Thursday, May 24, 2007

Alexis Morales: You heard it here, first! -- Who? Alexis Morales is a Nationals' farmhand. He was recently called up from Potomac (the Nats' High-A team) to Harrisburg (the Nats' AA team). Another pitcher made the same trip last week -- John Lannan. Lannan is a starting pitcher, whose success at Potomac has been noted here before. More recently, the Washington Post has also noted Lannan's rise to AA. However, I have seen no mention of the stunning numbers put up by relief pitcher Alexis Morales.

Morales put up some strong numbers at Potomac last year. Alas, when he was called up to Harrisburg late in the season, he struggled mightily with his control. Morales allowed 16 hits in 15 2/3 innings, (a hit per inning). Worse, he surrendered 25 walks, with the AA club. So, Morales, a native of the Windy City, was back at Potomac, when the new minor league season started in April, to prove he could master the lower levels. Master them he has surely done. Morales gave up only three hits in over 13 innings with Potomac, and struck 8 batters, without walking any. That earned him a fairly swift promotion back to Harrisburg. This time around, Morales hasn't suffered from the jump up to AA ball. In over 9 innings with the AA club, he has allowed only 2 hits, struck out 5 batters, and again, hasn't walked anyone.

With those gaudy numbers, Morales may make a fairly quick jump up to AAA Columbus. In any case, if he keeps pitching this well, I expect that we will see him coming out of the Nats' bullpen to pitch in the majors before this season is over. Remember: You 'heard' it here first!

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