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So, now that Manoah is off to the races it got me thinking of kids called up who made a strong first impression here.

Since it is first call up Eichhorns amazing rookie year doesn't count (he was up for a period as a starter before that but didn't lose rookie legibility). Looking at starters with ERA+ of 100 or better or close enough to be interesting. Or guys who were amazing later (like Carpenter) while skipping 'meh' guys like Stottlemyre who had bad rookie seasons and decent but not 'wow' careers.
  • Dave Stieb: 1979 100 ERA+ 8-8 record, 18 starts 129 1/3 IP
  • Luis Leal: 1980 3-4 96 ERA+ in 10 starts/3 relief 59 2/3 IP
  • Jim Gott: 1982 5-10 102 ERA+ 136 IP over 23 starts, 7 relief
    --------------end of first great era-------------------
  • Goose Gozzo: 1989 4-1 77 ERA+ over 3 starts, 6 relief - doesn't qualify but it was so amazing when he was called up and did well until put into the pen, 4-0 his first 4 appearances. 1.23 ERA, then moved to the pen and forgotten, 13.03 ERA over his last 5 appearances over a month+. A minor league rule 5 draft pick. First game was 8 IP 0 R to get the Jays over 500 in a pennant race that they'd win in the end.
  • Juan Guzman: 1991 10-3 142 ERA+ over 23 starts for a division winner in 1991, also 5 2/3 IP in playoffs 2 R/ER allowed. Fans went nuts because Cito didn't put him in game 1/5 - didn't remember how good he was in playoffs 2.44 ERA lifetime 5-1 record.
    ----------------dark times begin------------------
  • Chris Carpenter: 1997 3-7 89 ERA+ over 13 starts 1 relief, 81 1/3 IP - future Cy Young winner
  • Roy Halladay: 1998 1-0 245 ERA+ 2 starts 14 IP near no-hitter in 2nd start (8 2/3 before giving up a home run caught by Dave Stieb in the bullpen) - whatever happened to that kid I wonder...
  • Mark Hendrickson: 2002 3-0 189 ERA+ over 4 starts, 12 relief 36 2/3 IP, was a bit exciting there but just an 89 lifetime - funny thing, drafted 6 times
  • David Bush: 2004 5-4 131 ERA+ over 16 starts 97 2/3 IP, oh the hopes we had for him. Traded for Overbay.
  • Gustavo Chacin: 2004 1-1 192 ERA+ over 2 starts 14 IP - yeah stretching it here, but 13-9 120 ERA+ in 34 starts 203 IP the next year so he started gangbusters and had a cologne named after him but his career fell apart early.
    -----------------the brief hope era-----------------
  • Scott Richmond: 2008 1-3 107 ERA+ over 5 starts, 27 IP such hope for the Canadian but only would get starts the next season then 2 relief years and done.
  • Ricky Romero: 2009 13-9 103 ERA+ over 178 IP and 29 starts, 3 great years, 1 bad one, then injury, injury, injury. Up at 24, done at 28, in minors until 32. So much promise, but it fell apart so fast. Replaced in the rotation by JA Happ and the rest is history.
  • Marc Rzepczynski: 2009 2-4 121 ERA+ over 11 starts 61 1/3 IP - really thought he'd make it.  Just a dozen more starts but nearly 500 more games in relief, last pitched in 2018 in the majors, 2019 in minors.
  • Henderson Alvarez III: 2011 1-3 121 ERA+ over 10 starts 63 2/3 IP part of the big Miami trade in the 2012/13 off-season. 
    ------------------current times---------------------
  • Ryan Borucki: 2018 4-6 110 ERA+ 17 starts 97 2/3 IP now a solid reliever.  
  • Jacob Waguespack: 2019 5-5 104 ERA+ 13 starts 3 relief 78 IP now stuck in the minors
Of note: a few really good guys had brief call-ups (Hentgen just 7 IP) or were in the pen first (Key, Woody Williams) thus didn't qualify for this list.  I pushed it a bit far in some cases (Halladay for example).

I was surprised how well these divided out - I was looking for any decent kids each year but during big stretches no one jumped out as decent.  1983-1988 isn't a shock to have no kids emerge as the team was a contender year in year out and couldn't risk handing a rotation slot to a rookie and had a lot of good arms as was - often kids were tried out in the pen first then (like Key).  1994-2001 should've been an era of opportunity but Ash was a nightmare GM who didn't trust kids and when he did put them in they sucked royally.  I listed Carpenter in that dark time as he did become something great later but was rushed (was still walking 4 per 9 IP, ERA of 4.50 in AAA after a 3.94 in AA the year before - you could tell Ash was panicking).  The Hendrickson/Bush/Chacin era had potential but none were really as good as they looked.

Lets hope this batch (Alek Manoah, Nate Pearson and whoever else comes up like Simeon Woods Richardson) can match the success of the early 80's & early 90's crews and not be like the post 2000 one.
Top First Call Up Pitchers | 18 comments | Create New Account
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scottt - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#398933) #
The last guy who dominated at AAA and then replicated in the bigs is way before my time.
scottt - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#398934) #
How about Jesse Litsch? 3.81 ERA in his first 20 starts.

John Northey - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#398938) #
Good catch scottt...I could've sworn I had him in there...
Jesse Litsch: 2007 7-9 record 118 ERA+ over 20 starts 111 IP duplicated it the next year (118 ERA+ over 28 starts 1 relief 176 IP) then it all fell apart (11 starts the next 2 years 68 ERA+).  Still, not bad for a former bat boy of the Rays.
jerjapan - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#398939) #
Fun read John- man, watching Manoah's debut was a pleasure, what with the family yelling and crying, the Ks, bouncing back from that 1st batter 4 pitch walk, which immediately reminded me of Alex Sanchez's debut way back in 89.  Gozzo's crazy debut also came to mind.

Of course, it was Sanchezs third start (and second last game of his major league career) that was even more memorable, the 10 run comeback in Boston.   
uglyone - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#398940) #
Magpie from the gamethread: "It moves like one (oops, he hung that last one) - he doesn't throw it quite as hard as I'd expect. And normally you would want to see a bit more separation in velocity between the fastball and the change. But if you're commanding both pitches - which he's been doing - you can certainly get away with this."

yeah I was irrationally hoping that Gameday was confusing sliders for changeups and vice versa. A low 80s change and a 90mph slider to add to his fastballs would be deadly.

Not to say the arsenal isn't good - it does seem like four distinct pitches with quality movement and plenty of velo.
Paul D - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#398941) #
Halladay debued in 1998, no? (I forgot about Stieb being on that team for a short while)
John Northey - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#398942) #
Thanks Paul D - geez, price of doing this too quickly I guess.  Two dumb mistakes so far. 
John Northey - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#398944) #
Alex Sanchez - now there is a name I forgot about.  First start 6 IP 1 R - nice beginning.  Tons of hope.  Then...3 more games that year 5 2/3 IP 12 R/ER Ouch.  His final start was that insane Boston game - Jays behind 10-0 after 6, took the lead in the 9th 11-10 but Boston tied it (off Tom Henke no less), then won in the 13th on a 2 run homer by Junior Felix.   Coming into that series Felix was hitting 255/300/394, after it he was at 291/333/473 - going 8 for 16 with 2 HR will do that.  Good memories.
Paul D - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#398945) #
No need to apologize John, I'm grateful for the content.
hypobole - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#398947) #
Maybe I'm missing something, but why no Stro?
Gerry - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#398949) #
I was a big fan of Juan Guzman. He was not a big name behind Jack Morris, Pat Hentgen, Jimmy Key, etc. but he was an excellent pitcher for the Jays.
Magpie - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#398950) #
Brandon Lyon, 5-4, 4.29, ERA+ 107 in 11 starts in 2001.
hypobole - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#398951) #
Thought of Guzman during the game yesterday with McGuire setting his glove right down the middle.
John Northey - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#398952) #
Huh.  Guess I missed more than I thought.  Lyon was pretty good at first.  Lost on waivers the year after his rookie season (JPR had weird ideas).

Stroman is another I thought I added, but must have accidentally erased when fixing a few things...20 starts, 6 relief 130 2/3 IP 104 ERA+.  I suspect I thought of him being like Sanchez - more used in relief when first up so I didn't double check.  He is having a heck of year so far with a 152 ERA+ over 10 starts.  Mets must be happy. 
bpoz - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#398954) #
I remember Brandon Lyon. A slim pitcher that was a low draft pick. B Saberhagen was also a slim low pick pitcher who made it to the ML at age 19 I believe. Lyon made or at 19 or 21. Gooden at 19 I believe.

Many of our pitchers became very good. Some were V good almost immediately after their callup and others took a while. Stieb very fast, Key fast enough. Carpenter took a while and D Wells also. Many others that became the ace of the staff. I also think of them as duos. Stieb/Key, Hentgen/Guzman. Halladay/Carpenter would be nice. These duos would have got us from the early 80s to about 2010 without much gap. Stroman/Sanchez/Syndergaard/Osuna had the potential of being a duo. I believe that we will have a home grown duo between now and the end of 2023. Nothing wrong with being hopeful.
scottt - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#398955) #
Stro and Sanchez are a bit different because they started in the bullpen.
Stro didn't actually look that good in the pen.
Sanchez was a Cy Young candidate with just that sinker that nobody could elevate, and then the blisters started.

uglyone - Friday, May 28 2021 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#398956) #
Tried to remember most of our "elite" SP prospects in recent memory and some of the more notable elite stats at young age guys who didnt get the prospect hype...


SWR (20): 19.0ip, 38.8k%, 10.0b%, .325bip, 2.37era, 2.35fip, 3.06xfip
Thor (20): 54.0ip, 32.2k%, 5.6b%, .304bip, 3.00era, 3.36fip, 2.44xfip
Nate (22): 62.2ip, 28.3k%, 8.6b%, .250bip, 2.59era, 2.90fip, 3.12xfip
Stro (22): 119.2ip, 28.1k%, 5.9b%, .300bip, 3.31era, 3.45fip, 2.83xfip
Norris (21): 35.2ip, 31.6k%, 11.0b%, .329bip, 4.54era, 4.03fip, 3.19xfip
Hoffman (22): 48.0ip, 19.7k%, 6.4b%, .246bip, 2.81era, 3.42fip, 3.41xfip
Litsch (22): 130.2ip, 18.2k%, 4.9b%, .309bip, 3.79era, 3.60fip, ---xfip
Sanchez (21): 66.0ip, 20.0k%, 14.0b%, .279bip, 3.82era, 4.16fip, 4.28xfip


Nate (22): 22.2ip, 42.4k%, 3.5b%, .229bip, 1.59era, 2.26fip, 1.28xfip
Norris (21): 71.1ip, 27.5k%, 7.1b%, .282bip, 1.13era, 2.06fip, 2.75xfip
SWR (18): 28.1ip, 27.1k%, 6.5b%, .243bip, 2.54era, 2.46fip, 2.93xfip
Thor (20): 63.2ip, 24.8k%, 6.2b%, .333bip, 3.11era, 2.64fip, 2.78xfip
Hutch (20): 62.1ip, 27.6k%, 5.9b%, .257bip, 2.74era, 2.76fip, 2.82xfip
Osuna (19): 22.0ip, 29.7k%, 8.9b%, .446bip, 6.55era, 4.07fip, 3.16xfip
Litsch (21): 89.1ip, 22.1k%, 2.2b%, .332bip, 3.53era, 2.56fip, ---xfip
Sanchez (20): 86.1ip, 20.8k%, 11.1b%, .250bip, 3.34era, 3.67fip, 3.56xfip
Hoffman (22): 56.0ip, 16.7k%, 6.6b%, .329bip, 3.21era, 3.70fip, 3.22xfip


SWR (18): 78.1ip, 29.8k%, 5.2b%, .356bip, 4.25era, 2.53fip, 2.24xfip
Thor (19): 103.2ip, 28.9k%, 7.3bb%, .301bip, 2.63era, 2.35fip, 2.65xfip
Osuna (18): 42.1ip, 29.0k%, 6.3b%, .311bip, 5.53era, 3.69fip, 2.73xfip
Hutch (20): 95.2ip, 25.6k%, 6.5b%, .314bip, 2.35era, 2.52fip, 3.15xfip
Sanchez (19): 90.1ip, 25.7k%, 13.5b%, .279bip, 2.49era, 3.56fip, 3.70xfip
Norris (20): 85.2ip, 25.9k%, 11.5b%, .341bip, 4.20era, 3.62fip, 3.45xfip

SWR is arguably the most impressive at every level considering age, with only the older seasons of Nate and Norris in A+ being clearly better statistically, but they were 3-4 years older.

The one guy there that gives me pause in overhyping SWR too much is Hutch. SWR has been better than he was but Hutch was not that far behind. Though i'm not convinced hutch couldn't have been a good one if he stayed healthy.
Lylemcr - Saturday, May 29 2021 @ 01:05 AM EDT (#398972) #
I think we should call Manoah "The Mountain"
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