The Daytona Tortugas just announced that right handed starting pitcher Wyatt Strahan has been placed on the disabled list with a right forearm strain. He’s been replaced on the roster by outfielder Jimmy Pickens for the time being.
Wyatt Strahan had been strong for the Tortugas this season. He pitched into the 7th inning in his last three starts after completing five innings in his first start of the season. The right hander had a 3.80 ERA in 23.2 innings pitched with eight walks and 15 strikeouts in April. He also hadn’t allowed a home run on the season.
The recently turned 23-year-old righty is coming off of back-t0-back seasons with sub 2.80 ERA’s (2.76 with Billings in 2014 and 2.79 with Dayton in 2015) thanks to big ground ball rates and good control. His ground ball rate has remained high in Daytona early on, posting a 54% rate (MLB average is just over 47%).
Where he has struggled some early on is missing bats. In Billings he struck out 21.3% of the batters he faced. That number dropped to 18.9% in Dayton last season. In the early goings in the 2016 season with Daytona that number has dropped even further, down to 14.4% on the season.
With a strained forearm it could be one of the reasons that he’s seen his strikeout rate decline, especially if he’s been pitching through anything. At the same time, a strained forearm can sometimes be a precursor to a more serious arm injury. Hopefully that isn’t the case with Strahan, who has been one of the better performing pitchers since the Reds selected him in the 3rd round of the 2014 draft.
Jimmy Pickens will be making his 2016 debut when he gets into the lineup. The outfielder spent all of the 2015 season with the Dayton Dragons, playing in 96 games. In his 362 plate appearances he hit .247/.296/.373 with nine steals, 21 doubles, three triples and five home runs.