A few astute readers pointed out yesterday that Sawyer Carroll was on his way to Ft. Wayne, but we actually have a number of moves effective today in addition to the Carroll promotion.
OF Luis Durango was promoted from Ft. Wayne to Lake Elsinore. The only bad news here is that it doesn't look like Luis is going to win the batting title in the Midwest League, which will mark the first league title that has eluded him. Previously, he won the batting title in the Arizona League (.378), the Northwest League (.367), and I believe his winter league as well. This season he currently stands sixth, and just one point out of fourth. In addition to his terrific bat control, Luis has excellent speed and strike zone judgment (4th in the Midwest League in OBP) which helped him become the Topps Northwest League Player of the Year in 2007. The speedy leadoff hitter should be a nice fit in the Elsinore lineup.
RHP Manny Ayala was promoted from San Antonio to Portland. Manny had an excellent year in 2007, posting a combined 2.90 ERA over 130 innings between Lake Elsinore and San Antonio. Unfortunately, he experienced some arm discomfort in spring training and was unable to start the season with a team. After rehabbing in extended spring training, Manny joined the San Antonio club near the end of May and over 72 innings has put up a 3.86 ERA. Manny gives hitters problems with his excellent command and above average changeup.
A reliever with a good sinker/slider combo, RHP Jon Ellis was also promoted from San Antonio to Portland. Jon gives right-handed hitters a really hard time, holding them to a .196 average and a .510 ops so far this year. Overall, he has a 2.97 ERA in 63.2 innings of work while walking 27 and striking out 62. His sinker gets a lot of praise and is the primary reason for his 1.72 groundball to flyball ratio and the fact that he's given up just two home runs all year.
These four players moving up represent the good news. Unfortunately, when players move up through the chain something has to give to make room for them. In this particular case, we have a few injury issues on our pitching staff in Portland as both Kevin Cameron and Carlos Guevara have been placed on the DL with some elbow discomfort. Hopefully neither one will be serious.
In the meantime, we have a number of affiliates fighting for playoff spots over the next few weeks. We could have some exciting finishes.