Minor League Notes: April 5-8

While most of the baseball world’s attention is on the majors, the minor league season is under way as well. Some of the best prospects are already off to a hot start and showing why they are held in such high regard.  Not all news is good news in the minors, though, as one of the top prospects in the Nationals organization had to be helped off the field in his second game of the season.

South Atlantic League (Low-A)

  • Gary Sanchez- Swinging a hot stick with a couple of two hit games. He has yet to strike out in six at-bats. That’s notable for a player that struck out 93 times in 301 at-bats last season.

  • Blake Swihart- The 26th pick in last June’s draft isn’t wasting any time showing off the hitting ability that excites so many prospect enthusiasts. He’s played in three games and is hitting .500/.643/.600 in 10 at-bats with a tidy walk-to-strikeout ratio of 4-to-1. The switch-hitting catcher has split his work this season nearly right down the middle with four at-bats versus southpaws, and six versus right-handed pitching.

  • Dante Bichette Jr- He has three singles in eight at-bats spanning two games. He has struck out twice in both contests. Strikeouts weren’t a problem last year, and it is just two games, but keep tabs on how he fares going forward.

  • Brian Goodwin- There might not be a hotter hitter in the Sally League than the Nationals center field prospect. He’s getting on-base often with five hits in 12 at-bats and adding five more walks (.588 on-base percentage). He’s crushing the ball too, scorching two home runs and a double. In addition to the power, he has shown his speed swiping two bases in three chances.

  • Dylan Bundy- Bundy caused quite the Twitter stir in his debut. He worked three perfect innings striking out six. As if that wasn’t reason enough to generate buzz, reports of him working those three perfect innings in 21 pitches, all strikes, had people freaking out. It was later confirmed by Minor League Baseball’s official twitter account that pitch counts being reported below the Double-A level were inaccurate. Bundy used all fastballs the first two innings to befuddle hitters, and was clocked as high as 98 mph.

  • Jose Campos- Campos, one of the pieces the Yankees received back for Jesus Montero, had an excellent debut for the organization on April 6. He worked six scoreless innings, allowing one hit, one walk, and striking out three. He was efficient throwing 42 strikes in 65 pitches, and mixed his fastball, curveball, and change-up effectively.

  • Alex Meyer- The big righty had his way in his professional debut holding his opponents scoreless in five innings. He allowed two hits, zero walks, and struck out four. The former University of Kentucky Wild Cat had problems with control in college, so the zero walks is very encouraging.

  • Parker Bidwell- His second go round in the South Atlantic League is off to a much better start. Bidwell pitched five innings of one earned run baseball on April 7, allowing four hits, one walk, and struck out three.

  • Luke Jackson- The Rangers 2010 supplemental first round pick had a disappointing pro debut in Low-A, and is repeating the level this year. He was outstanding in his first start going five strong innings allowing one earned run, three hits, one walk and striking out eight.

 

Midwest League (Low-A)

  • Eddie Rosario- Rosario is picking up where he left off last season. Three games, and nine at-bats into the 2012 season and Rosario has already found the seats once, and swiped two bags. He has more walks, three, than strikeouts, two, and is hitting .333/.500/.778.

  • Kaleb Cowart- The two way prep star continues his work as a positional player this year. He has hit the ball well in the early going slashing .462/.500/.769 with two doubles, and one triple in 13 at-bats. His stat line also features two stolen bases.

  • Austin Hedges- Hedges is one of a handful of intriguing Padres catching prospects. He was a second round selection in last June’s draft. Two games in, he’s showing a willingness to get on base however he can. He has two hits in six at-bats and has added three walks.

  • Drew Vettleson- He hit in his pro debut in the Rookie level Appalachian League, and has collected three hits and two walks in nine plate appearances in Low-A this year. He has one stolen base, but has been caught stealing twice.

  • Guillermo Pimentel- Pimentel continues to be who we think he is. He has 13 plate appearances with one walk, and three strikeouts, but has also found the seats with one home run and added a double.

  • Jorge Bonifacio- It’s early, but it is good to see Bonifacio earning walks. He only walked 16 times in 258 plate appearances. He already has three walks in 14 plate appearances this year. He also struck out often last year, and has just two punch outs so far in 2012. He is hitting .364/.500/.364.

  • Francisco Lindor- Lindor’s calling card is his defense, but he has done a respectable job with the stick so far in his first pro season. He is hitting a hollow .308 (all single), but has three stolen bases, one in each game he has played. Unfortunately, he has also been caught stealing twice.

  • Noah Syndergaard- The flame throwing right-hander was filthy in his first start of 2012. He pitched three innings, allowing two hits, one walk, and fanning six.

  • Archie Bradley- Bradley had a chance to show off his stuff one day before fellow Oklahoman 2011 first round pick Dylan Bundy, and he didn’t disappoint. He pitched five innings of one earned run baseball. He allowed four hits, one walk, and struck out seven. When batters did make contact against him, they were pounding the ball into the ground, as he had seven groundball outs compared to one flyball out. He was super efficient making the most of his 40 pitch count by throwing 34 strikes. His hammer curve was his finest offering in the game, but he also stated that he felt comfortable throwing the change-up to keep hitters off of his premium heater.

  • Austin Wood- Wood had an underwhelming and winding college career that saw him pitch at three schools, Florida State, St. Petersburg JC, and the University of Southern California. He got roughed up in two appearances in the Rookie level Pioneer League in 2011, but was dominating in his 2012 Low-A debut. In five innings he allowed one earned run on four hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts. He coaxed four groundball outs to just one flyball out. He possesses a live arm, and pumped out a fastball that reached 97 mph in his first start. His secondary offerings are inconsistent, but his slider was reportedly on in the opener.

 

Florida State League (High-A)

  • Jacob (J.T.) Realmuto- This athletic catching prospect has three walks in just nine plate appearances. He has added three hits, bringing his line to .500/.667/.500. He has also stolen a base.

  • Nick Castellanos- Castellanos got off to a slow start last year, and was sizzling after the month of April. No slow start for him this year. He has two multi-hit efforts in three games, good for a slash of .417/.500/.583 with two doubles, two walks, and four strikeouts in 14 plate appearances.

  • Mikie Mahtook- The polished college outfielder was drafted in the first round of last June’s draft out of Louisiana State University. He had a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, and is making a splash in the early going in the Florida State League. He’s hitting a robust .455/.500/.545 with two walks and zero strikeouts in 13 plate appearances.

  • Jake Marisnick- Marisnick broke out in 2011. Three games into 2012, he’s doing his best to carry that break out over to this year. He’s hitting .333/.438/.583 with three doubles, two walks, and four strikeouts in 14 plate appearances.

  • Oswaldo Arcia- Noted for his free swinging, Arcia has worked five walks in 13 plate appearances this year. That’s more than a quarter of the way to his 2011 total of 18 walks. If he continues to show this type of patience, he should be able to make the most of his above average power.

  • Jed Bradley- Bradley made his first professional start on Sunday. He lasted six and one-third innings allowing zero earned runs on three hits, one walk, and one hit batter with seven strikeouts. He had a groundball slant in his batted ball profile earning seven groundball outs versus three flyball outs.

  • Taylor Jungmann- Jungmann allowed only one earned run in five innings pitched in his first professional start, but he allowed eight base runners on four hits and four walks.

  • Enny Romero- Romero did what he does in his first start of the year, he walked three batters, hit another, and struck out five in three innings.

  • Carlos Martinez- Martinez had a solid but unspectacular first start of the year allowing two earned runs in four innings of work. That said, he walked just one batter while striking out four. All-in-all, it was a positive showing.

  • Jameson Taillon- Two earned runs allowed in three and two-thirds innings pitched doesn’t look good. Six strikeouts in those innings does. Taillon wasn’t his typically sharp self walking two and plunking another batter. Look for him to tighten things up in his next start.

 

Carolina League (High-A)

  • Tommy La Stella- He doesn’t show up on many prospect lists, but La Stella flat out rakes. He’s hitting a scintillating .556/.615/1.000 in 11 plate appearances. He has two walks, zero strikeouts, and has muscled up for one double, and one home run.

  • Edward Salcedo- Salcedo has recorded at least one hit in all three games he’s played in this year. He has five hits in 12 at-bats and is hitting .417/.417/.500 with one strikeout.

  • Cheslor Cuthbert- Cuthbert isn’t hitting the ball with much authority yet this year, but he is exhibiting solid plate discipline walking three times in 12 plate appearances. He wore down late last year, and hopes to bounce back this year.

  • Anthony Rendon- Jim Callis considered Rendon the best prospect available in the 2011 amateur draft. Injuries caused him to slip to the Nationals, and they couldn’t pass up the high ceiling third baseman. With Ryan Zimmerman locked up long term now, Rendon will be forced to a new position should he remain with his current organization. He took groundballs at second base and shortstop in spring training, but began the year at the hot corner in Potomac. Unfortunately, Rendon had to be helped off the field in his second game. He hurt himself rounding third base, and the injury is reportedly a bad sprain to his left ankle. For those wondering, it is not the ankle he had surgery on while in college. There is no timetable for his return to the diamond yet.

  • Cody Buckel- Buckel was superb in 2011, and has one good start to his credit this year. He went four innings giving up zero earned runs on two hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Four of the five outs recorded on balls put in play came on the ground.

  • Roman Mendez- As good as Buckel’s first start of the year was, teammate Mendez may have out done him. He allowed one run, unearned, in six innings pitched. It was the rest of his stat line that trumped Buckel’s. He allowed only three hits with zero walks while striking out nine. He made strides with his walk rate last year, and if he continues to improve that aspect of his game, he’ll move up prospect lists accordingly.

 

California League (High-A)

  • Brad Miller- Miller is launching the ball in the California League. Friendly hitter environment or not, hitting four home runs with two doubles and two triples in 21 plate appearances is astonishing. Miller was a second round draft pick last year out of Clemson, and it won’t be long before he reaches Double-A at this rate.

  • Telvin Nash- Nash is a three true outcomes superstar. Last year he hit a home run, walked, or struck out in a staggering 49.7 percent of his plate appearances. Thus far, he has three home runs, three walks, and three strikeouts in 18 plate appearances. That’s good news for Nash as one outcome, strikeouts, has historically been a problem. If he is able to cut back on them, he’ll be an intriguing prospect to track.

  • Jarrett Parker- More of the same from Parker while repeating High-A. He’s shown patience working three walks in 17 plate appearances, and has added solid pop drilling two home runs. The problem is that he’s striking out too often, and has already fanned six times (35.3 percent strikeout rate).

  • Bobby Borchering- Borchering is making the transition to the outfield this year. Learning a new position hasn’t prevented him from succeeding at the plate in the early going. He has three extra base hits, two doubles and one triple, in 17 plate appearances and is hitting .308/.444/.692 overall.

  • George Springer- Springer wasted little time making an impression this year. In Lancaster’s Opening Day game he hit a game tying grand slam in the top of the sixth inning. He finished the day two-for-four with that home run and five RBIs. On the season he is hitting .412/.444/.588 in 17 at-bats with zero walks and four strikeouts.

  • C.J. Cron- The Angels nabbed Cron in the first round of last June’s draft. He signed quickly enough to play in 34 games for Rookie level Orem where he showed power, but his plate discipline was lacking in comparison to his work as a junior at Utah. I bring up his step back in plate discipline because he has yet to walk in 16 at-bats. The power is outstanding, but he’ll need to work walks if he hopes to have enough bat to be an above average regular at designated hitter, or first base in another organization (he obviously won’t unseat Albert Pujols with the Angels).

  • Joe Panik- Panik isn’t lighting the world on fire, but he’s hitting a respectable .267/.389/.400 in 18 plate appearances. He has walked three times, and is making tons of contact striking out just once. He’s flashed a bit of pop with two doubles.

  • Rymer Liriano- Liriano has struggled each of the last two season’s in High-A. By just playing passably, it is a far cry from what he has done in the California League historically. The next step is moving from passable to dynamic.

  • Zach Lee- The Dodgers top prospect pitched five strong innings in Rancho Cucamonga Opening Day game allowing no earned runs on one hit and one walk with five strikeouts. Six of his ten outs on balls in play came on the ground.

  • Tyler Matzek- The enigmatic Matzek is at it again. He started Opening Day for Modesto and allowed zero earned runs, though, two unearned runs scored, in four and two-thirds innings pitched. His outing was so short because he walked three batters and struck out seven. According to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, Matzek hit 95 mph on the radar gun in the opener, that’s good news for a pitcher who’s velocity has fluctuated in the past.

  • Andrew Chafin- Lost amidst the other high ceiling pitchers the Diamondbacks drafted in the first round of the 2011 amateur draft, Chafin was a college arm selected with pick 43 as part of the supplemental first round. The southpaw went five innings yielding one earned run with two hits and two walks while striking out nine.

 

Texas League (Double-A)

  • Kolten Wong- Wong did what a college hitter was supposed to do in Low-A last year. That said, he showed enough to bypass High-A and open the year in Double-A. So much for the jump being a challenge. In four games he has accumulated 18 plate appearances hitting .500/.611/.786 with two triples, four walks, three strikeouts, and one stolen base.

  • Nolan Arenado- Talk of Arenado making the leap from High-A to the majors this spring proved premature. However, with the way he’s hitting to start the year, an early season promotion is looking increasingly likely. In 18 plate appearances, he is hitting .533/.611/.733 with three doubles, two walks, and two strikeouts.

  • Wil Myers- Year two in the Texas League is off to a good start for Myers. He has recorded a hit in all four games played, and in 17 plate appearances he has ripped two solo home runs and hit .313/.353/.688. He has struck out an uncharacteristically high six times while walking just once. Even in a down year in 2011, Myers showed off plate discipline that was shocking for a player of his age. Look for him to improve his walk rate as he gets more games under his belt.

  • Michael Choice- Choice is commanding the strike zone early in 2012 with six walks in 18 plate appearances. He hasn’t shown off his trademark power yet, but his patient approach should result in him working counts in his favor and crushing mistakes.

  • Oscar Taveras- The Cardinals have been extremely aggressive in their handling of Taveras. After under 350 plate appearances in Low-A, the Cardinals sent him to the Arizona Fall League where he was the second youngest player. They’ve now followed up that aggressive assignment by having him skip High-A and open the year in Double-A. Taveras has been unfazed, and has hit three doubles and one home run in 17 plate appearances. He has yet to walk, but as a 19 year old in Double-A, he’s doing just fine.

  • Mike Olt- Olt easily paced the Arizona Fall League in home runs, and has one to his credit so far in 2012. What is disconcerting is that he has struck out in eight of 18 plate appearances. He has struck out multiple times in three of four games, and while strikeouts are always going to be a part of his game, his current rate is unacceptably high.

  • Jarred Cosart- Cosart struck out five batters in his first start in 2012, but also walked three lasting only four and one-third innings. He hasn’t struck out as many batters as a player with his pure stuff should, so the start provides some promise, but it also shows he still has work to do.

  • A.J. Griffin- Griffin pitched at four full-season minor league levels last year. He struggled in the Texas League last year, but was dynamite in his first start this year. He pitched five scoreless innings allowing two hits, one walk, and striking out eight.

  • Justin Grimm- Grimm had a solid season in 2011 split between both Single-A levels. His first Double-A start this year was superb. He faced a Springfield lineup that featured a couple of batters highlighted above in Kolten Wong and Oscar Taveras, and carved the lineup up. He completed five and one-third scoreless innings allowing two hits and one walk while striking out 10.

  • Jake Odorizzi- Odorizzi is back in the Texas League after he struggled in 12 starts there in 2011. In his first start of the year he went five innings allowing zero earned runs on three hits with zero walks and eight strikeouts.

  • Edwar Cabrera- Cabrera rode his Bugs Bunny change-up to a minor league leading 217 strikeouts in 2011. He finished the year in High-A, and opened this year in Double-A. There are questions about how far his change-up can carry him, but start one for Double-A Tulsa was a success. He pitched six innings in which he allowed one earned run on three hits with six strikeouts.

  • Johnny Hellweg- Effectively wild is the expression that could be used to describe Hellweg’s 2012 debut in Double-A. He walked five in five innings, but allowed only one earned run and two hits while striking out five.

  • Chris Dwyer- Dwyer was backed by messy defense in his debut, but was able to pitch four and one-third innings allowing two runs, only one earned, on two hits and one walk while striking out five.

  • Trevor Rosenthal- Rosenthal is proving to be a steal for the Cardinals, who selected him in the 21st round of the 2009 amateur draft. He pitched four innings in his season debut in which he allowed two runs, one earned, on one hit, a solo home run, with one walk and four strikeouts.

  • Keyvius Sampson- A healthy Sampson was quite good in the Low-A Midwest League last season. Once again healthy this year, he started the 2012 Double-A season well pitching four innings allowing one earned run on three hits and one walk with six strikeouts.

Southern League (Double-A)

  • Nick Franklin- Franklin had a rough year in 2011, but is off to a nice start in 2012. He has a hit in every game played this year, four, and three of those games have been multi-hit efforts. He has made a ton of contact striking out just twice in 15 plate appearances. Franklin already has a home run under his belt, and is hitting .500/.533/.786.

  • Matt Davidson- Davidson no longer needs to split time at third base with Bobby Borchering, as Borchering has moved to the outfield and is now also a level below Davidson. The bat continues to be good, and he is hitting .357/.526/.500 in 19 plate appearances. He has a one-to-one walk-to-strikeout ratio with four walks and four strikeouts. He has recorded a hit in all four games played this year.

  • Hak-Ju Lee- Lee was over matched a bit in his first taste of Double-A, but has a hit in all four of Montgomery’s games this year. He is hitting .294/.333/.412 in 18 plate appearances. He has just three strikeouts, and while his power is of the doubles variety, and not the fence clearing variety, he’s used his above average speed to steal a base already.

  • Trevor Bauer- Bauer was as good as advertised in his first start in 2012 throwing five scoreless innings. He didn’t allow a base runner until he walked two with two outs in the fourth inning. He went on to walk one more, making three walks in total. In addition to the three walks, Bauer allowed two hits, and struck out seven.

  • Patrick Corbin- Corbin had a tough act to follow with Bauer throwing a gem on Opening Day, but he was nearly as impressive. He pitched six scoreless innings allowing one walk and six hits with five strikeouts.

  • Sean Gilmartin- The Braves used the 28th pick in last June’s draft to select this polished college southpaw. In his first start in 2012 he blanked the opposition for six innings allowing two hits and no walks. He also failed to strike a batter out.

  • James Paxton- Paxton was dominating in his first start of 2012. He went five and two-thirds innings, and walked no batters. His control was shaky in Low-A to start 2011, but much better in Double-A. Opening the year with a start in which he didn’t allow any free passes is very encouraging. He gave up two hits, no runs, and struck out 10.

  • Zeke Spruill- Spruill pitched to contact in 2011, failing to miss many bats. He found success with that approach. In his first start this year, he struck out eight. If he’s able to add strikeouts to the equation, he could become an interesting fantasy prospect.

  • Tyler Thornburg- The diminutive right-handed pitcher with the quirky delivery missed bats in his first start in 2012, striking out seven in five innings. His control can be shaky at times, but wasn’t a problem with him walking two batters in his season debut.

  • Sebastien Valle- Valle entered the season with a questionable approach at the plate, but has been solid thus far walking twice and striking out three times in 12 plate appearances. He has five hits, one of which is a home run.

  • Tony Sanchez- Sanchez had a forgettable 2011, but is off to a much better start repeating Double-A this year. In 11 plate appearances across three games he has three hits, two going for extra bases (one double and one triple).

  • Manny Machado- Machado opened the season the best way he possibly could, crushing the first pitch he saw for a home run. He has 16 plate appearances, and in them, is hitting .333/.375/.600 with a walk-to-strikeout ratio of one-to-four. In addition to his home run, he has a stolen base to his credit.

  • Robbie Grossman- After inexplicably spending the entire year in High-A in 2011, the Pirates have finally promoted him to Double-A. He has multiple hits in two of three games this year, and has cleared the fences once.

  • Gary Brown- Brown has six hits in 15 plate appearances, none of which have gone for extra bases. He has yet to steal a base, but is doing fine hitting .462/.467/.462 and making contact with just about everything striking out just twice.

  • Drew Hutchinson- He exceeded even the most wildly optimistic expectations anyone could have had for him in 2011. He is off to a solid start in 2012. Hutchinson was sent back to Double-A, where he dominated in three 2011 starts. In his first start in 2012 he pitched five innings allowing two earned runs on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts.

  • Trevor May- May’s 7.20 ERA after one start suggests he was awful. He wasn’t all bad, though, he struck out six in five innings and allowed only six base runners. Four of the six base runners that reached crossed home plate. With a bit more success stranding runners, and some fine tuning of his control (he allowed three walks), he’ll be okay.

Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)

  • Matt Adams- Adams turned heads in spring training with the Cardinals, and is destroying the ball in the minors. In 14 plate appearances he has smashed three home runs and added a double for good measure. The home runs were spread out across the first three games with him hitting one in each contest.

  • Derek Norris- Quirky stat, Norris, who weighs 210 pounds according to his Minor League Baseball player page, hit exactly his weight in 2011. This year, he has played in three games recording one hit in one game, and two hits in the other two. All five of his hits have gone for extra bases with two resulting in doubles, one in a triple, and two were round trippers.

  • Yasmani Grandal- Grandal is endearing himself to his new organization. He has reached base safely in eight of 13 plate appearances, five times by hit, and three times by walk. He has struck out just once, and hit .500/.615/.700.

  • Brett Jackson- Jackson has little left to prove in the minors, and if not for a crowded (and overpriced) Cubs outfield, would probably already be in the majors. In the meantime, he is hitting .438/.526/.688 with two doubles, one triple, and one stolen base in 19 plate appearances.

  • Michael Taylor- Taylor is probably due for a change of scenery. Toiling in Triple-A behind a crowded A’s outfield, and sharing outfield duties with fellow prospects, Taylor is doing everything he can to get another crack at big league pitching. He is hitting .444/.476/.667 in 19 plate appearances with one home run and one stolen base.

  • Mike Trout- Trout is one of a trio of prospects that have a legit case for being called the “top prospect,” in all of baseball. He is further seasoning his skills in the minors, though, that probably wouldn’t be the case if not for a log jam in the major league outfield. Trout is hitting .500/.579/.563 with two stolen bases.

  • Anthony Rizzo- Rizzo isn’t showing his trademark patience yet, but he also isn’t striking out at an alarming rate for a power hitter either (he has four strikeouts in 16 plate appearances). He has hit one home run so far, and if he’s able to keep his strikeout rate down, he could be in the bigs in the early summer.

  • Wily Peralta- Peralta used his power arsenal to breakout in 2011, and in one start this season he was sharp. He allowed one earned run in six innings while walking one batter and striking out four.

  • Martin Perez- Perez has long teased with his stuff, and has always been young for the level he has pitched at. He opens the year as a 21 year old in Triple-A, and was stellar in his first game. He pitched six innings allowing one earned run while walking one and striking out three. Perez worked on a two-seam fastball in the spring, and credits the pitch for his success in the first start.

  • Neil Ramirez- Ramirez put it all together in 2011 after years of inconsistency. He was shelved for an extended period of time in the second half with shoulder pain. If he remains healthy, starts like his first this year in which he allowed one run in four innings while striking out six could become a regular occurrence.

  • Garrett Richards- Richards got a taste of the majors last year, and could be in line for an extended stay there in short order. In his first start of the year, he last seven innings allowing two earned runs while striking out seven.

  • Brad Peacock- Peacock’s first start in 2012 was a bit of a mixed bag. He went six innings allowing two earned runs, but allowed another two unearned and served up a gopher ball. He walked two batters, and struck out six.

  • Casey Kelly- Kelly was solid in his Triple-A debut. He pitched six innings allowing three earned runs while failing to walk a batter and striking out five.

  • Jarrod Parker- Like Kelly’s start, Parker’s was solid. He went six innings giving up three runs, serving up one home run, walking one, and striking out four.

 

International League (Triple-A)

  • Starling Marte- Marte destroyed the ball in spring training, and continues his assault on baseballs in the minors. He has four hits in 14 plate appearances, one going for a double, and one going for a triple.

  • Will Middlebrooks- Middlebrooks continues to have success with an ultra aggressive approach. He has yet to walk this year, but is hitting .357/.357/.500 in 14 plate appearances with two doubles.

  • Ryan Lavarnway- Lavarnway was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to continue his work on his defense behind the plate. He’s continuing to show patience, walking four times in 12 plate appearances, and the power will be soon to follow.

  • Bryce Harper- Harper had a dynamic Triple-A debut going two-for-four with a double and a stolen base. He has failed to record an extra base hit since the opener, and hasn’t stolen a base since then either. Don’t worry, though, Harper will be just fine.

  • Alex Torres- Torres has never had a problem striking batters out, and he continued to do so in his first start sending hitters back to the dugout via strike three seven times. He has also been quite giving in his career in terms of free passes, and that trend continued in the first game as he walked three and exited the game after just four and one-third innings.

  • Adam Wilk- Wilk lost out on the Tigers fifth starter gig in the spring, but will remain stretched out in Triple-A, and is an option if Drew Smyly struggles. He tossed five scoreless innings against Indianapolis striking out six and allowing only two base runners, one by hit and one by walk.

  • Chris Archer- Archer hopes to recapture the magic that made him the top prospect in the Cubs system following the 2010 season. After joining the Rays last season, he had an inconsistent season that failed to live up to lofty expectations. He’s off to a good start this year. In his first turn on Sunday, he pitched six innings holding the opposition to one run on two hits and three walks with eight strikeouts.

  • Dylan Axelrod- Axelrod is a grizzled minor league veteran at this point, and after logging 18.2 innings for the White Sox last year, the 26 year old hopes to get a shot with the parent club again as soon as possible. With a few more starts like the one he made on Saturday, he’ll force the team’s hand. He pitched six innings allowing one earned run and struck out nine.

  • Scott Barnes- Barnes likely would have gotten a look in the Tribe’s rotation late last summer if not for an injury. He picks up where he left off with Columbus pitching six strong innings in which he allowed one earned run on one hit with two walks and seven strikeouts.

  • Dellin Betances- Betances may be best suited for the bullpen, but it is starts like his first this year that continue to lend hope to him starting. He pitched five innings allowing two earned runs and striking out six. Most importantly, he walked just one batter.