It’s been a big week for right handed pitcher Keyvius Sampson. On July 24th he went out and had the best start of his year, tossing 8.0 shutout innings for the Louisville Bats. Later in the week he was called up by the Cincinnati Reds and made his big league debut on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates with a perfect inning while striking out two batters.
Earlier today the Reds announced that Sampson would be making the start on Sunday, taking over the spot vacated by the trade of Mike Leake. As noted above, his last start was outstanding, and it represents the good side. The start before that one, that represents the other side for the inconsistent right hander.
On July 19th against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Sampson lasted just 2.1 innings, allowing five earned runs with four walks and just one strikeout before exiting the game. Since being called up to Triple-A Louisville he had been quite inconsistent. Let’s take a look at his games this season since his promotion to the Bats:
It’s worth noting that the game on July 5th wasn’t a start at all, but came in relief of a rehabbing Raisel Iglesias. Looking at the list there – you can see the inconsistencies from game-to-game. When he’s on, he’s performed well. But when he’s been off, it’s been a real struggle.
He got the jitters, if they even existed, out of the way earlier this week when he made his debut. In the debut he topped out at 95 MPH and averaged 94 MPH with his fastball. He also showed a change up at 86 MPH and a curveball at 77 MPH. Sampson usually works in that 90-94 MPH range with his fastball, a rising 4-seamer with some cutting action to it at times.
Sunday is a wild card start. You never really know things are going to go for Sampson is his Triple-A time tells us anything. It should be clearly early on though as when he’s struggled it’s usually been apparently early on that he didn’t have it that day.