The Los Angeles Dodgers have promoted two pitchers from Chattanooga within the past two weeks, and Lookouts pitching coach Chuck Crim believes more could be on the way.
Rubby De La Rosa started for the Lookouts on Saturday night, and on Tuesday he worked a scoreless eighth inning for the Dodgers in their 5-4 win at Houston. Working the ninth and getting the save for the Dodgers was Javy Guerra, who was called up from Chattanooga on May 14.
“We have such good pitchers in our system right now that I’m not really worried about filling the void,” Crim said. “It is really exciting that two big-leaguers have come out of the Double-A system, and I think we actually have more laying in the weeds right now. There are a lot of fresh arms here.
“In Triple-A, it’s a lot of guys who have been there already, and it’s more of a holding tank. This is really where all of our young talent is.”
Chattanooga didn’t need loads of pitching Wednesday night at AT&T Field, as Kyle Russell homered twice and Scott Van Slyke once in a 12-4 rout of Huntsville. Russell has homered four times in the past three games and has raised his average to .299, while Van Slyke’s 4-for-5 night left him with a .342 clip.
The Lookouts (24-22) entered the series opener leading the Southern League with a 3.65 team earned run average.
De La Rosa was the ace of Chattanooga’s staff, but Crim has plenty of confidence in Will Savage, Nate Eovaldi, Chris Withrow and Carl Webster, who is 5-2 with a 2.50 ERA in nine starts at Rancho Cucamonga and is expected to take De La Rosa’s spot in the rotation. The bullpen has been effective with Cole St. Clair (1.02 ERA), Steven Ames (1.50), David Pfeiffer (2.96) and closer Josh Lindblom (3.09).
So who is next?
“You can get caught up in the thought of getting called up, but you can’t pitch here and get outs in L.A.,” Lindblom said. “You’ve got to worry about the next pitch you’ve got to make when you’re on the mound, whether you’re in Chattanooga or Zebulon or wherever.”
Said Withrow: “We try to stay focused, and we realize just how close some of us are. Those guys made the leap from Double-A to the big leagues, and everybody here has that same chance.”
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...