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Baseball America's Daily Dish
Complete Daily Dish Archive

Compiled by the Baseball America Staff
August 1, 2005

Its not like the Cardinals need another starting pitcher. But if they do, it appears righthander Anthony Reyes is ready.

The Triple-A Memphis righthander entered the season as the Cardinals No. 1 prospect, and the former Southern California ace has done very little to lose that title. Hes also done quite a lot to prove hes an elite prospect, staying healthy enough to make 18 starts after making just 19 last season. Reyes has come back strong after missing three weeks with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder, making six starts in July and striking out 36 in 30 innings.

Reyes latest start Saturday was another example. While he uncharacteristically walked three in six innings, Reyes also struck out 10 in and didnt give up a home run for his fourth straight start. He gave up three runs in the first before tossing five shutout innings thereafter, fanning nine while giving up just two hits. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second by striking out Todd Linden and Mike Cervenak.

Reyes has been throwing his fastball in the low 90s again since coming back from his injury, and his curveball and changeup have been solid. All thats missing is a bit of sharpness, as he knocks off a little more rust with each start. His best trait always has been the fact he can throw his power stuff for strikes at any time in the count. Hes walked just 24 in 101 innings while striking out 102 and giving up just 82 hits (.220 opponents average). Thats how he was tabbed as the pitcher in the Pacific Coast League with the Best Control in BAs Best Tools survey.

"(He) works both sides of the plate, is always around the plate and is not going to put himself in a hole by too many bases on balls, Round Rock manager Jackie Moore said. Hes going to make you put the ball in play and give the defense a chance to make plays behind him. He is always ahead in the count and he is not going to beat himself. He does all the little things that take advantage of his defense. He is just a good complete little pitcher.

--JOHN MANUEL

DISH PIECES

Angels righthander Jered Weaver picked up his first Double-A win Sunday, allowing three hits and an unearned run over six innings in Arkansas 14-1 thrashing of Wichita in the Texas League. The 2004 first-round pick out of Long Beach State walked two and struck out six. Cuban defector Kendry Morales backed him up with a home run and three RBIs, his second straight game with a homer. Hes hit seven homers in 42 Double-A games and 12 home runs in 247 at-bats this season overall.

Dont look now, but Royals outfielder Billy Butler is in the midst of another hot streak at high Class A High Desert. The 2004 first-round pick went 4-for-6 with two doubles in Sundays 18-0 demolition of Lake Elsinore and is 16-for-29 in his last six games. At .350-24-88 on the season, Butler ranks in the California Leagues top three in every triple crown category.

It was an interesting weekend in Jackson, Tenn., starting with a no-hitter in Friday night's game between Double-A West Tenn and Carolina. Mudcats righthander Nic Ungs threw the first complete game no-no in the franchise's 15-year history, striking out seven and inducing 13 ground-ball outs in Carolina's 2-0 win. Ungs also issued five walks, but he did not allow any runners to reach second base. Ungs, the Marlins' 12th-round pick in the 2001 draft, improved to 6-4, 3.13 by shutting down a high-scoring Diamond Jaxx team that was 65-38 on the year.

"It feels pretty good. That was my first one ever--high school, everything," Ungs told the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun. "And to do it against these guys . . . it's pretty hard to explain how it feels."

It took the arrival of rehabbing Cubs shortstop Nomar Garciaparra on Saturday to finally get West Tenn into the hit column after 12 innings without one. But once again it was the Mudcats' day, as lefthander Adam Bostick picked up his third Double-A win, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings as Carolina rolled to an 8-3 victory. Bostick, who led the South Atlantic League in strikeouts last year with 163 in 114 innings, was 4-4, 3.48 with 93 strikeouts in 88 innings at high Class A Jupiter before receiving a late-May promotion to Carolina, where he is 3-1, 3.13.

Then on Sunday, righthander Yorman Bazardo got the start for the Mudcats and allowed four runs--three earned--in 1 1/3 innings. Shortly after leaving the game, the Marlins' No. 3 prospect entering the season was traded to the Mariners along with Carolina teammate Mike Flannery in exchange for major leaguer Ron Villone. Bazardo finished his Mudcats tenure at 8-7, 3.99.

White Sox outfielder Jerry Owens ended July on quite a tear at Double-A Birmingham. A second-round pick in 2003 by the Expos who was acquired by the White Sox in an offseason deal for Alex Escobar, the speedy Owens matched his 2004 stolen-base total (30) with a pair of steals Sunday, as part of a 3-for-4 day that raised his average to .330. During his current eight-game hitting streak, Owens is batting 16-for-36 (.444) with five stolen bases.

Owens batted .398 in July, but Braves catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia had an even better month, hitting .411-6-18 at high Class A Myrtle Beach. He capped off July with a bang Sunday, going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and his 13th home run of the year. It was his second straight three-hit game and fifth of the month.

Indians top prospect Adam Miller put together one of his best starts of the season at high Class A Kinston, holding Wilmington to one unearned run and two hits over six innings in the Blue Rocks' 3-1 win Sunday. It was a nice recovery after Miller had allowed 10 runs in 7 1/3 innings over his previous two starts.

After dominating the low Class A South Atlantic League, Astros outfielder Hunter Pence has struggled in his first taste of the Carolina League, collecting just two hits in his first 16 at-bats at Salem before a 2-for-4 performance Sunday. The righthanded-hitting Pence is still looking for his first hit against lefthanded pitching in nine high Class A at-bats. Even while he blistered Sally League pitching at a .338-25-60 clip prior to his promotion, Pence batted 46 points lower against southpaws and hit just five home runs against them.

The Dodgers promoted second baseman Delwyn Young to Triple-A Las Vegas over the weekend; Young went 1-for-4 in each of his first two games. Young continues to have one of the organizations more potent bats, as he hit .296/.346/.499 with 16 home runs and 62 RBIs for Double-A Jacksonville.

While he hasnt played enough games to contend for a triple crown, Arizona shortstop Stephen Drew is putting up big numbers in all three categories since signing at the end of May. The 2004 first-round pick is 22-for-43 (.512) during his current 11-game hitting streak at high Class A Lancaster to go along with season totals of .389-10-43 in 149 at-bats.

In theres an organization in baseball that doesnt need a sleeper, its the Dodgers, but they may have one in second baseman Travis Denker. A 2003 23rd-round draft pick out of Brea Olinda High in California, Denker got some notice after hitting .311-12-43 in the Rookie-level Pioneer League last year, and that success continued into his first full season, as the 5-foot-9 righthanded hitter was promoted to high Class A Vero Beach after batting .310-21-68 in 358 at-bats for low Class A Columbus

Cubs outfielder Ryan Harvey completed a strong July by going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs Sunday in low Class A Peorias 5-3 win over Fort Wayne. The 2003 first-round pick hit .311-8-33 in 28 July games and is batting .275/.325/.510 on the season with a Midwest League-leading 18 home runs and 77 RBIs, good for second in the circuit.

Red Sox supplemental first-round pick Clay Buchholz has his best pro outing on Sunday, striking out seven of the 10 batters he faced in short-season Lowells 2-0 win over Brooklyn. The 6-foot-3 righty from Angelina (Texas) JC has a 3.86 ERA in 21 innings for the Spinners, allowing 16 hits, walking five and striking out 20. Perhaps the Mets got a find in righthander Bobby Parnell, their ninth-round pick out of Charleston Southern, who opposed Buchholz. The projectable 6-foot-3, 175-pounder went just 3-5, 8.86 in the Southern Conference this spring, but he lowered his ERA in the short-season New York-Penn League to 1.26 with five dominant innings. Parnell, who has a low-90s fastball and hard slider, struck out eight while giving up three hits and two walks. Hes 2-0 and has 35 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings on the year, and while hes walked 17, hes given up just 17 hits (.139 opponents average).

Marlins first-round pick Chris Volstad made his New York-Penn League debut on Friday, going six innings and allowing three runs on four hits in Jamestowns 10-5 loss to Batavia. The 16th overall pick this June out of Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) High, Volstad was 1-1, 2.00 in six Rookie-level Gulf Coast League starts, with a 26-4 strikeout-walk ratio in 27 innings.

Low Class A Greenville righthander Gary Galvez carried a perfect game through five innings in a 3-2 win over Columbus. Galvez ended up allowing only one hit, a double, in 6 2/3 innings of work. For the season, Galvez, a Cuban defector who signed with the Red Sox in 2002 for $450,000, is now 8-3, 3.15. It's a solid recovery for Galvez after he struggled to go 7-10, 5.14 in the Sally League last year.

"He was impressive," Greenville manager Chad Epperson told the Greenville News. "He had three pitches that he was throwing for strikes, and he was commanding all three. When you can command all three, it makes you tough to hit. He had a solid tempo, getting strike one on almost every batter, and his secondary pitches were just outstanding tonight."

With two home runs on Sunday night, Asheville first baseman Joe Koshansky leapfrogged four hitters to move into second place on the minor league home run leaderboard. Koshansky's 29 homers puts him five behind Brandon Wood's 34. As we have documented before, Koshansky loves hitting at Asheville, where he has hit 22 of his 29 home runs, while slugging .767. On the road, Koshansky is slugging .402. Koshansky's teammate Jose Valdez also hit a pair of home runs as Asheville rallied from a seven-run deficit to beat Lexington 10-9.

Short-season Boise center fielder Davy Gregg stole his league leading 28th base Sunday against Vancouver. While he has impressive speed at the top of the order, Gregg, the Cubs 27th-round pick out of the South Carolina, has just 13 walks in 153 at-bats while batting .307.

Pirates 2005 first-round pick Andrew McCutchen cooled off a little in the during the weekend to see his average drop from .319 to .298 in the GCL. Still, a hot streak at the end of last week saw the Fort Meade (Fla.) High standout raise his average from its season low of .262. McCutchen is still looking for his first professional home run.

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