Former Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens threw well in his second start in the minor leagues, allowing two runs in eight innings with a walk and three strikeouts. In his first start at Triple-A, he allowed one run in seven innings with four strikeouts. Jurrjens would likely have a slight edge over AAA teammate Julio Teheran if the Braves needed a starter from the minor leagues. Teheran has a 2.81 ERA through 25 2/3 innings with 11 walks and 20 strikeouts.
Left-handed starting pitcher John Gast is performing well in his second go round at Double-A, tossing seven shutout innings in his last start with five strikeouts. For the season, Gast has a 2.03 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings. Gast was a 6th round pick in the 2010 draft from Florida State and is currently ranked the top left-handed starter in the St. Louis Cardinals farm system.
Gast’s teammate, outfielder Oscar Taveras, has been heating up of late, hitting .364 over his last 10 games with four home runs and 11 RBI. For the season, Taveras is batting .331 with nine home runs and 30 RBI plus two stolen bases. Taveras hit .386 last season at Quad Cities in 308 at bats and has shown a good ability to make contact as he moves up the minor league system with only 16 strikeouts in 118 at bats this season.
The Washington Nationals have another starting pitcher, currently at Double-A that could be ready to help the major league club next season. Left-handed pitcher Daniel Rosenbaum has been tough to hit with a .179 batting average against and sports a 0.81 ERA through 44 2/3 innings with 27 strikeouts. On top of that, he has walked only three hitters and allowed one home run.
If you are a Seattle Mariners fan, you have to like what you are seeing from the starting pitchers at the Double-A level. Their 2010 First round pick James Paxton has a 2.51 ERA in 28 2/3 innings with 36 strikeouts, but still needs some work with his control with 18 walks allowed. Their 2011 first round pick Danny Hultzen has a 2.35 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with 34 strikeouts, but again walks are an issue with 19 free passes given out. Also there is the team’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Taijuan Walker who has a 1.30 ERA in 27 2/3 innings with 28 strikeouts.
The Texas Rangers have more young pitching on the way with Justin Grimm currently leading the Texas League at Double-A in ERA at 1.60. A 5th round from the 2010 draft, Grimm is holding hitters to a .183 batting average and has 37 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings. He has allowed only two runs in his last 17 innings of work.