Bulls in Minors: Lirette off to strong start
I could leave the Big East ballot up all weekend and it'd probably generate more interest, but I pulled everyone's stats on Thursday for another minor-league update and don't want to post four-day-old stats on Monday, so here we are.
I'm counting 10 Bulls in the minors, not counting two recent signees who haven't yet started playing -- Shawn Sanford with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in Oregon and Trey Manz with the Billings Mustangs in Montana. I'll open with an update on former Bulls pitcher Chase Lirette, then go in descending order by minor-league level.
Chase Lirette, SP, Class A Lansing: Lirette didn't make his season debut until mid-May, but he has great numbers in his first six starts -- 3-0, with a 1.87 ERA, holding opposing batters to a .172 average. The 24-year-old has thrown 24 strikeouts against just eight walks, giving up just 20 hits in 33-plus innings. If he keeps that up, a promotion from the Lugnuts to Dunedin and the Florida State League can't be far off.
Dan Otero, RP, Class AA Connecticut: He's mortal! After not giving up an earned run in his first 15 innings, Otero has had a (relatively) rough month, dropping to 0-3 with an ERA that's still just 1.63. The Defenders' closer has 14 saves, and he has 19 strikeouts against seven walks. He has as many losses as saves in the past three weeks, but his overall numbers remain strong.
Jeff Baisley, 3B, Class AAA Sacramento: Baisley is coming around, but still hasn't found his swing after being taken off Oakland's 40-man roster before the season. He's hitting .217 -- up from .167 a month ago -- and has two home runs and 16 RBIs.
David Austen, SP, Class AAA Salt Lake City: The 28-year-old is 2-4 with a 6.87 ERA in seven starts, with as many walks (12) as strikeouts. He's giving up far too many hits -- 46 in 36.2 innings.
Casey Hudspeth, SP, Class AA Corpus Christi: Hud, too, hasn't been his usual self, with a 4-5 record and 5.89 ERA, up from 4.20 a month ago. He has more walks (30) than strikeouts (29) and has given up 11 runs over his last two starts.
John Raburn, 2B, Class AA Huntsville: The 30-year-old hasn't hit well this season, with a .214 average (up from .167 last month) and just four RBIs in 112 at-bats.
Daniel Thomas, RP, Class A Stockton: Remains on the disabled list, where he's been for the past two months. Opened the year with a 13.50 ERA in five appearances.
Brian Baisley, 1B, Class A Tampa: Baisley earned a promotion from Charleston in May, but he hasn't responded well to the Florida State league. He's hitting .176 in 28 games, with 33 strikeouts in 91 at-bats. Needs to find the same stroke that had him hitting .339 in Charleston, with 23 RBIs.
Addison Maruszak, SS, Class A Charleston: Maruszak went down to Charleston about the same time Baisley went up to Tampa, and Maruszak is hitting well, with a .303 average, though he's not playing but every few days for some reason Still better than the .148 he was hitting in Tampa.
Walter Diaz, OF, Class A Lake County: Diaz is hitting just .232 but has scored 21 runs and stolen five bases. His eye has been good, with more walks (26) than strikeouts (24).