Sam Howard put up an excellent start against Round Rock for Albuquerque, throwing six shutout innings, allowing just three baserunners while striking out four. Neither team could score in regulation, but a Tony Wolters RBI triple in the 10th set up Austin House to get the save.
Howard is having a really solid season, having made nine Double-A starts (putting up a 2.33 ERA) before being promoted to Triple-A, where he’s now made ten starts. At both levels, he’s posted above-average strikeout rates (22.1% for Hartford, 20.4% for Albuquerque). In Double-A, his walk rate was an excellent 6.6 percent, while in Triple-A that’s gone up to a slightly below-average 10.2 percent, last night’s excellent start (where he walked just one) notwithstanding.
Howard’s long-term outlook (at least with the Rockies) is tempered by his batted-ball profile, which skews towards the flyball side. He does generate a significant number of popups, but Coors Field is not kind to pitchers who allow as many fly balls as Howard does. Furthermore, there are at least eight starting pitchers ahead of him on the organizational depth chart for 2018. Perhaps the Rockies would be wise to utilize Howard as a trade chip in negotiations with a team who plays in a more flyball friendly park.
Down in the Sally, Riley Pint’s struggles with command flared back up, as he walked five in his 52⁄3 innings. Pint is still very young, and his upside is unquestionable. That said, he is extremely erratic with his fastball command, and tends to allow far more contact than you’d expect from someone with his quality of stuff. On the positive side, Pint appears to be an extreme groundball pitcher, inducing groundball contact on 60 percent of his batted balls. If he can start missing bats, Pint will have more margin for error with his command, which is unlikely to ever be above-average as a major leaguer.
Sam Howard (No. 11 PuRP): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, BB, 4 K
Tony Wolters: 3-for-4, 3B, RBI
Austin House: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K, Save
Brendan Rodgers (No. 1 PuRP): 2-for-6, 2 RBI
Brian Mundell (No. 17 PuRP): 1-for-3, R, BB
Shane Broyles: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K, Save
Sam Hilliard (No. 26 PuRP): 3-for-5, RBI, 2 SB
Garrett Hampson (No. 13 PuRP): 1-for-4, 2 R, BB, SB
Jesus Tinoco: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, HR
Riley Pint (No. 3 PuRP): 52⁄3 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 4 K
Tyler Nevin (No. 23 PuRP): 3-for-6, R, 2 RBI
Vince Fernandez (No. 25 PuRP): 1-for-5, RBI, 2 BB
Short-Season-A: Boise Hawks 6, Tri-City Dust Devils 4 (Suspended B4)
Ryan Vilade (No. 8 PuRP): 1-for-3, R, BB
Chad Spanberger (No. 30 PuRP): 1-for-3, 2 RBI, BB
Pedro Gonzalez (No. 12 PuRP): 0-for-2, R, 2 BB
DSL: DSL Rockies, DSL Yankees (Postponed)
Triple-A: Ryan Carpenter
Double-A: Jack Wynkoop
High-A: Brandon Gold
Low-A: Breiling Eusebio
SS-A: Ryan Luna
Rookie: Anderson Amarista