The Process Report Spring Preview: The Rotation | The Process Report

The Process Report Spring Preview: The Rotation

With camp opening this week, we’re going to begin previewing the roster in segments. Today we’ll focus on the potential members of the opening day rotation before turning our attention to the bullpen, infield, outfield, and depth pieces. The format is as follows:

Player name
2012 role
Expected 2013 role
A brief breakdown of the player

David Price | Jeremy Hellickson | Jeff Niemann | Matt Moore | Alex Cobb | Chris Archer | Roberto Hernandez

David Price
Left-Handed Starter
Spent 2012 in the rotation.
Expected to front the rotation.
Posted nearly identical peripherals as he did in 2012, but surface results improved and he won the Cy Young. Uses top-of-the-line velocity and impressive command of fastball to overpower batters. Small market principles dictate that he has just about priced himself out of the market meaning this could be the last season of the Velocirapture. – Jason Collette

Jeremy Hellickson
Right-Handed Starter
Spent 2012 in the rotation.
Expected to be in the front part of the rotation.
Defied peripherals for a second season. Added a cut fastball to his mix last season and got in trouble with it early on before refining command. Has utmost confidence in his changeup. Is attempting to become the first pitcher to strand at least 80 percent of his base-runners for three consecutive seasons. – JC

Jeff Niemann
Right-Handed Starter
Spent most of 2012 on the disabled list.
Expected to bring up the rear of the rotation.
Missed nearly 190 games over the past two seasons due to leg, back, and shoulder injuries. Expansive arsenal when healthy and makes the most of his stuff with good downward plane. But durability issues mean even AFLAC hesitates to cover him. – JC

Matt Moore
Left-Handed Starter
Spent 2012 cutting teeth in MLB rotation.
Expected to start season as #3 starter. Potential ace.
Extremely talented lefty failed to live up to out of world expectations. Despite some early disappointment, hit his stride on Memorial Day and improved as season went on. Needs to improve fastball command and further develop off-speed offering. Breaking ball proved to be a true out-pitch. Has stuff, smarts, and size to become staff ace. – Tommy Rancel

Alex Cobb
Right-Handed Starter
Spent most of 2012 in MLB rotation.
Expected to compete for one of remaing spots in rotation.
Solid if unspectacular member of pitching staff. A student of the James Shields’ school of pitching, majoring in changeups and pitching backwards. Off-speed pitch is top-shelf in terms of quality. Pedestrian fastball must be well-located to be successful. Groudball tendencies should play up in front of improved infield defense. – TR

Chris Archer
Right-Handed Starter
Made MLB debut in 2012, but made biggest strides in Triple-A.
Expected to compete for rotation spot. Could start in Durham.
The ceiling of a #2 starter with the floor of a late-inning reliever. Arrived on “stage three” with strong MLB performance in limited action. Fastball and slider are of utmost quality and miss bats in bunches. Changeup looked much improved upon September return and needs to be close to average to be effective third offering. Could find himself on outside looking in to start season as he works on off-speed pitch and fastball command behind scenes in Durham. – TR

Roberto Hernandez
Right-Handed Starter/Reliever
Missed most of 2012 due to visa-related issues.
Expected to make the team as a swingman of sorts.
Big fellow with a bowling ball sinker, trapdoor changeup, and slider. Has a tendency to fly open during delivery, causing him to miss up and arm-side. Could play a role in the bullpen or rotation, depending on how the rest of the roster shakes out. Stuff is better than recent results. Conditioning could play a factor. – R.J. Anderson

David Price | Jeremy Hellickson | Jeff Niemann | Matt Moore | Alex Cobb | Chris Archer | Roberto Hernandez


  1. buddaley wrote:

    Do you think there is any chance that Odorizzi will be competing for a rotation spot along with Archer, Hernandez and perhaps Cobb?

    • Tommy Rancel wrote:

      Would think Cobb and Hernandez would be ahead of Odorizzi. Archer has the higher ceiling, but could use more seasoning which might put Odorizzi ahead if they needed to temporarily fill a spot.

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