Don’t look for Edwar Cabrera to defend his 2011 minor league strike out crown, but the Rockies lefthander is still having a quality year with Double-A Tulsa. On Monday, he followed one of his worst outings of the season with one of his best, tossing seven one-hit, shutout innings against Northwest Arkansas, striking out five and walking two.
Five days earlier, on June 6, Cabrera was tagged for five earned runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings by Springfield, but he found a groove quickly on Monday. The 24-year-old retired the first 12 hitters he faced and didn’t yield his first hit until a one-out single by the Cardinals’ Yem Prades in the sixth. Prades’ hit was one of just two balls that left the infield against Cabrera, as he induced 11 groundouts to go with the five punchouts.
As we detailed in a recent Prospect Bulletin (BA subscription required), Cabrera has emphasized the development of his curveball. His strikeout numbers haven’t been as gaudy as last year, when he had 217 in 167 innings, but he does lead the Texas League in WHIP (0.94) and rank second in opponents’ average (.192) on the strength of his devastating changeup. He’s limited righthanded hitters to a paltry .186 average in 210 at-bats. He picked up the win Monday to move to 6-4, 3.25, putting him seventh in the TL in ERA. The downside? Cabrera’s been punished hard for his mistakes. Despite his otherwise strong numbers, Cabrera is tied for the minor league lead in the dubious category of home runs allowed with 14.