Ralston Cash and Angelo Songco are in Midland and playing today. That's encouraging in and of itself, especially since one is coming back from a serious hip injury and one from a leg injury.
Cash, who missed the entire 2011 season with a hip injury, threw 36 innings in his debut season for the Ogden Raptors.
He told me on Twitter earlier this month he hadn't logged a lot of innings since the end of that season.
"Right now pitching in Extended & building my innings up. I only recorded 3 in ST and now I'm up to 8 total since 2010"
Hell, it's just nice to see him back on the mound against live hitting.
Cash's season debut was, for a guy who hasn't been on the hill in more than a year and a half, pretty solid:
- 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP
He was even on flyouts and groundouts (4-4) and threw less than 75 pitches (no exact count yet, but was at 55 through three innings). His last inning of work was his first 1-2-3 inning of the day.
Update (5/28, 2:20 p.m.): He threw 69 pitches, 44 for strikes.
Cash, 20, was my 32nd-best prospect in the system prior to the season. The 2010 second-round selection would have been ranked higher if he hadn't missed the 2011 season. He has a nice three-pitch repertoire, including a low-90s fastball with movement. In fact, his velocity today is surprisingly solid, sitting anywhere from 89-92 MPH.
Great Lakes figures to be Cash's home for the remainder of the season, provided he stays healthy. And he'll probably be on a strict pitch count in his first few outings and a strict inning limit overall. Seeing as he's thrown eight innings since the end of 2010, that makes a lot of sense. There's no reason to rush Cash along.
As of right now (12:51 p.m. Pacific time), Songco, who is the designated hitter and No. 3 hitter, is 1-for-3 with an RBI single and a strikeout.
Unlike Cash, Songco isn't long for Great Lakes. I don't know exactly what the Dodgers have in store for him, but he could make a cameo in Rancho Cucamonga before landing in Chattanooga. At 23, Songco has nothing left to prove against younger competition. This is likely a matter of getting him in game shape before taking on the challenge that is Southern League pitching.
I had Songco ranked No. 6 in the system (probably a tad high, injury notwithstanding) after his great 2011 season. Still, Songco has legitimate raw power that he generates from a 6-foot, 195-pound frame.
I honestly didn't expect Songco to be back this soon. When I heard the words "metal rod inserted into leg" and "two to three months," I thought there was no way he'd be back in that time. But here we are, roughly three months after surgery, and Songco is playing.
Photo credit: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue