J.P. Howell heading to Omaha
J.P. Howell has been promoted to the Omaha Royals after pitching just 18.0 innings for AA Wichita. In the three starts he made, Howell's line was very good: 18.0 IP, 12 H, 5 R, 5 ER (2.50 ERA), 2 HR, 5 BB, 23 K
Howell was promoted to Wichita in mid-May after making eight starts for High Desert, where he compiled a then-league leading 1.96 ERA with 48 K and 24 BB in 46.0 IP.
Prior to this season, J.P. appeared in six games and made four starts for Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League after being drafted in June 2004. Essentially, Howell has made 15 professional starts and is now jumping all the way to AAA after a nearly unprecedented sprint through the lower levels of the minor leagues.
Is Howell ready for Omaha? I don't know. There is no denying that he has succeeded at every level thus far, but there is also no denying that the sample sizes of that success are VERY questionable. I mean, 18 innings at AA? Is that really enough time to make a determination that a player is ready to move on?
Clearly, Royals GM Allard Baird wants to challenge Howell to see if he can handle the quick advance through the system, but I sure hope he knows what he's doing. If he falters, Baird is going to take a lot of heat.