Minor League Recap: Hutchison still dominating.


Before I bring you this recap, I'd like to inform you that you can now follow me on twitter (yay!), my account is @BBBProspects and in addition to linking to my articles there I'll retweet the most important minor league stuff that is posted elsewhere. And if you're not following @Bluebirdbanter yet, do so!

Lansing (won 2-0)

We'll begin this recap with a certain pitcher who has had a really dominant week, and it's not Nestor Molina this time. Nope, it's Drew Hutchison, pitcher for the Lansing Lugnuts. How many times does a pitcher have consecutive scoreless 6-inning starts with 9 strikeouts and no walks? Yes, we can simply copy Drew Hutchison's line from his last start, raise the number of hits allowed by one (up to a whopping 3 hits allowed), and there, you've now got Hutchison's performance on Thursday. What that statline doesn't tell you is that he was locked in a pitcher's duel with Quad Cities' Trevor Rosenthal (10 strikeouts, 1 walk) and the Lugnuts only scored after Hutchison's final inning in the bottom of the 6th, just in time to give Hutchison the win. Three shutout innings from the bullpen ensured Drew got that much deserved win. Hutchison has struck out 25.7% of the batters he's faced this year and hitters have hit the ball on the ground 50.9% of the time against him. There's nothing about those numbers that you shouldn't like. Hutchison will have to prove he can handle the higher levels and he'll have to stay injury free, but he looks to be right on track to become a good pitcher for the Jays.

Lansing's hitters were having a tough time against Trevor Rosenthal, but when they finally broke through it was Jake Marisnick and Marcus Knecht who drove in the only two runs of the game. Jake Marisnick hit a triple to cash in Matt Nuzzo, and he's now hitting .295/.376/.462 on the season. Marcus Knecht, hitting .341/.426/.557, hit a double to drive in Marisnick. Markus Brisker was 1-for-3 with a hit by pitch, he's been hitting well this season but does strike out a lot. Bryson Namba has cooled off a bit and was 0-for-2 with 2 strikeouts, but he did reach base on another hit by pitch. Michael Crouse and Carlos Perez didn't play.

Las Vegas (lost 0-6)

There's not much positive news coming out of Vegas these days. Eric Thames hasn't hit well since returning to Vegas and he left the game early yesterday, I'm not sure if there's an injury involved. In that game Scott Richmond was tagged for 6 runs in 5 innings, he struck out 2 and walked one. It's too bad Richmond hasn't been able to come back from injury the way we hoped, but we never thought it was likely that he'd get a spot on the rotation.

Travis Snider has at least cut the strikeouts and upped the walks in June, but that has only led to a .200/.333/.320 line for the young month. He was 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout yesterday. David Cooper is not in any kind of slump, and he was 2-for-4 with a double yesterday. His line for the season is holding pretty steady at .388/.448/.569. If anything, he's probably a trade piece.

Brett Cecil was roughed up on Tuesday, allowing 8 runs in 3 1/3 innings as he couldn't keep his opponents from hitting the ball in the air. He struck out three and walked one. After that game Shi David tweeted:

As for Brett Cecil last night, John Farrell says velocity was down a tick or two, still fine, but main issue was leaving ball up in zone. 

New Hampshire (won 8-2)

After Moises Sierra (.288/.348/.476) hit his 10th homer on Wednesday, which was reported to be a monster shot, Travis d'Arnaud would hit his 6th yesterday in a 2-for-4 effort which also included a double. Travis is now hitting .312/.399/.529, which is awesome, especially for a catcher, but his popup rate is very high and does worry me a bit. I mean, our major league hitting coach doesn't seem especially adept at fixing hitters who hit a lot of popups.

Anthony Gose was 2-for-4 with a double and a strikeout, but he has been cold lately, hitting .162/.244/.378 over his last 10 games. His season line now looks like this: .253/.353/.378. John Tolisano was 3-4 with a triple, a double and a strikeout, and he's been anything but cold, hitting .370/.433/.667 over his last 10 games.

All the offensive support was nice for Zach Stewart, who struck out 6 in 6 innings while walking two and giving up just one run. He kept the ball on the ground 44% of the time, and unfortunately he hasn't been keeping the ball on the ground as much as he did in the season he was traded to the Jays. Be sure to check out 1 Blue Jays Way for a good interview with Zach, in which he explains he thinks of himself as a groundball pitcher and still improving his changeup. Something also reported by 1 Blue Jays Way is that Henderson Alvarez, despite having a rough outing, hit 101 mph on the gun in his last start. Like Drabek, though, commanding that fastball is something Alvarez needs to do to fulfill his potential.

Dunedin (lost 0-2)

Asher Wojciechowski had a nice start: 7 innings pitches, 5 strikeouts, no walks, 48% groundballs. It's not anywhere near Hutchison's dominance, but it's a nice bounceback from his previous start. Despite walking 8 times, Dunedin's hitters had only 2 hits and couldn't score any runs. Kevin Nolan was 1-for-1 with 3 walks, he's hit .316/.429/.482 split between Lansing and Dunedin, and given that he's 23, I'd give him a chance in New Hampshire. Ryan Schimpf came off the DL and was 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. Deck McGuire was dominant on Wednesday, striking out 10 batters in 5 innings while walking two, allowing two runs. His strikeouts are improving, but he needs to keep striking people out, because pitching to contact as a flyball pitcher is generally a bad idea.

Chad Jenkins was moved up to AA, with Rey Gonzalez moving to AAA. This might be to open up a spot for Dustin McGowan, although Jesse Litsch will also need some rehab starts.

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