Monday, May 17, 2010

Minor Moves and Notes

Wes Bankston to AA.
Clay Rapada to the DL.
Ryan Garko to the Reserve list.
Omar Beltre activated from DL, to start (probably no more than 3 innings) in DH today. Given the presence of a # of high ceiling late inning bullpen arms in OKC however, Beltre could be stretched out from this point on and perhaps paired with Scheppers as they do the same with him. It was the teams original intention to stretch Beltre out as a starter during ST and plug him into the high minors in that capacity before he was sidelined for much of the spring with injury. Given his injury history the last 1.5 years though, this might be a little risky - he hasn't pitched many innings during that period due to chronic shoulder issues and possibly also an elbow issue, which is his most recent problem. It would seem the safer route would be to keep him in the pen.

Zach Phillips seems to be sitting at about 90 in his bullpen role. He sat 87-89 as a starter. I remain skeptical about just how good of a middle relief prospect he is. He (like Schlact) has had to repeat each level, accumulating an astounding # of A-ball starts before his promotion to AA. Typically this is not a good sign though admittedly, he has finally been moved into a new bullpen role. His FB command has been inconsistent over the course of his career (though not this year in AA) so AAA will be a good test for him especially after his poor spring training in which he struggled against JIC players.

Ryan Tatusko (per his tweet, and now the game notes) has apparently replaced Kiker in the rotation. Kiker has simply had an abhorrent season. For those who believe that it has emerged deus ex machina, you are wrong; last year's performance foreshadowed his continued regression. Check out my entry on the kid from last August. Compare that to Mike Hindman's claim at that time that Kiker was a top 5 prospect and had finally put it all together as a pitcher. Kiker's ceiling is as a middle reliever and this had become all the more clear early last year.

Expect both Roark and Tatusko to eventually give way to DGut and Eric Hurley when they are activated in about 3 weeks though they could both start out in the low minors and work their way up depending on their state of readiness after the suspension and rehab respectively.

Trip Summers noted over at LSB that Eppley touched 89 regularly in his AA debut. He normally sits 85-87 as a sidearmer.

UPDATE: Kiker to the DL with elbow soreness per Cole.

Frisco has a roster spot open and Bak has one too many pitchers. Look for Corey Young to get the promotion unless there is a DL move coming. Not sure if Font will start off in the bullpen as none of the regular starters really merit a promotion. Gomez could be demoted to the pen given his failure to find any sort of consistency since the second half of last year.

Miggie de los Santos to Hickory.
Wilmer Font to Bakersfield.

Look for one of Tullis, Doyle or Hurley to move into the rotation. Miggie is strictly a bullpen arm at this point though they might stick him in the roto as a tandem starter to get him some innings. Given the # of legit mid-roto prospects on the staff, it isn't clear how long a leash the org will continue to give Neil Ramirez, who might be moved to the bullpen in the coming weeks. Erlin will continue to have his innings limited to 3-4 per game but might be allowed to go 5-6 the last 3-4 weeks of the season depending on how many innings he will have accumulated. They will probably keep him at about 65-75ip.

UPDATE: So much for that speculation: Erlin to the rotation (from pxp guy via shroomer at lsb). Look for his innings to be limited as noted. He will likely tandem start with one of the 3 advanced pitchers mentioned above to get one of them more innings.

Dominican Summer League
Starts May 30th.

According to Jason Cole, the team has eliminated one of the 2 teams so expect as many as 30 guys to get cut. Given that these guys only profiled as DSL org guys who had zero chance to make it to the states, it is a bit of a surprise that they had 2 teams at all. I've updated my projected DSL roster to posit the position players and starting pitchers with the relief corp likely to be cobbled together from 2009 j2 signs and holdovers. Cole says the roster will likely not be finalized until the day the season opens. Last year TX signed more than 35 players to populate both rosters. With only one team now, I would expect that figure to be cut in half.

Jason Cole will be interviewing the DSL coach in the coming days and I will make a note of anything of interest.

UPDATE: Jason Cole just posted this funny note about J2 sign Victor Payano (who the coach said is not injured despite the fact that he failed Boston's physical and lost out on 900k, signing with tX for 75k): They call him "strike 1, strike 2, strike 3".


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