Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend Leftovers

First, I'd like to mention this article by Joe Posnanski. He's one of the best sportswriters around; he just happens to cover the Royals and the Chiefs, so don't hold that against him. His blog is fantastic and filled with very insightful posts and I recommend you read it every day. This article I'm linking to today, for example, explains why I can get frustrated with the way the Astros run their team, yet still devote so much time to tracking their minor leaguers. So, with that in the books, let's continue to all the news and notes from this weekend's minor league action:

Round Rock's Big Three all pitched this weekend. Polin Trinidad went first, and twirled a real gem. Trinidad allowed four hits in eight scoreless innings, striking out five and walking three. His game score of 76 was his third-highest of the season and his best start in five starts. Trinidad did give up three walks for the second time pitching for the Express, but he hasn't given up a home run in seven starts. I'm going to shut myself down from talking about his G/F ratio, because he's got such a small sample size in Round Rock. Overall, he's trending to right at a 1.0 G/F ratio, but he's been much more fly ball prone with the Express.

Yorman Bazardo (7-4) picked up his fourth loss of the season on Saturday. The 24-year old technically got a Quality Start, but it was a below-average effort in terms of game score. In six innings, Bazardo allowed three runs and six hits while striking out one and walking one. He also got only one run of support from the offense for the second straight time.

Bud Norris (3-8) got the final start before the Triple-A All-Star break, and was hung with his eighth loss of the season. Still, Norris pitched well, striking out eight over seven innings while giving up three runs and five hits. One of those runs was unearned after Norris committed a throwing error. The 24-year old's walk rate is one of the few black marks on his resume and it hasn't really gone down much, as it hovers around 4 BB/9. Still, in his last four starts, Norris has a BB/9 rate of 3.6 and a K/9 rate of 9, which is right in line with his season numbers.

Offensively, J.R. Towles came back briefly on Sunday, going 1 for 1 in his only at-bat during the game. Lou Santangelo started and left in the bottom of the sixth in favor of Towles. Santangelo was 5 for 14 in Towles' absence with a hamstring injury while Jonathan Fixler was 0 for 7 in two games.

Collin DeLome hit his 16th home run of the season on Friday. The 22-year old also stole his 12th base and was caught stealing for just the third time. DeLome may not walk much, and may not hit for a high average, but he can hit the cover off the ball and he's efficient on the base paths. DeLome has six triples already this season, which is more than anyone other than Jon Gaston, who plays in Lancaster, so his stats can be thrown out as being too ridiculous for comparison. DeLome is hitting .270/.341/.486 this month wiht 10 strikeouts in 41 at-bats, but has also walked three times and been hit by one pitch. DeLome is second on the team in HBP with nine this season, which is one behind Wladimir Sutil.

Though I didn't watch it, I have read plenty on the Futures Game yesterday and it sounds like Jason Castro and Chia-Jen Lo did not disappoint. Castro hit a three-run home run on a slow breaking ball (which is what a big leaguer is supposed to do) and threw out a baserunner at third. Lo picked up the victory after pitching a scoreless inning in relief. Castro will not hit tons of home runs in the majors. Don't get that excited. He will hit, though, and draw his share of walks. I think a .280/.360/.400 line from him would be outstanding, coupled with his defense.

Okay, so I got distracted by the baby visiting the office today, and didn't get past Corpus. Tomorrow, we'll cover more ground.

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