Add the Vandominator
Among all the buzz of soon-to-be-made pitcher call-ups, it seems Rick VandenHurk‘s name has been almost completely forgotten. Chris Tillman and Mat Latos are 21-year-old super prospects, one of which (Latos) is likely to be a dominant strikeout pitcher from day one. However, they have not had prior MLB experience, and therefore are not very apt comparisons. But, take a look at this:
Player A: RHSP, 6’3″, 190 lbs, turns 25 in August
MLB(career): 98.2 IP, 5 wins, 10 losses, 5.56 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 8.57 K/9, .276 BAA
AAA(season): 99 IP, 7 wins, 2 losses, 2.36 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 8.09 K/9, .188 BAA
Player B: RHSP, 6’5″, 195 lbs, turned 24 in May
MLB(career): 95.2 IP, 5 wins, 7 losses, 6.96 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 9.60 K/9, .300 BAA
AAA(season): 51.2 IP, 4 wins, 1 loss, 2.79 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 7.66 K/9, .190 BAA
Player A, as you probably guessed, is Clay Buchholz. I suppose it should be added that he threw a no-hitter in 2007, and pitches for the Red Sox. Player B, as you probably know from prior mention, is Rick VandenHurk. Seriously, there is a player who has been that similar to Clay Buchholz both in the minor leagues as well as the majors, who is most likely going to get more than one start immediately, unlike Clay, but has still been almost completely ignored.
Buchholz is set to make his season debut Friday, July 17 at Toronto, but the word is he’ll be sent back down after the start. That is assuming he does not dominate the Blue Jays lineup. I have a sneaking suspicion they’d find room for him in the majors if he does. However, the caveat with him, although he is likely to be sent back down, is that he is most likely owned in all but the shallowest of leagues, and would be rather tough to acquire. VandenHurk, on the other hand, is unowned in almost all leagues. His price tag is next to nothing, if not nothing, and he pitches for Florida in the NL East, a much weaker division. He will in all likelihood be making his season debut on Monday, July 20 at San Diego (yay, Petco!).
Please, go add Rick VandenHurk pronto, and smile smugly when your competition raises their eyebrows. A month from now, they’ll know why. Prepare for Vandomination.