Rick Vandenhurk http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/v/vanderi01.shtml
Stints in the majors have ranged from mediocre to awful. He has been very good in Indy, posting a WHIP of 1.262, K/9 7.2, BB/9 2.6. At 27 years old he's a finished product. Not a long-term solution, but perhaps a guy who can give us a few starts.Justin WIlson http://www.baseball-reference.com/minor ... lson002jus
24 years old and in his 2nd year in Indy. 90 of his 100 appearances in the minors have been starts, and this year he boasts a WHIP of 1.135, K/9 9.1, BB/9 4.0, all career bests. The walks are still high. 91.2 IP so far. Most in his career was 142.2 in 2010.Rudy Owens http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=owens-001rud
Another 24 year old in his 2nd AAA year. Has been used exclusively as a starter since 2009. His WHIP of 1.132, K/9 6.5, BB/9 1.7 and H/9 8.4 are all improvements over last year. HR/9 and WP are up. He has logged 106 IP. Previous high was 150 in 2010.Jeff Locke http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=locke-001jef
This southpaw, acquired in the then-maligned McLouth trade, is (you guessed it) 24. He started 4 games for us last year and got shellacked. Sample size from 2011 in Indy is too small, but he was very good during his 125 IP in Altoona. In 2012 his WHIP is 1.192, K/9 7.9, BB/9 2.2. He has logged 95.2 IP with a previous high of 153.1 between AA and AAA last year.
For comparison, here are some numbers from a couple of past Pirates as they were knocking on the big league door:Zach Duke http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=duke--001zac
2005 (AAA) - 108 IP with a WHIP of 1.213, K/9 5.5, BB/9 1.9Paul Maholm http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=maholm001pau
2005 (AA) - 81.2 IP with a WHIP of 1.212, K/9 8.3, BB/9 2.9
2005 (AAA) - 35.2 IP with a WHIP of 1.458, K/9 5.3, BB/9 3.0
So as you can see, the three lefties all compare favorably to Duke and Maholm in WHIP and K/9, and only Wilson has a significantly worse BB/9.
My guess is Locke would be the first guy called up for a spot in the rotation, followed by Owens and Wilson. However it could be Vandenhurk if the Bucs just need someone to fill in while a certain someone gets some extended rest. Rick isn't considered a prospect and would thus not hurt his "status" if he didn't fare well in the bigs.
What gets me excited about calling up Locke or Owens, now that they've got the stats to justify it in AAA, is what happened with Duke in '05. We all remember how he was damn near unhittable as big leaguers got their first look at him. Same could happen with one of these guys. Like Duke, it ultimately might not last into the years to come, but could prove a helluva weapon for the second half; the part of the schedule where we see if our boys have taken the "Finish" motto to heart.