C. C. Sabathia- MIL- Caution- Yesterday’s 124-pitch effort is the third time this month Sabathia has cracked the 120 pitch mark. Even though he does not have a trend of ill effects from lengthy outings, that kind of workload is heavy, even for him. Sabathia did not crack the 120-pitch barrier at all last season. That type of pitch count in that short a time period could be trouble.
Emilio Bonifacio- WAS- FYI- We are talking extremely small sample size, but one encouraging sign for Bonifacio since moving from the Arizona to the Washington system is that he has walked 3 times and only struck out twice for AAA Columbus. With AAA Tucson he had walked 27 times and struck out 64 in 367 ABs. Pitch selectivity is one of two areas Bonifacio needs to improve. The other is selectivity on the basepaths to effectively make use of his natural speed. Things have not been as good in that area with Columbus where he has been caught twice while stealing 3 time in 5 games. At Tucson he swiped 17 bases and was caught 8 times. Bonifacio will likely never develop into a power threat, so his lone homer this year is indicative of his future performance in that category. Average and steals is what he has the potential to give when he is eventually promoted to his reserved role as 2B for Washington.
Charlie Morton- ATL- Cold- Morton was added back to the Braves’ roster when Tim Hudson went on the DL. He made last night’s start, but was not impressive, to say the least. Morton threw 37 balls in his 81 pitches and gave up 8 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks in 3-2/3 IP. Atlanta may be forced to keep Morton in their rotation due to their injury situation, but you shouldn’t bother with him.
Nick Hundley- SD- Hot- Hundley has seen his average soar over his current 5-game hitting streak. He began at .167 and after going 8-for-19 is not at .265. Last night he hit a homer for the second straight game. Power is Hundley’s best asset. He hit 20 homres at AA El Paso last season to finish 4th in the league and slugged 12 in 224 ABs for Portland of the PCL before joining the Padres this year. Batting average is not his strong suit, as he had a .258 minor league mark heading into this season and hit just .232 at Portland before being called up. The Padres will take a long look at Hundley and evaluate where he fits into their future.
Micah Owings- ARI- Cold- Owings returned to the rotation last night, after making three relief appearances since his last start, but it might have been a short stay. Things started well for him as he retired the first 5 batters he faced. Then it was all downhill. Owings only got 4 more outs before being lifted at the end of the 3rd inning. In that time he allowed 6 hits, 2 walks, and hit a batter. Of those 9 base runners, 8 of them scored. The control problems Owings had flared up again. He had been working with pitching coach Bryan Price to correct a flaw in his delivery. Owings had been opening up with his shoulder and the result was leaving pitches up. Since 30 of his 69 pitches last night were balls, it looks like there is more work to do. Owings has given up hits in bunches, a prime factor in his ERA of 5.49 coming into the start compared with an XERA of 4.16. The difference between those two numbers will probably be greater (and so will both raw numbers) when his charts are updated next, but by then Owings’ place in the rotation will probably be taken by Yusmeiro Petit. Owings won’t have the chance to have any luck factor even out for him.