Digging deeper still into the pile of who’s-that-pitcher-and-what-did-we-give-up-for-him, today we unearth Josh Outman, formerly of the Oakland Athletics and recouped in addition to Guillermo Moscoso for Seth Smith last month. So where might we see Outman when the Rockies break camp in April?
He’s a wild card, that’s for sure. He fits into the Tyler Chatwood-Alex White camp of pitchers who are still young and unproven and may or may not prove anything at all except that Dan O’Dowd is dumb sometimes. Outman specifically has played in exactly 39 games in a major league uniform, so his stats won’t tell us much. For kicks, they are 151 1/3 innings pitched over 3 seasons and an ERA of 3.75. That’s not too bad. Also not too bad is his career WHIP of 1.355. The number I could do without is his ever-increasing BB/9 rate, which topped out at 3.5 in 2011. I also do not love that his flyball rate is higher than his groundball rate, though those numbers are closer than Moscoso’s are (42.9% and 38.8% compared to 55.5% and 26.8%). Outman stands a better chance than Moscoso of keeping the ball in the yard, but both of them are pretty inexperienced, so I suppose even that remains to be seen.
In some ways Outman profiles more as a reliever, with two great pitches (fastball, slider) and two so-so ones (change, curve). But he has the potential to be a four-pitch guy, and he will most likely be in the mix for a rotation spot. I put his odds at earning one out of spring training at very very low, though. There are too many other possibilities to consider Outman a viable candidate. He could spend some time in the minors or the pen before graduating to the rotation when he’s ready. One thing he needs to work on is throwing first-pitch strikes and getting ahead of hitters. His high pitch counts are worrisome and mean that he’s unlikely to go deep into games.
Like everyone else, we’ll see you in Scottsdale in a couple weeks Josh! Bring your A-game.