With the draft and preparations for the 2007 Futures Game in San Francisco next month, things can get a little hairy around the Baseball America World Headquarters here in Durham, NC at this time of year.
So in case you might have missed it, here are some happenings around the minors:
â€¢ Phillies assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle said low Class A Lakewood righthander Kyle Drabek will miss up to three starts due to elbow inflammation. In his first full season, the 2006 first-rounder is 5-1, 4.17 in 46 innings for the Blue Claws.
â€¢ The Red Sox brought righthander Daniel Bard back from extended spring training, where he worked to iron out some kinks in his delivery and further hone his secondary pitches, but assigned him this time to low Class A Greenville. This will give the 2006 first-rounder a chance to have some success in a better environment than high Class A Lancaster, where Bard went 0-2, 10.13 with 22 walks in just 13 innings in his first taste of pro ball. In his first start with the Drive, Bard allowed a pair of runs on three hits over three innings against Kannapolis.
â€¢ The Indians sent Sung-Wei Tseng out to extended spring training after the Taiwanese righthander went 0-5, 3.90 in 60 innings at high Class A Kinston. Not bad numbers, but over his last two starts, Tseng allowed nine runs on 13 hits in just 11 innings.
â€¢ The rumor mill surrounds Yankees outfielder Jose Tabata yet again. Tabata, who has reportedly seen at least five different hand specialists in the past year to correct a cyst problem in his wrist according to several sources, missed time earlier this year and hasn’t played since June 3. The Yankees maintain Tabata’s injury remains a bicep issue that continues to hamper his progress to stay on the field consistently. This season, Tabata is hitting .307/.376/.371 with just one home run and nine total extra-base hits in 202 at-bats at high Class A Tampa.
â€¢ Rangers outfielder Ben Harrison returned to action after rehabbing a shoulder injury. The shoulder problems forced the 2004 seventh-rounder out of the Venezuelan Winter League in November. Harrison is 4-for-19 (.211) with a home run over his first six games at Double-A Frisco.
â€¢ Cardinals righthander Eddie Degerman continues to deal in low Class A Quad Cities, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise. The 23-year-old fourth-round pick last year out of Rice should dominate that level, and a promotion to high Class A Palm Beach could be imminent.
“His stuff is where it needs to be,” St. Louis director of amateur scouting and player development Jeff Luhnow said. “His fastball 88 to 91 (mph), good 12-to-6 curveball and a changeup that he is using more and more. With him, due to his unconventional delivery, deception is a key weapon. Hitters have a hard time picking up the ball out of his hand.”
This season, Degerman is 0-1, 2.08 with 43 strikeouts in 30 innings for the Swing.
â€¢ We’ve gotten a lot of e-mails about Yankees righthander Brett Smith, who is dealing at Double-A Trenton to the tune of 4-2, 1.79 numbers in 60 innings. So here you go:
“”He’s a guy that has to hit his spots to be successful,” a scout from a National League club said. “He’s not going to overwhelm you with anything.”
Smith’s fastball sits in the 89-91 mph range, but his slider, curveball and changeup rate as above-average offerings.
“I really like the arm action on his changeup, which for me is probably plus right now,” the scout said. “I liked the curveball better than the slider. He’s got the ability to command the fastball to both sides of the plate. He’s going to have to be real fine at the upper levels . . . not much room for error.”
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