Is it time to promote Sam Lecure? Doug Gray June 23, 2008 7 Comments Coming into the year, Sam Lecure was my #22 prospect in the Reds system. In early May he was one of the prospects who had lowered his stock due to his poor performance this year in Chattanooga. Lecure (Photo: Tim Evearitt/The Chattanoogan) has made 9 starts since that prospect stock market article and he has been pretty dominant in nearly all of them. Through May 5th, his ERA was over 6. Currently it sits at 3.75 thanks to his domination over the last 9 starts. I wanted to take a look at his season thus far in two different parts, his first 6 starts and then his last 9 starts. Whatever Lecure has done over the last 9 starts has worked dramatically well to completely turn around his season. His ERA lowered 4 points, his walk rate was more than cut in half and his strikeout rate when up nearly 10%. It might be time to consider giving him a challenge at AAA. 7 Responses josh June 23, 2008 Whats his stuff like? Doug Gray June 23, 2008 88-91 MPH fastball, average change up and an average slider. He knows how to pitch though, mixing his stuff well and he generally has strong control. Probably not more than a #4/5 starter in the big leagues, but there isn’t anything wrong with that. Kyle June 23, 2008 He sounds like a right handed Matt Maloney. I can see him in the AAA rotation with Bailey, Thompson, Maloney, and Jukich. Lecure really hasn’t done bad considering his draft position. Hammy June 23, 2008 In a conversation a couple of years ago with Terry Reynolds, he said the Reds F/O was split 50/50 on whether LeCure projected as a #4-#5 starter or as a quality set-up reliever. Reynolds said he has a “give me the ball and I’ll kick their ass” approach that translates to a relief role. Kyle June 23, 2008 I think with Harang, Arroyo, Volquez, and Cueto locked into the big league rotation for atleast three years and Thompson and Bailey ahead of him he will have to break into bullpen. He could probably make a decent long man out of the pen, which isn’t meant to be an insult. pw June 23, 2008 If the Reds don’t make an upward move soon, Arroyo and maybe even Harang are gone. Their salaries go up significantly next year I believe. Bryan D June 23, 2008 I love having guys like Sam Lecure in your system. He might only be a #4 or 5 caliber starter but that’s okay. Two things about guys like him. One, with having Aaron Harang (30), Edinson Volquez (24), Johnny Cueto (22), Darryl Thompson (22), Homer Bailey (22), Jordan Smith (22), Travis Wood (21), Joshua Ravin (20), and Kyle Lotzkar (18) in your organization you have a ton of players with top of the rotation stuff. Some have already proven it and others have not. Some will pan out others will not. But here’s my point. At some point in the next year or two, with Harang, Volquez, Cueto, Thompson, and the young bullpen arms the Reds will be in position pitching wise to compete in the NL for a championship. They have some hitting core pieces in Votto, Bruce, Phillips, Encarnacion (if he ever gets his old gap-to-gap swing back), and Keppinger to have a very nice lineup. But they will need at some point a veteran type bat who can provide experience, leadership, and some pop in the middle of the order. Not a 33+ year old guy, but a 27+ type guy. Doubtful the Reds can pick up that guy via free agency. Doubtful Sam Lecure type prospects can get you that type of hitter. But what is nice about having the plethora of top shelf arms is you can package some of those guys in a deal to get you top shelf arms. Now you have guys like Sam Lecure who you can develop and put at the back of your rotation. He’s a very different pitcher than Volquez and Cueto, which isn’t a bad thing. Or if one of your young power arms doesn’t develop into a solid starter for whatever reason you can put them at the back end of your bullpen and feel good about Lecure type players at the bottom of your rotation. Am I making any sense here?