Posts Tagged ‘Josh Johnson’
Former BYU pitcher Matt Neil was promoted by the Marlins to their AAA club, the New Orleans Zephyrs, and pitched well in his first AAA start, lasting six innings while giving up just 2 hits and 1 run. The move puts Neil on the same team with vetran pitcher Mitch Talbot (also Mormon), who has returned to the U.S. after playing in Korea. Talbot is currently on the DL, and hasn’t played since April 7th.
Neil’s pitching performance was matched by another prospect, but in the AA Eastern League. Nik Turley, currently with the Yankees’ affiliate Trenton Thunder, also lasted 6 innings and gave up just 1 run, but Turley struck out 6 and walked 2 in his outing. And with Turley on the Yankees 40-man roster, he seems more likely to make an appearance in the majors.
Also pitching well this week was the Blue Jay’s Josh Johnson, who lasted 3 innings in a rehab assignment with the Dunedin Blue Jays (Florida State League, A+) and gave up just 1 run while striking out 5.
The Oakland A’s Adam Rosales sat down a bit this past week, and it made a big difference. The A’s put him on the bench for much of the week—he only had 12 at bats—but those at bats were profitable. Rosales got 5 hits (.417), walked three times, and would have had a game-tying home run if umpires had made a correct call. The home run was the subject of controversy last week as commentators claimed that Rosales and the A’s had been robbed.
Rosales was almost the only Mormon position player to have a good week, the other exception being Kansas City backup infielder Elliot Johnson, who finally got a chance to start some games. And his batting average promptly rose to .375 for the week as Johnson got 6 hits in 16 at bats, scored twice and stole a base. Even so, its unlikely that Johnson will get a starting spot, at least not yet.
Surprisingly, the Mormon starting pitcher who is most successful this year is not Roy Halladay, the Phillies’ starter who chalked up a perfect game and post-season no hitter in 2010, nor is it Josh Johnson, the Blue Jays’ ace who was part of the teams off-season attempt to build a first-rate pitching staff.
No, its Jeremy Guthrie, who struggled in the first half of 2012 before joining the Royals to help them stay only 18 games below .500. This year’s Guthrie is like the Guthrie of the last half of 2012, but still a bit better. And he is playing for a team that is (so far) remarkably better at 17-10, the 5th best record in the majors. Guthrie is now 4-0 with a 2.40 era in 6 starts. And on Saturday, Guthrie pitched a complete game shutout of the Chicago White Sox.
While everyone else seems to be cooling down (if they were ever hot this year), Eric Sogard managed to heat up this past week. The Oakland As backup infielder, lodged at second base since regular Scott Sizemore is out with a sprained left knee, went 5 for 15 last week, scoring 4 times and walking once, bringing his batting average up to a respectable .250 in the process.
Sogard was the only Mormon position player on the upswing this past week, but that doesn’t mean that others weren’t also doing well. Bryce Harper hit just as well (.333), but his average was coming down last week from the .400 he it the first week of the season. Harper also hit 2 home runs, earned 5 rbis, scored 4 times and walked 4 times—most of this before the Nationals ran into a stone wall and dropped three in a row to the Braves this past weekend. John Buck also managed to do well this week, hitting 4 home runs earning 10 rbis (!) and scoring 5 times. However, his batting average dropped to .238 for the week.
I’ve neglected following the transactions and changing status of the Mormon players for the past several months — a bit of a vacation, I suppose. But with spring training rapidly approaching, I thought I should get the status up to date and start following where everyone is. Today’s update only includes the players who played in the Majors last year.
There are still a couple of players who have played in the majors in previous years whose status is uncertain—Kyle Farnsworth and Brandon Lyon both had strong enough years in 2012 that I think they are likely to be picked up by someone.
Two Mormon players are part of the massive trade between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Miami Marlins last week that involved a total of 10 players and gutted the highly-paid Marlins team. High performing pitcher Josh Johnson and struggling catcher John Buck were both traded to the Blue Jays as the Marlins reduced their payroll following a losing season. The deal is pending league approval.
Even though the post season games are still being played, the post season roster shuffle has already started, and one Mormon player has already suffered a setback. The Kansas City backup outfielder Mitch Maier was released by the Royals on October 5th, leaving Maier looking for a new team. Maier ended the season in the minors, after hitting just .172 at the plate in the majors, down from .263 in 2010.
I don’t normally begin my write-up talking about a minor league player, but this week the stellar pitching of Taylor Cole with the Vancouver Canadians (A short season) kind of demanded front billing. Cole came close to baseball’s ultimate performance, a pitching performance over 7 2/3rds innings marred only by a teammate’s error. Still, Cole was pitching a no-hitter for his 6th win of the season when he was pulled from the game against the Yakima Bears. The Northwest league’s regular season has ended, Cole finishes the year with a stunning (and league-leading) 0.81 era. He will likely pitch in the Canadians’ post-season games, which start today.
A reader has alerted me to another Mormon playing professional baseball, Lance Pendleton, who is currently with the Durham Bulls in the Tampa Bay Ray’s organization. After he was drafted by the Yankees out of Rice University, Pendleton has spent 6 years in the minors, rising to even the major leagues, debuting on April 15th of last year. Unfortunately, his numbers aren’t very strong this year — a 4.49 era so far — so a return to the majors seems unlikely at the moment.