Jackson Generals have what many consider the best pitching staff in the minors with Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker, but it was Andrew Carraway who was promoted to Tacoma and impressed everyone in his Triple AAA debut.
The 12th round pick in the 2009 draft out of the University of Virginia started Friday night and was perfect until the 7th inning. He came out after one hit, and one walk in 7.1 innings. The 25-year-old struck out four.
The right-hander earned his promotion after going 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA in 38 innings, while striking out 32 and walking 7. He is obviously in the mix with Erasmo Ramirez as a starter should the Mariners Blake Beavan or Hector Noesi falter. With his performance in New York, Kevin Millwood clearly saved his job for another day.
Speaking of the big three. Hultzen (above) is 3-3 with a 1.91 ERA. In 38 innings, he has struck out 36 and walked 23, but allowed only 17 hits. Paxton is 3-2, 3.58 ERA. He also has pitched 38 innings, with 45 strikeouts and 25 walks, allowing 18 hits. Walker is 3-1, 1.83 with 35 strikeouts and 11 walks in 34 innings, allowing 28 hits.
Meanwhile the mystery of Hisashi Iwakuma continues. He was thought to be the number three starter before spring training. He did not throw hard enough, nor do well enough to earn a spot. He has been on the active roster, but has pitched only 8 innings in 3 games.
Though he has struck out nine and walked only one, he has allowed seven hits, two of which were home runs, and has been charged with six runs in those eight innings.
He has become more mascot than pitcher. Why is he not pitching in Tacoma to get work in. Don’t managers and GM’s always say a player needs to get his work in? Obviously Iwakuma is not getting work anywhere.
With the big three in Jackson and with Carraway and Ramirez waiting in the wings, what will become of Iwakuma?