Phillies pitching prospect May hits a slump

Posted: June 24, 2012

Trevor May looked every bit like the Phillies' top minor-league prospect in the first month of the season for Reading.

Ranked as the top prospect in March by The Inquirer and Daily News, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound righthander was the Eastern League player of the month in April, going 5-0 with a 2.40 ERA. May, who will turn 23 in September, was selected in the fourth round of the 2008 draft.

Entering the weekend, however, May was only 6-5 with a 4.94 ERA. During his last six starts, he has allowed nine home runs. Last year in 1511/3 innings for Clearwater, he surrendered eight home runs.

"I could say it's been a little bump, but that really doesn't describe it fully," said May, who is among the more introspective pitchers in the minor leagues. "I have definitely made strides in the right direction the last few outings."

May said he was always working on keeping the ball down. He can strike out batters with high pitches, but understands there must be some balance.

"I feel I have the type of fastball movement that I will be able to throw some pitches high and get swings and misses," he said. "Instead of living on it, you need to be able to throw down in the zone when you need to, and up when you want to."

Steve Noworyta, the Phillies' assistant director of player development, said May could be putting some extra pressure on himself, which is natural for a highly touted prospect.

"He is such a young player who got off to a good start, and now this is all part of his growth and development," Noworyta said.

May said his only immediate goal was to learn from his mistakes and improve each outing.

"If I had to take anything positive, I would just say this is teaching me how to react to situations," he said. "This is all about making adjustments, and if I can do it at this level, then you can do it at a higher level."

Hitting well at Lakewood

Lakewood first baseman/third baseman Harold Martinez was promoted Thursday to advanced single-A Clearwater in a move that should open up more playing time at first for Chris Duffy at Lakewood.

Duffy, who will turn 25 in December, began the season at Lakewood and was promoted to Clearwater on April 20. He hit .205 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 73 at-bats for the Threshers.

Duffy rejoined Lakewood on May 29 and entered the weekend hitting .372 (29 for 78) for Lakewood with one home run, 15 RBIs, and a .975 OPS.

"Duffy is really swinging the bat well," Noworyta said. "He hit well in the Gulf Coast League, and he needs the opportunity to play."

Last season, Duffy batted .293 with six home runs and 27 RBIs in 123 at-bats for the Gulf Coast League Phillies. He was drafted in the 26th round in 2010, the same year he graduated from the University of Central Florida.

Replacing Martinez on Lakewood's roster was catcher Josh Ludy, the Phillies' eighth-round draft choice this year from Baylor.

Position switch

The Phillies' short-season Williamsport Crosscutters opened play Monday, and infielder Mitch Walding made a quick impression.

Walding batted .400 (6 for 15) with four RBIs in his first four games.

Walding, who will turn 20 in September, was the Phillies' fifth-round draft choice in 2011. The Phillies have moved the 6-foot-3, 190-pound lefthanded hitter from shortstop to third base.

"Defensively, he is special and he really looks like he can swing the bat," Noworyta said. "He did well in the extended program, and this is a nice jump for him to Williamsport."

Hitting his stride

Lehigh Valley lefthander Pat Misch has rebounded after a difficult start. He was 1-5 with a 6.91 ERA in his first seven starts, but is 4-3 with a 2.51 ERA in his last eight - including 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his last three outings, covering 212/3 innings.

Misch, who will turn 31 in August, has 78 career major-league appearances. He pitched in six games, all in relief, last year for the New York Mets.

The Phillies signed Misch as a minor-league free agent in November.

Moving up

Third baseman Cody Asche was promoted from Clearwater to Reading on Saturday. Asche batted .349 with two home runs and 25 RBIs for Clearwater. The Phillies' fourth-round draft choice in 2011 from the University of Nebraska, the 22-year-old Asche batted just .192 last year at Williamsport.


 

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