On Saturday the Daytona Tortugas played a doubleheader and their pitching staff had a heck of a day. While they split the doubleheader it wasn’t due to anything from the pitchers who took the mound on the day who allowed two runs over the 14.0 innings they pitched and struck out 24 batters with just three walks.
That night I looked at a few pitchers over on Patreon in the game notes (hey, did you know you can get the game reviews with a bunch of additional notes on players each day emailed to you for just a few bucks a month? Well you’re in luck if that’s something you’d be into) and a few things jumped out.
Jayvien Sandridge is dominating for Daytona
The left-handed pitcher joined the Reds organization in 2021, signing in June. He only pitched during the month of July and he pitched well in his first six outings, posting a 2.00 ERA in 9.0 innings with five walks and 12 strikeouts. But the final outing of his season saw him allowed five earned runs without recording an out. He didn’t pitch again in 2021.
In 2022 the Reds send the lefty to Daytona to begin the season. He’s kept runs off of the board all season – giving up just one earned run in each month so far this year. The one place he has struggled has been with his walk rate. In his 9.2 innings pitched between April and May he walked 10 batters and had 16 strikeouts. But in June he’s flipped that script. Sandridge has thrown 8.1 innings for Daytona this month and he’s walked just three batters. While the lowered walk rate is great to see, it hasn’t come at the expense of his strikeouts. In fact, those have also seen a big improvement as he has fanned 16 of the 31 batters he’s faced this month.
The Florida State League has Hawkeye installed in all of the stadiums except for Daytona, because of course that would be our luck (all of the parks in the league are the spring training home for big league teams except Daytona – they do have Trackman installed and use it there). There are differences between the two systems, and Hawkeye does give you more overall data – but the biggest difference in this situation is that *some* of the Hawkeye data is publicly available if you know where to look, while the Trackman data is not. That means for road games that involve the Tortugas we get some of that data that we don’t get anywhere else in the minors (for the Reds system, that is).
What’s interesting when looking at the data for Sandridge is that his first road game saw him average 94.1 MPH and top out at 95.6 MPH. Things went south for a bit after that, though, averaging 91.5, 90.4, and 92.6 over the next three road appearances that he made. But on June 19th he averaged 94.3 MPH and again topped out at 95.6 MPH.
The sample size is small for this kind of data – just five appearances – but let’s take a look at what those five road appearances tell us as far as his pitch repertoire goes.
The curveball and the slider showed similarities that it’s possible they are the same offering, just one is a tad slower than the other. Without having video of all the outings it’s tough to say for sure.
What’s not tough to say is that Jayvien Sandridge is dominating opposing hitters. His ERA sits at 1.50 on the season and he has struck out 32 of the 79 batters he has faced (that’s 40.5%). He’s holding hitters to a .136/.279/.152 line and of the nine hits he has given up only one of them has gone for extra-bases – a double allowed on June 5th. A majority of the batters he has faced this year have been righties. He’s only had the opportunity to face 12 lefties all season. They haven’t recorded a hit against him yet.
Matt McLain to the injured list
Over the weekend Matt McLain was placed on the injured list in Chattanooga with a sore wrist. I’ve been told he was checked out by a doctor and that everything came back normal, but they are going to be cautious.
The midpoint of the minor league season happened last week, but in the middle of the weekly series that all of the full-season teams play. While there are promotions that take place throughout the season, there’s usually more than a few of them that take place midseason.
On Sunday night some of those started to get out. Elvaronsport12 on Instagram had the news that Allan Cerda was being promoted from High-A Dayton to Double-A Chattanooga.
The outfielder has hit .219/.370/.488 with 13 doubles, a triple, and 13 home runs in 62 games played for Dayton this season. The .219 average isn’t good, and he’s struck out 91 times in 249 plate appearances (36.5%). What is good, though, is the on-base percentage and the ability to hit for plenty of power. On the defensive side of things you’re looking at a strong defensive center fielder with a big time arm, too.
Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported this afternoon that a few other Dayton Dragons were moving up to join Chattanooga. Pitcher Connor Phillips and infielder Nick Quintana will be joining Cerda in the trip south to join the Southern League.
Phillips was acquired this spring from the Seattle Mariners in the trade that sent Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to Seattle. The right-handed starter made 12 starts for the Dragons in the first half, posting a 2.95 ERA in 64.0 innings while allowing 39 hits – just 5 home runs – and walking 32 batters to go along with 90 strikeouts. The 21-year-old will join the Lookouts rotation this week as they start a home series against Birmingham.
Quintana joined the organization this spring as well, coming over in the trade with Detroit for Tucker Barnhart. The Tigers selected Quintana in the 2nd round of the 2019 draft, but he struggled in his two seasons playing in their farm system. In 2019 he hit .194 in 66 games after the draft. Then in 2021 he hit .196 in 89 games. This season with Dayton he’s played in 59 games and has hit .257/.372/.421 with 12 doubles and 6 home runs.