Danny Hultzen jumped directly to Double-A after the Mariners took him with the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft and now Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the left-hander from the University of Virginia is headed to Triple-A after just 13 pro starts.
Hultzen was ridiculously good at Double-A, throwing 75 innings with a 1.19 ERA and 79/32 K/BB ratio while allowing just two homers and a .151 opponents’ batting average. The promotion puts him one step from the majors at age 22.
Along with Hultzen the Mariners are also promoting their top position player prospect, shortstop Nick Franklin, to Triple-A after the 2009 first-round pick hit .322 with four homers and an .822 OPS in 57 games at Double-A.
Both were selected for the Double-A All-Star game, which was played last night, and clearly the Mariners wanted them to participate before moving up to Triple-A.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.
The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.
Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.
Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:
Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.