I’ve made the case many times for why Brian Tallet shouldn’t be in the starting rotation. To quickly recap, he was one of the worst staarters in baseball last season, he’s stealing the opportunity to start from younger players with a higher upside and he’s more valuable to the team as a reliever who can pitch more than one inning.
Learning that Tallet is being given the second spot in the proper five man rotation of a rebuilding team is so disappointing that I used it as an excuse to drink too much last night, and people didn’t question it. However, even more disappointing is Alex Anthopoulos’ justification for Tallet’s placement in the rotation: “Even if Brian’s hit hard, he will find a way out of it and give you the innings.”
I’m not a genius on par with Ari from the comments section, but I’m fairly confident that a starting rotation shouldn’t be built on pitchers known for their similarities to Gustavo Chacin.
However, let’s take a look at the Anthopoulos claim that Tallet will “give you innings.”
Last season, Tallet started 25 games, pitching 139 2/3 innings. That works out to less than 5 2/3 innings per start, which is actually below the league average.
The only good news to come out of Tallet starting, other than the hope that it will be brief, is that it will open up an opportunity for Casey Janssen to bounce back from a dismal season last year to find a role in the bullpen as the long reliever.
Janssen has the stamina and pitch selection to throw multiple innings and with the anticipated inconsistencies of a young rotation and Tallet, someone able to eat three or four innings out of the pen would be an excellent asset. According to Jeff Blair, when Anthopoulos and Cito Gaston sat Janssen down to tell him that he didn’t have a clearly defined role in the bullpen, he replied, “That’s okay. I’ll pitch myself into a role.”
If Janssen can find the slider and cutter he relied on to be a dominant reliever in 2007, there should be little doubt that he can do it.