December 10, 2013
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Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Just as the Padres demoted one of my favorite players, Jon Knott, the A's called up another one of my guys, infielder Ramon Castro. In Castro's first major-league at-bat, he pinch hit for Bobby Crosby in the 9th inning. Castro reached base on an error by Angels 3B Alfredo Amegaza, and got an RBI when Scott Hatteberg scored on the play.
The Oakland Tribune reported today that A's manager Ken Macha plans to use Castro as a late-inning defensive sub, but I hope he gets a chance to hit. If there was ever an organization who could recognize and appreciate how talented a player Castro is, it's Billy Beane's A's.
When I do a weekly Comings and Goings, as opposed to the two-a-week variety, it tends to get very long. This becomes a bit of a problem, and this last week, it left me not commenting on 2 transactions I wanted to say something on. Sure, I could always throw it in the next edition, coming this Friday, but instead I'll print it here.
Cincinnati Reds acquire pitcher Gabe White and a player to be named from New York Yankees for pitcher Charlie Manning- An interesting change of venue for the two hurlers, as each is back to their pre-deadline 2003 teams. White's struggles in New York were Leskanic-ish, but unlike Curt in KC, it didn't end in release. The Reds, currently with a 4.66 bullpen ERA, decided to reunite White with pitching coach Don Gullett, and see if the southpaw could help lessen the .841 OPS that Reds pitchers are giving up to left-handers.
Manning is really nothing to speak of, a non-projectable hurler with only one good number: a 9.09 K/9. Still, Charlie will never see the light of day in the Big Apple, but maybe it gives Brian Cashman someone to pair with Brad Halsey in a deal. I like this trade for the Reds, and while I might say the Yanks are biting the bullet a little too early here, I know they'll acquire someone else anyway.
Philadelphia Phillies: Optioned outfielder Marlon Byrd to Scranton Wilkes-Barre of the International League (AAA); recalled infielder Shawn Wooten from Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Not quite the fall from grace that we saw in J.C. Romero last week, but it's the same idea. It wasn't long ago that Byrd and Brett Myers made up the minors' best 1-2 punch, but Philadelphia still is failing to see huge dividends.
Myers is slow to put it together, and after a .313/.369/.438 second half last year, Byrd has failed to build as a baseball player. Corey Patterson has seen similar growing pains in Chicago, but the Cubs have always stuck by him, something I think the Phillies should do here. Sure, they are in a division race, but even a cold Marlon Byrd is no more of a threat to scoring runs than Doug Glanville.
Below, Dave wondered about Yusmerio Petit's home/road splits at Capital City. Well, I looked around and found them. I also noticed that Petit pitched a gem on Sunday, 5.2 innings with just one hit and eleven strikeouts. He's now 9-1, with a 2.10 ERA and a 112-21 K-BB in 77 innings this year.
At home, Petit is 5-1, 2.53 with a 57-9 K-BB in 42.2 innings. On the road, he's 4-0, 1.57 with a 55-12 K-BB in 34.1 innings. So by ERA and K-rate, he's actually better on the road (though his control has been a little better at home).
You can check back here at THT Live for periodic updates on Petit, just like you get updates from me on Jon Knott, Ramon Castro, Henri Stanley, and Bucky Jacobsen.
Following up on Matthew's Yusmeiro Petit post, you can read a bit more about the Mets' prospect in Baseball America's Daily Dish (scroll down to June 18th). His manager, Blaine Beatty, calls him a righthanded Sid Fernandez, because his fastball (which sits around 90 mph) is sneaky fast.
Sickels' comparison to Nelson Figueroa seems appropriate to me. Figueroa had an awesome year in 1996, while also playing in Capital City. He led the Sally league in strikeouts with 200, and was voted the league's pitcher of the year.
Actually, I've suspected for a while that Capital City Stadium, where the Bombers play, is a strikeout-friendly park. But minor league home/road splits are hard to find. CNN/SI carried them on their site last year, but they discontinued the practice this year.
Monday, June 21, 2004
Last week, I got an email from a reader named Josh Orenstein telling me about a minor leaguer I'd never heard of -- Yusmerio Petit. My guess is not many of you have heard of Petit either. Well, the guy is good.
Petit is a 19-year-old Venezuelan-born RHP in the Mets system. At Single-A Capital City this year, he's 8-1 in 13 starts, with a 2.14 ERA, 101 strikeouts, and 20 walks in 71.1 innings. He's not just a one-year wonder, either. In 2002-2003, Petit made 25 starts, with a 2.35 ERA, 147 strikeouts, and 26 walks in 130 innings.
Petit appears to be a stats-versus-scouts kind of guy. In the Baseball Prospect Book this year, John Sickels said of Petit, "Scouts aren't sold on him... His fastball is average, and given his small size [6'0", 185], it doesn't look like he will pick up a lot of additional velocity. He knows how to pitch, though, and I expect he'll have no major problems in full-season ball."
He hasn't. The only weird thing is Sickels' last comment: "If he passes the Double-A test, he could emerge as a Nelson Figueroa type."
What the hell? What is a "Nelson Figueroa type"? Nelson Figueroa has a 4.52 ERA in 233 career MLB innings, with just 5.48 strikeouts per 9 innings. How is that remotely comparable to Petit? I mean, I could see that as a downside or something, but Sickels makes it seem like this is a good thing.
Anyway, Petit has yet to struggle in pro baseball. He's now pitched 201.1 pro innings, and has a 2.28 ERA and a 248-46 K-BB ratio. That's 11 strikeouts per 9 innings. Petit has also given up just 9 homers in his career. Statistically, he has yet to show a weakness. It's early, but keep an eye on him.