Returning righties highlight rotation

Terance Marin's first career minor league start is scheduled for Tuesday (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Terance Marin’s first career minor league start is scheduled for Tuesday (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The Dash announced their 2013 Opening Day roster Tuesday, and we broke down the entire roster yesterday on the blog. It features 13 players who have previously played in Winston-Salem, seven of whom are pitchers.

Four of those seven men will be in the Dash’s initial starting rotation, which looks like this for the first five games of the season.

OPENING DAY STARTING ROTATION:

Friday at Carolina: RHP Bryan Blough
Saturday at Carolina: RHP Chris Bassitt
Sunday at Carolina: RHP Chris Beck
Tuesday at Frederick: RHP Terance Marin
Wednesday at Frederick: RHP Justin Collop

This is a unique quintet from a statistical standpoint. The Dash’s Opening Day rotation has combined for 310 career minor league appearances but only 77 starts.

If you throw out Collop’s 55 starts in 93 appearances, the other four hurlers have combined for just 22 minor league starts. Thus, 80 percent of the Dash’s rotation has started a combined 10 percent of their minor league games.

Blough started six times for Low-A Kannapolis in the second half of 2012 before rejoining the Dash’s bullpen for the stretch run. He will take the ball for the Dash in the season opener Friday night after posting a 2-0 record with a 3.93 ERA in Winston-Salem a year ago.

The rotation plays out such that Bassitt is in line to receive the start for the Dash’s Home Opener Friday, April 12. Bassitt never started at the University of Akron or professionally until the second half of 2012 in the CL. He went 4-2 with a 4.25 ERA in 10 regular season starts. The righty then turned in his best professional outing in the SDCS-clinching win September 7 with seven scoreless innings in a 9-0 victory.

Beck enters the season as the top pitching prospect on the Dash’s roster, according to Baseball America. The Georgia native went 4-3 with a 4.69 ERA in 15 appearances (six starts) with rookie-level Great Falls last summer. He was the White Sox second-round pick last June.

A reliever for his entire minor league career, Marin shifts into the rotation for 2013. In 77 career appearances, Marin boasts a 2.18 ERA. His work in Winston-Salem last season was comparable (2.42 ERA in 33 efforts), but it came as a reliever. It will be fun to watch Marin’s transition.

Collop is the veteran starter of the bunch, with 16 of his 31 appearances last year coming in a starting role. In his High-A career, the former University of Toledo righty is 11-7 with a 4.17 ERA. Last season, he led the Dash in innings pitched (121.0) and shared the team lead in wins (9).

For those coming out to the first series of the home slate next weekend, you will likely see Bassitt, Beck and Marin, in that order. Everyone will get a chance to pitch at BB&T Ballpark during the Dash’s eight-game homestand from April 18-25.

- Brian

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