The Florida Marlins yesterday used a Double-A pitcher, Graham Taylor, to replace the injured Andrew Miller in the rotation. Taylor struggled, to say the least, allowing 4 runs on 4 hits and 6 walks, striking out 2. To make matters worse, he hit Jamie Moyer with a pitch.
The former 2006 tenth round draft pick almost appeared to be scared to throw the ball over the plate, especially in the first inning. Four of his walks came there, where he was lucky enough to escape allowing just two runs.
He was quoted in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel as saying, “It was more anxious, I think, just getting out there, wanting to get going. That didn’t play into my hand very well”. That at least helps to explain his early struggles, which certainly plagued him. It took him 98 pitches to get through his 3.2 innings, so he never really had a chance.
He is not a hard thrower, topping out at 84-85 mph according to the stadium gun. He generally depends on his control, with a career BB/9 of 1.4 over 420.2 minor league innings. All but 40.1 of those innings came below Double-A, so it’s really not enough to read into it.
The fact that he struck out just 6.6 per 9 innings, however, tells me a lot. If he can’t get young, inexperienced hitters to expand their strike zone or swing and miss, there’s no way he’s going to be able to in the major leagues.
Yes, he’s 30-17 with a 3.08 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in his minor league career. He’s also given up nearly a hit per inning, with 402 hits against in 420.2 innings. So, he’s hittable and can’t get young plays to miss the ball. Does that really seem like the makings of a pitcher that has the potential for success?
Maybe, with time, the 24-year old (he turns 25 in May) can develop into a usable pitcher, but after his major league debut and the numbers I’m looking at over his minor league career I’m just not seeing it right now. He certainly is a pitcher that is not worth using in any format currently and I would be hard-pressed to recommend using him at any point this season. Barring a tremendous reversal, he should be ignored, even if he some how maintains a rotation spot the rest of the way.
Does anyone see him as a potentially usable pitcher this season? If so, why?
To read the previous article, click here.