Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Game Notes

Mike Ballard got roughed up while Clay Rapada and Willie Eyre pitched 4.2 scoreless innings in relief, allowing 1 hit and collecting 4 SO. Omar Beltre got roughed up in his second appearance after his dominant debut. Tracy, Smoak, MaxRam and Moreland went 8-18 with 3 doubles and a homer.

Martin Perez's 2010 debut: "Dfarth" over at minorleagueball.com posted a nice game summary for Perez. The stadium gun is still out, so he snuck a peak at some scouts guns for a couple of inning to get some velo info. It was generally as we have come to expect for the teen phenom: fb 93-95 (possible 2s at 91); ~83 change; 76-81 CB (changing speeds). Perez had 4bb in 4.2ip but as a # of watchers/listeners noted, the ump's strike zone was erratic, squeezing him on anything low in the zone.

Firebat over at lonestarball.com charted his innings, He threw 71pitches, 45 for strikes (64%) throwing about 75% fastballs, 25% secondary stuff (mostly CB, with about 5-6 changeups). Perez is a strike-throwing machine while also missing bats and getting lots of groundouts (9-1 go/ao): of his estimated 50 fastballs he threw only about 10 balls with (more or less) 13 called strikes, 4 swinging, 7 fouls, 5 groundouts, and a single. His CB was deadly early but he loss command of it a bit in the third.

We have confirmation from a few sources about Schepper's pitching schedule for the first half of the season: 2 innings every 3rd day. If he did that over 162 games that would give him about 108 innings which is right where the Rangers' developmental staff want him for the year (having only pitched about ~30 game innings last year) in anticipation of a ML promotion and so, pitching through September or longer. You may see him follow that schedule through early July, accumulating about 30 innings when he should switch to an inning or two every other day in anticipation of a call-up to the big club by July's end.

Marcus Lemon opened the season 0-4 with 4 SO and then promptly disappeared. I'm not sure if he is injured or just working on some mechanical issues. The latter wouldnt' be without precedent as it happened in the AFL last year. After Lemon batted about .150 with 12so over his first 6 games, he worked on his mechanics with the coached for 4-5 days before his next appearance, proceeding to crush the ball for the remaining 12 games.

Neil Ramirez got roughed up in the 1st-inning of his 2010 debut: double, hr, SOS, walk, SB, CSO, SB, single, single, CSO. But settled down for the second and third, getting pulled with two outs in the 4th. He touched 95 in the first inning. The kid clearly has a problem holding runners and while moving his FB in and out, was consistently missing the outside corner.

Like last year, Braden Tullis showed that his sinker is not only a groundball machine but also misses bats (see a couple of last year's reports). An effective sinker that also misses bats is the best of all possible worlds. I hope to get a better grasp of just how the pitch moves over the course of the season, to see if it will remain a swing and miss pitch in the upper minors. He also likes to work the inside corner with the pitch. The only velo note was one sinker at 90; he generally sat 88-91 last year with the pitch as a starter. While his changeup might be the best in the system according to some reports, he mainly worked on his curveball in this outing. Last year, Tullis showed that he could miss bats with all three of his offerings, with his CB more advanced than advertised but still a work in progress (i believe he changed his grip on the pitch at some point in the season).

My man, the Venezuelan, Easy Eddie Garcia is hitting .417 with 2 doubles over the first week and playing shortstop this game. As in Spokane last year, so it is in Hickory this year: the play by play guy was highly complimentary of Garcia's defensive prowess, also noting that he has some pop in his bat. In 2009, Garcia led Spokane in TB for the first 7 weeks, until overtaken by Telis and Michael Ortiz during a bad end of season slump.

Org reliever Hector Nelo threw hard but was inconsistent in his inning of work, which is his MO: wp, hbp, fb 92-95, with a few changeup (83) and a "big hooking BB" thrown in.


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