The Pittsburgh Pirates seem to always be looking for starting pitching. The rotation is off to a surprising start, but @wilymotown brought a great question to our attention on twitter.
Why isn’t Chris Resop ever mentioned as a rotation option?
The Pittsburgh Pirates have talent on their roster. It’s a shame that more of them aren’t pitchers, but if a fan takes a deeper look, one of those talented pitchers is right handed pitcher Chris Resop. You might have forgot just how impressive some of the work he did was, especially at the end of last season.
The Bucs made a lot of headlines for grabbing James McDonald and Andrew Lambo in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After the trades of Javier Lopez and D.J. Carassco, the Pirates were in serious need for middle relief help.
On August 4 GM Neal Huntington and company fixed that problem by heading to the waiver wire where they grabbed Chan Ho Park and Chris Resop. Everyone knew who Park was, but Resop was the pitcher that opened some eyes within the Pirates organization.
In an excellent article written in December by Dana Caldwell and linked at the bottom of this post, Resop discussed in greater detail his role with the Pirates.
"“I don’t think people realize how difficult it is to stay sharp and stay mechanically sound, and that’s kind of the role I’ve been in so far in my career. I haven’t had a definitive role where I know what my situation is and what I’m required to do going into games.”–Chris Resop"
The Pirates put Resop to work immediately as he appeared in seven of the first eleven games. If his work at the end of the season was an indication of how effective he can be, the Pirates found a gem.
"“Right now, they’re looking at me as a late-inning reliever. They said obviously we’ll see how the offseason goes, how the free-agent market goes, and if needed, they may look at me to start.” –Chris Resop"
It was the first we had heard Resop mention that he could possibly be a starter in 2011. As Caldwell wrote, Resop did have success in that role for the Braves organization. At AAA Gwinnett, Resop made his first professional starts, going 6-3 with a 2.09 ERA striking out 91 and issuing just 32 free passes.
While in AAA, Resop got the ground ball at just under 50% of his balls in play. In his 15 starts, Resop held the bad guys to an OBA of .183.
On June 11, just four days before the Braves were forced to make a decision thanks to his unique contract (great story linked below,) Resop went nine innings and allowed just one hit, that baserunner was quickly doubled up on the next batter. His line of nine innings, one hit, no walks, eight strikeouts was just about enough to allow the Braves to get a player for Resop.
Thankfully, the market for a player that was drafted as an outfielder and transformed into a pitcher didn’t amount to much and the Pirates were waiting on the waiver line.
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One thing to remember on the topic is that perhaps with the shaky performance/sickness of Evan Meek maybe Resop is the setup man in waiting if you will. The Pirates certainly must have a good reason.
We don’t think it makes sense to bring up Brad Lincoln.
James McDonald still looks hurt to us.
Jeff Karstens is Jeff Karstens.
Daniel McCutchen doesn’t do it for us as the long man.
Brian Burres is just fine in AAA.
Stretching out Resop seems to make more sense over the next few games.
It certainly can’t be based entirely on experience alone could it? Especially when the Pirates starters have been less than stellar recently. Jeff Karstens and Daniel McCutchen don’t intrigue us, Chris Resop, now that’s interesting to at least consider .
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