Strikeouts, Schmidt and Stuff
The franchise's all-time worst was 1,047 punchouts, and this year's version is just five away with 21 games left on the slate. I find that pretty darn astounding.
The mark gets even more perplexing when one realizes that the team has spent the last month and change without Cody Johnson and Brad Suttle -- windmills both -- and that Melky Mesa, another prime culprit, had played just 87 games entering Wednesday's action.
-- Another reason the Thunder have struggled down the stretch? Infield defense, or a severe lack thereof. Corban Joseph and Jose Pirela have combined for 51 errors this season at second base and shortstop, respectively.
-- Yesterday, I ran down the list of people I thought might start Friday's homestand-opening game against the Bowie Baysox. I listed Kei Igawa, Cory Arbiso and Jeff Marquez as possibilities, but apparently I didn't count on one of the more obvious choices: Josh Schmidt.
Schmidt, who is, mercifully, on the precipice of minor league free agency, has been sent back to Trenton, according to Donnie Collins of the Scranton Times-Tribune.
As is tradition, Schmidt has bounced between Trenton and Scranton this season, and has put forth a 7-4 record, a 2.20 ERA and a .199 average against. He's allowed just 40 hits in 57.1 innings this year and has fanned 62 against 24 walks.
If he starts on Friday, I wouldn't be surprised to see him stick in the rotation for the rest of the year. He's filling the shoes of Dellin Betances, who will make his first Triple-A start tomorrow, against Durham.
The difference between Schmidt and Betances is not unlike that between Joba Chamberlain and former Yankees reliever Edwar Ramirez.
-- John Brebbia, the Yankees' 30th-round selection in this year's draft, out of Elon, was assigned to Staten Island today.