To The DL
Cardinals RHP Jordan Hicks was placed on the DL for an undisclosed reason. Hicks was recently selected to go to the Arizona Fall League. I profiled Hicks below in the promotion section, as he was promoted to Double-A recently.
Athletics SS Richie Martin was placed on the DL.
An update: Brewers SS Isan Diaz is done for the year with a broken hamate.
Another update: Red Sox LHP Jay Groome is done for the year, as he has a forearm strain in his throwing arm. According to Ian Browne, everything looks good structurally.
Off the DL
Blue Jays RHS TJ Zeuch was sent on a rehab assignment to the Gulf Coast League. You’ve heard this before, I know.
Marlins SS Joe Dunand was sent on a rehab assignment to the GCL, rehabbing a groin injury. I have caught three of his games thus far, and he is quite impressive. I might even Ten-Pack him this week.
Reds 2B Shed Long was activated from the DL. I Ten-Packed him here. He’s been struggling since his promotion to Double-A. Hopefully he and his bat have healed.
White Sox LHP Ian Clarkin was activated from the DL.
Up the Ladder
The New York Mets promoted their 2017 second-rounder Mark Vientos to Rookie-Plus. I Ten-Packed him previously, highlighting his power and hit ability, which you can read about here. He was the third-youngest player drafted this year. He is still 17 years old.
The Cardinals promoted RHR Eric Carter, RHS Connor Jones, and RHP Jordan Hicks to Double-A. Carter is an older arm at 25-years-old simply because he went on a LDS mission. I caught Carter’s last High-A appearance, a one-inning affair, and he featured a heavy 94-96 heater with fair cut to it, and a fair 12-6 curveball at 75-77 mph that he uses against lefties and righties. He manipulated his fastball for added “slider depth” at times. There was a changeup in there, at 85 mph, but it was only thrown once. Carter has an intriguing arm, a thick build and the makings of a middle reliever.
As for Jones—a pitcher I have seen a handful of times—he mainly features a sinker-slider combination. His sinker is above-average, showing hard, heavy sink comfortably at 91-93, t95. The slider is also an above-average to plus pitch at times, in the 80-84 range. The change-up is 85-87 mph, but is a well-below-average pitch that lacks consistency. He has an ugly arm action that explains his well-below-average control. His lack of control or third pitch make Jones a more likely set-up guy than a starter.
Hicks, the Cardinals’ 2015 third-round pick, features shutdown reliever stuff. I caught a single start of his in High-A, where his sinking fastball was 93-99, sitting 94-97, and his curveball, 79-82, showed plus, 10-5 depth and above-average bite. Both pitches are swing-and-miss offerings to both lefties and righties, with his sinker generating groundballs at a 66.1 percent clip in High-A. He also has a change-up registering in the mid-80s, with some minor late action. It is a pitch that is a work-in-progress, and is clearly one he has yet to really need. Soon after that start, Hicks was moved into a reliever role where reportedly his fastball hit 100. The soon-to-be 21-year-old could move quickly as a reliever, which is what the Cardinals may be doing, but in my look, he showed an ability to throw strikes and repeats his delivery. If he can develop a third pitch, he will stay in a starter role. If not, he is ticketed for high-leverage innings in the bullpen.
Cardinals RHP Ryan Helsley was promoted from High-A to Double-A. Helsley’s better pitches are a high spin fastball that can top out at 97 (sitting 94-97), generating swings and misses up in the zone and an average cutter, 87-91, that acts more like a slider, with late bite. The below-average control and lack of other secondaries prime him for a set-up reliever role than a sure back-end starter.
The Cardinals have recently been quite aggressive with their upper-minors pitchers.
The Tigers promoted RHP Sandy Baez to Double-A. With a four-seam fastball that sits 93-95, topping at 98, two-seamers that also hit 95, and fringe to below-average offerings, Baez could arguably pitch in the back-end of a rotation, but there is inconsistency in his release point; he wavers between high-three-quarters to three-quarters. The stuff, control and delivery makes it hard for me to see him hold that role consistently. Baez turns 24 in November, so I also fear he may be close to a finished product; a very hard-throwing pitcher with inconsistent, below-average secondary stuff. He was 40-manned this past offseason, so perhaps the Tigers see something better.
Phillies 1B Darick Hall was promoted to High-A. He gets a mention because he hit 27 HR in Low-A, and two thus far has two homers in High-A through three games. There is also swing-and-miss here, as he struck out 111 times in 117 games.
Astros OF Carlos Machado was promoted to Rookie-Plus. He gets has a good athletic frame, and was intriguing enough that I am upset he was promoted before I got a good look at him.
Down the Chutes
Another player, Braves CF Anfernee Seymour was placed on the suspended list, as seen on his MiLB page. However, there’s no word on why yet.
Twins LHP Tyler Jay was demoted to High-A from Double-A. He has battled injuries this season, accumulating 9.2 innings at the time of this writing. This may explain why he is ticketed to go to the Arizona Fall League.