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Baseball America's Daily Dish
Complete Daily Dish Archive
Compiled by Kevin Goldstein, Chris Kline and Matt Meyers
While the Cubs’ low Class A Peoria affiliate has hovered around the .500 mark for much of the season, the roster features a pair of Prospect Hot Sheet regulars (second baseman Eric Patterson and righthander Sean Gallagher) as well as one highly regarded first-round pick (outfielder Ryan Harvey). We checked in with an American League scout to get his take on the trio.
On Patterson, the younger brother of Corey, who leads the Midwest League in batting (.366) and on-base percentage (.443) in his pro debut after signing late last summer out of Georgia Tech as an eighth-round pick: “He’s played three years at a major program, so I’d like to see him face some better pitching, but that’s not his fault. I do like his approach. He waits for his pitch, and when he gets it, he goes after it. He can get into a rut where he tries to hit for more power, but when he trusts his hands, he uses all the fields and is much more productive. Defensively, he’s good enough but nothing special, and he has above-average speed but is not a burner. So in the end you have a second baseman who can hit for average, but without much power and he plays average defense. That’s more of an occasional starter/utility guy for me as opposed to an everyday player for a first-division club.”
On Gallagher, the 2004 12th-rounder who began the season with 35 straight innings without allowing an earned run and leads the MWL in wins, ERA and strikeouts (7-1, 1.46, 78 whiffs in 74 innings): “He pounds the strike zone and pitches inside. Not just inside, but inside for strikes, and that’s a huge difference. He was 89-92 with his fastball and he gets good sink on it, but gets in trouble when he sometimes misses up with it. His breaking ball is very good, but he also has trouble getting it to finish in the strike zone. The thing I really like about him is that he is aggressive and he knows how to pitch at such a young age. He’s going to be a good one.”
On Harvey, the sixth overall pick in 2003 who's playing in his first full season: “That’s plus-plus power. I mean the ball just flies of his bat in batting practice, but in game situations, I don’t like his approach. His hands gets away from his body and the only pitches he can hit with authority are inside and down. On the outer half, his swing cuts across the ball, so when he goes the other way, he’s slicing it to right as opposed to powering it. Just a great athlete, especially for his size. He runs well and has a good arm. It might just be his personality, but he doesn’t seem to have a lot of energy out there. He seems almost lethargic at times.”
• Kyle Davies, Kelly Johnson, Andy Marte and Brian McCann all have been called up to Atlanta this season, and the Braves might have to go to the well again for some more homegrown talent after placing Tim Hudson on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with a strained oblique muscle. Don’t be surprised if lefthander Chuck James gets the call to make at least one spot start. James, who last pitched Wednesday night and was pulled after one inning, has been dealing since his promotion to Double-A Mississippi. James, a 20th-rounder in 2002 out of Chattahoochee Valley (Ala.) JC, is 5-3, 2.06 with a 96-19 strikeout-walk ratio combined between Mississippi and high Class A Myrtle Beach.
• Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard continues to stay red-hot at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Last night, Howard extended his hitting streak to 19 games in a 11-9 loss to Norfolk. Howard went 2-for-4 with two homers and five RBIs. It wasn’t all good news for the Phillies, however, Righthander Gavin Floyd struggled again, allowing six runs on 10 hits in five innings. On the season, Floyd is now 2-5, 7.46 with a 35-29 strikeout-walk ratio in 51 innings.
• Twins righthander Scott Baker was the hard-luck loser in a 1-0 Triple-A Toledo win against Rochester yesterday. Baker allowed just one run—a solo homer by Mud Hens outfielder Marcus Thames in the sixth inning—on five hits, and struck out 11 in seven innings.
• Orioles righthander John Maine rolled off his third straight win yesterday, tossing seven shutout innings in a 4-0 win for Triple-A Ottawa. Maine scattered four hits, struck out six and did not issue a walk. He's now 6-4, 3.24 with 67 strikeouts in 75 innings.
• Red Sox shortstop Hanley Ramirez has been out since Monday with a lower back strain, but Double-A Portland put up some impressive offensive numbers without him last night in a 18-4 win at Harrisburg. Catcher Jeff Bailey left the yard twice and had seven RBIs, while Kenny Perez had a nice night filling in for Ramirez, going 5-for-6 with five RBIs and four runs scored. Brandon Moss and Dustin Pedroia also combined to go 4-for-9 with five runs scored. The 18 runs were certainly more than enough for Portland righthander Jon Papelbon, who allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings.
• The shakeup in Double-A Jacksonville apparently threw Dodgers shortstop Joel Guzman for a loop. Guzman, who was playing third base until hot-hitting Andy LaRoche was promoted from high Class A Vero Beach yesterday, went 0-for4 as the DH in an 8-4 win against Jacksonville. LaRoche went 1-for-4 with a double in his Double-A debut. With LaRoche now in town, Guzman likely will move back to short for the Suns.
• On paper, it definitely looked like a prime pitching matchup between high Class A Frederick lefthander Adam Loewen and Winston-Salem knuckleballer Charles Haeger, but it was an outing Loewen would like to erase from his memory. The former Orioles first-round pick allowed 10 runs on eight hits as the Warthogs chased him after just 2 2/3 innings. On the flipside, Haeger’s knuckler was dancing in the North Carolina humidity as he allowed three runs on nine hits, struck out seven and walked one in six innings. “Tonight he threw a lot of knuckleballs. He’ll throw 100 pitches and maybe throw 15 or 20 fastballs and sliders, and tonight he only threw about 10,” Warthogs manager Chris Cron told the Winston-Salem Journal. “His knuckleball was that good, it was dancing all over the place. The umpire mentioned how much it was moving.” Haeger is 8-2, 3.20 in 82 innings.
• Rangers righthander Edison Volquez picked up his first Double-A win in grand style, firing a complete game three-hit shutout, striking out seven, in Frisco’s 10-0 win over Corpus Christi last night. Volquez, who allowed six runs over 12 innings in his first two starts for the RoughRiders, began the year at high Class A Bakersfield, where he went 5-4, 4.19 with 77 strikeouts in 67 innings.
• Blue Jays righthander Dustin McGowan had his best outing since returning from Tommy John surgery, allowing just an unearned run over five innings and striking out seven for high Class A Dunedin. Unfortunately for McGowan, it came against the team with the best record in baseball, the Lakeland Tigers, who started ace Justin Verlander. Verlander allowed one run over seven innings to improve to 9-2, 1.67 in a 10-1 win that improved Lakeland's record to 45-20.
• Twins lefty Glen Perkins, a 2004 first-round pick who struck out 14 in his previous start, fired his first career nine-inning shutout, allowing six hits and no walks, striking out seven in high Class A Fort Myers’ 3-0 win over Clearwater, Perkins is now 3-2, 2.13 with 66 strikeouts and just 13 walks in 55 innings this year.