Who should start the wild-card games?
September, 24, 2012
By Jim Bowden | ESPN Insider
Mike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesKris Medlen is already lined up for a wild-card game, but who else should get the call?
This postseason will mark the first time Major League Baseball will feature two wild-card berths for each league. Managers of the contending clubs for the final four spots say they are only worrying about winning each day’s game. However, there’s no doubt they’re also looking ahead to make sure their rotations play out so they have their No. 1 starter ready for the most important game of the season. In fact, the Atlanta Braves announced over the weekend that Kris Medlen would be lined up to pitch the wild-card game, with Tim Hudson lined up for Game 1 of the NLDS if they win.
In Detroit, Milwaukee and Los Angeles, those managers have easy decisions; their No. 1 pitchers are pretty obvious. However, for several other managers, it will be a much more difficult call. Here are the teams with tough decisions and my guesses of whom the managers of those clubs would anoint as their wild-card starting pitcher.
Candidates: LHP Wei-Yin Chen, RHP Chris Tillman
The Orioles don’t have the proven ace. While Joe Saunders has been solid, and Miguel Gonzalez has surprised, Zach Britton’s sinker has been inconsistent and Jason Hammel is injured.