Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tampa Bay Rays: J.P. Howell LHP #39

40 Rays 40 Days

J.P. Howell
LHP #39
HT:6'0 WT:175

The Dish: J.P. Howell was originally the 2nd round pick the Atlanta Braves in the 2001 draft. Howell opted not to sign and enrolled in the University of Southern California. After a year at USC he transferred to the University Of Texas where he was 25-4 in two seasons. The Royals selected him with their 1st round pick in 2004. Howell started 18 games at Class A going 8-2 before jumping to the majors. Howell made his big league debut on 6/11/05. He made 15 starts for the Royals going 3-5 with a 6.19 ERA. In 2006 Howell started the season at AAA Omaha, but was traded to the Rays in exchange for OF Joey Gathright and IF Fernando Cortez on 6/20/06. Howell made 10 starts for Durham going 5-3 with a 2.62 ERA and earned a callup to the Rays in August. Howell made eight starts for the Rays going 1-3 with a 5-10 ERA. He started the 2007 again at the AAA level, but was called up to the bigs a few times through out the season.

2007 Numbers: (AAA Durham) 21 Starts 7-8 with a 3.38 ERA. (Rays) 10 Starts 1-6 with a 7.59 ERA

Jules Fantasy Impact: If you even look at his name during a draft you should be shot.

Role for '08: Howell came into the spring as a candidate for one of the final two spots in the rotation. He has pitched well so far, but it seems that he is destine to become a reliever maybe even out of camp this year. His soft stuff (Fastball that barely gets above 85, but good breaking ball and change) doesn't translate into a major league starter. He does generally have good command, is left handed and could be a long reliever out of the bullpen, but does not do well with men on base.

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