Don’t look now, but Dustin Ackley is heating up.
For the second straight season, the Mariners’ top prospect has started the season with a whimper. Yet right around the time everyone starts back up with the “overrated” whispers, Ackley gets hot and can’t make an out. Over his past 10 games, Ackley is hitting .395.471/.558, raising his season totals to .275/.389/.432. The optimists point out how, no matter how he’s hitting, Ackley still controls the count, works pitchers, and gets on base. The numbers back up that opinion, as Ackley has 33 walks to just 25 strikeouts. The pessimists point out that Ackley still doesn’t show a lot of power, and some think he never will.
On the move…
After his second call-up for yet another spot start, the Braves have once again sent top prospect Julio Teheran back to Triple-A, which has been their plan all along. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out that the Braves could bring him back at the end of the month, which is the next time they will need a fifth starter.
Not on the move just yet is Pirates pitching prospect Stetson Allie, who remains in Bradenton in extended spring training.
The Pirates initially said that they wanted to hold Allie back early in the season to limit his innings in his first professional year, but had intended to send him to State College around the same time they sent fellow 2010 draftee Jameson Taillon. Instead, the Pirates have held Allie back to work on harnessing his powerful yet wild fastball. Despite the natural inclination, the Pirates warn people not to lump the Taillon and Allie in together, and they’re right. While Taillon was about as polished a prep pitcher as you’ll find, Allie is much less refined and is focusing on just pitching for the first time in his career. It looks like he’ll head to short-season ball when that begins in June rather than jump right to the South Atlantic League.
Los Angeles Dodgers 2010 first round pick Zach Lee, who was off to a great start in his pro career pitching for the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League, left his last start (on May 5) with elbow tightness, but an MRI revealed no structural damage and he could return by the end of the month.
Also leaving his last start with an elbow issue was Royals prospect John Lamb, who complained of discomfort and had to be removed. Lamb has been pitching with declined velocity all season, so his injury could be more serious.
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