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J.A. Happ To Take Lyles' Rotation Spot

Alyson Footer just tweeted:

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Sosa will pitch Thurs on 3 days rest. Happ will pitch Friday. Roster move to make room for Happ forthcoming but no decision yet.

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This ends a couple of days of posturing about who would take Jordan Lyles' rotation spot. Lyles was sent down to AAA Oklahoma City to limit his innings total for 2011. He will pitch out of the bullpen for the remainder of the season, for the Redhawks in August, and then the Astros in September.

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Despite being demoted a couple of weeks ago, Happ's 14 losses is most in both leagues, and owned an abysmal 6.26 ERA. He pitched 18 very solid minor league innings, but unless he and Burt Hooton have solved the underlying issues, we will be watching an early season re-run. 

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He may have left to right tilt on his pitches, but no real late sink on his fastball. Hence batters have been smashing his fastball all over the outfield this season. His HR/FB ratio of 10.4 is not awful, but his GB% of 32% is the lowest such figure for 2011 in the NL and tied for the lowest in the majors with Jeremy Hellickson. His xFIP for 2011 is identical for his figure in 2010, despite having nearly double the ERA. 

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On Friday we will see if Happy and Happ have cooked up between them in two weeks in Oklahoma. 

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