Jays From the Couch reviews the projected 2017 starting rotation for the Full-Season A-Ball Lansing Lugnuts
The 2016 Lansing Lugnuts starting rotation ran out several of the Toronto Blue Jays highly rated starting pitching prospects on the roster.
Lansing Lugnuts fans will once again be treated to a rotation with a talented group of starting pitchers. Now, this could all change if management decides to have arms repeat a level or be very aggressive when handing out the 2017 assignments.
2016 Lansing Rotation Summary
The Lugnuts started the 2016 season with a rotation of LHP Angel Perdomo, RHP Francisco Rios, RHP Jon Harris, RHP Sean Reid-Foley, and a mix of RHP Patrick Murphy, LHP Tayler Saucedo, and RHP Ryan Cook.
RHP Patrick Murphy struggled which resulted in a move to Short-Season A-Ball in Vancouver where he excelled.
LHP Tayler Saucedo and RHP Ryan Cook bounced between the bullpen and rotation providing Lansing with swingman services.
After just 6 starts RHP Francisco Rios was the first starter called up to Dunedin. His spot was filled by LHP Ryan Borucki, who struggled during his time in the Florida State League. Borucki found his groove in Lansing and this off-season found himself on the Toronto Blue Jays 40-man roster.
RHP SRF followed Rios up to Dunedin in June and Jon Harris wasn’t far behind with a late-July promotion. SRF had the best season of any Blue Jays starting pitching prospects and now finds himself atop many Toronto Blue Jays Prospect Lists.
In the absence of Rios, SRF, and Harris LHP Angel Perdomo joined Borucki in leading Lansing’s rotation. Perdomo was the Lugnuts leader in games started, innings pitched, strikeouts (League Leader), and walks allowed.
After missing all of 2016 with an arm injury the Blue Jays system and Lansing Lugnuts welcomed RHP Jordan Romano back into the system. Romano started 14 games, more importantly, he was healthy.
RHP Justin Maese joined the Lansing rotation in the middle of July after dominating as a member of the Vancouver Canadians. Maese saw some regression but continued to impress during 10 MWL starts despite finishing with a losing record.
Projected Lansing Lugnuts 2017 Rotation
RHP T.J. Zeuch
RHP Justin Maese
RHP Patrick Murphy
RHP Jordan Romano
RHP Josh DeGraaf
The Lugnuts got an 8 inning taste of 2016 1st round pick T.J. Zeuch to close out 2016. He is expected to lead the Lugnuts in 2017. With 20-yr-old Maese to follow and spend the entire year in Lansing.
Patrick Murphy and Jordan Romano should provide Lansing with strong 3rd and 4th starters as they continue to regain their form after losing a year of development to arm injuries.
The 5th spot in the rotation will be an open competition with Jon Wandling and Josh DeGraaf the likely candidates.
5th Spot Darkhorse Candidates
There are several darkhorse candidates for the 5th and final spot in the rotation. Hard luck Canadain RHP Tom Robson may be given one final chance at starting. LHP Taylor Saucedo could be given another chance at starting if only to get a left-handed starter in the rotation.
Luis Sanchez put up decent numbers in Vancouver and could claim the final spot. Despite horrible numbers in Vancouver Dalton Rodriguez and Denis Diaz may find themselves bouncing between Extended Spring Training and spot starts with Lansing and Dunedin.
Lastly, Juliandry Higuera is an LHP that could surprise in 2017.
*Featured Image Credit: Joel Dinda UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER @JAYSFROMCOUCH AND INSTAGRAM. LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE LATEST FROM JAYS FROM THE COUCH RADIO