James coasted through the Atlanta Braves system, never posting an full season ERA over 3.00 and racking up a deliciously decadent amount of strikeouts. He avoided inflicting damage to himself by limiting his BBs while regularly keeping the ball in the park. James showed some real promise during his cup of coffee in 2005 and in his rookie campaign the following season.
Now here’s the Disney hardship part of the story.
James lost control of the strike zone. Walks went up, Ks went down, HRs went out. James lasted only two more years with the Braves after his encouraging rookie year and missed all of 2009 after labrum and rotator cuff surgery.
But James latched onto the Washington Nationals in early 2010 and seems to have rounded back into form. In 39.1 minor league IP James has 39 K and only 6 BB. That’s the kind of tasty ratio that will get you to a 5-1 record and an ERA/WHIP of 2.75/1.04.
Now this may just be a former MLBer taking advantage of AAA hanger-ons, but James has shown he can do it in the Majors before. And I don’t care how well they are pitching; a rotation that includes Livan Hernandez, Luis Atilano, Craig Stammen and J.D. Martin can’t be set in stone.
Let’s hope Chuck can find his happy ending.