Dan Hudson's season debut with the White Sox is the top story for Sox prospects right now, but there were a few notable transactions today. Lefty Charlie Leesman was promoted to AA, fellow lefty Joe Serafin took his place in Winston-Salem and flashy but wild reliever Santos Rodriguez was placed on the disabled list. Serafin was quickly inserted into the Dash rotation, debuting today.
Leesman is a bit of a surprise move to me because his numbers weren't very good with Winston-Salem. He had more walks than strikeouts. Right there, that explains that Leesman struggled. He had 39 strikeouts and 44 walks in 84.2 innings adding up to a 5.10 ERA. He did have a solid ground ball rate (1.56 GO/AO), but opponents hit .294 against him. Last year Leesman had 117 strikeouts against 58 walks so there's a large drop in his numbers. He may profile as a reliever down the road and maybe this is the Sox converting him to the bullpen for the Barons, whose all-star break began today. Otherwise, it's hard to see why Leesman is getting promoted.
Serafin was a 37th round pick last year that has performed well as a pro, but it's still early to consider him a good prospect. The 5'10" Vermont grad had a 3.47 ERA with 59 strikeouts and 28 walks for the Intimidators this year. He's 24 so he's still going to be a bit old for the Carolina League, but he was Kannapolis' best starter. Serafin pitched for the Dash today, but gave up five runs in the first inning. Tough way to start.
As for Rodriguez, his injury is frustrating because he had been pitching better for the Dash lately. The reliever had 55 strikeouts in 38.1 innings with a 3.76 ERA, impressive. However, his control is less than that with 31 walks. He had a phenomenal June (1.17 ERA, 23 K, 6 BB in 15.2 IP), but had a rough outing a week ago where his control disappeared. Oddly enough, his last outing (July 9) was very good (2 IP, 4 K, BB, H). We'll try to find out the reason for the trip to the disabled list, but this is something to keep an eye on because Rodriguez has some of the best stuff in the system.
In other news, Charlie Shirek is off the DL for the Barons, but made a relief appearance in his first action back. This could be just to get him some work before the all-star break, but it's worth a mention.