Here are your fresh and stale prospects for the week, followed by a recap of a big weekend down on the farm.
DoJo absolutely needs to be promoted right now. He has pitched 11.1 innings, allowing only 5 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 18. That's right, his K/BB ratio is an unheard of 9.00 To put that in perspective, last season Roy Halladay led the majors in K/BB ratio, and his was 5.94. Free Donnie Joseph!!!
Soto had a slow start to the year, but he's been picking it up of late, hitting 11-28 over his last 7 games and raising his slash line to .294/.337/.447. That's not world-beating, but if he can stick at catcher (he's been playing there a few times a week) the position all of a sudden becomes a position of strength in the system with he and Mesoraco both performing well.
Travis has quietly put together a very solid first month to the season. In 5 starts and 31 innings he has amassed 32 strikeouts while only walking 8. That's a similar K rate to Aroldis Chapman, with significantly fewer walks. Since walks were a big problem for him earlier in his career, this is a very positive sign. The only red flag is the 4 home runs allowed, but if he can keep guys off the bases via walks, they should hurt less. His performance thus far likely puts him in line to be the first arm called up to join the rotation if (when) that becomes necessary.
After the wrist injury caused him to miss significant time last season, and he was "demoted" to AA to learn LF to start this season, Alonso really could have used a hot start. Instead, in addition to his rather pedestrian .254/.376/.394 slash line, he has also been bothered by niggling injuries like a shoulder contusion and now a strained calf. There is still loads of talent here, but if he's going to remain a top prospect Yonder needs to pick it up soon.
Clearly the organization loves him, but since being demoted to AAA he has done little to show why. Through 17 games El Nino Destructor hasn't even destroyed a fly, OPSing a measly .457. More troubling (if not totally surprising) is that he has only walked twice, but struck out 22 times. That kind of terrible plate discipline is finally catching up to him, and he has some major adjustments to make if he wants to be taken seriously.
With Miguel Cairo and Paul Janish rotting on the Reds bench, there is a clear need for a utility guy that can hit. Drew Sutton should be that guy, but so far he's not doing much to demand a call up. His current slash line is .211/.250/.324, reflecting a general lack of hitting in Louisville right now. Sutton has a future as an MLB utility guy, but now's the time to show he deserves a chance.
- Louisville had a bit of a rough weekend. Friday the Bats fell to Scranton WB 5-4. Matt Maloney only lasted 4 innings, giving up 4 runs, although he did strike out 6. Todd Frazier and Corky Miller were both 2-4, and Wladimir Balentien finally got it going, hitting 2-2 with a double and 2 walks. Saturday the Bats lost to Buffalo 1-0. Sam LeCure was the hard luck loser, going 7 innings, giving up the one run on 6 hits and a walk, while striking out 3. The Bats only mustered 4 hits, and one was by LeCure. As if those two losses weren't bad enough, on Sunday the Bats lost to Buffalo 6-4 in 10 innings. Travis Wood gave another solid performance, throwing 6 innings of 2 run ball, striking out 5 and not walking a batter. The game was tied at 2-2 until the 10th inning, when Juan Francisco hit his 2nd homer of the year with a man on, putting the Bats up 4-2. Closer Jon Adkins came in to close the door and give the team a much needed win. Jon got the first out, but then gave up back to back singles, followed by a groundout that moved the runners to 2nd and 3rd. 2 outs, 2 on, up by 2, Adkins gave up a single to left that scored both runners. Apparently he didn't like a call at the plate, because he was ejected from the game and replaced by Chad Reineke, who promptly gave up a 2 run homer to lose it. This team is struggling in a big way right now, having lost their last 9 games. Up Next: Aroldis Chapman will try to be the stopper as he takes the hill against Buffalo at 7:05.
- Carolina broke an 11 game losing streak Friday night, beating Mobile 10-3. Dallas Buck pitched 5 1/3, allowing only 2 runs, but 9 hits. Sean Henry and Denis Phipps were both 2-4, and catcher Chris Denove continued his torrid hitting, going 3-5 with 5 RBI. Yonder Alonso left the game early with a mild calf strain. Saturday the Mudcats got back to their losing ways, falling to Mobile 8-5. Not much good pitching in this one, but Denis Phipps, Eric Eymann and Dave Sappelt all had 2 hits each. On Sunday Carolina fell to Mobile 4-2. Daryl Thompson only allowed 2 runs in 6 innings, and Aaron's other brother, Daryl Harang took the loss after allowing 2 runs in just 1 inning. Not much offense to speak of, except for Kris Negron's 2nd homer of the year. Up Next: The Cats take on Mobile at 12:30. Alexander Smit will start.
- Lynchburg had a great weekend, beating Potomac Friday by a score of 8-2. Matt Fairel pitched 5 innings of 2 run ball to earn his 3rd win on the year. Carlos Mendez hit 3-4, Cody Puckett and Justin Reed were both 2-4 with a double, and Devin Mesoraco hit his 5th homerun of the season. On Saturday the Hillcats won 7-2 behind a good start from Scott Carroll. Carroll pitched 5.1 innings, allowing just one run. The bats were working big time in this one. Neftali Soto was 4-4 including 2 homers, his 2nd and 3rd on the year. Mendez and Mesoraco were both 2-4, and Alex Buchholz was 3-3 with a double. Sunday, Lynchburg got lynched by Potomac 11-6. All four Hillcats pitchers gave up at least 1 run. Neftali Soto was 3-5 with a double, and Devin Mesoraco was 1-3 with 2 walks and his 6th homer on the year. Devin's current slash line is .310/.398/.620 through 80 PAs. Still think he sucks, 'than? Up Next: Travis Webb takes the hill against the Kinston Indians at 6:05.
- Dayton rounded out the good Friday for the organization, beating Bowling Green 6-2. Josh Ravin allowed 2 runs in 5 innings, and Donnie Joseph picked up his 4th save of the year, striking out 3 in 1.1 innings. Every starter reached base safely at least once, and young Henry Rodriguez walked for the second time on the season. H-Rod now has walked twice and struck out only 4 times in 97(!) plate appearances. On Saturday Dayton won 5-3. Brian Pearl started but only went 3 innings, so the bullpen combined to throw 6 innings of 2 run ball. Chase Ware threw the final 4 innings to earn his 3rd win of the season. The offense was led by Chris Richburg, who went 2-4 with his third homer of the year, and Mark Fleury, who hit his first long ball of the season. Sunday's Dragons game was rained out. Up Next: The Dragons finish their series with Bowling Green at 7:00. Jacob Johnson will start.