Beavan in Rotation, Iwakuma to Bullpen
The M’s just announced on Twitter that the rotation to open 2012 will be Felix, Vargas, Noesi, Millwood, and Beavan. Noesi and Iwakuma will start the two exhibition games, so neither is likely to pitch in the regular season affairs over there.
As we talked about last night, this has been brewing for a few days, but I’m not sure it’s the right call. Beavan has an extremely limited upside, and he hasn’t done anything this spring that should make anyone think he’s more than just a back-end starter. Iwakuma might end up as that same kind of pitcher as well, but we just don’t really know what he is at this point, and I’m more interested in seeing if his success in Japan can translate to the big leagues than I am in whether Beavan can turn into Nick Blackburn.
That said, it’s not like they cut Iwakuma or anything, so if Beavan isn’t very good and he pitches well out of the bullpen, it won’t be too hard to swap them out. This isn’t the kind of thing that is carved in stone, and since the team has alternatives, Beavan will either be good or be replaced.