Road To The Colorado Rockies: August 28 Minor League Updates

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New Britain Rock Cats — AA

Last week (3-4), Overall (60-68): Despite a hot start to the season, the Rock Cats have faded lately, and they are four games away from being eliminated from the playoffs. Considering how well the first two months went for the Cats, this is certainly a disappointment for them, though part of the reason for the slide has been players being promoted to AAA Albuquerque. Such is minor league life.

Statistically, the Cats do a decent job pitching (3.71 ERA, middle of the pack in the Eastern League), but they’ve failed to hit the ball and position players in New Britain collectively haven’t had great years, with the team slashing just .250/.312/.372 in their first 128 games.

Trending up: Harrison Musgrave. The 8th round pick out of West Virginia University has made himself into a prospect that you can’t ignore, after a great first half of the season in Modesto (10-1, 2.88 ERA, .240 batting average against, 1.10 WHIP in the hitter-friendly California League).

Upon promotion to AA New Britain, Musgrave has done much of the same, including tossing 11 consecutive scoreless innings spanning his last two starts. In eight starts for the Rock Cats, Musgrave is only 1-3, but holds a 2.87 ERA and has walked just 9, compared to 32 strikeouts, in 37.2 innings.

[ Related: What do the Colorado Rockies have in Jeff Hoffman? ]

Trending downCarlos Estevez. Like Musgrave, Estevez dominated in Modesto the first half of 2015, and earned himself a call-up to AA New Britain. Unlike Musgrave, though, the reliever hasn’t quite found his spot yet with the Rock Cats, pitching to a 5.40 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, and .286 batting average against in 28 games (30 innings) in New Britain.

In the last ten games, Estevez is 0-2 in 9.1 innings, having allowed 11 runs on 10 hits and 5 walks. Although he has struck out 15 hitters, he’s also blow two of seven save opportunities in that time frame.

One to watch: David Dahl. Dahl is hitting just .266/.291/.397 in the minors this year, but remember that the 2012 1st round draft pick had his spleen removed during the year (!) and was out for a few weeks dealing with that incredibly serious situation.

Considering how quickly he made it back from that, Dahl’s toughness and mentality towards getting back on the field are unquestionable. He’s probably not ready for a September call-up this season (and the Rockies already have too many outfielders), but he could be knocking on that door in the middle of 2016 depending on how he fares in AAA next year.

Next: Modesto Nuts (A )