Coincidentally, (and I swear, this was completely unplanned), Opening Day is 41 days away – Marco’s jersey number -, so, thus, the
Tha-Tha is “set” for a positive 2013 campaign. (Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports)
Brewer Nation also has a preview on the right-hander. Give that a look and you’ll have reached your daily dose of Marco!
To the song lyrics!
Oh Marco–I’m shallow
But I don’t want you to think
That you’re buying my love
With these things
While he may be unable to buy over singer Jane Siberry’s love, Brewers starting pitcher Marco Estrada’s emergence in 2012 won over the organization and its fans.
After being thrust into a starting role amidst a flurry of starting pitching injuries, Estrada, 29, went 5-7 with a 3.64 era (3.35 FIP), 1.14 WHIP, and a sparkling 4.93 K/BB ratio.
Estrada’s numbers were similar to fellow starting pitcher Mike Fiers after Fiers regressed from his white-hot start (yes, pun intended). Both used deceptive off-speed pitches and good command to post the two highest K-rates of all Brewers pitchers with at least 20 starts. Marco’s changeup has shown to, at times, be one of (if not the) best single pitches of any player wearing the blue and gold jersey this spring.
Many believe – myself, among them – that 2013 is the year for Estrada to emerge as the number two starter that this rotation needs. At the helm is the undisputed ace, Yovani Gallardo, but behind him is a plethora of fresh faces. At only 32 career starts, Estrada holds the second most starts of the seven or so pitchers in contention for starting rotation spots.
Estrada delivers a pitch during his lights-out start against Chicago in August. (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
Drafted in 2005 by the Nationals and selected off waivers by Milwaukee in February 2010, Estrada command is key to his success. He’s not going to power by many hitters, but will rack up the strikeouts (a career 9.02 K/9) with a blend of fastballs, changeups, curves, and the very rare cutter.
Over his final eight starts to 2012, Estrada showed just exactly how dominant he can be. Taking out two rough starts, he gave up one earned run over a 41.2 inning span.
This included a nine-strikeout, six-inning blanking of the Cubs in August; a one-run, ten strikeouts in seven innings against Pittsburgh; and an outstanding eight-inning, eleven-punchout shutout dominance against Houston in his final start. All in all, he held a 2.63 era in September over six starts, showing no fatigue at all.
If the youth movement at starting pitcher that Ron Roenicke and Doug Melvin are going with is to work, Estrada has to be a mainstay at the top of the rotation.
2013 RtB Predictions: 12-9, 30 GS, 195 IP, 3.87 ERA, 202 K, 40 BB, 2.7 WAR, one good lookin’ mohawk.
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