New faces in the locker room and clearly a new attitude on the field personify this weeks Iron Pigs as they had an excellent week going 6-1. The ‘Pigs now stand at 11-31, still in last place, but improving, now 17.5 games out of first. Looking at ‘Pigs among the league leaders, Andy Tracy is 7th in homers (7) and 4th in the league in walks (21). Brian Mazone is 7th in the league in wins (4), third in the league in innings (51.2), and 8th in WHIP (1.12). He is also 5th in homers allowed (7). JA Happ is 4th in the league in innings (51.1), and leading the league in strikeouts (61). JD Durbin is 4th in the league in homers allowed (..8..) in only 28 innings.
Baseball America has the update today;
Jonathan Mayo has reported in his blog and Baseball America has confirmed with two scouts that Fresno State junior righthander Tanner Scheppers has a stress fracture in his shoulder and will not be able to throw for six weeks. This is obviously a significant blow to the draft stock of a player who had a strong chance to go in the top 10 picks in June, not to mention a crippling blow to Fresno State’s postseason aspirations.
There are just five college starting pitchers who are regarded as sure-fire first-round picks, so Scheppers going down figures to boost Tulane righthander Shooter Hunt’s chances to go in the top 10 and help Eastern Kentucky lefthander Christian Friedrich sneak up close to the top 10. It also could impact the back half of the first round, where clubs might reach for a college pitcher like California’s Tyson Ross if they don’t feel comfortable taking a risk on Scheppers. Whoever does land Scheppers will get a high-upside talent at a spot in the draft that would have seemed very unlikely up until this week.
So, how does this immediately impact the Phillies? Well, the Phillies were only able to land Cole Hamels because he was coming off an arm injury, and they turned the same trick last season, taking an injury risk in Joe Savery who slid down draft boards because of the uncertainty surrounding his labrum. Scheppers was being pegged as a potential Top 10 guy, I had him at 13 in yesterday’s mock draft, and this should slide him down lots of boards. The Phillies are picking lower in the first round than they have in a long time, and Scheppers will likely be the most talented guy available. Clearly they’d have to really make sure his arm is sound and he’s fully healed, but this could really work in the Phillies favor.