Re: Are you thinking what I'm thinking? (Lohse's loss = Bailey's gain?)
Quite frankly, I don't want him to bump Lohse. I think Lohse has more upside than Milton and Saarloos.
I'd like to see Bailey dominate AAA until one of the starters gets hurt (which is inevitable) and then see him take a slot in the rotation for good at that point with everyone else playing musical chairs.
I think it could be interesting to see how this plays out.
Milton is the cagey vet in a contract year, who if healthy, could put up solid (not spectacular) numbers. Definitely fourth or fifth starter worthy, although not 9M worthy. I also think that if he is not 100% he could be supersucky.
Lohse has the raw talent to be a front of the rotation guy, maybe best stuff on roster behind bailey. But he has yet to harness it and doesn't really know how to pitch. Does he finally mature? Does the new pitching coach help him get over the hump? Or does he continue to be up and down all year.
Saarloos has that awesome sinker and will get the standard AL to NL bump in his numbers. I could very easily see him putting up Bronson Arroyo type numbers for the first couple of months. I could also see him at some point reverting to the mean and ending the season at 5th starter type numbers. And I could also see him flaming out completely.
The Lizard did nice work last year till his last 5 starts or so. He is young and continuing to improve. That said, I don't think the brass is enamored with him and he does not have dominating stuff in the slightest. He gets by on knowing how to pitch, or at least that is my perception. The deck is always stacked against guys like that until they break through.
Bailey is the wunderkind. There is clearly a plan for him to be in AAA this year, at least to start. Does he ruin the plan? Can he do anything in spring training that would impress the brass enough to get them to rethink things? Would it be good for his development if he did? Personally, I would love to see home spend 2 months in AAA, then get called up to take a middle relief spot in the pen for the rest of the year. Then he slides into the rotation full time next spring taking Milton's spot. IMO this is the best way to handle young pitchers, the Minnesota Twins technique. It does a couple of things. First, it limits his innings for the year. That is key as it allows you to manage the increase on that young arm. Second, it gets him a taste of major league hitters in a safe environment. Get him out there in the pen talking pitching with all those vets we have hanging around and get him in games in spots where he can succeed. Third, it allows him to have some early success. He has a plus plus fastball and a plus curve right now. That is all he needs to be dominant in the pen. The rotation needs that third pitch. So he can have some success at the ML level, build up his confidence and help the team at the same time. Especially if we are in a pennant race, I think this works best for everyone involved.
So net, I don't think this injury impacts things at all. I think Lohse will be fine in a week and in the rotation when we break camp. and I think Lohse, Milton and Saarloos round out the rotation, pretty much no matter what.