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Minor League Ball Gameday, September 25

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Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha almost throws a no-hitter

Michael Wacha
Michael Wacha
Dilip Vishwanat

Good afternoon prospect watchers. Welcome to the daily Minor League Ball Gameday thread.

***First item in the prospect world: St. Louis Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha almost threw a no-hitter in his ninth major league start last night, having to settle for 8.2 hitless frames against the Washington Nationals. Overall, he finishes the regular season with a 2.78 ERA in 64.2 major league innings,with a 65/19 K/BB ratio, 52 hits allowed, and a victory over critics who questioned his upside when the Cardinals drafted him out of Texas A&M in the first round last year.

***Bad news in Seattle: Mariners prospect Danny Hultzen is still experiencing discomfort and pain in his shoulder, so he's going to see Dr. James Andrews according to the Tacoma News Tribune. This has been bothering him all year but was allegedly just a mechanical problem. Well, mechanical problem or not, it still hurts.

According to Ryan Divish at the News Tribune:

Hultzen was examined by Mariners’ team physician Dr. Edward Khalfayan.

"Ed saw him and quite frankly he doesn’t like what he sees," (GM Jack) Zduriencik said. "He saw some damage that he was unhappy with. It’s not the rotator cuff. It’s the tendon area, labrum area."

"Until we get the second opinion and the doctors put their heads together, we don’t know exactly what this is," Zduriencik said.

That doesn't sound especially encouraging.

***Good news in Seattle: Mariners prospect James Paxton blew away the Kansas City Royals yesterday, with 10 strikeouts in seven shutout innings. Paxton went 3-0 in four major league starts with a 1.50 ERA and a 21/7 K/BB in 24 innings, allowing just 15 hits, strong numbers all-around, especially for a guy who was erratic in Triple-A. Paxton's impressive September makes the news of Hultzen's shoulder trouble a bit easier to cope with, perhaps.

***Mixed news from Kansas: Normally I attend the Arizona Fall League each year as a speaker with Baseball HQ's First Pitch Arizona seminar. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend the AFL this year.

Instead, I will be speaking at the National Institutes of Health on October 21st, as part of a symposium called Imaging Advances in Autism, Tramautic Brain Injury, and Alzheimer's Disease, sponsored by the American Academy of Radiology. I don't know anything about neurology, but I know a lot about caring for an autistic child, and I've been asked to contribute to the seminar and give a presentation from the point-of-view of a layman parent. This is a great honor.

Although the seminar doesn't directly overlap with the HQ event, it isn't practical for me to make both trips so close together. The seminar is a chance to make a difference on an important non-baseball topic and I have to seize that opportunity. The Arizona Fall League will be there every year, but this opportunity won't be.

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