After last year, I really hoped we wouldn't see Carlos Villanueva making starts for us again, but when 3 starters go down in a week, things happen.
Last year, after joining the rotation, Carlos looked pretty good for a few starts, but you had the feeling that he was getting by on smoke and mirrors. After a bit the league seemed to catch up with him, or perhaps he tired, having not been prepared to be a starter.
In 2011, as a starter, batters hit .284/.324/.438 against Carlos. Much better than the .161/.264/.259 he held batters to, coming out of the pen.
This year, 10 starts in, he's given up a .225/.278/.385 line as a starter, .211/.336/.382 as a reliever. He has a 3.34 ERA as a starter. The biggest difference between this year and last year is that he is getting more strikeouts this season, averaging 9.1/9 compared to 5.7/9 last year.
Carlos does seem to lose something as the game goes on, I guess it is up to you to decide if you think that batters 'figure him out' after seeing him a couple of times in a game or if you think he tires. I think he tires, I think he'd be helped out if Farrell was a little more proactive about pulling him when he starts showing signs of tiring. But then, maybe by leaving him in a little longer, Farrell thinks he will build some endurance, which would pay off down the road.
His August hasn't been great, but then which Jay has done well in August? In 5 starts, this month, Carlos is 0-4 with a 4.06 ERA. It is tough to win when your team doesn't score, we've scored 13 runs in those starts. But then Carlos went from a 1.93 ERA in 4 July starts, to a 4.06 ERA in 5 August starts. Hopefully there won't be a similar jump in his ERA in September.
The question is what do you think the Jays should do with Carlos after this season. He is a free agent. I'm sure he would like to find a team that would make him a full time starter. Do you think that the Jays should be that team? Do you think that he's earned a spot in the rotation for next year?
Carlos is making $2.2775 million this year. On the free agent market, if someone wants him to start, he could make about double that.
I'm kind of torn, I'd like to think the Jays could find someone better to fill out the back end of the rotation. I wouldn't mind keeping him as a swingman, someone that could jump into the rotation if/when someone goes on the DL, but if I'm him I'd want to look for better. And I wouldn't want to pay that much for someone if it was to have him in the back of the bullpen. It looks like we have a pretty good bullpen put together for next year, I don't see where Carlos fits.
What would you do with Carlos?