Kansas City Royals: Matt Strahm, Starter Or Reliever?
As for Strahm in the bullpen, I view him as an Andrew Miller lite. Tall, lanky, lefty. Miller was also a former starter that unleashed some velocity in the pen. As relievers, both Strahm and Miller sit in the mid-90s. The only difference is there second pitchers. Miller relies on a slider, Strahm on a curve. Anyway, I like the role Strahm can play. You can bring him in for one batter, have him setup, or pitch him in long relief. I love the versatility he could provide as a reliever.
Steamer Projections for Matt Strahm: 3-3, 55 IP, 18 BB, 55 SO, 3.36 ERA, 0.3 WAR
As for projections, Steamer sees Strahm going towards more of a relief role. PECOTA thinks the exact opposite. They project Strahm to split time between the bullpen and rotation this year and then step into a full time starter role by 2018. They give him comps of Scott Elbert, Jae Kull Ryu, and Antonio Bastardo.
I think Strahm will be heading for the bullpen to start year. He will probably start out filling different roles, such as long relief, fireman, etc. Then I think later in the year, he will go into a full setup role. I expect him to perform well, so I think his future remains in the Kansas City Royals bullpen. My biggest concern with him starting is tall, lanky frame that could be susceptible to injury. I’d feel better about that with him not trying to good 180 innings every year.
Next: KC Royals Take On A Distinctly Cubs Flavor
Either way, as long as he is healthy, I think Strahm sets up nicely for a good career in the future.