The potential is certainly there. Arguably he already is TOR in that he is literally our top starter right now and would likely get the opening day start April 2021.
Despite the higher ERA, he had a lower walk rate, higher K rate, and lower WHIP this year. That bodes very well.
Interestingly, he had traditional splits last year, slight reverse split this year in small sample size.
I can't swear to it as 2020 is the year the rules change all the time, but I think if the Brewers beat the Cardinals today to put both those teams there, and the Giants win to put three third-place NL teams at .500, then the Cardinals will have to play both their Tigers makeups tomorrow with motivation to reach 31-29 and stay out of whatever 30-30 alchemy decides the 7/8 seeds.
He didn't exceed six innings pitched in any start this year. Last season he pitched seven five times. He never exceeded seven.
The demands on a TOR guy are not what they once were but I think the occasional eight or even nine inning start is still expected.
On the gopheritis, Means is 13th out of 110 in HR/FB among SP with 40 IP.
To some extent HR/FB is a "luck" outcome - analysts will probably look to his WHIP more than his ERA getting stoked for his 2021.
As he's found his game this month, I also think he's set his Yield HR or BB? setting all the way to HR. He's enjoying his progress and probably not suffering fools in the batters box.
He's safely fended off the (light) Kremer/Akin challenge for the Opening Day assignment.
Too soon to know about the first issue. His minor league track record was very good: 27, 27, 26 and 28 starts in a MiL environment where 28 is basically the max over a 140 game season.
I take your point about getting deep into games. I was watching in the 6th, Means still working on a no hitter at the time and Garceau mentioned he was at 93 pitches. How does your pitch count get that high when you’ve allowed one baserunner and still working in the 6th? Still, TOR innings per start seems to be a moving target these days. I count 8 pitchers this year who’ve made 10 starts and thrown 6+ innings per start. There’s only 18 pitchers in MLB who qualify for the ERA title! (That does not include innings from yesterday or the upcoming games today, so that number will increase, but still...)
This one is a bit dated (aired on 8/25), but Steenstra talked about the pitchers at the Bowie alternate site.
Said that Kremer came back a different pitcher this year, having picked up a couple of mph on his fastball and developed a cutter/slider. Described him as very intellectual.
Said Baumann is “an animal” on the mound with great velocity that carries through the zone. Said he developed a very good curve ball over the winter to complement his fastball/slider combo.
Said Zimmermann was 87-89 and throwing sinkers when we got him, now throws 94-95 with a four pitch mix.
Hall has great stuff but working with him to make delivery consistent and combat bouts of wildness. Rodriguez had gotten to camp a bit later so didn’t talk much about him.
Sounds like they had the starters built up to 5 innings and were facing a lot of the same hitters over and over because only 7 position players in camp and one of them has to be catching. Three catchers in camp. They were using Trackman to call balls and strikes so guys like Hall and Rodriguez were experiencing a major league strike zone.