It's too early to really worry about Eddie Butler, but 2014 is going about as badly as possible for the 23-year-old right-hander.
In his first start since being activated from the disabled list and optioned to Double-A Tulsa, Butler allowed six runs -- four earned -- on eight hits and three walks in the Drillers' 10-0 loss to Springfield on Wednesday. Butler made it through 5⅓ innings, throwing 87 pitches -- 53 for strikes -- and whiffing only one batter.
It has been a battle for Butler in his three outings since returning to action following a shoulder injury that caused him to miss over a month. The Rockies' No. 2 overall prospect entering the season has surrendered eight walks and struck out only seven batters while allowing 13 earned runs in 14⅔ innings in starts for Modesto, Colorado Springs and Tulsa.
Sure, it's going to take some time for Butler to reestablish a routine and get back into a groove, which he is wont to do. However, the giant step backward that he has taken this season is nothing short of alarming.
Ryan Casteel had two of Tulsa's five hits and also drew a walk. Since returning from an injury that kept him out for a little more than a week, Casteel is 9-for-22 at the plate. The 23-year-old catcher/first baseman is hitting .395/.477/.553 over his last 10 games overall.
Tourists rally for 5 in 8th
Low-A Asheville took advantage of a comedy of errors and a bunch of singles to score five runs in the eighth inning of a 10-6 win over Greensboro.
Ryan McMahon finished with two hits and four RBI, two of which came in that eighth inning. Jordan Patterson led the Tourists with three hits, while Raimel Tapia (who hit Asheville's lone home run of the game), Michael Benjamin and Jose Briceno added two knocks apiece.
The Tourists moved to an unreal 27-6 in the second half and are 68-34 overall. Alex Balog was hit around a bit in 4⅓ innings, surrendering four runs on six hits to raise his ERA to 3.94. However, Trent Daniel and Troy Neiman came through with 3⅔ very key innings of scoreless relief in the middle
Nashville 5, Colorado Springs 2: Cristhian Adames and Matt McBride had two hits apiece in the Sky Sox' loss. Starter Mike McClendon allowed five runs on 11 hits, but Rob Scahill tossed 2⅓ innings of perfect relief and even notched a couple of Ks.
Eugene 4, Tri-City 3: Ryan Warner's struggles continued on Wednesday, when he allowed a pair of runs on six hits and three walks in only 4⅓ innings. His ERA for the season sits at 6.25. Josh Fuentes and Drew Weeks had two hits apiece.
DSL Rockies 8, DSL Cardinals 7: The Baby Rockies scored three runs in the bottom of the 15th inning despite hitting only one ball out of the infield. Welcome to the DSL, folks! Rockies starter Lorenz Ozuna allowed two runs on six hits in five innings, striking out seven and walking none. Alejandro Requena had the best pitching performance of the game, though, tossing five shutout innings while allowing only one hit. He struck out six. Jose Gomez led the Rockies with four hits, all singles. Carlos Herrera doubled twice as part of a 3-for-6 performance. There were 14 combined errors in the game.