craig wrote:Casey will be 23 this winter, and pitched 95 innings. A lot of pro pitchers his age go well over 100 innings in a season.
From his angle. He's going to be 23 next season. His college-over-pro choice, and recent affirmation that it was the right choice because he wants to be prepared for life after baseball, suggests he's thoughtful and interested in post-baseball career. I'm sure he'd like to give pro ball a shot... for a while.
But I'd think from his side, I'd like that trial to happen ASAP. The sooner I get going, the sooner I can figure out whether my stuff can magically tick up and whether I'm going to magically become a big-league prospect. Assuming not, the sooner I can decide when to retire and get on with post-baseball career.
If I were in his shoes, I think I'd probably like to pitch 30-45 innings already this summer, and get up to full-season for a bunch of them. Then have all of next season to see how it goes, and see if I can do well at Myrtle at age 23, and perhaps have some success in AA. If things go well next year, stick to it. But if I realize I just don't have the stuff that the big-league prospects have, the spin rate, the movement, the velocity; and if I'm giving up gobs of HR's like I did in college; I might like to reach that decision ASAP, and retire after next season, and get going with a real career. so the Cubs might really be doing me a favor to let me get a decent chunk of game innings this summer and see how it goes.
Of course maybe he just loves to play baseball, and will be happy to bounce around for as many years as he can, even if only as a roster-fill minor-leaguer, and then maybe hook up with an indy-league team for as long as he can after he gets cut from organized ball. Some guys just love the game and don't want to give it up.
My hunch is Casey wants to pitch. My only reasoning for why Casey might be rested, or on a very, very limited schedule - 2 years ago, he didn't pitch, coming off TJ. Last year, he went ... I Want to say ... 75 innings? 90-110 would've been the probable thought on his workload this year.
In some respects, I think Casey's problem is that ... he developed too much. I think he should junk one of his breaking balls in the pro game. Without having data in front of me, it felt like he got homers hit off his curveball moreso than the slider, but I could be wrong right now.
There's back end of the rotation potential. A guy around 90-94, can command his pitches ... again, would point to former UVA player Artie Lewicki (of the Tigers) as an example. That said, I also wonder if Casey can ramp up his fastball (I believe his fastball was a tick or two consistently higher in his prep days) out of the pen, and just go fastball/slider and have a middle reliever profile.