With the draft rapidly approaching, my focus there has meant that I've been remiss and neglected the minor league updates. So to catch up, today we'll run down the last turn through the affiliate rotations at the end of May, and tomorrow we'll do a full turn through the rotation for June 1-5 to get back current (at which point things it will go back on the backburner until sometime next week after the draft, but alas). At this point, the outings below are sort of old news, but better late than never.
Last Tuesday, Drew Hutchison carried a perfect games into the 6th inning, before allowing back to back sharp singles. He ended up pitching into the 8th, going 108 pitches before running out and exiting after two more baserunners (all his other innings were clean). It was a solid start if not totally overwhelming starts, but he got ahead, missed enough bats, and got a good deal of weak contact. His fastball was in its normal 92-94 range.
Jeremy Gabryszwski had a typical start for him - lots of balls in play, limit the contact, work around the zone. He did miss a couple more bats than normal. Shane Dawson followed up an uneven start in which he struggled to find the zone and consequently spent most of the day working behind. Nonetheless, he managed to work though a lot of jams to allow only 1 run.
Luis Santos, after a coupe of good starts, left his last start after the first and ended up on the DL. That requied the New Hampshire bullpen to put up some longer outings. Brady Dragmire threw 3 shutout innings, and then Danny Barnes one upped him with 3 perfect innings with 5 strikeouts. It wasn't the most efficient start, as Barnes averaged over 5 pitches per batter, but got ahead and made them count. This was on the back of his previous outing, 2.2 shutout innings with 4 strikeouts, for a total of 5.2 innings, 10 strikeouts. Why he's still stuck in AA, I'll never know.
Francisco Rios delivered the star performance for Dunedin, a complete game two Fridays ago on just 91 pitches. Not quite a Maddux since he allowed a run, but we'll call it a Minor Maddux. He sat 92-93, and touched 94-96 on the stadium gun, the 96 coming in the 8th inning so he more than held his velo. Digging deeper down, it actually wasn't terribly impressive - he didn't miss many bats, worked behind, didn't throw a ton of hits or pile up ground balls or popups. But it worked.
Justin Shafer turned one of his better outings of the year. In particular, he was really missing bats, which isn't something he usually does, which also lead to more strikeouts than normal. That's even more impressive since 12 batters put the first pitch in play, so he wasn't piling up the pitch count by working deep in counts to get those whiffs. As usual, he piled up the ground balls.
Connor Greene had another tough outing in the first game of a doubleheader last Tuesday. He did get a lot of ground balls, and wasn't as bad as the results indicated, but that's where the positives end. I'm still waiting for the guy who took the league by storm last year to show back up.
Working the backend of the doubleheader, Chris Rowley had mixed results. He missed a lot of bats, but it cost him in terms of pitches, and he didn't make it through the 5th inning. The peripherals were solid, but he gave up 10 hits and a good number of them were hit hard, with a few seeing eye singles mixed in. Tim Mayza had a nice relief outing to pick up the win in extras, striking out 4 in 2 innings.
Coming off two dominant outings, Jon Harris just didn't have it, with the chief culprit being an inability to find the strike zone, which left him working behind, and eventually allowing a good hitting South Bend lineup to tee off the second time through after holding them at bay. According to a conversation with David Laurila of FanGraphs, he just couldn't get comfortable on the mound. There's really not even any positive in the stat line to take away.
On the flip side, Angel Perdomo had a fantastic outing, allowing just 1 hit over 7 innings. He wasn't as hugely overpowered as usual, with just 7 swinging strikes. But that allowed him to go a lot deeper than usual, aided by channeling his inner Estrada with popups and weak fly balls to only give up one hit, a first inning infield single. His fastball ranged 90-94 on the South Bend stadium gun.
Ryan Borucki has another solid outing across the board. Nothing particularly noteworthy, working in the low-90s, but after the start he had in Dunedin it's just good to see him settle in. Patrick Murphy followed him and worked a messy inning, giving up 2 hits, 2 walks, and get two 2 strikeouts. He touched 94 to get the last strikeout.
Finally, to end on really positive note, Sean Reid-Foley had easily his best outing of the season, piling up 10 strikeouts over 8 innings, which almost ended up a complete game as he trailed 3-1 going to the 9th, when Lansing rallied to take the lead and there was no way he was coming out at 100 pitches. Even the 3 runs and 3 hits were pretty cheap, all coming in a 5th inning and consisting of a ground ball up the middle, and infield single, and a bouncer down the line that went for a triple. Metrics wise, across the board it was everything one wants in a model start: pounded the zone to get ahead, missed bats, a pile of ground balls, and a couple popups to boot.
Fun fact: last year, his last start in May was also at Dayton, and he also struck out 10 while walking none.