Saturday, July 5, 2008

McAllister Surpassing Betances,
Cutch Shuts Out Syracuse

Zach McAllister is quickly [and surprisingly] leaving Dellin Betances in the dust.

The pair of 20 year-olds were expected to spend 2008 together in Charleston dominating Sally hitters alongside Jairo Heredia. Unfortunately, while McAllister is keeping up his end, Betances hit a period of shoulder soreness recently and is still working his way back into the Charleston rotation.

In the mean time, McAllister was promoted to High-A Tampa on May 31st, has already started seven games there and is posting a very impressive 2.47 ERA against the next level of minor league hitters.

Though Betances oozes the projectability and raw stuff that makes scouts take notice, McAllister has shown the maturation, versatility and maintained health teams love to see in a young prospect.

Thus far this season split between Charleston and Tampa, McAllister has logged 106 innings, with a 2.46 ERA while striking out 85 [to only 13 walks], allowing 103 hits, a promising 1.62 groundball to flyball ratio and a .252 opponent batting average.

The 6-foot-6, 235 lbs. Illinois product has only had one bad outing at the High A level which came in his Tampa debut. That poor start was the only time McAllister did not give his team a quality start - and Yesterday's start may have been McAllister's best outing yet at Tampa as he pitched 8 innings, struck out 9 batters, walked zero, and allowed two runs on five hits.


Tonight, Dan McCutchen posted his second complete game shutout for Scranton this season, allowing just five hits, zero walks and striking out 10 on 109 pitches [with 77 for strikes].

According to Chad Jennings, the Danimal "was hitting 93 consistently in the seventh." That's more than enough velocity to work with - and the new addition of a slider to compliment his curve, change and plus fastball makes for a solid arsenal for Cutch.

After a pedestrian start to his AAA campaign, McCutchen's latest shutout lowered his ERA to a very respectable 3.36 for Scranton. The shutout was his second at AAA since June 14th, which could be an encouraging sign of things to come.

Should that be the case, McCutchen may supplant the mediocre Jeff Karstens as the next internal rotation option should Darrell Rasner's downward spiral continue. The fact that Alan Horne is currently on the DL and Ian Kennedy has yet to again earn a spot in the big league rotation helps him as well.

And, if the Yankees swing a trade for a starting pitcher [in a deal not including him], McCutchen has the versatility to move to the bullpen and contribute there if necessary. Though this appears to be a long shot right now.

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