Much has been made about how well Edwin Jackson is pitching for Detroit. Of course, his emergence is only magnified with Matt Joyce still in triple-A and even more so by the recent demotion of Andy Sonnanstine.
Well, if that makes you want to vomit, then you will definitely want to sit down for this one.
After starting the season 0-3 after 5 starts, former Rays pitcher Jason Hammel is now 5-0 in his last 7 starts. He has a 4.01 ERA and a 31 to 10 strikeout-to-walk ratio. And those 5 straight wins is the longest active streak in the National League.
Bob Apodaca recently commented on Hammel’s emergence.
“I’m not surprised at all,” Apodaca said Saturday. “But I think his emphasis has changed. He thought of himself more as a breaking-ball pitcher. We needed to get him thinking about the importance of his fastball.”…And not just Hammel’s four-seamer that touched 94 mph Friday night, producing nine flyball outs. Hammel has added a two-seam fastball (sinker) to his repertoire…The bottom line, said Apodaca, is that Hammel has embraced the fastball as his primary weapon.
If there is a silver-lining to the emergence of Jackson and Hammel as very good starting pitchers, it is that the Rays will soon have a reputation as developers of great start pitching, much as the Braves were in the 90s.
Being able to consistently develop starting pitching will not only bode well for the Rays future on the field, but it will also increase the value of Rays starting pitchers and pitching prospects in the eyes of other franchises. When the Rays decide to trade any of their pitching in the future, other teams will look at the success of Jackson and Hammel, as well the pitchers in the Rays rotation, and the price for those players will only go up.
Hammel’s win streak doesn’t shock Apodaca [Denver Post]