I could write a proper recap about Friday's game, but it's already midnight, and nobody reads the internet on a Friday night-into-Saturday morning, at least not until they've watched their morning cartoons and eaten their Captain Crunch. So I figure you're reading this after you've perused the morning paper, after you've checked your email, somewhere about an hour before gametime Saturday, unless your Keith. In which case, good afternoon. It's the third inning, and Vazquez has given up 2 HR. You're all caught up.
Our good buddy Heads is reporting that Scott Podsednik has been/will (officially) be recalled for tomorrow's game, but he's unsure of the corresponding roster move. I figure it's either Erstad to the DL or Gonzalez back to AAA. It doesn't really matter much.
I have to admit that I giggled when I first saw that, after Erstad had gone down with another ankle injury, Scott Podsednik was pulled from the game in Charlotte. I just assumed that he too had injured himself, or was perhaps battling some sympathy pains. Anyway, it looks like he'll be your starting LFer tomorrow, which means less Mackowiak, and hopefully(?) Terrero getting another 2 weeks of starts in CF.
Heads also says that Andy Sisco will be getting a start tomorrow in Charlotte (double header).
The only comment I have from the game is: Why is Nick Masset still on the roster? I know I've hit on this once before, but all we've seen since is more of the same. In his 32.2 innings of work this season, he's allowed 41 hits, 22 walks, and 1 hit batsman to make an almost perfect 2 baserunners per inning, all while striking out just 18 batters.
Masset doesn't have the draft pedigree, minor league numbers, or high quality stuff to put up with those kind of results. He's pitching essentially exactly like you'd expect a pitcher with his mediocre minor league record to pitch. This was a pitcher who passed through waivers completely unclaimed just 2 years ago. Why does he continue to get so much rope with which to hang the team?
Last time I brought this up, I was asking for Jack Egbert to get the call as a long-man, but he hasn't been as effective as he was early in the season, though he's still been very good, leading the SL in FIP. And I should probably acknowledge that the Sox aren't as high on him as I am. He'd still be better than Masset.
There's a new, legitimate candidate, however, in Gavin Floyd. As you recall, I'm not a big fan of Floyd's, but I was willing to give him a year to get his stuff together. In the month of June, at least, he's done just that. In his last 4 starts, Floyd has posted a line of 30.2 IP, 21 H, 1 HR, 7 BB, 29 K and an ERA of 1.47. In his last outing, he was one batter away from a complete game shutout, but with two outs he gave up 2 "soft liners," had a runner reach on a strikeout (ruled a wild pitch), and walked in the only run before being pulled.
Reports from Charlotte have indicated that Floyd is pitching with much more confidence and attacking the zone. He's already been penciled into the rotation for late July, when at least one of our starters will have been shipped out for future help. That last point may be the reason he's not up yet. The Sox may want to keep him pitching every 5-6 days in Charlotte instead of sporadically out of the pen in Chicago until they're 100% sure what the rotation will look like in August.
It would be great if Floyd could carry over his recent success in AAA to become a 4th-5th starter type with the Sox being able to ship out Jose Contreras (hopefully for some top prospects) before teams realize that he's another Freddy Garcia.
Elsewhere on the farm
- Much like Gavin Floyd, '06 first rounder Kyle McCulloch has really pitched well in June. After posting mediocre-to-bad numbers for the majority of his professional career, McCulloch may have turned a corner. His June line (27.2 IP, 19H, 1HR, 2BB, 26K, GO/FO ratio of nearly 3) certainly looks like that of a top prospect.
McCulloch posted better numbers as a Sophomore than as a Junior while at Texas, and experienced a drop in velocity/stuff as the '06 draft approached. I've always assumed that it just left him for good, but perhaps this recent run of dominance is a sign that he's regained some life to his pitches and returned to the pitcher who was thought to be a top 10 overall pick at the beginning of the '06 college season.
- Sergio Miranda, whom BA liked in the 13th round, has done nothing but fill up the stat sheet in his first four games of professional baseball. Through 4 games, he's batting .500/.529/.750, with two 2B, a 3B, a SB, a CS, a BB, 2 K, an E, and a sacrifice. Obviously, anything can happen in 4 games, but I've heard a number of whispers that Miranda is a sleeper of the Sox most recent draft.
- Also enjoying good starts in their first taste of professional ball are:
- Johnnie Lowe -- 4 IP, 3H, 1BB, 6K
- Po-Yu Lin -- 6IP, 4H, 0BB, 7K
- Aaron Poreda has yet to make his debut
- The Bristol team contains a number of young Latin players, one or two of which are sure to be worth keeping an eye on. I'm just not sure who's who just yet.
- Johnnie Lowe -- 4 IP, 3H, 1BB, 6K