Hurley made his first rehab start since getting his skull cracked by a line drive back in his first AAA start. Bad luck follows this kid. Anyways, he looked pretty good and pitched 4 innings, longer than I thought he would go. His FB command vs RHH was very good while he couldn't locate well vs LHH. He got a few SS on his slider and one on a nasty change vs a LHH but not many on his FB. His velo sat in the high 80's much like it did in ST, 87-91, sitting around 88-90. His slider was in the 81-83 range and that nasty change was at 82.
Hopefully over the next 30 days of his rehab we'll see his velo range increase, though I wouldn't expect too much as his previous pattern was to throw sit 88-90 the first few innings, while pitching 90-93 as the game progresses. He may or may not find his old velo due to his shoulder surgery, so this is not a given. One thing he did show in spring training is that he has progressed as a pitcher, showing much improved command of his arsenal in ST, and wielding the best changeup in his career which seems like it could already be a solid average pitch.
Maybe his ceiling is a #5 now, whereas before I though it was a #4 when he still had a fringy changeup and gave up a lot of HR and his velo was only average. If he proves to be more of a pitchability guy, with an average FB, a solid average change, and a solid average, possible above average slider, all three of which he can command better than average, that should be considered a success story given his injuries. We can also dream that his velo will flash 92-95 in brief stints, like it did during his AFL stint last year.
Richard Alvarez had a rough 2011 debut but did show his advanced secondary stuff. The strikeouts that I was able to note were as follows: Nasty CU SOS; CB CSO; High FB SOS; High CB SOS. The only velo note was 89 in the first. A fringy FB with inconsistent command will be what RA has to work on for now; his secs seem just fine.
Jose Monegro was very impressive in relief. It he may have busted out 4 pitches during his 3.2IP. He was 90-93 with strikeouts on the following pitches: CB CSO; CB CSO; CU SOS. One pitch was called as a slider. He's a little old for this level and should end up in Hickory by season's end.
After a disastrous debut, Chris Hanna pitched a scoreless inning with his lone strikeout coming on a nasty CU. Just a couple of other notes: Ruben Sierra still takes violent hacks; Guillermo Pimentel still needs to work on his routes in CF but has one of the best arms in the system. He's an org guy in my book.
Frisco: Velo Notes
Adalberto Flores: 89, 91 SOS; 77 Slurve; 82 CU