Thursday, April 29, 2010

Farm Notes From 4/28

Chris Tillman (BAL) throws a no-hitter
Tillman had been off to a rough start this season, but some of that can be attributed to the fact that he was instructed to work on his fastball and cut-fastball much more than any other pitches. Last night he was able to let his arsenal loose a little and the results, as you might assume by the title, were fantastic. Six strikeouts and one walk in nine no-hit innings.

This makes the battle between Tillman and Arrieta a bit tighter as to who gets the next call to Baltimore.

Jeremy Hellickson (TB) good again, but so is the Rays rotation
It wasn’t his best outing, but Jeremy Hellickson struck out five, walked two and allowed two earned runs in 6 innings Wednesday. He now has 27 strikeouts and seven walks in 28 innings. At this point the Rays don’t need any rotation help, but Hellickson is an injury away from getting the call.

Aroldis Chapman (CIN) gets taken deep for the first time
Chapman went a season high six innings, walked two and struck out four. For the first time in his professional career he was touched up for a home run. He ended up surrendering his second in this game as well.

We are still getting a mixed bag with Chapman. He has 22 strikeouts in 21 innings, but also 12 walks. He has only allowed 14 hits on the season in those 21 innings. The sooner the control comes around the sooner we’ll see him in Cincinnati.

Carlos Peguero: The elder Mike Stanton?
There is no question that Peguero has some serious power-He hit 31 home runs in 491 at-bats last season-but strikeouts and a lack of plate discipline have always been an issue. So far this season Peguero has struck out 16 times to eight walks. That’s a strikeout rate of 24 percent, a decent rate for a slugger and under the 30 percent mark that has plagued Peguero in his career. His eight walks are also a good sign, putting his walk rate over 10 percent. Could he be making some plate discipline adjustments as we’ve seen Mike Stanton make? Time will tell, but Peguero’s three home runs last night puts his total up to nine in 74 at-bats.

Tony Sanchez (PIT) staying hot
3 for 5 last night and his line now sits at .367/.487/.600 with eight doubles and two home runs. He should be looking at a promotion to double-A by mid-season.

Mike Trout strikes again
3 for 5 yesterday with a double, triple and stolen base. He’s now 11 for 12 in steal attempts.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Farm Notes From 4/27

Jordan Lyles (HOU) looking dominant at double-A
In 22 innings and at age 19, Lyles has posted a 2.86 ERA, 2.28 FIP, with 25 strikeouts to only four walks. Quite impressive numbers for a young pitcher that scouts don't seem to get very excited about. If Lyles continues to post these K/BB numbers at double-A, I'm sure everyone will start to take a second look.

Drew Storen (WAS) has allowed only one ER in 9.1 innings
He also has 11 strikeouts to only one walk. Twice Storen has gone two innings to record a save, which is what he did last night. Matt Capps is getting the job done in Washington right now and Tyler Clippard is likely next in line for 2010, but Storen should be knocking on the big league door all season long with this these type of performances. (And yes, his teammate Stephen Strasburg was pretty good last night too).

Pedro Alvarez (PIT) steals his second base
Alvarez came into spring training in better shape this season, prompting some to wonder if he could stick at third base a bit longer than anticipated. He stole his second base of the season Tuesday night, which matched his total from all of last season. At the plate, Alvarez has cooled after a hot start and is now hitting .250/.333/.444. He's 4 for 21 against left-handed pitching with seven strikeouts.

Starlin Castro (CHC) continues to rake double-A pitching
20-years-old, Castro is off to a monster start. After a 3 for 5 performance yesterday, that included his fifth stolen base, Castro is now hitting .337/.417/.610 with seven doubles and four triples. Calm down fantasy owners, Castro is currently sporting an extremely high .418 BABIP. Still, with the way the Cubs are struggling right now, one has to wonder whether they are itching to pick up the phone and inject some excitement into their big league club.

Carlos Santana (CLE) is coming
Nothing new here really. Santana went 2 for 3 with two walks Tuesday night and his line sits at .328/.451/.655 (.298 BABIP) with five home runs and 13 walks to only six strikeouts. It's only going to be 2-3 more weeks before we see Santana in Cleveland.

Mike Stanton (FLA) continues to draw walks
No, Stanton didn't hit another home run last night, but he did go 1 for 2 with a double and three walks. That gives Stanton 20 walks to 18 strikeouts on the year. He just continues to impress.

Mike Trout (LAA) steals again
He now has 10 steals in 11 attempts.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mike Stanton Mashes, But He's Not Ready Yet

Not many 20-year-olds have a presence on the field like Mike Stanton. At 6'5" with a build reminiscent of a young Dave Winfield, Stanton not only strikes fear in the hearts of double-A pitching, but he strikes the baseball with monster force.

In his past two games, Stanton has hit five home runs (five!). Stanton is now hitting .338/.482/.800 with nine home runs and an insane 1.282 OPS. That production, along with his preseason hype, have Marlins fans and fantasy owners wondering when we'll see Stanton in the big leagues. We may have to wait a bit longer.

The numbers look great so far, but the sample size is extremely small. There are some issues to Stanton's game that still need refinement.

Strikeouts have been his biggest road block and Stanton has struck out 18 times in 65 at-bats to start 2010. Stanton's powerful swing generates plenty of damage when he makes contact, but it also generates a bunch of swings and misses. The Marlins need to see an improvement in this aspect of Stanton's game, as they don't want to let him lose against the best pitching in the world only to see him fail. When they call him up, they want it to be for good.

The good thing is that Stanton is working hard on his plate discipline. He has walked 17 times in his 65 at-bats, an improvement that could go a long way in his ultimate development.

Look for the Marlins to move Stanton up to triple-A before long. If he dominates there, then we can start speculating as to when he'll get the call.