Meet The Chiefs: Starting Rotation

Six days away from Opening Day, Syracuse’s preliminary roster has been revealed, with few surprises. 15 of the team’s 25 active players have been Chiefs in the past, with a whopping 16 having major league experience. Top to bottom, it’s quite possibly the strongest Opening Day roster in the five years the Nationals have been affiliated with Syracuse.

So every day from now until the beginning of the season (Thursday at Lehigh Valley), we’ll examine one of the Chiefs’ positional units and throw out some fast facts about each of the players. Today, we’ll begin with the team’s starting rotation, in alphabetical order:

Yunesky Maya

  • 2013 will be his 4th straight year with the Chiefs, and likely his 3rd full year (he pitched just two games for Syracuse in 2010).
  • Last Year, Maya was 11-10, 3.88 ERA in 28 Syracuse starts…he finished in a tie for the IL lead in games started, third in innings pitched and fifth in BB/9.
  • 48-29, 2.51 ERA in six seasons in the Cuban National Series…won the Cuban equivalent of the Cy Young Award in 2008-09.
  • His best career start came last July 27, when he came seven outs shy of a perfect game at Rochester before a Chris Parmelee home run that snuck over the right-field wall – the only Rochester base runner of the game.

Ross Ohlendorf

  • 18-32, 5.10 ERA in 108 career major league games (73 starts)…38-34, 3.94 ERA in 120 career minor league games (104 starts)
  • He’s been traded twice – from Arizona to the Yankees in 2007, and from the Yankees to the Pirates in 2008. The Nationals are his sixth different organization (Boston and San Diego last year).
  • He’s a Princeton graduate, and thus smarter than all of us. He majored in Operations Research and Financial Engineering.
  • In fact, he interned for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2009.
  • OK, one more – he wrote a 126-page thesis on the investment and financial return of signing major league draft picks.
  • OK, actually one more…he got an “A” on it.

Ryan Perry

  • Ryan Perry had what amounts to a cameo as a Chiefs pitcher last year…he threw in 11 early-season games as a reliever with a 4.50 ERA and 23 base runners allowed in 12 innings. He also allowed nine runs in eight innings with the Nationals – six of which came in one outing against Philadelphia, in two-thirds of an inning.
  • But things got better when Perry went down to Double-A Harrisburg and turned into a starting pitcher. He threw up a 2.84 ERA in 13 starts and walked just 22 batters in 73 innings.
  • Those 13 games were the first ever starts for Perry in his professional career – a career spanning 225 total major and minor league games. The last time he’d started? 2008, with six starts (out of 31 games) for the University of Arizona.
  • He has a tattoo on his hand of a skeleton in the MLB logo. And an Abraham Lincoln tattoo. (No word on whether this tattoo also contains an axe and fleeing vampires.)

Tanner Roark

  • Don’t let the 6-17 record with Syracuse last season fool you – the respectable 4.39 ERA and 130 strikeouts (fifth in the IL) are better measure of Roark’s debut Triple-A season.
  • OK, this is way oversimplifying some things, but – in his 17 losses, the Chiefs scored a total of 31 runs. That’s 1.8 per game. 1.8! Of course he lost 17 games with that kind of run support. (The Chiefs scored 33 runs in his six wins, by the way.)
  • He played two innings in left field last year. In case you forgot that happening, or were asleep by that point, here’s a recap.
  • He has a GREAT mustache.

Danny Rosenbaum

  • Just a few days ago, it looked like he might begin the season with the Colorado Rockies – but Rosenbaum was returned from the Rule V draft after the Rockies decided not to put him on their Opening Day roster, and here he is in Syracuse.
  • Last year with Harrisburg, he was 6-0 with a 0.99 ERA after the season’s first nine starts, and 7-2 with a 1.94 ERA after 13 starts.
  • …then things went somewhat south, to the tune of a 2-9, 5.76 final three months. His final 2012 numbers: 8-10, 3.94 ERA.
  • …and that’s by FAR the worst season of Rosenbaum’s career, after ERAs of 1.95 in 2009 (GCL), 2.25 in 2010 (Hagerstown/Potomac) and 2.52 in 2011 (Potomac/Harrisburg).

Next up – a much shorter look at the eight-man bullpen.

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