The Weekend in AAA: Two Blowout Losses, But a Step Forward for Jenrry Mejia

Saturday: Durham Bulls (TB) 12, @ Buffalo Bisons 6
Sunday: Durham Bulls 12, Buffalo Bisons 6

That’s 24 runs on 28 hits on Saturday and Sunday for the Bulls since Matt Harvey’s Friday night gem for the Bisons.

The starting pitching culprits:
Saturday: LHP Mark Cohoon: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
Sunday: RHP Jeurys Familia: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 49% strikes (34 strikes/70 pitches).

After three encouraging starts in early June, Familia has gone backwards in his last four starts: 9.00 ERA (15 ER/15 IP), 22 H, 2 HBP, 14 BB, 7 K.  I still think he needs the reps that starting provides, but his struggles to throw strikes with his fastball is awfully concerning. For the year, he’s walked 6.2 batters per nine innings (52 BB/75 IP).

 

Bullpen Questions or Answers?
The hard-throwers in the bullpen, all of whom share big league aspirations, produced a mixed series of results.
- Saturday, Jenrry Mejia threw a scoreless two innings with a strikeout, a single and just one ground ball out.  He threw 19 of his 27 pitches for strikes – 70%, his highest strike percentage in his seven relief outings with the Bisons. According to Mike Harrington in the Buffalo News, Mejia hit 96 mph with his fastball and Wally Backman thought he “looked to me like he was more in control.”
- Manny Acosta and Josh Edgin each worked scoreless innings.
- Sunday, Elvin Ramirez was not good: 1.2 IP, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K.
- Pedro Beato took care of three innings yielding just a hit and a walk without a run or a strikeout.

I don’t know which of the five pitchers I just mentioned in the previous bulletpoint list will show up in Queens in the second half of 2012, but it’s a pretty safe bet that some of them (perhaps at least three?) will.

Position Players
Jordany Valdespin, who was 0-for Saturday while playing CF, was 3-for-5 with a pair of strikeouts Sunday while playing second. He’s hitting .283/.321/.409 in 32 games with the Bisons with seven walks against 18 strikeouts.
CF Matt den Dekker was 2-for-4 with a double on Sunday. He’s sitting at .221/.253/.494 in 18 games with the Bisons where 11 of his 17 hits have been extra-base knocks. He’s fanned 21 times and drawn four walks in 18 games.