Minor League Ball Gameday, July 29

Carlos Martinez - Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Good afternoon prospect watchers. Down to business.

***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday thread.

***Five shutout innings yesterday from Cardinals prospect Carlos Martinez for Triple-A Memphis against Round Rock, fanning seven, allowing two walks and three hits. Someone asked me the other day if I felt that the yo-yo effect would harm Martinez, since he's moved back and forth between the big league bullpen and the starting rotations in Double-A and Triple-A.

A guy with occasional command problems like Martinez needs innings, but as long as his workload is properly managed, I don't think there is any reason to think moving between roles is particularly harmful and it may even help. I've always liked the old Earl Weaver "break rookies in through the bullpen" approach, which is often not possible in modern baseball, although the Cardinals have enough depth that they can do this more realistically most teams.

***Tampa Bay Rays prospect Jake Odorizzi had another solid performance for Triple-A Durham yesterday: seven shutout innings, two hits, two walks, seven strikeouts against Columbus. He is now 8-4, 3.38 in 17 starts with a 96/33 K/BB in 96 innings with 80 hits allowed.

***Chicago Cubs prospect Javier Baez hit two more homers for Double-A Tennessee yesterday, giving him 10 in the 20 games he's played since being promoted from High-A. He also has a 6/32 BB/K ratio in 82 at-bats. Rather rare to see a "True Outcome" hitter playing shortstop. I'd leave him in Double-A the rest of the season; I'd like to see if he can keep his batting average over .200.

***C.J. Edwards, acquired by the Cubs from the Rangers in the Matt Garza trade, shined in his Chicago system debut with five shutout innings for Daytona in the Florida State League, fanning eight. Keep in mind this is a promotion for him; he was pitching Low-A for Texas but this is High-A.

***Giants prospect Edwin Escobar was another outstanding performer yesterday, throwing 7.1 shutout innings for Double-A Richmond, with three hits, two walks, and nine strikeouts against Akron. He now has a 3.00 ERA with a 26/5 K/BB in 24 innings over four starts since being promoted to the Eastern League. He still doesn't get much attention outside of Giants circles, but fantasy owners should be aware of him. He's got a chance to be a solid strike-throwing starter.

***Does anyone here really think that Dylan Bundy is available on the trade market? If you were the Orioles, would you make him available?

***The Good Phight asks if Phillies fans should be optimistic about Darin Ruf. I say, enjoy the ride, and I agree with their general conclusion that he is hitting over his head right now, but that he has enough bat to be a solid role player.

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