The Philadelphia Phillies needed to replace Cliff Lee during his injury-plagued season. David Buchanan took the mound 13 times this season, including today’s game against the San Francisco Giants. The 25-year-old rookie has pitched well enough to earn him a spot on the rotation for the remainder of the season. Although Buchanan doesn’t jump off the charts with overpowering weapons, he has improved since the earlier starts this season.
Buchanan pitches more like Kyle Kendrick than Cole Hamels by establishing his sinker, then fooling hitters with his changeup. Buchanan hits high-80s and low-90s with great movement on his sinker, resulting in him creating more groundballs. With more starts, Buchanan will get more comfortable with major league hitters and analyze their habits and trends. Buchanan’s Triple-A statistics haven’t been as great as you would expect.
Through 12 starts, Buchanan had a 3.95 ERA compared to his MLB 4.40 ERA.
He pitched almost 15 innings less in Triple-A, suggesting he has been more effective throwing strikes in MLB. His biggest trouble this season has been giving up more home runs. Buchanan will not be leading MLB in many statistics, but he will go at least six innings and keep your team in games. In his last five starts, including today, he has had a quality start in every game, going six innings or more with no more than three earned runs.
Buchanan has been consistently improving this season, and I believe that he will be the fifth starter come Opening Day of the 2015 season.
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