To The DL
Blue Jays 2016 first-rounder T.J. Zeuch landed on the disabled list with an undisclosed injury, retroactive to June 3. With a super-sinker, Zeuch is the owner of the second-best ground-ball rate in High-A and the sixth-best in all of minor-league baseball at 61.1 percent. He has pitched well over 53 innings, accumulating 42 strikeouts and 14 walks with a 3.23 ERA, 3.29 FIP, and 1.32 WHIP. Remember, ground-ball pitchers tend to have higher a WHIP and FIP since ground balls are likely to roll through for hits than fly balls.
Another FSL player, Pirates shortstop Cole Tucker, landed on the DL with a right thumb injury. This injury will sideline him for a couple of weeks. Tucker is in the midst of a good season, stealing and slugging more. He has yet to play a pro season without injury.
Two prospects, both rated in the Top 50 in our ranking, the Braves' Ozzie Albies and Yankees 2016 first-rounder Blake Rutherford, are now on the seven-day DL after they each hit a ball off their foot. Another Yankees prospect, right-hander Albert Abreu, was again placed on the DL. This is his second visit this year, with the first lasting for 17 days.
Rays right-hander Jose De Leon left his High-A start after three innings due to injury. Kyle Glaser tweeted De Leon’s stat line here. Obviously, De Leon has not been what the Rays wanted since trading away Logan Forsythe to the Dodgers for him. Nothing official yet on the injury. Though De Leon has battled many different injuries before, his most recent DL trip was elbow related.
Off The DL
Connecticut-born Reds right-hander Sal Romano was activated off the DL. Prior to being DL’d, Romano felt some shoulder inflammation cutting his start short. He returned to the mound, pitching well enough to receive recognition from Steve Givarz. Having a sip of coffee earlier this season, expect Romano to season some more in Triple-A before being recalled again.
Nationals catcher Tres Barrera was activated from their A-ball team after hurting his finger. He is a confident, bilingual, vocal catcher who has been praised by his pitchers as being “in the battle with them.” He was drafted in the sixth round at below slow slot for his fine catch-and-throw skills, with his bat needing to hit for a better average.
Mariners 2016 first-rounder Kyle Lewis is reportedly taking his first extended spring training at-bats, per newly acquired BP Prospect Team member John Eshleman. Lewis tore his anterior cruciate ligament as well as the medial and lateral meniscus in his right knee attempting to score from second. Having performed well in Low-A, Lewis, though not off the DL yet, could be slotted into one of the Mariners' lower minors, per Eshleman.
Up the Ladder
Red Sox promoted both Jalen Beeks and Ty Buttrey from Double-A to Triple-A. A right-handed reliever, Buttrey has good stuff and poor control, as evident by his 34 percent strikeout rate and 9.3 percent walk rate this year. You can read Jeffrey Paternosto’s Ten Pack on him here. As for Beeks, thanks to his assignment to the Arizona Fall League, you can read up on his repertoire here. Thanks to Dan Brooks!
Additionally, Greg Goldstein’s fellow Terp Michael Shawaryn was promoted from Low-A to High-A. Shawaryn, who went in the fifth round last year, did well in his first start, going five innings, allowing two runs, and striking out six with one walk.
St. Louis promoted right-hander Zac Gallen from High-A to Double-A. I ten-packed Gallen earlier this season, highlighting his pitchability and command. Though his strikeout rate is down, he has traded that for length by going at least eight innings in two of his last three starts. Not blessed with overwhelming stuff, Gallen can place, pitch, and make mid-game adjustments. You can read my Eyewitness Report on him here.
Beau Burrows of the Tigers was promoted to Double-A. Burrows was the best starter in the FSL in terms of stuff and performance. He possesses both stuff and a feel for pitching, a combination that will result in success at High-A. He repeats his delivery well and his arm action is clean, thus his command and control will grade to above average in the future. He sits 92-93 most of the game, but can amp it up and blow it past you, topping 97 mph. The pitch has late life, and can cut and sink too.
Burrows has a changeup that is inconsistent now but will be effective versus both sides, showing good bottom and fade. He throws both breaking balls, a slider in the mid-80s and a curveball in the mid-70s. The slider, though a new pitch and a work-in-progress now, will be an effective out-pitch, showing tight two-plane break. Moreover, the curveball is a good 11-5 pitch, but is mostly for stealing strikes and giving a different look. Burrows, being someone who can be a formidable no. 3 starter, is someone I am high on.
Mets lefty Thomas Szapucki was held back because of shoulder impingement, avoiding a true DL placement. Though he produced an outing with mixed results in extended spring, the Mets “activated” and assigned him to the A-ball Columbia Fireflies, where he also produced mixed results. You can read Skyler Kanfer’s review of Szapucki’s 2017 debut.
With the commencement of the DSL season on June 3, many teams promoted their prospects to the GCL, some being notable while others are to fulfill the technicality–typically these players have already been in extended spring games prepping for the GCL. Here are some notable assignments:
Cardinals, OF Jonathon Machado to GCL from DSL; both RHP Johan Oviedo and LHP Fabian Blanco to Johnson City (basically rookie ball but under the lifts) from the DSL. A lefty bat with good feel for the strike zone and barrel, Machado shows an advanced approach (for his age) at the plate. He is currently a light 5-foot-10, but oozes swagger and instincts and has some pop in the bat. He profiles to be a fourth outfielder/reserve guy with good OBP skills, sprinkling some power here and there.
Nationals SS Yasel Antuna and SS Luis Garcia. I wrote about Antuna recently for our Monday Morning Ten Pack. Both were signed in J2 2016, thus will be seeing their first pro action in the GCL this season.
Phillies OF Simon Muzziotti to GCL from DSL. Muzziotti signed with the Red Sox, and was later granted free agency. SS Eduardo Torrealba was also granted free agency, and signed with the Yankees. He too was assigned to the GCL.
As for the three other players granted free agency, they all have signed but have yet to be publicly assigned to a team. Here are the teams each player signed with: SS Antonio Pinero signed with the Brewers. RHP Cesar Gonzalez signed with the Padres. Albert Guaimaro signed with the Marlins, and though he was not assigned to a team, he is listed on the extended spring roster as an outfielder.
Down the Chutes
As noted last week, Braxton Garrett was demoted to Batavia, a team that is currently not in season. Turns out, Garrett was shut down after experiencing an elbow issue, received an MRI and may require TJS. For an already weak system, ranked last in the major leagues, this is no bueno.
White Sox former first-rounder Courtney Hawkins was demoted to High-A from Double-A. In his first game, he received the golden sombrero.
Here are some DSL assignments: Athletics assigned Lazaro Armenteros (not to be confused with the Astros' Rogelio Armenteros, who is playing in Double-A and was written about recently by Kate Morrison), SS Yerdeluis Vargas, SS Marcos Brito, and OF Kevin Richards to the DSL. Eshleman added that both Armenteros and Brito are to return to the AZL when the season starts in late June.
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