Farquar will report to Las Vegas, where he'll join another import, a pitcher who at first appears to be a non-discript journyman pitcher, bought from the Indians named Yohan Pino. Pino is 27, too old to be a "prospect"in the typical sense. I saw that he had a 5.75 ERA last year and pretty much dismissed him as anything other than minor league bullpen fodder. BUT upon checking out his record, I'm a bit more intrigued. Pino displayed excellent control and solid strikeout rates throughout his career before 2010. In 10 AAA starts in 2009, he posted 58 Ks against only 13 BB in 65 IP. Still though, he's probably going to do his best work in relief, since he has so much relief work in his minor league track record (top quality potential starters don't relieve in the minors much unless it's to limit innings pitched).
While I'm speaking of minor leaguers, let me take a quick look around the farm after a dozen games or so...
- Eric Thames is En Fuego! The Vegas left fielder is hitting .449 with an OPS of 1.272 and, along the way, his 14 RBI (tied for the team lead) have been game winners as in tonight's contest.
- Brett Lawrie? Also damned good so far (.428/1.140) at the plate. He does have too many errors but I caution the panic prone interwebs to remember that errors are a poor measure in the best of circumstances and next to useless in the minors.
- Chad Cordero started a "bullpen game" for the second time and had his best outing yet but he's still not dominating as a veteran should if he had all his stuff working.
- Mike McDade and Jon Diaz (a normally light-hitting John McDonald clone) are the only two hitters off to a good start at NH. Fortunately for the team, most of the pitching (outside of Joel Carreno and a couple of scrubs) has been excellent. One wonders if the pitchers are simply ahead of the hitters in a still-cold environment?
- Several Dunedin hitters are off to a good start in a league and a park usually considered very pitcher-friendly. AJ Jimenez, Kenny Wilson, and Justin Jackson are names the you've heard, but also the Brads, Glenn and McElroy, each have an OPS over .900; Brad Glenn is tied for the early lead in the FSL with 4 homers.
- Speaking of Dunedin, Deck McGuire has announced his presence with authority. And Woj, Jenkins, and Nestor Molina are right there with him. The 4 have a 1.51 collective ERA in 47.2 IP.
- Carlos Perez is doing what's expected in Lansing, smoking the ball. what wasn't expected was Balbino Fuenmayor being on fire out of the gate (and playing mostly 3B!). Both players have a .400 or better BA; the stellar OF of Crouse/Marisnick/Kenect are all hitting well in the early going.
- Among Lansing Pitchers, Drew Hutchison has steadily elevated himself in the eyes of everyone this spring. He has 15 K and 3 BB in his first 10 IP - he was noticed by BA on their "Helium Watch" list and you may well be hearing his name a lot this summer.
- Among the re-habbing, it's widely expected (per John Farrell) that Frank Francisco and Brandon Morrow have finished their rehab work. Francisco will bump Perez (both men are probably already en route) tomorrow, and Morrow will be activated in time to start either Friday or (my guess) Saturday. It remains to be seen what that means to the roster. Listch could go to Vegas, Reyes could be DFA'd in advance of a trade, or he could shift to the bullpen which now only has one lefty, and bump, sadly, probably Casey Janssen again. Hopefully Dotel gets banged up or something in the mean time so that Farrell doesn't keep feeding him to gleeful lefty hitters.