Two anchors of the Augusta Green Jacket rotation in 2013 — right-handers Martin Agosta and Chris Stratton — threw back-to-back to open up Friday's High-A ballgame against the Chicago Cubs. Though the two weren't dominating by any means, both showed promise.
There were good things, and there were okay things. Too early and not enough innings logged to consider them bad things. For example, Stratton struck out Kris Bryant on three straight fastballs. Good. Agosta allowed just one hit and struck out three in 2.1 innings. Good. But both pitchers' fastballs lacked command at times, especially that of Agosta's.
As iffy as the command of Agosta's fastball was, the curveball command was equally as impressive. The pitch was an easy way for Agosta to steal strike one, two or three, as opposing hitters were often frozen by it.
Stratton cleaned up two walks issued by Agosta in the third with a one-pitch double play, then threw the next two frames, allowing one run on three hits and a walk.
Stratton's issues in 2013 stemmed from a high number of runners on base. He averaged more than two walks per game and opposing hitters hit nearly .260 off him. Agosta had similar struggles, in terms of walks, but the Sacramento, Calif. native was a hard guy to make solid contact on in the South Atlantic League. He posted 109 strikeouts and gave up just 57 hits in 91.2 innings.
Matt Lujan, a probable starter in San Jose in 2014, piggy-backed Agosta and Stratton, showing a high-80s fastball and a plus changeup.
- Mitch Delfino, who will likely start most games at third base next season for San Jose, collected two doubles.
- Brian Ragira and Tyler Horan both swung the bat well. Ragira has been getting most of his work in at first base, where he played mostly in college at Stanford, while Horan, a corner outfielder, has been a designated hitter most games.
- The bat of Rafael Rodriguez continued to look slow, which is the same issue that has plagued him since the Giants signed him as a 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic in 2008.
- Ryder Jones made another start at shortstop for the High-A team, looking smooth once again.