News and Nuggets from the Minors
Now that Spring Training games are underway, there will be many great articles and interviews on some of the top prospects in the game. For now, I will highlight some interesting news and notes from spring training every couple of weeks or so. Once the season starts, News and Nuggets will be coming at you on a weekly basis!
Joey Wentz leaves a bullpen session with forearm soreness.
Earlier in camp, Wentz left a bullpen session with some forearm soreness, as reported by Chris McCosky of The Detroit News. Wentz was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the first round in 2016. He came to the Tigers organization in the Shane Greene trade at the Trading Deadline last year. While he doesn’t have lights-out stuff, he profiles as a number #4 starter and, if this injury is nothing serious, should make his debut for the Tigers this year.
Oneil Cruz brings the muscle.
One of my favorite prospects to watch might be even more fun to watch this season. Kevin Gorman of the Trib Live is reporting that Cruz has added about 10-15 pounds of muscle on his gigantic 6’7” frame. Cruz should begin the year in Double-A and has gotten some great feedback on his fielding at short. However, because he is so tall, most scouts feel he will move to right field in the end. Luckily, that move will not affect his light-tower power.
Phillies and Spencer Howard are taking it slow
Spencer Howard, easily the top pitching prospect in the Phillies system, has been told by the team that they are expecting to take it slow with the right-hander. Scott Lauber, of The Philadelphia Inquirer, reports that the team informed Howard during AFL in the fall. The Phillies were planning on taking it slower based on Howard’s injury history since being drafted. However, Howard also tweaked his knee early in camp and has not thrown since then. While Howard should make his debut sometime this year, it might be closer to All-Star break.
Ryan Mountcastle…an outfielder?
Ryan Mountcastle might be one of the better hitters in the minors without a true position. Surprisingly, he was drafted as a shortstop but was quickly moved to third base and then to first base as he progressed through the levels. In a shocking move, the Orioles did not call him up when the rosters expanded last September. With Chris Davis still playing first, many were left to question where Mountcastle would make his debut, as he does not have anything left to prove in the minors. Jon Meoli of The Baltimore Sun reported that Mountcastle received first reps in left field when camp opened this spring. With Baltimore in a major rebuild, you could expect to see Mountcastle manning the outfield in Camden Yards early in the 2020 season.
Dylan Carlson fighting for a spot on the Opening Day roster.
It is looking very likely that Dylan Carlson will make his MLB debut this season but the biggest question is when that will be. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch brings up a very interesting note in his latest article on the outfielder. The Cardinals have traditionally not been a team to manipulate service time as some MLB organizations have done recently. Unfortunately for Carlson, there are many outfielders standing in his way. The Cardinals GM has said there is an open competition for a spot in the outfield so there is a non-zero chance we see Carlson on the Opening Day roster.
Daz Cameron is on the comeback trail
After the worst season of his career, Daz Cameron talks about what went wrong with Jeff Seidel of The Detroit Free Press. In this article, Cameron discusses his multiple swing changes made during the year. After some deep thinking in the off-season, Cameron decided that changing so many things from at-bat to at-bat was not helping and knows how close he is to the majors.