Brian Letko has the lowest ERA of any pitcher in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, and is amongst…
Fieldview: Lind, Thigpen and Chiefs Pitching
Tumble weeds rolled through an empty Alliance Bank Stadium as Syracuse played a seven game roadie leading up to the All-Star break. The Chiefs returned home Thursday night and the Pawtucket Red Sox greeted them with a 9-5 win.
It's a different team than the one I saw back in June. Some of those differences were featured prominently on Thursday. Here's what I saw.
Adam Lind hit third
Finally, It's good to have a big time prospect in Syracuse. Adam isn't here to improve attendance, but to work on his plate discipline. Known for being a bit of free swinger, Lind showed the ability to take a few pitches in this one. He went 2-3 with a couple of walks. He made just one out and it was a screamer that starting pitcher David Pauley barely got leather on. He didn't push the issue, working from behind and drawing a full count walk in the fifth.
I don't think the Blue Jays are trying to entirely tame Lind. The kid is used to hitting balls at his ankles and in his eyes. Chiefs manager Doug Davis says he needs to work on his on-base percentage. A swing at anything approach isn't as effective against big league pitching. I think the demotion might have taught him that all important lesson.
Thigpen back catching
Curtis Thigpen traded in his catching equipment for some lumber.
While with the Jays, Thigpen helped fill-in for the injured Lyle Overbay, and didn't need to get behind the plate. Now the major league super utility player is back at his old spot, catching for the Chiefs.
Curtis hasn't stopped hitting. His was on base all night. When all hands are on deck, he's the ideal two-hitter for this squad.
But throwing out runners is still a problem. Thigpen went 0-2 on steal attempts. I like Curtis, he's a fantastic young athlete, but one throw was so far off line that an old woman sitting behind me screamed, ''who the hell are you throwing at, do you need glasses?"
I am willing to give Thigpen a free pass. It's been a while since he's gotten back there, and before the call-up he was showing improvement.
In the sixth, Sal Fasano came in to catch, and Thigpen got the rest of the night off. It's not an injury concern, Davis just wants to ease Thigpen back into playing the position on an every day basis.
Pitching, we have a problem
Manager Doug Davis was not pleased with the starting pitching after the loss, and he made no bones about it.
"I thought the pitching was poor. It was the reason why we lost. We got our runs back, our guys just didn't get outs."
Josh Banks was tonight's starter. He couldn't stay ahead of hitters to save his life. Pitching coach Rick Langford said Bank's main problem was elevated pitches. Banks calmed down a bit later when he started to throw his splitter for strikes. Still though, five runs in five innings isn't good enough most nights.
Brandon League got an inning of work. I noticed that he didn't look right warming up. The radar gun kept flashing 87. There was an unusual spin on his pitches.
League is using a two-seam fastball these days. I thought he was overthrowing during his warm-up tosses and his wildness carried over to the game when he pegged Jacoby Ellsbury in the shins. League looked like he was having trouble, but he still managed to work a scoreless frame. Pitching coach Rick Langford promises the velocity will return. He expects League's sinking fastball to get back in the upper 90s once he consistently returns to throwing from the same arm slot.
FutureJays.com Recommended Stories
College Week 13: 10 Saturday Takeaways
Breaking down all the battles that mattered this weekend.Read More
NFL Week 12: Every Game Previewed
It's a wild slate of games this Sunday with several matchups that involve playoff seeding implications and a few divisional showdowns.Read More
OU's Perine rushes into record books
Norman has seen a lot of special days, but few will compare to what Samaje Perine did Saturday in rushing for 427 yards and five touchdowns.Read More
Dr. Roto Video: Week 12 Key Matchups
Dr. Roto highlights each and every game upcoming for Week 12 and a Fantasy matchup to monitor within. Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon (pictured above) makes his return against the less-than-stellar…Read More
Apache Administers Death to Taliban (VIDEO)
The Apache helicopter is one of the most famed and efficient killing machines in the U.S Army. Get the skinny on this 'steel dragon' and watch what one does to a platoon of Taliban fighters in…Read More