There’s no minor league baseball games being played on Monday this year, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no minor league baseball news on Monday. Andrew Abbott is being promoted to Triple-A Louisville. The lefty was the one to break the news, posting about it on his instagram stories this morning. He’s not the only pitcher getting a promotion, either. Lyon Richardson is moving up to join the Double-A rotation according to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic.
There are dominant starts to the season and then there’s about a 10-mile gap to what Andrew Abbott did to start his year. If you look at his stat line a lot jumps out to you. His ERA is 1.15 through three starts, but the two earned runs he “allowed” are only because we don’t give official scorers enough leeway. With two outs, Abbott induced a shallow fly ball to center that should have ended the inning. But it didn’t because the center fielder lost the ball in the lights and it landed 5 feet behind him, allowing two runs to score.
Outside of that play, Andrew Abbott has allowed no runs, five hits, walked three batters, and he’s struck out 36 of the 56 hitters he’s faced this year in 15.2 innings pitched for the Chattanooga Lookouts. While his start in 2023 has been hilariously good, Abbott dominated to end the year with Chattanooga last season, too. He had been inconsistent throughout the summer, but his final three starts last season saw him throw 16.0 shutout innings, allow just seven hits, walk three batters, and strike out 21. So over his last six starts at the Double-A level he threw 31.2 innings and allowed 13 hits, walked six batters, and struck out 57 batters while posting a 0.57 ERA that should have been a 0.00 ERA.
Now the lefty is heading up to Triple-A to see what he can do there. And as a selfish point, we get to see all of his stuff via Hawkeye to get just a little bit better of an idea of how it looks compared to some big league pitchers with hard data.
Lyon Richardson is moving up
In November the Cincinnati Reds added Lyon Richardson to the 40-man roster. Richardson hadn’t pitched in a game since August of 2021 because he underwent Tommy John surgery following the season. He had pitched a limited number of innings in instructional league and he looked good enough that Cincinnati felt another team may select him in the Rule 5 draft if he was left off of the roster.
With potential cold weather in the Midwest or Southern Leagues in April, the organization sent Richardson to Single-A Daytona and the Florida State League where it was far more likely to be warm in all of his starts and give him a little bit of unofficial rehab in the process before sending him to a higher level. That day has come and Richardson is being promoted to Double-A Chattanooga where he will presumably replace Abbott in the rotation now that he’s on his way up.
Lyon Richardson was dominant in his three starts for Daytona. He was limited in how much he was allowed to pitch, so he threw just 9.0 innings in his three games, but he allowed one run on five hits and a walk. He struck out 18 of the 33 batters he faced while taking the mound for the Tortugas.
In his limited time with Daytona he averaged 97.6 MPH with his fastball and topped out just over 99 MPH. Richardson also showed a change up, slider, and a curveball.