30 in 30: A Chiefs Countdown to Opening Day: Day 10
We’re counting down until Opening Day with a new post on our Inside the Chiefs blog every day until Syracuse’s opener on April 3rd. Here’s what’s on tap today…
Since yesterday’s post – our most-viewed of the blog series so far – the Nationals have made six additional cuts from big-league camp. Might as well play another round of “where will this guy end up”, then, right?
LHP Danny Rosenbaum – “Rosey” spent every day of the 2013 season with Syracuse, never going up or down. He sported a 3.87 ERA in a league-high 28 games started. Rosenbaum will be part of Syracuse‘s rotation to start 2014, and he may very well be a Chief for a long stretch once more.
RHP Clay Hensley – Six months ago, Hensley – a veteran of 271 major-league games – couldn’t top 81 mph on a radar gun. But after undergoing Tom House’s throwing program, he’s upped his velocity back to its usual high-80s/low-90s mark. Hensley’s contract contains opt-out dates after spring training and June, meaning the right-hander could leave if he thinks he’ll latch on with a major-league team. The Nationals, however, are hoping he’ll end up in Syracuse – and it’s up to Hensley to decide.
RHP Josh Roenicke – Roenicke hasn’t pitched in the minor leagues since 2011 with Colorado Springs, with ERAs of 3.78, 3.25 and 4.35 over the last three years (Colorado 2011-12, Minnesota 2013). He allowed eight hits and four runs in three-and-one-third spring innings, though, leading to his reassignment to minor-league camp. It’s Syracuse or bust for Roenicke at this point – he’s not pitched in Double-A since 2008, and he’s clearly far too good for that – and might depend on whether or not his contract has an opt-out clause.
RHP Daniel Stange – Stange has thrown in 101 Triple-A games over the past four years, with a 5.61 ERA – however, that’s a 5.61 ERA entirely in PCL play, where the ballparks may as well be on the moon. Stange did throw in 46 games in Double-A in 2012 with the Padres, so Harrisburg isn’t out of the question, if only for the crazy numbers games in the Nationals’ bullpen. His status may depend on the opt-out status of others.
LHP Matt Purke – Purke was officially assigned to Double-A Harrisburg, where he’s slated to be a first-time Senator. The third-year professional out of TCU was regarded as one of the Nationals’ top prospects upon being drafted, but multiple shoulder issues over the last few years have hampered his progress. Coming off of a 4.43 ERA in 12 Potomac starts, and at just 22 years old, it might take a little while before Purke makes a next-level jump.
OF Michael Taylor – Speaking of 22-year-olds who’ve never played above Potomac that were officially assigned to Harrisburg…meet Taylor, considered the best defensive outfielder in Washington’s minor leagues. The good with Taylor: he’s an A-plus defender who stole 51 bases last year in just 58 tries. The not-as-good: his career slash line of .249/.319/.399 – though his .263 average and .340 OBP last year were career highs. In Taylor’s fifth professional season, the Nationals will look for him to continually up his offense – but his speed and defense may already be Syracuse-ready. (Heck, they may already be Washington-ready.)
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