably elevated 20 or 25 feet above the ground at that point, so the ball would have traveled further had the area behind the left-field fence been level ground.
- It’s always fun to see ex-Tide Jose Diaz – listed at 315 pounds on the roster — pitch. He pitched the eighth inning for Indianapolis and retired the side in order.
- Stuart Pomeranz made his second appearance for the Tides. In his first appearance, he struck out the side. In this appearance, he wasn’t quite as good — he pitched 2 2/3 innings, walked one, and only struck out 6. One of the other two batters fouled out, so of the 12 batters Pomeranz has faced, one has hit the ball in fair territory.