FORT WAYNE – Two of TinCaps manager Michael Collins’ best players moved up to high-A Lake Elsinore during the All-Star break, but he doesn’t sound too worried about losing more critical pieces.
He said development, performance and a ton of other factors are weighed by the Padres’ front office before deciding how quickly to move a player through their farm system.
In particular, Collins has not received any indication that Dustin Peterson, 19, and Jake Bauers, 18, two players who dominated at the plate once again in Tuesday’s 10-9 triumph over Dayton, are candidates for promotion despite their success.
“I would think they (Bauers and Peterson) would stay here for the majority of the year, given their age and development level,” Collins said. “Both out of high school last year, it’s a big jump to come here. They’ve handled it exceptionally well. But who knows – if an opportunity arises ahead of us and they are ready for it, hey, good luck to them, right?”
YARD WORK: The promotion of All-Star setup man Tyron Guerrero left a big void in the TinCaps’ bullpen.
While there was no chance to protect a lead on Tuesday, Eric Yardley remains the apparent replacement for Guerrero, even though Collins is loathe to label his relievers.
Yardley pitched three scoreless innings, retiring all nine batters, in high-leverage situations at West Michigan in Fort Wayne’s first series after the All-Star break.
“He’s been huge,” Collins said. “He’s been great. He’s been able to come into different situations: runners on base, get us out of a jam. He’s been able to go two innings. A couple times he’s gone more than two. He’s gone parts of three innings, which has been huge.”
After Guerrero left, Collins, despite not formally naming Yardley the setup man, did pull him aside for a chat.
“We discussed with him to be prepared for these situations because that’s what’s likely to happen,” Collins said. “At this level, guys are going to be called upon for different situations. If we need Yardley to get us out of a jam in the fifth or sixth inning, then we’re going to call on him. Obviously, he won’t pitch in the eighth inning at that point. I definitely like him late in the ballgame. He’s a guy that can shut down the offense. He’s a little bit different with his sidearm action. I would expect to see him more so in that seventh- and eighth-inning role.”
OUT THERE: River Stevens said his start in the outfield in the West Michigan series was a first for him but that he felt comfortable. Stevens, an infielder by trade, played right field. He said it’s “likely” that he’ll get more starts in the outfield in the future.