During Thursday evening’s FSWisconsin broadcast, announcer Bill Schroeder was commenting that the move of Seth McClung to the starting rotation left the bullpen depleted of “long” relievers–those that could go more than two innings. This puzzled me, as Mark DiFelice used to be a starter…in fact, if McClung continues to have bad starts like last night, DiFelice should be, I think, given a chance to start with the Brewers. But no one in the organization seems to be thinking of DiFelice as a starter candidate.
First, he must have major league stuff, as he’s been on the 25-man roster the entire season, posting a 4-0, 1.72 mark over 31.3 IP in 31 games to date (not to mention a 2.84 ERA in ’08 over 19 IP). This year, DiFelice has pitched 2 innings on two occasions, and over an inning in five other games.
So, then, they must feel that his stuff drops off after two innings. DiFelice went 4 full innings in the World Baseball Classic against Venezuela, throwing 45 pitchers, with 33 of them for strikes, resulting in just 3 hits and 0 ER’s. DiFelice was a starter at Nashville last season as well.
At the very least, DiFelice should be the “go-to” guy whenever a starter starts getting around in the 3rd or 4th inning…and if McClung or Suppan continue to have rough starts, I’d like to see DiFelice get a shot at starting before trading Alcides Escobar for a Jarrod Washburn.