Moving the prospect meter

As a new segment for THT, I will be posting a piece every Monday called Moving the Prospect Meter. My goal is to keep you up to speed on the on the prospects who “move the meter” the most. I’ll be discussing prospect news, important transactions and prospect promotions, and any notable performances from the past week. I’ll also be posting on Wednesday and Friday, with topics to be determined. This is my first post on THT Live, and I’m thrilled to be here.

Okay, enough with the introduction. On to the good stuff…

Michael Pineda has been shut down for the season, but not because of an injury. Larry Stone tells us that the Mariners have said that their top pitching prospect has reached his innings limit for the season.

The move isn’t terribly surprising considering Pineda missed significant time last season with an elbow injury, and, according to Seattle GM Jack Zdurienick, the 21-year-old has a “great chance” to make the Mariners rotation next season. After dominating Double-A during the first half of the season, posting a 2.40 FIP while striking out a batter per inning, Pineda held his own despite a little bad luck with the long ball (surrendering nine home runs in 62.1 innings), managing a 3.83 FIP as a 21-year-old in the Pacific Coast Leauge while striking out 11 batters per nine.

Brandon Belt has continued his ascent through the Giants organization and is now in Triple-A, but that’s likely where he is going to stay for the remainder of this season. As Henry Schulman explains, the Giants’ 40-man roster doesn’t have any room right now for Belt, who began the year (and his professional career, for that matter) in High-A ball.

It’s difficult to figure where the Giants would be able to get Belt at-bats anyway, as the team already has a stock of first baseman and left fielders among Aubrey Huff, Travis Ishikawa and Pat Burrell.

Jenrry Mejia is back in Triple-A, this time as a starter, and will almost certainly get a call-up in September. it’s amazing he is still effective at all considering the way the Mets have messed with his development.

Kyle Gibson is out with an ankle sprain, and is done for the season, but the move to shut him down for good, much like Pineda’s, was based mainly on his innings total, says Kelly Thesier. The ankle injury simply served as an excuse to make the decision now.

Gibson had an excellent first professional season, spanning three levels and ending up in Triple-A, where he will likely open the 2011 season. Combining the Florida State, Eastern and International Leagues, Gibson posted a combined FIP of 3.15 in 154.1 innings.

—Unlike the top two picks in this year’s draft, who will wait until next year to make their professional debuts, the Orioles are letting third overall pick Manny Machado get his feet wet before this season is finished. Machado has played in two Gulf Coast League games and homered once, and has now been assigned to Aberdeen in the New York-Penn League. He is scheduled to make his debut for Aberdeen this evening.

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