Things to watch in Florida: Young Pitchers

Bill Shanks


So, who will be the fifth starter? Who could make the impression in spring training and be ready in case there is another injury during the season?

Sean Newcomb and Felix Hernandez will battle it out for the fifth starters’ spot. It’s important for Newcomb to get another chance to join the rotation. He was a starter two years ago, but after getting off to a bad start last year in the rotation was banished to the bullpen, where he did very well.

Cole Hamels will be back, however, so either Newcomb pitches well enough to stick in the rotation or Hernandez pushes Newcomb back to the bullpen. More pitchers are needed for the rotation. They already are. You can’t count on five pitchers to go at it the full year in the rotation.

That’s where the others come in, like Bryse Wilson, who allowed two runs in two innings in his 2020 debut Sunday. Wilson has had a few shots in the Atlanta rotation and has failed to stick. As has Kyle Wright, who at 24 years old doesn’t need to spend much more time in Triple-A Gwinnett.

And what about Ian Anderson? He’s Atlanta’s top pitching prospect. He’s likely going back to Gwinnett to start the season, but how close is he? Spring training is the time for a pitching prospect like Anderson to show how close he might be to possibly contribute.

Then there’s Tucker Davidson, who looked good in his debut Saturday. Patrick Weigel is another name to keep in mind.

Watch the video above for more analysis on the young pitchers.