Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers – #54 Josh Stinson

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What a whirlwind the past 18 hours have been.

We’ve shot right past there being just a week to go until Pitchers and Catchers. Before that we missed acknowledging the eight-weeks-to-go mark to Opening Day.

With everything else that’s going on as I type this article out in Brewer Nation, the “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” countdown should, nay must, go on!

And so it shall.

Today, we sit 54 days away from Opening Day on April 1st. The wearer of 54 in Spring Training will be the man who wore it as a part of the 25-man roster to end the 2012 regular season…

Josh Stinson.

stinson

Joshua Randall Stinson joined the Milwaukee Brewers organization only last year. He was claimed off of waivers from the New York Mets and awarded to the Brewers on April 4, 2012. He was optioned to Double-A Huntsville where he pitched primarily in the rotation, making 24 starts in 29 appearances.

Stinson, who turns 25 before Opening Day, was drafted in the 37th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft (by the Mets) out of Northwood High School in Shreveport, Louisiana. He’s listed at 6’4″ and 210 pounds and is primarily a fastball/slider pitcher though he was listed by Pitch F/X as having thrown both a change up and curveball a handful of times in his work in the big leagues in 2012.

He has been used more as a relief pitcher than a starting pitcher in his career but has done a lot of starting lately. Only 94 of his 221 career minor league appearances have been starts. His first 15 games in 2011 were starts but he pitched exclusively out the bullpen after that (25 games). As previously stated, all but five of his 29 appearances in 2012 were starts. Those five relief appearances were his first five of the year. It was all starting after that. When he reached the Mets in 2011 and the Brewers in 2012, however, he made only one start in 20 combined appearances.  That came with the Brewers on the final day of the 2012 regular season.

Stinson’s numbers show a little bit of concern, but guys with concerns aren’t waived off of 40-man rosters all that often. About the only consistent positive metric is that Stinson is not very prone to giving up home runs. Other than that, his relatively consistent negatives include his walk rate which is far too high. He doesn’t miss a ton of bats which is another reason his home run rate needs to remain in check.

It stands to reason that Stinson’s stuff would play up out the bullpen in the big leagues, but I would guess that the Brewers will continue pitching him as a starting pitcher to begin 2013. It might make sense that it would be with Nashville but I also haven’t sat down to count spots in the Sounds’ rotation beyond that I’m assuming Hiram Burgos and Tyler Thornburg will take two of them.

Stinson will get plenty of work this spring in big league camp while four Brewers pitchers are away on World Baseball Classic business. I fully expect Stinson to be piggybacking as he builds stamina and occasionally work in short stints.

In my opinion, Stinson is a lock for an optioning back to the minors to begin the 2013 season. The role remains to be seen but his having a job feels like a near certainty. Could something else happen that causes the Brewers to need a 40-man roster spot? Sure. Could Stinson’s spot be under consideration? I would assume so. That being said, Stinson performed well in 2012 throughout the Brewers organization. Feels safe enough to me.

Stinson is exactly the type of quality depth that the Brewers have lacked at times over their recent history. His presence will offer a modicum of comfort should problems develop in the bullpen or should multiple starting pitchers go down for an extended period of time like happened in 2012.

He’s likely not the first option in either case, but that he’s a viable one is where “depth” really comes in.

In summary: 2013 = start in minors in role TBD (guessing SP), and be ready to be called on for either role in Milwaukee.

Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:

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