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Ken Rosenthal looks for the next Justin Verlander

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Ken Rosenthal has a column up, casting about on who might be the next Justin Verlander -- the next young stud pitcher to burst on the scene.

Philip Hughes, Mike Pelfrey, and Homer Bailey all get mentions by Rosenthal, although he also points out that guys who dominate so quickly like Verlander are few and far between.

The other issue to keep in mind is that young pitchers like Verlander also tend to fade a little down the stretch, since they are being pushed with workloads that they generally haven't encountered before.

Verlander, for example, had a 4.54 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP after the ASB last season, including a 6.83 ERA in August and a 4.82 ERA in September, and then racked up a 5.82 ERA in the post-season.

Verlander had only pitched 139 innings in 2005, his first full season of pro ball, so it isn't surprising that he'd tail off down the stretch. And that's why I think the talk of Eric Hurley joining the 2007 rotation is premature...he pitched 155 innings in 2005, and 137 innings in 2006. If you plug him in the major league rotation at the start of 2007, he's likely going to be gassed by September, 2007.

I like the way that the ChiSox and Twins have generally handled their young pitchers, letting them work out of the pen to get their feet wet, and then joining the rotation once they've gotten some experience. That seems to help with the development curve, and it also means that, if you are in a pennant race and banking on a young pitcher, he's not pushing 200 innings in the last week of the season.