From rehabbing big leaguers to full-season debuts, starting pitching struggled for the San Diego Padres minor league system Thursday night.
Fresno Grizzlies 5, Chihuahuas 1
Key Stats: RHP Luis Perdomo 3.1 IP, 3 ER, K, 3 BB, 8 H; LF Shane Peterson 1-4, RBI; 2B Carlos Asuaje 2-4, R, K, 2B; 3B Ty France 0-3, BB, K
Prospect Watch: For the second straight start in his rehab assignment with the Chihuahuas, Luis Perdomo ran into trouble early, allowing three earned runs in less than four innings pitched. After hitting the disabled list with a shoulder strain on July 28, Perdomo was shut down for almost a month. He’s allowed 18 baserunners in 5.1 innings in his rehab assignment. …Carlos Asuaje has continuously struggled for the Padres this season but has had no difficulty handling Triple-A pitching. Over the past two days, the 26-year-old went 4-7 and scored a pair of runs to push his line with El Paso to a robust .321/.399/.474. He has also struck out just once in his last six outings at Triple-A. …Francisco Mejia received the night off.
Midland RockHounds 5, Missions 2
Key Stats: RHP Michel Baez 4 IP, 4 ER, 4 K, 3 BB, 6 H; 2B Peter Van Gansen 0-2, 2 BB, R; CF Buddy Reed 2-4, R, RBI, K; 3B Hudson Potts 1-4, K; LF Josh Naylor 1-4
Prospect Watch: Acclimating to Double-A hitters has proven to be a challenge for right-hander Michel Baez, who has surrendered four or more earned runs in three of his first four starts with the Missions. In each of those starts, he has struggled with control, walking at least three hitters and driving up his pitch count early. …Even with a pair of hits Thursday, Buddy Reed’s batting average rests at a miserable .160, with a strikeout rate that’s now up to a third of his plate appearances. The numbers alone suggest that he is struggling to make contact with even the fastball, and reports from the league confirm it. The jump from High-A to Double-A is generally a more difficult jump where a hitter’s true abilities are exposed. While Reed still has some loud tools, the impressive first half of 2018 is fading quickly.
Inland Empire 66ers 5, Storm 4
Key Stats: LHP Aaron Leasher 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 K, 5 BB; DH Luis Torrens 1-4, 2B; 1B Brad Zunica 1-4, R, K; CF Edward Olivares 1-4, 2 RBI; DH A.J. Kennedy 1-4, R, RBI
Prospect Watch: After an auspicious start with the Storm, 2017 draftee Aaron Leasher has encountered some bumps in his last two outings, allowing seven earned runs in nine innings. The strikeout numbers remain respectable, but after walking just three hitters in the first two starts, he issued five free passes in last night’s game alone. The 22-year-old lefty threw 128 innings between college and short-season ball last year. He’s at 118.2 for this season. …Though it has been a roller-coaster season for Edward Olivares, he is laying down a strong final month of the season, slashing .300/.373/.466 and driving in 20 runs. Additionally, his 14:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio is by far the best he has posted in any month this season.
Lake County Captains 12, TinCaps 4
Key Stats: SP Joey Cantillo 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 K, 3 BB, 4 H; 3B Owen Miller 1-4, BB, K; SS Gabriel Arias 0-4 2K; 2B Esteury Ruiz 1-4, R, 2 K; DH Nick Feight 3-4, R, K; RF Aldemar Burgos 1-2, R, RBI, BB, K
Prospect Watch: 18-year-old Joey Cantillo made his debut in full-season ball last night, pitching nearly four innings in an outing that was slightly more encouraging than the stat line. Through the first three innings, Cantillo struck out three and allowed just one earned run on a sacrifice fly to center. However, he gave up a run and was pulled with two on and two outs in the fourth. Will Benson hit a grand slam two batters later, leaving him on the hook for four earned runs total. Cantillo needed 74 pitches to get through his night. He was reportedly sitting 88-90 with his fastball and relying on his quality change, which has a 12-15 MPH separation. …Since hitting for the cycle on Monday, Gabriel Arias has gone 1-for-8 with two strikeouts, lowering his stellar August slash line to .297/.366/.586. The 31 strikeouts in 112 August plate appearances may seem high, but it’s the best rate he put up in any month this season. … While Arias has cooled a bit, Jack Suwinski is carrying his hot stretch right through the month. Since turning 20 on July 29, he’s posted an OPS north of 1.000 and his 13 extra-base hits nearly match his total through the season’s first four months.
Spokane Indians 15, Dust Devils 7
Key Stats: SP Angel Acevedo 5.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 K, 2 BB, 7 H; C Blake Hunt 2-5, 2 RBI, R, K; LF Michael Curry 2-5, 2B, R, RBI; CF Tre Carter 1-3, 3B, BB, K; SS Xavier Edwards 3-5, SB, 2 R, RBI, BB, K
Prospect Watch: Xavier Edwards‘ lights out play has continued to make the Padres’ decision to go significantly over slot value look like a wise move. In just forty games, the recently turned 19-year-old has 22 stolen bases in 23 attempts and a very Urias-like 28:24 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 176 professional plate appearances. There is little doubt that he’ll kick off 2019 with an assignment in full season ball. … After hanging around the Mendoza Line in the month of July, Blake Hunt has picked up a torrid pace in August, collecting 23 hits in 20 games, including 11 of his 15 extra-base knocks on the year. … Agustin Ruiz, coming off a strong finish to his AZL campaign, collected a pair of hits in his second game with the Dust Devils. The talented 18-year-old saw improvement across the board from his 2017 professional debut.
Prospect Notes: The initial rosters for the Arizona Fall League were announced Thursday, with four of the Padres’ six representatives included. After spending last winter in Australia, Reed will again play an extended year in 2018, getting an opportunity to rebound from his Double-A struggles. He’ll be joined by fellow Missions Austin Allen and Hudson Potts, as well as Storm closer Hansel Rodriguez, who needs innings after missing much of the year with an elbow issue. The team will likely announce the other two pitchers who will join the Peoria Javelinas when MLB’s premier showcase league for minor league talent opens on October 9.