In an alternate universe, one in which the Cuban Missile Crisis was more than a crisis, the local family big-box appliance store would be Montgomery Castro. Launching the next holiday sale, Montgomery Castro introduces the exceeding expectations oven, the humidor microwave and the “Honey, I can’t find my [ground] balls,” fake grass-carpeting for the “dry” seasons down south. Mike Montgomery (KC) and Simon Castro (SD) should reinvest in their store. They have both struggled with control and Castro with the long balls. Seems about right, their missiles were always oh!-so close. These two pitchers have combined for a 29:22 K:BB ratio in 36 innings and 21 Earned runs on 35 hits. Equally as upsetting is our neighborhood family law firm Parker and Archer who have represented Montgomery Castro, but have lost several early suits this year. Everything from no command on the stand, to serving up easily dismissed arguments and even rolling over after finishing their points early. Jarrod Parker (ARI) and Chris Archer (TB) have struggles much like the local Montgomery Castro. Parker and Archer have combined for a 22:16 K:BB ratio in 24 2/3 innings (six starts) and 24 earned runs on 37 hits. I would submit to you that Archer feels cheated by Parker and the firm may be splitting-up leaving their fancy Madison Avenue office for a cheap hotel.
Charlie Furbush | DET | LHP (SP): Charlie’s 89 to 91 mph fastball is striking people out again in the early 2011 season after fading hard in 2010. He has a 21:4 K:BB ratio in 16 2/3 innings. Maybe, in spirit of the holiday season, he ran up the mountain, saw the commandments and spoke to [His] flaming bushes along the way giving him a greater understanding. Or maybe he’s not at the end of a season in which he had reached his career high in innings. I’d like to believe the former. He’s a marginal play when, or if, called upon.
Rudy Owens | PIT | RHP (SP): He’s been a solid performing prospect on a terrible team, as opposed to a terrible performing prospect on a high profile team – cough, Fernando Martinez, cough. His 87 to 93 mph fastball and average off-speed pitches are controlled with pinpoint command. In the early going, he has had three solid outings to start the season, a 15:4 K:BB ratio in 18 1/3 innings. He’s not a dominate arm, but solid middle-rotation pitcher. A mini-Lily, definitely Owen-able when called upon in deeper leagues.
Anthony Rizzo | SD | 1B: Currently has 11 XBH (5 Hr) a 9:5 K:BB ratio in 59 at-bats at Triple-A. Rizzo is living up to the hype so far. With the Padres first base shituation, it’s only until June that everyone see him in the majors. Even with an unsustainable slash line of .458/.500/.814, he still has moderate power and good contact skills but more in the range of a .275/.350/.475 hitter. The leader of hits at Triple-A as of 4/22/11 will have large shoes to fill when the time comes.
Eric Thames | TOR | LF: This is exciting. I wrote about him in this off-season’s Blue Jays Minor League Review found here, and he continues to impress. He has 13 XBH (2 Hr) with a 13:10 K:BB ratio in 60 Triple-A at-bats. Too bad he doesn’t strikeout more, he’d might get a chance for the Blue Kays.
Brett Lawrie | TOR | 2B/3B: Mentioned last week too, Lawrie has three home runs in the last two days (as of 4/22/11). Continues to hit and strikeout (15 strikeouts in 61 at-bats). Still a favorite of mine.
Alex Torres | TB | LHP (SP): Hard to ignore a 27:6 K:BB in 15 1/3 innings. Although a small sample size, he hasn’t last more than 5 1/3 innings, he stills provide two minutes of heaven. See 1/8 inch below to see why he’d get looked over, most likely to save arbitration.
Alex Cobb | TB | RHP (SP): Success with a low 90s fastball that has good sinking action and average breaking pitches. They have helped him to a tune of 25:5 K:BB ratio in three early season starts (16 IP). He’s a back end rotation pitcher or a solid bullpen arm. Definitely has more value as a number three, four or five starter. With Niemann struggling in the early going, I believe Cobb would get a chance over Torres in the early going.
Jaff Decker | SD | LF: After upper-decking last year’s early season, this year he’s hot with 13 XBH (4 Hr, 2 3B and 7 2B), with a 12:11 K:BB ratio and slashing .408/.532/.878 at Double-A. Have to like offensive potential in a farm system that sees their majors as a second Triple-A squad, even if they play at Petco.
Eric Hosmer | KC | 1B: Hosmer is trouncing Triple-A right now with 5 XBH (1 Hr) .373/.464/.492 and a 9:10 K:BB ratio. Dayton Moore will still probably not call him up until September as he promised in the offseason. Too bad, his teammate Moustakas is struggling mightily (.241/.313/.362 in 58 AB) and need to bust out of his slump. He has improved slightly in the last week (.257/.350/.371 in 35 AB) but still isn’t exciting anyone. Maybe he’ll pull a Jesus and rise again in the second half. That’s Montero you fools. I wouldn’t desecrate a deity on His special day.
Julio Teheran | ATL | RHP (SP): Not blazing past hitters this year at Triple-A. He has a 11:6 K:BB in 16 innings (3 starts). I wouldn’t expect him in the majors until mid-summer at the earliest. No reason to rush this young pup with Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy.
Jacob Turner | DET | RHP (SP): Looks like a mini-Vernlander. Seriously. Same height, stellar strikeouts and control and only 3-to-4 mph less on his fastball. Might explain the 20:3 K:BB ratio in 19 2/3 innings at Double-A this year. While Andy Oliver will get the attention in the early going, if Turner continues to pitch this well, he’ll be in the majors in no time.