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Rockies prospects: Eddie Butler continues to struggle

Over his last 10 Double-A outings, Butler has not looked anything close to a potential ace. That, unfortunately, did not change on Sunday.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

I think it's time to officially be concerned about Eddie Butler.

The Rockies' No. 2 pitching prospect (No. 3 overall PuRP) suffered through another poor outing on Sunday, allowing five runs on eight hits in six innings in Double-A Tulsa's 9-2 loss to Frisco. It was a rather disappointing performance considering Butler tossed five shutout innings in his last start. And, perhaps more concerning, it brings Butler's line over his last 10 Double-A starts to this:

58⅔ innings, 63 hits, 21 walks, 30 strikeouts, 3.53 ERA.

The ERA is pretty decent considering Butler's peripherals are kind of a mess. He's struck out just 4.6 batters per nine innings with a walk rate hovering right around average during that period. We know that Butler is still trying to regain arm strength after a lengthy absence due to a rotator cuff strain, and we are aware that the Rockies are essentially having him, much like No. 1 PuRP Jon Gray, pitch with the proverbial training wheels on. However, we'd better hope those are the reasons for the 23-year-old right-hander's struggles, otherwise Colorado is in trouble.

Regardless of how Butler performed on the mound, the Drillers were not winning this game as evidenced by their paltry two-hit performance at the plate.

It's time to move up, Cuddy

Rockies star outfielder and 2013 NL batting champion Michael Cuddyer has been torturing the Pioneer League on a rehab assignment. Cuddy finished 4-for-6 with three doubles and three RBI in Rookie-level Grand Junction's 9-4 win over Great Falls on Sunday and is now 11-for-19 with six two-baggers, nine RBI and five runs scored in five games.

It's safe to say he's ready to move up.

Nate Causey also had four hits, including a pair of doubles, and Hamlet Marte hit his third home run of the year. Carlos Polanco started for the Rockies and lasted four innings, allowing two runs -- none earned -- on three hits and three walks. He struck out four. Rafael Betancourt -- STILL with Grand Junction -- gave up two hits and a walk in an inning of work. Two runs scored on his watch, but neither were earned.

Modesto falls to 50 games under .500

High-A Modesto dropped to 35-85 with a 6-2 loss to Stockton. Pat Valaika and Matt Wessinger both homered, but that wasn't enough to overcome the four jacks allowed by Nuts pitchers. Valaika and Jordan Ribera had two hits apiece to lead Modesto's offense. David Dahl went 0-for-4 from the leadoff spot.

Other games

Omaha 4, Colorado Springs 3: Rob Scahill allowed a tiebreaking home run to Johnny Giavotella in the top of the 12th inning to send the Sky Sox to 48-74. Matt McBride had two hits, including a two-run homer off of former Rockie Clayton Mortensen. Chad Bettis interestingly started the game and two runs on four hits and two walks in 4⅓ innings. He struck out four.

Asheville 5, West Virginia 3: The Tourists improved to 76-43 behind Johendi Jimnian, who struck out six and walked only one in five innings. Troy Neiman worked 3⅔  frames and struck out three batters. He allowed the game-tying run but pitched well enough in a key stretch to earn the win that he was awarded. Raimel Tapia, Ashley Graeter and Dillon Thomas had two hits apiece for Asheville.

Tri-City 11, Vancouver 7: The Dust Devils scored five in the ninth to overcome a 7-6 deficit and earn an improbable win. Josh Fuentes was the hero in the decisive half-inning, coming through with a bases-clearing single with the aid of a throwing error. Helmis Rodriguez started for Tri-City and allowed two earned runs in six innings. His ERA for the season sits at 2.21.