After a few weeks of recapitulation from several Royals Farm Report writers, Kris Bubic got a much deserved promotion to Wilmington. Word came down last Tuesday, 5/21–a date we’ll circle back to–that Bubic would be joining the first place Wilmington Blue Rocks.
The conclusion to Bubic’s season with Lexington ended up being a fitting representation of his time with the club. He threw 7 innings of 1 run ball, allowing 4 hits, and striking out 9 without surrendering a walk.
The promotion placed him into a starting rotation alongside three first round picks that are being referred to as: “The Big Three” and “The three Musketeers.” He joins a roster that is largely made up of Lexington’s champions from a year ago. A club that, despite their offensive struggles, has a very real change to win a Carolina League championship.
Bubic’s Wilmington debut came yesterday, 5/26. After three strikeouts in the first inning, Bubic wobbled in the second, allowing a single and 4 walks, including 2 with the bases loaded. Over the next three innings Bubic settled in, facing one over the minimum and finishing the day with a respectable line: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K
A Corresponding Move for Lexington – The New(?) Addition
I said we would circle back to last Tuesday.
The exciting news on the farm was not limited to Bubic and Wilmington, as Lexington ended up adding Evan Steele to their roster on the same day. Can’t get any better, right?
Steele wasn’t just added to the Lexington roster, he made the start for Lexington that night. That fateful and joyous Tuesday last.
To refresh, see our preseason prospect rankings from January:
I’ll speak for Alex: who’s laughing now?
Steele was drafted in 2017, so while he doesn’t fit into our 2018 draft focus, this is big news for a system that already seems to be overflowing with pitching talent at the lower levels. No doubt we’ll be keeping a close eye on Steele as he stretches out and gets reacquainted.
Lynch fired 6 shutout innings on 5/25, dropping his ERA by half a point. The lefty hasn’t allowed a run in his last 3 starts (20 IP). We noticed that Lynch drew a lot of swing-and-misses on pitches out of the zone on Saturday, especially high pitches. That could speak to either his dynamic stuff or the level of competition he faced. Time will tell.
Not to be outdone by his teammate, Singer posted 7 more scoreless innings in his start this afternoon (5/27). Since April 28, Singer has made 6 starts, pitched 36 innings and struck out 34 while walking 7. He has a 1.00 ERA in that window.
The ‘who should be promoted next’ talk seems to focus entirely on Lynch and Singer now. Lynch likely gets an edge because he’s a lefty, or just because has nastier stuff. However, Lynch has a few blemishes this season; including a 4 inning, 10 hit, 5 earned run start on 5/8. Singer, on the other hand, hasn’t allowed more than 3 earned runs in a game all season, and his numbers have been consistently moving in the right direction for over a month now. Singer doesn’t have the flashiness of Lynch, he likely doesn’t have the same overall ability, but he’s showing that he knows how to pitch, in the esoteric sense.
I would be satisfied to see both of them stay put for a few more starts. Allow them to build some more confidence at this level and show that they can maintain their current production. And for all we know Kowar could get lava-hot and throw a wrench into this.
As the debate about who deserves a promotion grinds on, and we invest ourselvs in its complete lack of consequence, just try and enjoy it. What a wonderful and trivial discussion to be afforded. And remember, however it plays out, Northwest Arkansas has got a flood of talented arms coming their way sooner than later.
Photo Credits: Ryan Griffith via Wilmington Blue Rocks on Twitter (@WilmBlueRocks)