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Monday, August 1, 2011
Keith Law on what the Rangers gave up

By Richard Durrett

ESPN.com's Keith Law liked the Rangers' trades, saying the club gave up "two solid pitching prospects" for Mike Adams, but added that both Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin were "unlikely to ever crack their major league rotation."

More of what Law had to say about the two Double-A prospects shipped to San Diego (they just changed dugouts last night as the RoughRiders were playing the San Antonio Missions, San Diego's affiliate):
Minor leaguer Robbie Erlin has shown himself to be more than just a little left-handed reliever by continuing to miss bats despite the lack of an above-average fastball. He'll touch 90-91 but pitches in the upper 80s, changing speeds and pounding the zone with a slow downer curveball and a hard but effective changeup. He's walked 12 batters all year in 20 appearances and 120 innings, and in nine of those appearances he didn't walk anyone. (And of the 125 left-handed batters he's faced, he's walked ONE.) The lack of size means he doesn't get downhill plane on his fastball, and he's been a pretty strong fly ball pitcher everywhere he's pitched, making him a terrible fit for Texas -- and a potentially great one for Petco, where deep fly balls go to die ignominious deaths over the warning track.

Meanwhile, Joe Wieland just threw a no-hitter for Double-A Frisco on Friday night and has seen his velocity increase to 89-94 this year, although he still lacks a plus secondary pitch that would give him top-of-the-rotation upside. Wieland, like Erlin, throws a ton of strikes, walking just four batters in 85⅔ innings in high-A (and only one in his past 11 starts there), and mixes in a hard, short-breaking slider, a similarly short curveball and an improved changeup, all usable but none above average or likely to be an out pitch for him. He's very aggressive, but like Erlin tends to give up fly balls.
You can read the whole entry here (insider access required).