2 wins a game suspended by rain that was tied and a loss in the late innings are the results from yesterdays games. The big club had an outstanding day as well with Bruce Chen and the outstanding bullpen paced a 3-1 win over Detroit.
Daily Tap Hitter of the Day Rey Navarro 4-5 2b, HR, SB
Daily Tap Pitcher of the Day Leondy Perez 7 IP 4 H 3 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER
Kane County let Jimmy Nelson off the ropes as he was having trouble throwing stikes but a couple Cougar double plays limited the damage to just run thru 6. In the 7th a Gerard Hall mental error followed by a Leondy Perez throwing error started the inning and helped the Rattlers take the lead 2-1. The Rattlers would tack on a couple more runs in the 8th would provide enough cushion for a two out rally by the Cougars to come up one run short. 4-3 tough luck loss for Perez.
Alex Llanos 2-3 2b, BB
Blue Rocks Recap
More of the same from Tyler Sample as the big righty again had trouble controlling the strikezone allowing 4 walks while only striking out 1 over 4.2 innings while allowing 3 hits. He left with the lead but also 2 runners on base when Justin Marks who KC got in the David DeJesus took over and promptly gave up a running scoring hit and a 3 run HR to Mike Olt giving up the Rocks lead. Marks would settle down from there working 3.1 innings in total striking out 3 while not allowing another hit. The game would stay at 5-4 until the top of the 9th when Rey Navarro would tie it at 5-5, soon after the game was suspended due to rain where they will likely pick it up today.
Thru 9 Rey Navarro 4-5 2b, HR
The Naturals trailed most of the night until a nice rally in the 7th lead by a Derrick Robinson RBI triple who later scored on a sac fly by Christian Colon to give the Naturals a 5-3 lead. Eric Basurto would give up the lead over the next two frames allowing a run in each. With the game tied Mario Lisson would step in and deliver a walk off Home Run in the bottom of the 9th for the defending Texas league champs.
Lisson 2-3 HR, BB 2 RBI Bianchi 2-4 3b, HR
Storm Chasers Recap
Danny Duffy delivered the best starting performances of the series so far for the Chasers as he went 5 innings giving up 7 H 1 BB 3R 2 ER with 4 Ks. Duffy was pitching in the low to mid 90s throughout the night while mixing in his change up and curveball extremely well. He threw his change up at the beginning of counts, down in counts and as a strikeout pitch as well. Besides one mistake from Jerry Sands (co-minor lg HR leader in '10) a HR to RF he did everything you want to do out of a starter. He was followed up well by Kevin Pucetas who pitched 4 innings of 3 hit ball allowing 0 runs and striking out 4. Pucetas kept the game knotted long enough for the Isotopes to make some errors in the 10th inning as the Chasers took advantage to the tune of seven tenth inning runs to take the victory 10-4.
Lance Zawadzki 2-5 HR,2b,BB 4 RBI, Eric Hosmer 2-4 BB
Omaha Storm Chasers Vin Mazzaro
Albuquerque Isotopes Tim Redding
Mazzaro was the major piece in the Royals trade of David DeJesus. Mazzaro won't be in Omaha long as he'll be the big league starter as soon as one is needed. Vin through parts of two major league seasons has been a FB/Slider guys mixing in his change about 10% of the time according to Fangraphs. His fastball is said to have some sink to it but those results have yet to come up in the majors where he is only delivering groundballs at a 41% clip. He will have to fit in as a fulltime 3-4 starter for the Royals to draw a win in the DDJ trade.
Hard to believe Redding is only 33 to me maybe that's because I turn 33 today but he's seemingly been in the league forever in my mind. The journeyman righthander didn't make it up to the majors last season after making a combined 50 starts from '08 and '09 and will be looking to try to win a job this year if the Dodgers have problems in the rotation. The righty who has made 4.9M in his career has a four pitch mix that is fastball/slider heavy but he does mix in the curve and change nearly 10% of the time. His fastball was his top pitch in 2008 and 2009 despite only averaging in the high 80s.
I like the Chasers chances against any righty without an elite fastball.
NW Arkansas Naturals Heath Rollins
Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros) Dallas Keuchel
Rollins was drafted in the 11th round out of the 2006 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays and was picked up by the Royals this offseason of waivers. Rollins is a pitchability type lefty who has a four pitch mix of FB, slider, CB and CU. He was working on a cutter while in Arizona as well. Mark Davis seemed to like him quite a bit while I was watching him but with a high 80s FB he'll need to survive by attacking the zone and keeping hitters off balanced.
Keuchel is the 23rd ranked prospect in the Astros system based mostly on what he used to be as opposed to what he is currently. He was picked in the 7th round out of college due to his low 90s fastball and potential above average curve but since being drafted his velocity has dipped to the low to mid 80s and his curve while solid versus lower competition is believed to be fringy at best. It's tough for any pitcher to survive with that type of fastball without teaming it with some type of plus pitch somewhere which it doesn't appear Keuchel has.
Wilmington Blue Rocks Jake Odorizzi
Myrtle Beach Pelican Barrett Loux
One of the prize pieces in the Zack Greinke deal makes his first start for a Royals affiliate. Odorizzi was rated the #1 Brewers prospect by Baseball America following the Brett Lawrie trade and is said to be a poor mans Zack Greinke in his own right. Odorizzi has been able to pitch well in previous levels primarily off his fastball and his command of it but will have to start mixing in a plus offspeed pitch this season something he hasn't had to do in the past. His curveball is said to have plus potential.
Loux was the 6th overall pick in the 2010 draft but when he failed a physical the DBacks decided to let him walk unsigned. MLB decided to do Loux a favor and declare him a Free Agent where he was signed by a already deep farm system. It was a surprise Loux was taken where he is despite his size (6'5 220) and solid FB (90-92 touchin 95) he didn't have a plus offspeed offering and was considered a late 1st rd/sandwich rd type talent. Loux had elbow surgery to remove bone chips in 2009 and while he hasn't ran into problems many teams backed off for because of that same reason which was confirmed with the failed physical.
Kane County Cougars Keaton Hayenga
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Del Howell
Hayenga is back after a terrible 2010 after impressing many Royals scouts during instructs the previous season. Hayenga was absolutely beaten like a drum in 2010 allowing 130 hits over 105.2 IP while only striking out 43 as compared to 47 walks with a 6.13 ERA. It's hard for me to believe he can improve enough to deserve a spot on the staff but KC will give him that chance.
Bernies Crew Breakdown of Del Howell : Howell really struggled last season for the Timber Rattlers, posting a 4.68 ERA and walking almost as many batters as he struck out (66 strikeouts to 61 walks). The premium stuff he showed at the University of Alabama was largely non-existent -- though he still does have the ability to throw a low-90s fastball and a nasty slider. It was simply not always there . . . and sometimes rarely there.
Howell needs more consistent mechanics, however, and more consistency on the mound in general. The Brewers will probably move him to Brevard County next season due to the fact that he will be 23-years-old, but perhaps another season in Single-A would benefit him to regain his confidence in his abilities on the mound.
If you are a sucker for projection, though, Del Howell could be the right prospect for you in this competition. It is far too early to throw in the towel on the young man. He was a premium prospect during his time at Alabama for a reason. If you want to know anything about the Brewers Jim Breen and crew are nearly impossible to beat. You can find them at the link I listed abover or @Berniescrew via twitter