Midseason Promotions Around High-A Baseball
The Carolina League All-Star break occurs at approximately the same time as multiple other leagues around the minors. Thus, it becomes a popular time for promotions. The Dash sent Spencer Arroyo, Daniel Wagner and Jake Oester up to Double-A Birmingham the day after the All-Star Break and received Blair Walters from Kannapolis. While the Dash did not lose any of their three All-Stars to promotion, the same wasn’t true for all representatives of the California-Carolina League All-Star Game. Here are a few of the big names who have recently departed the High-A level.
Cody Buckel- The Rangers called up the 20-year-old Buckel the day after he pitched a scoreless second inning for the Carolina League All-Stars. Their 2nd round pick in 2010 led the league in every major statistical category for a pitcher. He finished with a 5-3 record and a 1.31 ERA. Buckel also had 91 strikeouts and a WHIP of 0.98. He made his Double-A debut Sunday night but picked up the loss after allowing five hits and two runs in four innings.
Buckel is a good friend of Trevor Bauer, the Arizona Diamondbacks top pick in the 2011 draft. Bauer was called up to the big league club Sunday night and will be the first member of the 2011 class to make it to the majors when he makes his debut Thursday night against the Atlanta Braves.
Jackie Bradley, Jr.- To the relief of every Carolina League pitcher, Jackie Bradley, Jr., was called up to Double-A Portland. The Red Sox center fielder set the tone for Salem in the leadoff spot, going on to record league bests in batting average, doubles, on-base percentage and walks. In his first four games at the Double-A level Bradley Jr. is hitting .375 and has scored four runs. Outside of his offensive numbers, Bradley also has tremendous defensive range in center field.
Jeremie Tice- The Mudcats masher during the first-half of the season carried his big bat up to Double-A Akron. Tice was primarily a designated hitter for Carolina but spent a few games in left field and first base. In 52 games during the first half of the season, Tice hit .282 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI and a league-best slugging percentage of .580. In three games with Akron, Tice is hitting .417 with a homer and five RBI.
Sugar Ray Marimon- The former Wilmington right-hander punched his way into Double-A after compiling a 4-2 record and 2.12 ERA in nine starts. Marimon struck out 60 batters and walked 18 in 68 innings. He will make his debut for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Monday afternoon.
A few players from the California League were selected as All-Stars but had already been promoted from their High-A clubs. Most notably, Tony Cingrani of the Cincinnati Reds organization was sent from Bakersfield to Double-A Pensacola after compiling a 5-1 record and 1.11 ERA in the notoriously hitter-friendly California League. Cingrani also struck out 71 batters in just 56 and two-thirds innings. Cingrani has made four starts with the Double-A Blue Wahoos, with his best coming against Birmingham on June 8 when he pitched six scoreless innings, striking out nine batters.
Mid-season promotions change the dynamic of a team but are a necessary part of minor league baseball. The Dash lost many pieces from a title-winning first-half team, but, for the moment their three All-Stars remain on the roster. With each of the Southern Division teams losing key members, the Dash could be in line to win the second half as well.