This week, old school bullet-style:
- Tyler Danish makes his High-A debut this afternoon. The 19-year-old toyed with Low-A hitters. In 38 IP, the righty gave up 28 hits, walked 10 and struck out 25. In an effort to stretch the length of his outings, he wasn't quite so intent on strikeouts but he didn't need to be as he just out-classed hitters. Despite the shaky defense one finds in the low levels, Danish just let guys try to hit his pitches, which most often resulted in weak ground ball outs. It's reasonable to expect that the better hitters in the Carolina League will offer more of a challenge but I don't expect any major adjustment period. With about 62 innings until his alleged innings cap for 2014, he's slated for about 11 starts the rest of the way.
- Micah Johnson got promoted to Charlotte. While he's certainly gotten some favors from the BABIP god, the second baseman is doing his part by making the contact in the first place. The 23-year-old is showing less efficiency on the basepaths this year (58%) than in 2013 (74%). But if that's the only complaint one can make about his offense, that's pretty good.
- If there's anyone who still actually cares, Keenyn Walker is off the disabled list. In 73 PA before sitting, the outfielder was batting .143/.178/.171 with an astounding 47.9% strikeout rate.
- Trayce Thompson made a great catch, showing why he'll make the majors one day. Unfortunately, his batting line shows why it will be as a fourth or fifth outfielder: .224/.330/.336 with a 13.9% walk rate and a 29.4% strikeout rate. The 23-year-old is approaching his 200th game in Double-A and there really hasn't been much discernible improvement.
- Courtney Hawkins: .279/.355/.545 with a 25.7% strikeout rate.
- Minor league baseball isn't a particularly great lifestyle, as former player Dirk Hayhurst explains in this excellent article. One choice quote: "In Low-A ball, I lived without a refrigerator. I had a Styrofoam cooler in which I put milk and bread with ice I took from hotels. I didn't have any means by which to cook raw food—no range, not even a microwave. I lived entirely off of peanut butter and jelly simply because it wouldn't spoil, and it's what I could afford." It still amazes me that the major league clubs invest millions in bonuses to their minor league players but have no interest in spending what would probably amount to a few hundred thousand dollars to feed them properly.
- Erik Johnson: 24 IP, 26 H, 5 BB, 19 K.