Attended all 5 games of the just completed Lookouts series with the Jax Suns. Suns and Lookouts are probably the best 2 teams in Southern League this year. Suns are a pitching/defense team.
First - The Homer Bailey Start (repost)-
First, this was a dominating performance. Through 6 innings, the only hit had been a swinging bunt accident that dribbled down the third base line. The first hit in the 7th was an opposite field single cue shot off the end of the bat. He then barely nicked a batter, before giving up a solid single up the middle.
Even when the batters were putting wood on the ball they were lazy fly balls and weak grounders. The fast ball was well located all night long, and was pitching at the knees.
He mixed in quite a few curves but was having trouble getting it in the strike zone consistenly (usually stayed high). When it worked, 8 or 9 times at least, (not always for 3rd strikes), they were knee bucklers that froze the batter or had him WAY out in front. Several times you could hear the crowd murmer after these pitches they were so unfair. I was in a Jacksonville crowd and you could hear people all around talking about how good Bailey was.
Now, for a guy that is supposed to be working on a changeup, I never saw one all night, unless his changeup moves like a curve."
The Asadorian situation - Spoke with someone something that would know and they said Asadorian's pitching performance was as impressive in person as it was in the box score, but they hinted that Asadorian is not interested in switching at this point. (He should). He does have a sensational arm in the outfield.
Interesting Info on Shafer - The Lookouts are stretching Shafer out for longer outings. Now assuming those orders come from Cincy, that makes me suspect that Reds are considering him for a promotion this year to the Reds. He was very efficient in his efforts this week (as always) but he also had the longest flyball I've ever seen that didn't go out. It was hit into a moderate wind. I thought it was going to be 20 rows up, instead it was caught at the wall.
Votto's new stance - Votto has cooled off since his huge hot streak a couple weeks ago. And although he had a few singles, it was a quiet week for Joey. I don't know when he picked this up, but he has some new funky stance at the plate, it's mostly gone by the time he swings, but you can't help but wonder why a guy thinks that looking like the Karate Kid will help him at the plate.
Drew Anderson - I'd seen him a couple times at Sarasota and he never jumped out to me, but this guy can REALLY pick it at 2nd base. He's been struggling with the bat a bit so far. Excellent speed on the bases. If he can hit he could move up. He's a pretty small guy.
Anderson Machado - Clobbered a surprise homer with 2 out and bottom of the 9th in the Bailey game. And picked up a couple other nice hits. But..... he's a defensive specialist and played poor defense the whole series. To me they fell into 2 categories: when turning the double pay he threw the ball into the dirt a lot, and he refused to get in front of a lot of hard hit balls. When the hop didn't go his way, they became hits instead of bouncing off his body and becoming outs.
Injuries - Chris Dickerson isn't playing because of a hamstring problem. Javon Moran came out of Friday's game with some kind of leg/ankle problem and didn't play Saturday. Don't know their DL status.
Alvarado - Not impressed with what I saw. Stuff didn't impress, lackadasical attitude didn't impress, gesturing to the fans as you leave the game didn't impress.
Camillo Vasquez - First time to see him so really wanted to check him out. I came away underwhelmed. He didn't do badly, he just didn't seem to have any great pitch. Decent speed, decent curve. I thought prior to TJ surgery he had a good fastball. So unless he is still a year away from full recovvery, he seems like a location/speed guy.
Valdez - Just an ugly performance all the way around.
Josh Hall - Did not have a good start by any means, and was wild around the plate all night, but he was victimized by poor defense including some balls that went for hits that should have been outs.
Tyler Pelland - Great job, only run given up was let in by Shafer. 4 out his last 5 starts have been stellar.
Last 2 starts have been 11.2 innings and 2 runs.
Two starts from 25-30 Jun - 12.1 innings 1 run
In between those 4 starts was a performance where he gave up 5 earned runs in 5 innings. But that masked what occurred. All 5 earned runs came in one inning. An inning where he clearly lost his composure. There were 2 infield hits, a throwing error by Pelland, 3 walks, and 2 wild pitches. The rest of the game he held opposition scoreless. So when he held his composure, he still was dominating.
Pelland may be doing it quietly, but at 22, he's clearly becoming our top pitching prospect in AA or above that's not named Homer.