I'm a little worried about Brian Bixler.
The Red Wings crossed me up and started last night's game at 6:35 instead of 7:05, so I missed Bixler's first AB, when he singled. I did get to see two K's and a weak bounceout, and he looked bad doing that.
I wonder if he hasn't been figured out somewhat. I looked up his numbers at milb.com and his average has gone down every month, and his K-rate has gone up. He drew a lot of walks in June (16), but even with that, his OPS dropped:
OPS by month:
He's 300 AB into his AAA career and not really pounding down the door to the bigs. His overall numbers are still good, but his recent performance looks more like a trend than a slump to me.
Bayliss wasn't impressive. He was especially disappointing relative to when I saw him in Rochester last year and wrote this diary.
He gave up a flyball out, a walk, a deep flyout, and then had his runner cut down stealing in his one inning. But tracking his velocity was interesting when compared to last year.
In the game last year, he threw his fastball 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, and 94 mph. Even better, his change was 77, 78, and 84. That produced two K's, two groundouts, and a short flyout.
Last night, here were his velocities:
92, 92, 82, 82, 92, 82, 90, 89, 90, 89, 82.
No more than 10 mph difference between fastball and change, and kind of rhythmic. Compare that to the 14-17mph difference in 2006.
He's a flyball pitcher, but extremely so this year.
Like a lot of relievers, maybe he's just having a down year. But he seems to have lost the feel for changing speeds dramatically, which made him so effective in 2006. I was mildly encouraged by him last year. This year, he looks like JAG (just another guy).
Torres was sharp, giving up only a double down the RF line to a smoking-hot Brian Buscher and fanning three. 10 of his 21 pitches were either 93 or 94mph. I wouldn't bother with another rehab appearance, he looks ready now.