To The DL
This week, too many prospect arms went down.
Orioles RHP Cody Sedlock is out with an elbow flexor strain. The 27th pick overall in 2016 and selected out of the University of Illinois-Champaign, Sedlock was on path to move like a normal college arm, starting in High-A and even appearing in Spring Training games.
Phillies 2016 second-rounder RHP Kevin Gowdy has bicep tendonitis, which explains the lack of stats this season. One of our prospect writers puts it this way, “he won’t be put placed on DL because GCL.” He has battled some arm injuries already, taking a month off in the middle of the GCL season before starting in his last game on the 27th of August.
Reds placed RHP Johnathon Crawford on the DL, retroactive to July 1st. Drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft from the University of Florida, Crawford has yet to crack High-A, and is now in his third go in part due to injury. He has been tried exclusively as a starter, but he is a future reliever, as he is fastball-slider with marginal control.
Yankees Double-A LHP Justus Sheffield was placed on the DL after leaving his start with an oblique injury. Oblique injuries are not career threatening, but certainly need to be properly taken care off with lots of rest. As they are a part of your core, muscles utilized by all positions and every time over 90 times by pitchers, they are easily re-aggravated. Expect him to be on the DL for a decent duration.
Twins placed Aussie LHP Lachlan Wells on the DL. He does not have dominant stuff yet, but at 20 years old in High-A, you can envision him developing more in order to rack up more strikeouts next year. No word on the injury.
Cardinals pitching prospect RHP Junior Fernandez is on the DL. You might have heard his name, as being the guy who let up a homer to Tebow in his first day in High-A, or maybe you heard about his 80 grade fastball – though flat – elite arm speed that disguises a potentially plus change-up and work in progress slider. Either way, he is down with an undisclosed injury.
Red Sox RHP Travis Lakins was placed on the DL. Though he pitched well in High-A Salem, he has been pummeled in Double-A with an ERA north of six.
Early word for next week, Mets LHP Thomas Szapucki left his Columbia Fireflies start with left forearm “discomfort”. No timetable yet.
Now some position player injuries.
D-Backs SS Domingo Leyba was placed on the 7-day DL on July 1st, retroactive to June 30th. Having started the season on the DL with a shoulder injury, Leyba had been activated on the 22nd of June on the Double-A squad playing only seven games. No word on injury yet.
Giants placed 3B Christian Arroyo with a fractured hand, suffered on a hit-by-pitch. The irony here is that he was activated from a previous an injured hand days prior. Now, he is out for the season. Tough luck for the Giants prospect.
Marlins 2017 third rounder 3B Riley Mahan was placed on the DL with a right groin injury. He has held his own offensively thus far, slashing .259/.259/.407 with one homer and one double to seven strikeouts over 27 at-bats.
Red Sox C Blake Swihart was DL’d with a left ankle inflammation. No timetable yet.
Off the DL
Red Sox LHP Jayson Groome was activated from his rehab assignment in Short Season, A-ball. He had been out since April with a lat injury. He carved in his first return back, you can read Chaz’s report on him here, or even read why he made the newly released Midseason Top 50 List.
Missing nearly a month of action for an undisclosed reason, Arizona Double-A 2B Jamie Westbrook was activated. In his second go in Double-A, he’s slashing .259/.286/.408 with five homers over 50 games.
Mets OF Desmond Lindsey was activated from the DL, the second-round draft pick in 2015. He is slashing .192/.316/.355 striking out 63 times in 55 games. Eeek!
Not yet off the DL, but here are some minor league rehab assignments:
Nationals OF Juan Soto is rehabbing for the High-A squad Hagerstown Suns with the GCL Nationals.
Rays 3B Kevin Padlo is rehabbing for their High-A squad Port Charlotte Stone Crabs with the GCL Rays.
Athletics RHP Logan Shore is rehabbing for their High-A squad Stockton Ports with the AZL Athletics.
Up the Ladder
Two of the hottest hitters in A-Ball have been promoted to High-A. Blue Jays organization promoted SS/3B Bo Bichette and 3B Vladimir Guerrero, JR. Where do I start? Start with power, who has more power? Guerrero. I mean look at this video. Ok, now who has the better hit tool? Bichette, I mean you do not accidentally slash .383/.444/.624. A Blue Jays scout put it like this, “there was a point in May where he was going 2-for-5 and his batting average would go down incrementally.” Guerrero is no slouch either. He has bat-to-ball skills, too, gifted from his father, Vlad Guerrero, and plate discipline, not gifted from the father. These “hitters” feasted on A-Ball hitters, like they should. We will see how better and older competition challenges them. Defensively, they have teamed up on the left side of the infield, with Bichette, a bit undersized, playing short and Guerrero, third base. You can read more about Bichette, here. As for Guerrero, we will get some notes on him soon. Stay tuned.
Astros RHP Forrest Whitley was promoted High-A. Emmett Rosenbaum caught a look before his promotion. The stats check, too. Look at his line from his first start: 5 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 9 K facing one over the minimum. Not bad for a high school guy in his first full pro year. Add him to your follow list.
Astros also promoted Cuban RHP Rogelio Armenteros from Double-A to Triple-A. He k’d 28.5 percent of Double-A batters as well as walking 7.5 percent of them. He is a starter who you can read about here.
Padres funky LHP Joey Lucchesi was promoted to Double-A San Antonio. His numbers have played out well in minor league ball, averaging 1.22 K/9 with a fastball and change-up. His numbers piqued my interests earlier this season, and has been able to continue his success. His DRA leading to his promotion is sub 2.00. He was rudely awakened in his first Double-A start, but his numbers have been too good for his numbers to not regress positively. You can read his narrative in a Ten Pack published here, provided by JH Schroeder.
Padres RHP Michel Baez was also promoted, but to Fort Wayne Tin Caps. The six-foot-eight Cuban right-hander was signed this past December for $3 million, pitched five fuego innings in rookie ball k’ing nine guys, facing one over the minimum. He carried some of that dominance to A-Ball, whiffing seven guys over another five innings, allowing two hits, two runs and one walk. The kid is 21.
Rangers SS Yeyson Yrizarri was promoted from A-Ball to High-A. You can read about him here or here. He slashed decently at short putting up a line of .263/.287/.390 at the short position. He is the sixth rated prospect in the Rangers system, whose system is ranked 16th coming into this year.
Cubs promoted RHP Jen-Ho Tseng from Double-A to Triple-A. Tseng has missed a month this year due to injury. 23 in October, he has pitched below the league average age since going pro in 2014, getting outs and limit walks through his four years. A slow mover, he has finally been moved up midseason. Cubs also promoted RHP Adbert Alzolay from High-A to Double-A who owns a mediocre 3.59 DRA with a solid 8.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
Yankees promoted 2016 39th rounder Brian Keller from A-ball to High-A, Tampa. Before you write him off like everyone else did, he is a right-handed pitcher who can throw four pitches for strikes. His stuff is fringe, but gives you quality innings. Saw him tonight 89-91 (but supposedly 95-97 in a relief appearance back in spring training) and was barreled often, he will need to rely on his other stuff to get through lineups. He is still projectable.
As for Keller’s replacement in A-Ball, RHP Rony Garcia. A 19-year-old Dominican arm that provides solid innings in the minors.
Yankees promoted RHP Brody Koerner, OF Jhalan Jackson and OF Tito Polo from High-A to Double-A. A Clemson product from the 2015 draft, Koerner features a major league sinker paired with two similar breaking balls. Steve’s quickie on Koerner: 50 FB, 5 SL, 40 CB, 30 CH with 50 control, 40 command. Up/down arm.
As for Polo, he can play all three outfield positions with left being his mainstay. He projects to be a fourth outfield guy. Steve’s quickie on Polo: Same.
As for Jackson, he is a right fielder with the arm to stick with solid defense. He is very muscular, so that slows him down when chasing balls down, otherwise non-issue. He can give you hard contact and homers, but you have to take the swing and misses that comes with them. He can get exposed, evident by 57 strikeouts in 58 games, we will see how he fares against Double-A pitching.
Phillies promoted RHP Ranger Suarez to High-A from A-ball. One of the owners of the best DRAs in A-Ball, ranking 11th with 1.42 of A-ball pitchers with a minimum of 15 innings pitched, all while throwing a fringe fastball. He has been able to get strikeouts and minimize the walks, and preventing those from scoring, with a RAvg of 1.80 and LOB of 83.8 percent. Fringe fastballs work if you can command it, which he has demonstrated with a 3.75 K-to-walk ratio.
Acquired in a trade for international cap space from the Cardinals to the Blue Jays, OF Lane Thomas was assigned to the Cardinals High-A squad. Some notes regarding the international realm, international money and newly signed prospects can be traded, unlike recent draft picks. As for Thomas, Josh Turner Ten Packed him this week, you can read about him here.
Pirates third baseman Dylan Busby was assigned to Short Season, A-Ball West Virginia Black Bears. He was drafted third round in this year’s draft.
Down the Chutes
Cardinals OF Cuban prospect Jonathon Machado is on the suspended list for an undisclosed reason. Though listed active, he has yet to play this season, and for a player who is as talented with the bat and instinctive at the young age of 18, there is no other reasonable explanation – in addition to being tipped off. I have mentioned him before.
Marlins released SS JJ Gould from the High-A Jupiter squad. A glove first player, Gould bat is both light in the power and contact department. At 23 years old, other teams might give him a spot. As Givarz shared, glove guys who can play short even with a 20 bat are given chances and can provide value.
Dodgers OF Johan Mieses was demoted to High-A, after slashing .133/.214/.305 in 60 games.
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