Casey Crosby has lost essentially two full years to arm injuries since the Tigers took him in the fifth round out of high school in 2007. Crosby lost his ’08 season to Tommy John surgery and was bothered by elbow pain throughout ’10, though there was no structural damage. Even so, he's not behind schedule as a 22-year-old in Double-A, and he's answered questions about his durability by matching his career high for innings in a season (105) after last night's start.
Crosby marked the occasion by throwing six shutout innings for Erie against New Hampshire. He limited the Fisher Cats to three hits and one walk while striking out eight, a season high. New Hampshire never got a runner past second base against Crosby and he picked up the victory to improve to 7-5, 3.84 in 20 starts this year.
Crosby's sinking low- to mid-90s fastball has made him a groundball machine all season, and he induced seven groundouts last night, with just two outs being recorded on balls in the air. Crosby's 2.21 groundout/flyout ratio leads the Eastern League.
AROUND THE MINORS
• While most of the this year's top draft picks are waiting around for the signing deadline to ink their deals, No. 3 pick Trevor Bauer was busy striking out eight in four innings for high Class A Visalia last night. The Diamondbacks righthander did allow a run on four hits in his third pro start, but he's now struck out 17 in nine innings of work, allowing three runs on seven hits and four walks. Bauer is expected to move up to Double-A Mobile soon, according to BA correspondent Jack Magruder.
Yankees minor league lefthander Steve Evarts tested positive for metabolites of Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing substance, and received a 50-game suspension. Major League Baseball announced the penalty on Friday evening, Aug. 5.
The 23-year-old Evarts did not pitch in 2009 or ’10, signed with the Yankees last December and made just seven starts for low Class A Charleston this season. He went 1-5, 5.65 with 27 strikeouts, 21 walks and 42 hits allowed in 36 2/3 innings.
The Braves drafted Evarts in the supplemental first round (43rd overall) of the ’06 draft from Tampa's Robinson High. They released him on June 23, 2009, after he made just 22 appearances in three seasons. Trouble has followed Evarts since high school. He was arrested in 2006 on felony mischief charges and arrested again in 2010 for felony battery and marijuana possession.
Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons batted .276 with limited power (14 extra-base hits, .356 slugging) as a 20-year-old in the Appalachian League last year. But his high-level hand-eye coordination afforded him grace and range on defense as well as superb contact skills (16-to-14 walk-to-strikeout ratio). Plus, he can really throw, having touched the high 90s off the mound for Western Oklahoma State JC prior to Atlanta selecting him in the second round of the 2010 draft.
Simmons' skills have transferred to the Carolina League this year, where he has thrived after a two-level jump to high Class A. He's batting .300/.336/.387 through 413 at-bats after a three-hit, seven-RBI performance yesterday for Lynchburg against Kinston. Simmons leads the CL in hits (124) and strikeout rate (one every 12.3 plate appearances) while ranking second in the batting race.
Among Carolina League shortstops, none has handled more chances than Simmons (532) or turned more double plays (72). He has eight fewer assists than Salem's Derrik Gibson.
Around The Minors
• New Padres lefty Robbie Erlin allowed his first run for Double-A San Antonio on a solo shot to Frisco's Mike Bianucci. But Erlin was just about perfect otherwise, allowing two hits in six innings while striking out nine and walking none. For the Missions, he's run up a 0.75 ERA and 15-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 12 innings. [...] Continue Reading »
When the Angels picked second baseman Taylor Lindsey in the supplemental first round last year, they were taking a player who was not a consensus pick. Other teams' scouts worried about whether Lindsey's swing was too much of a metal bat swing that wouldn't play nearly as well when he started swinging a wood bat.
It's only been a year since Lindsey signed, but it appears that the Angels were right, the second baseman doesn't seem to have a problem hitting with wood.
Lindsey hit for the cycle on Saturday night, adding an extra single for a 5-for-5 day for good measure. But as impressive as that night may have been, his overall season is even better. Lindsey is hitting .358/.396/.616. The Pioneer League is a great place for hitters (the league leader in batting Frazier Hall is hitting .400), but Lindsey is among the league's leaders in batting average, extra-base hits, hits and slugging percentage. The extra-base hits are notable as Lindsey projects to hit for below-average power. [...] Continue Reading »
Players listed with an asterisk (*) signed minor league contracts, replacing major league pacts with the same organization. That's a fancy way of saying the player has been optioned or outrighted to the minors.
Number in parentheses indicate draft round.
Signed: RHP Trevor Bauer*, RHP Brian Stokes (Camden (Atlantic)), 1B Daryle Ward (Newark (Can-Am))
Released: RHP Yhency Brazoban, RHP Adam Osteen
Traded: SS Zach Walters to Nationals for RHP Jason Marquis
Acquired: OF Ryan Langerhans from Mariners for cash considerations
Recalled: RHP Ryan Cook
Added to 40-man roster: 1B Paul Goldschmidt
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Ryan Cook, RHP Sam Demel
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Trevor Harden, RHP Daniel Stange, OF Jeremia Gomez
Reinstated from DL: RHP Jason Urquidez
Paul Goldschmidt batted .306/.435/.626 with a minor league-leading 30 home runs in 366 at-bats for Double-A Mobile prior to his callup. He figures prominently in our forthcoming Southern League Best Tools feature.
Signed: RHP Darrel Leiva, LHP Chris Cody (York (Atlantic))
Released: OF Juan Flores
Traded: RHP Juan Abreu, RHP Paul Clemens, LHP Brett Oberholtzer and OF Jordan Schafer to Astros for OF Michael Bourn
Acquired: C Wil Nieves from Brewers for cash considerations
Recalled: RHP Anthony Varvaro, C J.C. Boscan, OF Wilkin Ramirez
Added to 40-man roster: OF Jose Constanza
Removed from 40-man: SS Diory Hernandez (outrighted to Triple-A)
Optioned to Triple-A: OF Wilkin Ramirez
Option transferred: RHP Randall Delgado (Double-A to Triple-A)
Placed on 60-day DL: LHP Andy Otero
Reinstated from DL: RHP Evan Danieli, RHP Steven Shell, OF Todd Cunningham
Randall Delgado joins the Braves' other top pitching prospects—Julio Teheran, Mike Minor and Arodys Vizcaino—with Triple-A Gwinnett, and given Atlanta's deep pitching staff, the foursome may play a larger role in the International League pennant drive than the National League one. Gwinnett sits 1 1/2 games behind Durham in the Southern Division. [...] Continue Reading »
Two of the most prominent prospects to change addresses at the trade deadline debuted with their new organizations Tuesday—against each other. Jarred Cosart and Robbie Erlin faced off in the Double-A Texas League last night and both were sharp, throwing six shutout innings apiece.
Making his Padres organizational debut with San Antonio, Erlin allowed Corpus Christi to load with bases with none out in the top of the first inning on a walk and two singles, but he got out of the jam unscathed on a strike out, a force out at home and a fly out. The 20-year-old lefthander didn't allow another runner to get into scoring position all night, and he struck out six while allowing five hits and one walk.
"I was a little nervous in the first inning," Erlin told the San Antonio Express-News. "After that, I settled down. My fastball was working, and I felt better."
On a night of sparse big league action, three first-year players stood out. Jason Kipnis went 3-for-5 and cracked his second home run for Cleveland, the Mets' Lucas Duda went 1-for-4 but connected for a game-tying two-run homer, his third of the year, and Dustin Ackley continued his hot start for the Mariners, going 2-for-4 with a double and a triple. Not sold on the power? Ackley's slugging .556 through 37 big league games.
On the pitching side of things, White Sox lefty Chris Sale tossed two scoreless innings of relief against the Yankees, while Mariners righty Blake Beavan demonstrated why Doug Fister was expendable. The 22-year-old Beavan allowed three runs in 6 2/3 innings to the Athletics. While not overpowering, he's gone at least 6 1/3 in all five of his big leagues starts without allowing more than three runs in any of them, and he's faced some heavy hitters such as the Red Sox, Rangers and Angels.
Around The Minors
• Neftali Soto ranks a distant third on the Reds' first-base depth chart behind Joey Votto and Yonder Alonso. He hasn't let that distract him this season with Double-A Carolina. The 22-year-old Soto cranked two homers yesterday, giving him 22 on the year, as part of 4-for-6 day that included six RBIs. He mashed 10 homers in July and actually has an outside shot of catching Paul Goldschmdit for the Southern League lead. Goldschmidt hit 30 bombs for Mobile prior to his callup to Arizona yesterday. [...] Continue Reading »
He didn't know it at the time, but Joe Wieland left Double-A Frisco with a pretty impressive going-away present.
Just two days before the righthander was traded to the Padres (along with teammate Robbie Erlin), Wieland faced the minimum number of batters in a 3-0 no-hitter against San Antonio on Friday. (Incidentally, San Antonio will be Wieland's likely destination in the Padres organization.) He walked one batter, but that runner was erased on a caught stealing. Jedd Gyorko gave Wieland the biggest scare with a long fly ball that was caught on the warning track in the eighth inning
Wieland leaves Frisco with a 4-0, 1.23 record. Including his earlier stint in high Class A Myrtle Beach, Wieland is 10-3, 1.80 this season. His no-hitter moved him up to second in the minors in ERA behind Kane County's Greg Billo. [...] Continue Reading »
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