Meet The 2012 Thunder: Starting Pitchers

Starting Pitchers

19 Shaeffer Hall LHP 6-1, 205, 24 y/o.

2011 stats: Trenton; 26 GP, 24 GS.  10-8, 4.12 ERA, 1 SV.

2012 forecast: Hall will serve as the Thunder’s Opening Day starter this year, and a hot start to his season could earn him another promotion to Triple-A.  Hall is probably the most polished pitcher among the five in the rotation to start the season, and could see significant time with the Empire State Yankees depending on how things play out with the big league pitching staff.

31 Craig Heyer RHP 6-3, 210, 26 y/o.

2011 stats: Trenton; 28 GP, 24 GS.  10-9, 4.54 ERA.

2012 forecast: Heyer has shown that he can be a versatile member of the pitching staff in Trenton.  He also has shown a bit of a propensity for repeating levels (he spent two years in Tampa and this is his second in the capital city), which does him no favors considering he enters the season at the age of 26.  Once highly regarded enough to be sent to the Arizona Fall League, this is a big season for Heyer in the Yankees organization.  Solid but not spectacular, he’ll need to be better this year if he’s going to get a regular turn in the rotation.

21 Brett Marshall RHP 5-11, 200, 22 y/o.

2011 stats: Tampa; 27 GP, 26 GS.  9-7, 3.78 ERA.

2012 forecast: If you’re buying your tickets this year based on the staring pitcher, Marshall is the kid you’re paying to see.  Regarded as the biggest prospect on the Thunder, at least to start the season, the 22-year-old will be the team’s third starter to open the year.  He possesses a low-to-mid 90’s fastball and a slider, but pitching coach Tommy Phelps seemed most impressed with his changeup.  He’ll make his Double-A debut in the day game Saturday against another top pitching prospect, Deck McGuire.

23 Josh Romanski LHP 6-0, 185, 25 y/o.

2011 stats: Trenton; 13 GP, 1 GS.  0-1, 2.04 ERA.  Tampa; 17 GP, 17 GS.  7-5, 3.16 ERA.

2012 forecast: Romanski opens the season as the Thunder’s fifth starter, and is slated to take the ball for the first time on April 10.  One of two lefties in the rotation, the easygoing California native will have a slightly lower arm slot in order to better attack left-handed hitters.  It’s easy to see a scenario in which Romanski could be transitioned back to the bullpen, as he showed last season he can be effective as a reliever, and likely doesn’t have the stuff to continue progressing as a starter in the organization long-term.  Then again, many said the same thing about Steve Garrison, and the Yankees insisted on using him every fifth day.

39 Graham Stoneburner RHP 6-0, 203, 24 y/o.

2011 stats: Trenton; 11 GP, 11 GS.  1-5, 4.17 ERA.

2012 forecast: David Adams isn’t the only member of this team who had somewhat of a lost 2011 season.  Stoneburner began the year in Trenton, but made just a handful of starts before a neck/shoulder issue shut him down for the majority of the season.  He made just 11 appearances in Trenton last season, and went from a fringy prospect to somewhat of an afterthought.  But the 24-year-old will be given every opportunity to reclaim his status as an arm to watch as the second starter in the Thunder rotation.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT // Twitter: Mashmore98


5 Responses to “Meet The 2012 Thunder: Starting Pitchers”

  1. Gary Heyer Says:

    You talk about Craig Heyer repeating the same level.
    I don’t think you know the whole story.
    He repeated the Tampa Advanced A season because of the loss of his Mother to cancer. The Yankees gave him time off to spend time with his Mother while she was dying. She was only 48 years old.
    I thank the Yankees greatly for giving him that time. As far as coming back to Tampa that year we all know in baseball that when you are on the DL or given personal time off, you have to earn your spot back. He basically lost the whole year in 2010 because of that unfortunate tragedy in our family. He is a tough kid. He probably thinks about his Mother every day, as do I. We miss her so much. To come back the way he has thinking about the loss his Mother is remarkable.
    He has put up numbers comparable to his colleagues. But being a 22nd round pick he doesn’t get a opportunity to prove himself. He was also 8-4 in 2010 while only walking 6 batters all season. He is a control pitcher, pitches to contact. That same same year (2010) his Mother past, He also pitched the championship game for the Tampa Yankees going 6 scoreless innings on their way to the title.
    He has worked hard every off season to better himself.
    He is a work horse and gives you a consistent start every 5th day on the hill. He usually keeps his team in the game.
    Double A is no way a let down for any player to repeat. If they put up numbers they are just as likely to go to the show.
    So I think he will do fine if he gets an opportunity to pitch at the advanced levels.

    Thanks for listening

  2. thunderbaseball Says:

    Mr. Heyer,

    I am exceptionally appreciative of you taking the time to comment on here. I have very much so enjoyed covering Craig and hope you saw the feature I wrote on him yesterday. He’s a great kid who always gives me his time whenever I ask for it, and I of course wish him nothing but the best.

    While I didn’t know the backstory to him repeating Tampa, I try to treat every player equally and fair and gave what I felt is an honest assessment of each one. It’s a big year for Craig, especially with the pitching depth in the organization. I saw a lot of good things out of him last season and hope he continues to improve this season. I would hope you would know there was no negative intent implied in anything I wrote.

    Please, please, please don’t ever hesitate to get a hold of me in the future. I am sincerely sorry for your family’s loss and look forward to covering Craig and the rest of the team this season.

    All the best,


  3. Game 1: Pre-Game Notes « Mike Ashmore’s Thunder Thoughts Says:

    […] ** Adams Ready To Put Best Foot Forward ** ** Whitley Looking To Build Off First Full Season ** ** Meet The 2012 Thunder: Starting Pitchers ** ** Meet The 2012 Thunder: Relief Pitchers ** ** Meet The 2012 Thunder: Catchers ** ** Meet The […]

  4. Philly Tom Says:

    I wish luck to your son this season and hope for the best for your family.

  5. Gary Heyer Says:

    Thank You

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