Bryan Augenstein, whose name is difficult to spell and remember all the way through, is this year's Charlie Manning—a major league vet we've never heard of who's notable primarily because he is the first offseason move of the—well, the offseason. Also because the number in the lede of every article about the pick-up is last year's 6.49 ERA in the minor leagues. Here are some Bryan Augenstein Facts:
- He's 6'6", which is weird—for some reason I expect all mediocre pitchers to be about Jason Simontacchi's size and build, but Bryan Augenstein refuses to be typecast as an excellent pitcher based on his height.
- He had good numbers until last year—strikingly low walk rates, no home runs, a fair-enough strikeout rate. He moved quickly through the system, did all the right things, and had a cup of coffee with Arizona in 2009, where he did stereotypical cup of coffee things.
- Last year his BABIP sat at .391. ANALYSIS: I don't think that will happen again in 2010. His walk rate was also up a little, but I, too, would begin pitching around people if I were suddenly allowing 12 hits per nine innings.
Today could very well be the last time we mention Bryan Augenstein on the VEB front page, but as AAA filler goes he's interesting—young, solid numbers before The Incident, stuck in hitter's parks his whole career. It can't go any worse than the Rich Hill experience, and our expectations are lower. Perfect! (Also, where was I when Rich Hill pitched four scoreless innings for the Red Sox last month? Where was Rich Hill?)
This is what not making the playoffs means: Four teams' fans will spend this off-day getting really psyched up about seeing their best pitcher (or C.J. Wilson) start game one of the LCS, four wins away from the World Series. I am getting—well, at least a little psyched up about Bryan Augenstein. Okay, I'm making the same face he's making in that photo. It's October 14, our team's not in the playoffs, nobody's even playing tonight—it's just cause for Bryan Augenstein to deploy the :-[ emoticon. Or maybe to chew on something? I'm not sure what that is.
How slow are things? Joe Strauss's "Hearing noise re: potential health issue w/a member of Cards '10 rotation. Hearing name Andrews as well" turned out to be Jake Westbrook having surgery on his non-throwing shoulder—which is accurate in the strictest sense but kind of disappointing once you actually take a look, like one of those interstate billboards promising two-headed animals or the world's largest ball of twine.
Of course, really it's good news that the potential health issue is a non-issue. The Cardinals could have done without Westbrook if Kyle Lohse had been anything except terrible; as is, they've got a gap in the rotation that would be suspiciously Jake Westbrook-shaped even if he hadn't played here for a few months. Dave Duncan is probably a little pissed off that he'll have to use somebody else for his secret switch-pitcher plans, but he'll get over it; in the meantime, Westbrook is, like Brad Penny before him, a fair stab at patching the back of a rotation that still needs to be patched.
It would be great if the Cardinals could develop guys like Westbrook themselves, but having just gotten Garcia out of the farm for good I can't complain too loudly about it.