Terry Collins generated some discussion in recent days by mentioning that he’d like to see Pedro Beato work this winter as a starter. Ron Darling, on last night’s broadcast, even speculated as to how he’d make Beato into a starter.
Here’s how I think it would work:
Step 1: Hope Beato becomes a different, better pitcher
Step 2: ?????
Step 3: PROFIT
The problem is, there’s exactly zero reason to think Beato could succeed as a starter. He didn’t excel at it in the minor leagues. His strikeout rate is 5.4 per nine in the major leagues as a reliever- and it is typical for that rate to drop as a starter.
That’s too low, even if he were a precision pitcher, and he isn’t. His walk rate is 3.7 per nine as a reliever, and it is typical for that rate to rise as a starter.
So, let’s review. He failed in the role as a minor leaguer. His command and dominance are already substandard as a reliever. Why exactly is he starter material?
As far as I can tell, it is because he looks like a starter. He’s big, strong, and throws hard.
Look, my sixteen-month-old daughter is tiny, likes horses, and would look ADORABLE on one. But if I tried to make her a competitive jockey, tears and losing would surely follow. And they’d probably lock me up for negligence.
The same should happen to anyone who tries to make Pedro Beato a starter. Let him keep working on relieving, in New York or Triple-A next year. A little improvement in the walk and strikeout rates, and he can be a serviceable bullpen arm.
But he’s no starter. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go tell my daughter why she won’t be competing in the Preakness.