The TinCaps have demoted the struggling Payton Baskette to the bullpen and will instead keep lefty Jeffery Enloe in the rotation. Enloe earned the spot after allowing just two runs in five innings in place of Baskette on Thursday against Dayton.
In his past five appearances as a starter, Baskette is 2-3 with a 7.99 ERA. He was a 16th-round pick in the 2013 draft and is just 20 years old.
Baskette has been effective out of the bullpen in his short professional career. While batters hit .285 against him as a starter, that number drops to .244 as a reliever. His ERA is 4.30 as a starter compared to 1.72 out of the bullpen.
“He’s got that ability where he can come out of the bullpen and be effective,” TinCaps manager Michael Collins said. “He came out of the pen (Thursday). Velocity up a little bit, and the breaking ball looked nice and sharp. Hopefully, coming out of the pen, fewer pitches, fewer innings per outing, and we’ll see a little more of that life.”
For his career, including time in the Arizona Rookie League, Baskette is 5-6 with a 3.60 ERA.
“If a situation arises where we need a spot start or somebody to go multiple innings, he’s built up and capable of doing that also,” Collins said.
WHEN IT RAINS: Nick Schulz and Rey Bruguera opened the bottom of the fifth in Friday’s 3-1 loss to West Michigan with back-to-back singles, and the TinCaps finally had a runner in scoring position, not to mention a chance for a big inning.
Instead, No. 8 batter Edwin Moreno tapped a tailor-made double-play ball to second baseman Javier Betancourt, who stepped on the bag and threw to first. Josh VanMeter followed with an easy comebacker to the pitcher. That’s how it goes sometimes for an offense that just can’t emerge from its funk.
PATRIOTIC HAPPENINGS: Air Force Technical Sgt. Jeremy Chandler, serving overseas, taped a recorded message that was played on the video board before the game. The TinCaps wore their red, white and blue jerseys with stars on the left sleeve and “USA” stitched above the numbers on the back. Various military members recorded introductions for each Fort Wayne player, and those were played instead of having the public address announcer call the names.
GUNNED DOWN: TinCaps catcher Ryan Miller threw out two Whitecaps trying to swipe second. Entering Friday, Miller had thrown out 26 percent of base stealers.