MSTI Special Feature: Mond… Wednesdays With Torgy (Season 2, Episode 2)

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A little late here, this week, my apologies.  With Memorial Day and other things going on throughout this week, I wasn’t able to get on, but I am now and here to offer you the latest version of Mondays With Torgy… except on a Wednesday. 

Take it away, Torgy! 

Not a great week on the farm. If the pitching didn’t blow, a whole
team would take the week off with the stick as the Loons did. Aside
from some movement of players, nothing earth-shattering happened on the
farm. Jason Schmidt made a start at Albuquerque and took a ground ball
off of his forehead. As one observer said, at least his arm didn’t fall
off. A better start for Hiroki Kuroda as he went nearly four innings in
his initial rehab start at Inland Empire, giving up only one hit while
striking out three. The latest expectation is for Hiro to get a couple
more starts before replacing Eric Milton in the rotation, and that
can’t happen too soon for my liking. Jason Repko and Jaime Ortiz are
off the DL and both have looked good in their first games back. Lucas
May, who finally got hot (.516 over his past ten games with better
plate discipline as an 8/6 bb/k shows), got himself hurt and is on the
7-day DL. In a combination of moves after Jamie Hoffman was called up
to Los Angeles, Jovanny Rosario was called up to Albuquerque – which
makes sense as Andrew Lambo is still trying to figure out the strike
zone – and Eduardo Perez got the call to Chattanooga to likely end
Russell Mitchell’s stay as the Lookouts’ first baseman. Ortiz took
Perez’ slot at Inland Empire and it was not too soon as Scott Van Slyke
has hit bottom, hard. He is four for his forty-four and has not drawn
many walks in that time frame, not that he was showing much discipline
to begin with.

Aside from the Casey Blake like hot streak of Hector Luna or the
power explosion of Dee Brown, there isn’t much to talk about in
Albuquerque. Still, Luna could be a decent corner infield addition as
he is raking and his ops is 1.117. Keep in mind, he is built like Pablo
Sandoval and I doubt he has Sandoval’s upside as he is 29. The same can
be said for Dee Brown, who has six bombs in his last ten games, but is
even older than Luna and built very much like Sandoval. The Blue can
attract the fat ones. Of the real prospects, Blake DeWitt is struggling
versus lefty pitchers, but otherwise is showing rare discipline in the
‘topes’ lineup as his .398 obp shows. His power numbers are still not
great, but adequate for a second baseball with a .474 slugging
percentage. The other prospect, AJ Ellis, would love to have a slugging
percentage anywhere near DeWitt’s. His .445 obp is fantastic, but his
slugging percentage is a very abysmal .363. I guess for a backup
catcher type, those numbers have some value, but I would like a catcher
to have some pop. On the pitching front, James McDonald is still messed
up. He is not getting many innings as his command and pitch counts are
terrible. He is averaging a strike out an inning, but his WHIP (1.65)
is suffering from his control issues.

Now to Chattanooga. You look at the numbers and you just shake your
head. ERAs over four for both Josh Lindblom and Scott Elbert, terrible
obps for Andrew Lambo and Tony Abreu and one has to wonder if we have a
problem. But, upon closer inspection, those numbers don’t show the real
performance. I will start with Lindblom. Most see an ERA of 4.01 and
think the kid is overrated. Wrong, his WHIP is 1.01, his baa is .238
and he has a 31/3 k/bb ratio. Add to the fact that he has given up only
two home runs, this season, and one would ask why he is still in
Chattanooga. Elbert’s numbers are not as good as Lindblom’s, but if we
minus out his last start, his numbers are very close to Lindblom, aside
from the k/bb ratio. Still, Elbert is averaging over a strike out an
inning and has kept the ball in the park. His command issues are still
there as he is averaging a walk every two innings. Still, that is
showing some improvement for Elbert as he was good for two walks every
three innings in the past. The bullpen arms of Garate, Koss, Sartor and
Rodriguez continue to perform well and with Cory Wade doing a fine
impression of a gascan, we do have some help close by.

Aside from Josh Bell, there is not much to get giddy about in the
Lookout lineup. Bell, who is still healthy, had a very nice ten game
run where he hit .361 with two bombs and ten ribs. He is showing an
improved idea at the plate as his strikeouts have come down as his base
on balls are increasing. Right now he has a 25/32 bb/k ratio. All in
all, his numbers are better and it is affecting his glove work as he is
not clearing out the seats behind first base as often. Andrew Lambo is
showing an upswing, but obp percentage is not acceptable at .330. He is
showing sufficient pop and one can give him a pass as he is very young
for the Southern League. Tony Abreu is hitting well, .372 over the past
ten days, but he has only drawn one walk this year and that isn’t going
to impress the folks in LA. Lastly, get healthy quick Lucas May. I know
I have been hard on the kid in the past, with good reason, but he is
showing signs that he could be getting an idea and so there is some
hope he could be as good as Logan White thinks.

I wish I had something exciting to say about the Sixers, but it was
one bad stretch for the kids. We have already covered Scott Van Slyke’s
tribulations, so I will look at what has worked this week. Preston
Mattingly had a great week, bringing his average up to. 306 with a .356
week with a pair of bombs and six ribs. Unfortunately, Preston didn’t
land too close to the tree as he has drawn only one walk, this season.
It might behoove dad to work with his son on plate discipline. The same
issue is prevalent with the franchise as only Alex Garabedian has a
reasonable obp. Trayvon Robinson is still raking, but he is striking
out like a young Kingman, albeit without the power. On the pitching
end, Tim Sexton and Alberto Bastardo continue to show signs of being
prospects, but Steve Johnson is putting up some impressive numbers. He
has 60ks in 47ip and his baa is .230. It would be interesting to see
how he would do in less pitcher-friendly league. Erik Krebs, who we
acquired in the Delwyn Young trade made his debut, working two innings
with a strikeout.

Again, the sticks have taken a vacation as the Loons had only one
hitter show any life, this week. Anthony Hatch, all of 25, had the only
good week. Tony Delmonico, Jaime Pedroza, Dee Gordon, Kyle Russell and
Austin Gallagher all had weeks that would frighten Stephen King.
Delmonico had the best numbers of the lot, hitting .238. I should be
fair, Nick Buss pushed his ba up to .301 and showed some pop,
otherwise, it was plenty ugly in the batters box for the Loons. On the
pitching end, the pen continues to be the Loons’ strength. Javy Guerra
and his .71 WHIP is the leader of this fine pen. His baa is .138 and he
has a 5/1 k/bb split. Equally impressive have been Robert Boothe and
Josh Walter. Booth, our Japanese import, is putting up some scary
numbers as a set up guy. In 23 innings, he has 37 strikeouts and has
yet to give up a home run. He is holding hitters to a .200 batting
average. Walter also has looked strong 4.5/1 bb/k split. He is even
more stingy than Boothe as opposing hitters are only hitting .190
against him.

Lastly, Ethan Martin had a start that I think he would want to
forget. In his last outing, he went only one and two thirds innings,
giving up eight earned runs and not striking out a single hitter. Even
with that abomination, he is keeping opposing hitters in control with a
.234 baa and his strikeout numbers are still promising as he has 45ks
in 36 innings. Justin Miller has been improving on his numbers and I
still regard him as a very interesting pitching prospect.

With the Amateur Draft coming up, it would be remiss of me to not
speculate on what Logan White will do a couple weeks. The latest mock
has the Dodgers taking rhp Matt Hobgood from Norco, CA. Hobgood has the
requisite size and arm that appeals to Logan White. He is a 6’5″ 240lb
righty (sounds just like Lindblom) with a power fastball and two other
plus pitches. The big question concerning him is his command or lack
thereof. Other names attached to the Dodgers with their first pick are
rhp/ss Mychal Givens and c Austin Maddox. Both would be reaches at 36,
but reasonable picks in the second round. IMHO, I like Keyvius Sampson
as our first pick. He shows some of the same abilities as Edwin Jackson
with the same command issues, but any kid who can deal at 97 is worth
my interest. Other names, in the later rounds, that I hope we take a
hard look at are c Luke Bailey (could be a steal as he is recovering
from TJ surgery) and cf/lhp James Jones from Long Island University.
Jones, who looked like a strong pitching prospect has had a bad year on
the hill, but has looked very good with the stick and could have five
tool ability.

Seeing as how we don’t have a first round pick, it appears that
Frank McCourt is figuring out we can augment our draft by being players
on the international market. To that end, our presence in the Dominican
is returning to the heydays of the seventies and eighties. Although we
are not players for the big names, Guillermo Pimentel or Miguel Sano,
we are close with outfielder Wagner Mateo, who some feel is nearly as
good as Pimentel, plus we are leading the pace on five tool outfielder,
Jose Pena and are have made a big impression with Luis Jolly, another
outfielder with a strong bat, but likely a future left fielder as his
arm is not good. In the Far East, Logan White just recently inked a 22
year old righy from Korea, Ji-Mo Lee. Lee, who last pitched for the
Lotte Giants, has completed his military hitch and White gushed over
his pitches. I suspect we will see him in Ogden in a couple weeks. We
have also been scouting high school lefty, Yusei Kikuchi, who has been
compared with Junichi Tazawa, the recently signed Red Sox prospect.
Kikuchi has a higher upside than Tazawa, but is also more raw and will
not make his debut in AA as Tazawa has. That is all I have this week,
but as the draft approaches, I will be going to draft mode. Hopefully,
we will have a better idea what Logan White will do.

Thanks, Torgy!  Until next time!  

- Vin vinscully-face.jpg

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