CHIEFS STARTING PITCHING TAKING SHAPE
The Syracuse Chiefs starting pitching is beginning to take shape as righthanders Josh Banks, Ismael Ramirez and Dustin McGowan all returned to the Chiefs minor league complex this week.
Banks spent all of the 2006 season in Syracuse and finished with 10-wins in his rookie season in AAA. On the positive side Banks made 29-starts, pitched 171-innings and walked only 28-batters and struck out 126. He was also 5-5 with a 4.80 ERA in his final 12-starts and allowed only 14-home runs during that period. On the negitive side he did give up 35 home runs and recorded a 5.17 ERA. In his second season at AAA Banks should improve on those numbers.
Ramirez begin the season at AA-New Hamphsire and was 7-5 with a 2.08 ERA before an injury forced him to miss a month of the season and a trip to AAA-Syracuse, most likely in July.
He did join the Chiefs in late August and was 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA in 3-starts. Ramirez now 26 should be ready for the International League after three really good years at A-Dunedin and AA-New Hamshire.
Three years ago Dustin McGowan was the Phillip Hughes of the Blue Jays organization. With AA-New Haven in 2003, McGowan was 7-0 with a 3.17 ERA in his first 14-starts. During his last appearance with New Haven he injured his arm and needed Tommy John surgery. Missing almost all of 2004, and still not sharp in 2005, Dustin returned last season and split time between Syracuse and Toronto.
Bounced around from the bullpen to starting and back to the bullpen in 2006, McGowan should return to the Chiefs starting rotation this season.
Still in major league camp that could bolster the Chiefs rotation are righties Ty Taubenheim, Shaun Marcum and Casey Janssen. Those three would provide the Chiefs with six solid starters to begin the season.
Tomorrow the bullpen.