Our starting rotation has been pitching really well lately, and it’s pretty amazing how young they are. It’s hard for me to imagine, especially at 21.
I was 24 when I got to the big leagues, and all five of these guys — Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson are 21, Vin Mazzaro is 22, Josh Outman is 24, and Dallas Braden is 25 — got to the big leagues before they were that old.
And as solid as they’ve been, they’re only going to get better, because you can see that the talent is there. Consistency is probably the next thing for them, but they’ve been impressive so far and they’ve got a bright future.
The thing for them is going to consistently figure out how to go out there every day and prepare to perform and know what it takes to go out there and get the job done every five days, to find that routine between starts that allows them to go out there and feel confident.
Maybe you’re not going to have your best stuff every time, so for them to find ways to get outs when they don’t have their best stuff, things like that are going to be important. I know that for me, once I found a routine and started going out there with the proper mind-set, I found that consistency.
It’s tough for position players to help a starting pitcher because we’re not around them a whole lot when they’re doing their work, but it can be done to a certain extent, especially the guys who are on the infield, like Jason Giambi. He can go out there when maybe they’re losing their command a little bit or maybe look like they’re trying a little bit too hard. It’s easier for an infielder to say something, but we can all kind of make sure they’re putting in their time and doing the things they need to do. That’s part of being a veteran, and if I can help, I will.
The best way I can help them is to produce where I can. I’d like to provide that for all of our pitchers, especially early in the game because that might allow them to relax a little bit and let them settle in and get them through another two or three innings. it’s important to score runs for young pitchers to give them a little breathing room.
The future’s really bright for these guys. You look at them, and they’re all a little bit different in their styles, which is good. Three of them are left-handed, but there’s a variety there in how they do what they do, and it’s a nice mixture — two righties and three lefties, all with high-end talent.
It should be fun to watch.