Greetings all around, and a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday to you and yours. I get to spend time with the Athletics later in the day, along with hopefully a full crowd and a lovely Bay Area summer day.
In the mean time, as we approach the All-Star break, yet another top prospect was advanced from the minors, this time in the Indians’ third sacker Lonnie Chisenhall. The Tribe's first round pick in 2008, Chisenhall went .290-5-45 over 68 games at the New York-Penn League the year he was drafted, following with a .258-22-92 2009, split between High-A Kinston and Double-A Akron. The now 22-yea-old returned to Akron for a full season last year, hitting .278-17-84, and was then promoted to Columbus this year (.265-7-44). Chisenhall will slowly move into a full time role by season's end, or certainly to start 2012.
Cleveland also advanced hurler Josh Judy, their 34th pick in the 2007 draft, out of the Indiana Institute of Technology (honest), and Judy has displayed some dominating stuff as a reliever in the minors, going 22-8, 2.81, over 163 games and 245.2 innings in the minors. However, it is the 286 strikeouts to 85 walks and 210 hits (1.19 ratio) that should raise eyebrows. Judy converted 30 saves in the minors, and the right hander could prove to be a quiet stable arm if you have an opening in a deep format.
Detroit promoted pitcher Adam Wilk, an 11th round pick of the team in 2009. A 23-year old southpaw, Wilk has started 51 games in the minors with 19-11, 2.63 totals, including 219 strikeouts, to 38 walks, over 301.1 innings, with just 264 hits allowed, good for a WHIP of 1.00. Wilk was 4-5, 3.75 over 11 starts at Toledo when summoned, and this would be the third time he has been called to Comerica this year, with 0-0, 5.91 totals. With just 10 innings under his belt in the Show, Wilk has had good command with eight whiffs and just one walk that was intentional. However, the three homers he allowed are the sticking point. Wilk will likely pitch out of the pen, but he has command, and if he can keep the ball down he could turn into a nice pick in an AL format (for now).
With eight walks allowed over his 12 major league innings this year, Lance Pendleton is sort of the opposite of Wilk. Selected by the Padres in the 13th round of the 2002 draft, Pendleton chose to attend Rice instead and was then picked by the Yankees in the fourth round of the 2005 draft, and in 2010 went to the Astros as a Rule V pick (the pitcher was later returned to the Pinstripes). As mostly a starter, Pendleton, a righty, has been 34-24, 3.37, over 497 innings, with 444 strikeouts (177 walks, 461 hits). The right hander will likely not crack the team's rotation, but any Yankee arm is worth a look simply because he is, well, a Yankee arm.
Blake Beavan was the Rangers first round pick in 2007, out of Irving High School in Irving, Texas. Beaven originally signed a letter of intent to the University of Oklahoma, but opted for the pros, debuting at Clinton in 2008 (10-6, 2.37 over 121.2 innings). Beavan split 2009 between Bakersfield and AA Frisco, going a combined 9-8, 4.14, whiffing just 85 over 163 innings, though he gave just 29 free passes (188 hits). Beavan returned for a full season at Double-A in 2010, and went 10-5, 2.78 110 innings before moving to Seattle as part of the Cliff Lee trade. Beavan began 2011 at Tacoma, going 5-3, 4.45 before his call-up this week, but his low strikeout rate of 323 over 546 minor league innings has to be of some concern, along with 585 hits allowed. Beavan does have control, though he is just 22, and Mark Beuhrle-types are rarely successful as youngsters, or even in the long haul for that matter.
Finally moving to the National League, Andrew Carpenter (Drew) was the Phillies second round selection in 2006. Drafted from Cal State Long Beach, Carpenter moved quickly up the corporate ranks, arriving at Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2008, just two years after being signed. That advance was punctuated 17-6, 3.20 2007 at Clearwater over 163 innings and 24 starts. In his three-plus seasons at Triple-A (including this season) Carpenter has gone 24-18, 3.40, with 292 whiffs over 359.2 innings (354 hits, 119 walks). However, Carpenter will own a marginal role on a team with arguably the best starters this season (with all due respect to the Giants).
Looking finally at some arms that might have some second life, Toronto's Dustin McGowan, who had not pitched in competition since he blew his arm out in 2008, just began rebuilding his career this week at Dunedin. After a promising 2007, where he went 12-10, 4.08, with 144 strikeouts over 169.2 innings as a 25-year old. The former first rounder in 2000 is now 29, and has yet to toss a full inning, but McGowan had a lot of promise, and great stuff. And, he now truly has to pitch to survive. Track him.
Rich Harden was always successful in Oakland. The problem is he was almost always injured as well, rivaling perhaps Erik Bedard for hardest throwing most disappointing pitcher on earth in AL formats. And, it is not that Harden is likely to repeat Bedard's fine 2011, but Harden did win his first start Friday, and logged six whiffs and no walks with two runs over his first six innings. At this point he is as good a flier for a pitcher as you might get this year irrespective of format. Harden is more than worth a gamble anywhere.
Finishing back with the Yankees, the Bronxians reacquired Sergio Mitre from the Brewers after the righty pitched fairly well for the Brewers (0-1, 3.27 over 33 innings this year prior to the trade, and again, he is a Yankees pitcher, who could get a few spot starts (he started three last year of his 27 games and 51 innings of work) for the team. Like them or not, the Yankees win, and their pitchers generally do well. In an AL format, if you are looking for an arm who could help with some adequate innings and the possibility of a couple of wins, Mitre is worth consideration.