Got a lot of game action to catch up on, but first let’s start out with some notes…
- Keith Law had a lot of praise for OF Slade Heathcott in his most recent chat after seeing him in the Arizona Fall League, saying “I do think he has star potential if he stays healthy, which is a huge if. He plays like his hair’s on fire (and) that’s not a great thing for a player who’s injury-prone … the star potential is from the athleticism – plus runner, really good swing, strong hands. Just needs to dial it down one notch.”
- In a separate piece, KLaw said RHP Zach Nuding was “91-95 with a fringy slider” and “iffy command.” RHP Mark Montgomery “threw 90-93 with a short, hard slider that he’d even throw down and in to right-handed batters; there’s some effort in that delivery, but the ball appears pretty late out of his hand.”
- RHP Dellin Betances told Jonathan Raymond that he started “throwing a slider” in Instructional League a few weeks ago. I thought he tinkered with the pitch a few years ago, but I could easily be wrong. So many guys (supposedly) learn new pitches each year, it’s hard to keep track. Anyway, Betances really doesn’t need another pitch, the fastball/curveball/changeup combo is plenty good enough, he just needs to throw strikes.
- LHP Omar Luis Rodriguez was not in Instructional League due to visa issues according to Ben Badler. The Yankees signed the 18-year-old Cuba southpaw for $4M back in June, their final huge money signing before the new spending restrictions were implemented.
AzFL Scottsdale (6-5 win over Phoenix in 11 innings, walk-off style) Wednesday’s game
CF Slade Heathcott: 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 E (fielding) — he beat out an infield single on a ground ball to the first baseman (!) with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, allowing the game-tying run to score … he also got thrown out at the plate after colliding with the catcher
RHP Zach Nuding: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 25 of 45 pitches were strikes (56%)
RHP Danny Burawa: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — only seven of 17 pitches were strikes (41%), and he was sitting 92-94 with the fastball … first outing of 2012 after missing the entire season with an oblique and rib injury … KLaw said
RHP Mark Montgomery: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 15 of 25 pitches were strikes (60%)