Had a chance to see Heredia pitch in Lowell last night. Was fortunate enough to arrive early to catch him coming onto the field, go through warm up routine and watch (from about 10') him throw prior in the pen.
He seemed like a nice kid. Came right over to us (wearing Pirate gear), signed an autograph for my son. Walked to pen and did flexibility on his own.
Was good to watch the pen due to him showing what he was throwing. Fast ball seemed to have pretty good location, mostly hitting spots. Catcher (Stallings) dropped a couple, showing they had good life. Seemed to have very good control of his change-up. Almost all of them were down in the zone. Could not see any difference in delivery when he threw the change. Threw quite a few curves in warm up. They are late breaking, hard curves. Most seemed to be strikes, near the top of the zone.
Breezed through the first. First batter made solid contact lining out to Barnes in center, but nothing else. 2nd started with a week groundout, then he walked the second batter on a few pitches that were not close. Then induced a double play grounder to first, but a poor throw by Gonzalez prolonged the inning. Heredia walked the next batter, but got the final out on a fastball on the inside corner that the hitter had no chance.
Lowell scored in the 3rd. After a week ground out, Heredia threw a pitch low and in that Stallings missed and went to the backstop. It was ruled a HBP after the batter pointed to his shin. The ball did not appear to hit him (I was seated right behind home). Turgeon (manager) argued, the umpires talked, but settled on a HBP. The batter then stole second. Second out was a pop up to right. Then, a week ground ball between 1st and 2nd that Heredia did not cover first, so there was no play there. The runner from second tried to score and would have been out by about 40', but Carvajal (second baseman) threw it in the dugout, no where close to home. The next batter his a week ground out to the mound. I have no idea how that was ruled an earned run, but it was. Heredia's brain cramp caused the run, but should not have been earned.
In the 4th, Heredia threw a strike three change, to the first batter, that was awesome. He has a few batters waiving at his change. The next batter hit a hard ground single between first and second that was the hardest hit of the night. The next two went down on a pop up and ground out. Heredia started the 5th with a pop out to left, then gave up a flair single to left and he was pulled. He must have hit a pitch count, because he did not appear to be struggling.
Overall, he was pretty much dominating. Two balls were hit solid, showed a great change up. Threw two or three curves, one was way high, but the other two were good. One just missed the inside corner which would have been strike three that froze the batter.
There was a radar gun at the park, but it was off. Had Heredia between 89 and 91, but I caught a few scout guns behind home that seemed to be about 4 mph faster. I could not always pick up the speed on the scouts gun, but his change seemed about 8 mph slower.
A few other notes:
Barnes looked good in the batter's box, but watching him play shows why he is at SC. He was called out on strikes in the first. In the 4th, Barnes hit a long foul down the left field line that was just foul. Turgeon argued again to no avail, then he reached by HBP, reached second when they dropped a double play ball. Then with him on 2nd and a runner on first, he was caught lost off second by the catcher. It looked like he planned to steal (3rd with two outs and down by one???) and was caught off, but no one was covering 2nd, so the catcher just held the ball. Instead of going back, he waited until the catcher threw to 2nd, then he tried to get to 3rd and was out by quite a bit. Inning over.
He crushed a long fly out to center in the 6th. In the bottom of the 7th, Lowell scored their go ahead run on a grounder to Barnes. He made a poor choice and a poor throw over the cut off to home, allowing the batter to get to 2nd. He had no chance at a play at the plate.
He walked with one out in the 8th. After a strike out, he was again gunned down stealing-trying to get in scoring position.
Derek Trent looked good, going 2 for 3 with two singles. He was batting 8th and DH'ed.
Orlando Castro followed Heredia on the mound. He was just demoted from WV. He's a small lefty that throws hard.
Dalton Friend rounded out the all lefty night. He was dealt the loss, but did not seem to get hit hard. He also throws hard and struck out 3 in two innings.