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Game 62 Open Thread: June 11, 2006

suppan bush
5-4, 5.01 4-5, 4.54

kudos to reggie sanders, who finally achieved the 300-300 thing last night. it's not really much of an accomplishment, frankly -- more a function of longevity than anything else -- but i've always liked reggie and am happy to seem him get some recognition.

when sanders left pittsburgh and signed with the cardinals, craig wilson took over for him in the pirate outfield -- and wilson may soon follow reggie's footsteps to st louis, per a strong rumor out of pittsburgh. not a word in the stl papers today. i think wilson is a sensible acquisition, assuming -- and it's a safe assumption, jocketty's not a fool -- he doesn't cost an important prospect. not much to choose from on the triple a roster, but the cards do have some attractive prospects at double a, most notably pitchers stu pomeranz and chris lambert. the organization needs to open a spot in the double-a rotation for either blake hawksworth -- who has finally mastered a ball (2.42 era in 70 innings at high class a) -- or chris narveson, who has blown hitters away in three class-a starts and is pitching way beneath his proper classification -- he has been at double a or above since 2003.

while i'm at it -- and i shouldn't do this, but it's sunday morning so what the hell -- one of those relief pitchers at palm beach has caught my eye. kid named mike sillman. he's 24 years old and still in single a, so no point in getting carried away; i've never seen him pitch. he's a little guy, listed at 6-1/190 (and you know he is smaller than that); pitched at the u of nebraska, was drafted 21st in 2004, and has done nothing but mow hitters down since then. in 29 innings his debut year, split between rookie ball and short-season a, he struck out 41 hitters and allowed only 17 hits. shazaaam. era was 1.55. last year he was quad cities' closer (low a ball) and he threw 66 innings, struck out 77, and gave up only 39 hits; shazam again. era was 2.74. and this season, closing games for palm beach -- mark worrell's gig last season -- sillman has thrown 24 innings, struck out 31, and yielded only 15 hits while compiling a 1.13 era. he also has improved his control, which was a big problem last season -- just 7 walks so far this year. in his career as a whole -- all in a-ball, remember -- this guy has struck out 11.3 per 9 innings, while allowing only 5.4 hits per 9. he has more than twice as many strikeouts as hits. his career era is 2.34.

he's a lot older than most of the players he's facing, so it may be -- it's actually more likely than not -- that he's simply fooling inexperienced hitters, using a formula that won't work against tougher competition. but any guy who's this dominating deserves a chance to move up and test himself against better players.

by the way, sillman's predecessor as the palm beach closer -- worrell -- continues to have the occasional implosion for springfield. happened again thursday night, when he yielded the last 4 runs in a 7-run 8th inning vs wichita. kid came out the next night and saved his 15th game, though . . . . he still has some decent peripherals -- 34 strikeouts in 27 innings, only 21 hits allowed -- but doesn't appear ready for triple a; not til he gets his era below 5.00, anyway. he'll be at double a all year, which means sillman -- who is a year older than worrell, and was drafted 9 rounds behind him -- may have to stay at palm beach until next season.

re last night's game: didn't see it, don't have a whole lot to say about it. i look at the box score and i see a game that, in recent years, has usually been a dull, forgettable win . . . can't win em all. another reason not to pin all the bullpen's woes on is'hausen; the whole unit has been up-n-down this year. even wainwright -- his era over last month (dating back to may 11) is 4.61 --- 7 runs in 13.2 innings -- and he has been scored upon in 5 of his 10 appearances in that span. i'm not worried about him -- he's walked 1 and struck out 12, only given up 13 hits. just pointing out that izzy's not the only reliever giving up leads lately.