|Rochester||Lost, 10-3||vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 6:05 p.m.||J. Rodriguez (2-0, 4.35) vs. Wesneski (1-1, 4.50)|
|DSL Nationals||Lost, 2-0||@ DSL Tigers, 10 a.m.|
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 10 Rochester 3
• Fuentes (L, 0-5) 2⅓ IP, 8H, 9R, 9ER, 2BB, 1K, HR, HBP, 2WP
• Bonnell 3⅔ IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 7K, HBP
• Banks 1-3, R, HR, 3RBI
• Reetz 2-2, R
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre got three in the 2nd and six in the 3rd en route to a 10-3 win over Rochester. Steven Fuentes threw in-game BP for two and 1/3rd innings and was charged with nine runs on eight hits (one HR), two walks, and a Victor Robles. It was his fifth loss. Nick Banks’s third HR broke up the shutout bid and was the only extra-base hit as the RedWings had four singles and two walks otherwise.
DSL Phillies Red 2 DSL Nationals 0
• Marcano (L, 2-1) 6IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K, HBP
• Francisco 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• E. Santana 1-2
• J. Fernandez 1-3
The D-Phillies Red got two in the 2nd and it would be more than enough as the D-Nats dropped their third straight, 2-0. Eliel Marcano turned in a quality start of two runs on six hits and no walks with two whiffs. He was rewarded with his first loss. The D-Nats managed just three singles and one walk with no batter reaching base twice.
BA NAMES CAVALLI TOP HIGH-A EAST PROSPECT
It’s League Top 10 season (used to be Top 20) for Baseball America, and the second Nats prospect to be named is The One, Cade Cavalli – the #1 for the High-A East. Cavalli went 3-1 with a line of 1.77/1.63/0.89 with 71K and 12BB over 40⅔ innings, which earned him a promotion to AA after seven starts (actually fairly typical).
BA was, as usual, effusive in their praise: “one evaluator not[ed] he wouldn’t look out of place in the big leagues right now, and he had no trouble throwing strikes consistently—a concern coming out of college.” Why the italics? Because anyone who’s paid attention should now recognize that as a proverbial dip in the Flavor-Aid.
Keith Law wrote about Cavalli in August, having seen him pitch against Erie, and had this to say:
What Cavalli lacks, however, is average control – let alone command. He threw 100 pitches in five innings against Erie, just 57 of them strikes. He succeeded by overpowering hitters – even Greene and Torkelson, both elite hitting prospects – rather than with location. He’s also walked 25 men in 41 1/3 innings in Double A, with only two starts where he walked less than a man for every two innings pitched. Cavalli wasn’t a big strike-thrower in college, so this isn’t a surprise, but it does mean he’s likely to need more time before he becomes an above-average major-league starter than most college starters do. He also has better pure stuff than most of those guys and offers a higher upside if he gets to just average command.
Obviously, we have the benefit of hindsight but it seems rather obvious to me that Law’s implication that Cavalli should’ve stayed in AA is spot-on. This is not to bag on Cavalli as overrated. Everyone and their grandmother agree: Cavalli’s got the Motts. Law himself gave similar praise to the high, hard stuff [Insert Michael Scott joke here], the plus slider, and how he threw the changeup to the lefties.
But the list of guys with amazing stuff and terrible control is a long one. The jump in BB/9 rate from 2.7 to 5.4 from High-A to AA alone should’ve been a clue that Cavalli either wasn’t ready for AAA or—as mentioned in the comments—was starting to tire. His previous season-high in IP was 60⅓ in 2019 and threw just 23⅔ in 2020. Sure, he’s only 23, big and strong, but throwing a five-ounce sphere as fast as Jayson Werth drives is an unnatural act that requires the muscles and tendons to be conditioned. Obviously, the only way to do that is to throw but there are limits. And the Nationals have been kind of, sort of, not always good at knowing them.