Edgmer Escalona has a career ERA of 1.71. That’s not at all shabby. Of course, he’s also only pitched 31 2/3 innings. But still, he has been very good in those innings. He struggled a bit in long relief in 2011 – in four August outings in which he pitched 3+ innings each, he allowed a total of 5 earned runs – but generally he can be counted on for an inning or two of scoreless-ish baseball, making him a less-experienced Matt Belisle in terms of his value.
But can Escalona keep up the pace? In the Venezuelan league this offseason, he’s posted less impressive stats: 12 innings pitched, 14 hits, 7 earned runs, and 5 walks. If you take out a particularly rough outing on November 2nd, in which he gave up 3 runs without recording an out, things look a little better: 4 earned runs over 12 innings pitched. So what we have with Escalona, in both his major league and Venezuelan league careers, is a small sample size. That makes it hard to tell just how solid he can be.
Looking back to his minor league stats, Escalona has had similar success. He only had one tough season: 2010 at Triple-A Colorado Springs. He allowed 46 earned runs in 69 innings pitched, including 17 home runs. That’s the anomaly, though; every other season he was solid. By all accounts, he can be a great Belisle-esque member of the bullpen, and I feel good about putting him there in 2012. He’ll need to earn the spot out of spring training, especially with so many guys in limbo between rotation and pen, but I like his chances.
Where should Escalona be in 2012? Colorado.
Where will Escalona be in 2012? Colorado.