Happy Victoria Day! Unfortunately the
geniuses powers-that-be at MLB didn't see fit to have a home game on our holiday Monday or even a game at all (instead, a home game on Memorial Day next week), so instead we'll have to settle for an update of what the pitching prospects have done over the past half week.
Drew Hutchison turned in a solid if unspectacular start against Pawtucket. He didn't pile up strikeouts like he's done for most of the year in AAA, though did miss a solid number of bats. Hutch only allowed 2 hits with the only damage coming on a solo home run with 2 out in the 1st inning, and he managed contact well throughout the start. His fastball was in the 91-93 range, and he only needed 89 pitches over 7 innings if not for the fact that Bo Schultz was scheduled for a two inning rehab appearance (which did not go well).
Yesterday was not Jeremy Gabryszwski's day, one of those days when the downside of allowing a lot of contact is apparent. It actually started well, as the first 8 batters were retired. Then the deluge, to the tune of 8 hits, 4 doubles and a home run over the next 2 innings and a bit, for a total of 5 five runs. The one thing that sticks out is the 18% called strikes, he wasn't finding the zone unless he was getting hit hard. However, New Hampshire had their bats out and he picked up the W.
Justin Shafer turned in a solid start, albeit with mediocre peripherals and 3 runs allowed as the 6 hits were bunched together. On the plus side, he worked ahead and had a good contact profile. His fastball was 92-93 and used his breaking ball a lot. The game ended up going 12 innings, with meant longer relief outings, one of which was Tim Mayza who pitched 3 scoreless innings striking out 4. His fastball was 93-94, which is quite good from the left side, and a name to keep in mind as he's come on very strong since August last year.
Conner Greene was not very sharp, as the 4 walks and a HBP attest, but he allowed allowed very little quality contact allowing only 3 hits and 1 run over 5 innings as he mostly kept the ball on the ground. He missed a decent number of bats, but had trouble getting them when he had batters in holes.
Chris Rowley looks like he's earned a spot in the rotation going forward, which will be interesting as he's found a groove the last couple weeks. He tossed 6 shutout innings. His start was very similar to Greene's: mediocre peripherals (fewer missed bats), but a lot of weak contact on the ground to limit damage to 3 singles that were worked around.
Finally, Francisco Rios had an interesting outing Sunday. Early in the game, it seemed his plan was to work to contact, and he got a lot of quick contact. He ended up with 9 first pitch outs, which enabled him to pitch 7 innings on his pitch limit of 90. However, the downside of that approach showed in the 3rd inning, when four consecutive hits resulted in the 3 runs he gave up. In all, he gave up 9 hits (3 doubles, two on the ground), but in general not a lot of hard contact. Later in the game he ramped up the strikeouts, and ended the game with a run of ground balls after getting more fly balls early. It wasn't as dominant as a start as others this year, but still decent overall.
Angel Perdomo had a topsy-turvy start his last time out. He got his fair share of strikeouts, and was let down by a 2 out error that made all three runs unearned. But he struggled to find the zone consistently, which resulted in him lasting just 4 innings as he took 10 of 18 batters to at least 5 pitches. And he allowed quite a bit of hard contact.
Ryan Borucki had a decent start through 4 innings, allowing just 2 runs in the second inning when some hard contact was strung together. He allowed 4 runs in the 5th inning when a combination of some hard hits, well placed ground balls and an error did him in. His fastball was 88-91.
Patrick Murphy made his second appearance and first start, an d the poor guy cannot catch a break. Finally healthy after all this time, he was forced out of the game when the last batter of the 3rd hit a hard comebacker that got his leg, and caused him to hobble off the field. The good news is manager John Schneider said postgame he appeared to be alright, nothing broken. In terms of performance, he came out firing, needing just 11 pitches to get the first 5 batters in order, before needing 11 pitches to retire the 6th batter. Maybe that took something out of him, because he was not the same pitcher in the 3rd, working deep counts and walking 2 batters though again an error extended the inning. On the stadium gun, his fastball was up to 93-94, slider in the low 80s and curveball in the mid/high 70s.
Lastly, Sean Reid-Foley who had another frustrating outing. As usual, he was overpowering at times, with 6 strikeouts and plenty of missed bats. But he struggled with control (4 BB and a HBP), and while some of the hits were cheap singles, all the runs were driven in on two home runs - a solo shot and a grand slam in a 5th inning that just snowballed on him. At this point, it seems like he's gone backwards compared to this time last year, unless there's some tinkering going on. His fastball ranged 90-96