The last time Adam Miller wore a Kinston Indians' jersey, he was a 21-year-old who was one of the top prospects in baseball.
Miller is no longer a top prospect, but that doesn't diminish the significance of what happened when Miller stepped onto the mound on Saturday night against Lynchburg. Miller returned to the mound in the regular season for the first time since he endured the first of a multitude of finger surgeries in 2008. As a 26-year-old, he's no longer the Indians' No. 1 prospect (a title he held from 2005-2008), and his first outing of the season was brutal–1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER.
But unlike most oft-injured pitching prospects, there's actually a glimmer of hope that Miller could still make it to the majors. Indians farm director Ross Atkins told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer that Miller was throwing 95 mph in Arizona at the time of his promotion to Kinston.
And just maybe, a prospect who first appeared in the 2004 Baseball America Prospect Handbook could appear in the 2012 edition as well.
ERLIN'S ON A ROLL: Robbie Erlin improved to 2-0, 2.48 with seven excellent innings against Frederick on Sunday. He gave up only one hit–a solo home run to Bobby Stevens. Erlin currently ranks first in the Carolina League in WHIP (walks and hits divided by innings pitched), average against and innings pitched. What's most impressive is that those numbers don't really explain how good Erlin has been.
The lefthander has held opponents to a .130 average. He's walked only four batters while striking out 32 in 29 innings. He's also hit four batters. So how does he have a 2.48 ERA? He's given up four home runs, which have accounted for six of the nine runs he's allowed this year.
Erlin gives up a number of fly balls (his ground out/air ratio is 0.67) and he's almost always around the plate, but he only gave up nine home runs in 115 innings last year at low Class A Hickory. If his home run allowed rate starts to return to normal, Erlin's stats could get even more impressive.
WELCOME BACK: Dellin Betances missed nearly two weeks with a blister on his pitching hand. On Friday night, he showed definitively that he's healthy. Betances struck out five batters in a pitch limited 3 2/3 inning outing (he threw 58 pitches). He gave up only two hits and walked no one.
For all the understandable attention that Manny Banuelos is getting, Betances could also end up helping the Yankees big league club before the season is over. Unlike Banuelos, Betances is already on the 40-man roster, and at 23-years-old, he's three years older than Banuelos. However, he does have the same problem that Banuelos has–because of injuries, Betances has never thrown more than 122 innings in a season, and he threw only 85 innings last year, so he'll likely be somewhat limited as to the number of innings New York lets him throw this season.
HE'S READY: Homer Bailey cleared up any questions about whether he's ready to return to the Reds' rotation with a final rehab start on Saturday. Bailey allowed one earned run while striking out six in 6 1/3 innings. He walked two and allowed five hits. Bailey's now 2-0, 0.54 in his rehab as he comes back from a shoulder injury.
PRECISION PITCHING: After missing all of 2010 with a shoulder injury, Noel Arguelles' has been working to return to the form that enticed the Royals to spend nearly $7 million on him after he defected from Cuba. When it comes to command, Arguelles is pretty much back to normal.
The lefthander picked up his first U.S. win and lowered his ERA to 1.02 with one unearned run in 5 1/3 innings against Winston-Salem. Most impressively, he again didn't walk a batter–he now has one walk and a 15-1 strikeout to walk ratio in 17.2 innings. It was Arguelles' longest outing of the season. Arguelles leads the Carolina League in ERA.
The Royals piggy back Michael Mariot with Arguelles in each and every outing. The 22-year-old righthander has been even more impressive than Arguelles. Mariot allowed one hit in 3 2/3 scoreless innings. His ERA dropped to a barely detectable 0.63.
EVEN BETTER: Arguelles' outing was only the second best by a Wilmington Blue Rock pitcher this weekend. Jake Odorizzi, the highest-profile prospect the Royals picked up from the Brewers in the Zack Greinke traded, struck out 10 batters and walked no one in seven scoreless innings against Winston-Salem. It was the second consecutive start where Odorizzi has struck out a career-high 10 batters.
Odorizzi was clocked at 94 mph for his final strikeout in the seventh inning.
"I started out with fastballs down and away to either righties or lefties. I follow it up with a changeup or something offspeed. It worked tonight and it was effective. They were swinging early," Odorizzi told Blue Rocks play-by-play man John Sadak. "I felt I was throwing every pitcher for strikes. When I was up in the zone it was meant to be up in the zone. Other times it's been up not on purpose. Tonight it was down, down, down and up late."
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog