Game preview (8/28/16): Top pitchers look to bounce back

Overview: Pitchers throughout the system look to bounce back, including Rookie Davis and Homer Bailey toward the top of the system. Jose Lopez makes his first start in two weeks with Daytona.


Cincinnati at Arizona, 4:10 p.m. EST

Starting pitcher: Homer Bailey (2-2, 5.73 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 27 K, 7 BB)

Notes: Homer Bailey will make his sixth start since returning from Tommy John surgery on Sunday. After back-to-back strong starts, Bailey took a bit of a step back last time out. A tad of inconsistency is only to be expected from a player returning from serious elbow surgery. In that last start, Bailey allowed nine hits and six runs in 2.1 innings. In his prior two starts, Bailey had been dominant. Bailey mowed down the Brewers on August 12, going six shutout innings and allowing just three hits. He also showed a drastic improvement with his stuff and struck out 11 batters. In his next start, against the Marlins, Bailey tossed five innings, allowing six hits and two runs, while striking out six more. His lower walk totals are even more impressive, as some pitchers returning from Tommy John see command issues.


Louisville at Columbus, 4:05 p.m. EST

Starting pitcher: Rookie Davis (0-1, 7.58 ERA, 1.84 WHIP, 13 K, 6 BB)

Notes: Rookie Davis saw by far his best Triple-A outing two starts ago. He got off to a disastrous first Triple-A outings, it was encouraging to see Davis making progress, but he took a bit of a step back again last time out. In that start, Davis allowed just four hits in six shutout innings. In his first start, Davis lasted five innings, and allowed four runs on eight hits. Davis is clearly just getting his feet wet in Triple-A this season, in preparation for next season. Struggles are to be expected, so it is way too early to sound the alarm.


Jacksonville at Pensacola, 5:30 p.m. EST

Starting pitcher: Jackson Stephens (8-11, 3.17 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 124 K, 37 BB)

Notes: Jackson Stephens has been the model consistency for Pensacola this season, and rebounded nicely from his first sideways start for the first time two starts ago. He has gone at least five innings in 22 of his 24 starts and worked into the seventh in his last four starts prior to that start. While Stephens allowed seven hits in his last start, he still tossed five shutout innings and it was an improvement on the nine hits and six runs that he allowed on August 17.


Clearwater at Daytona, 5:35 p.m. EST

Starting pitcher: Jose Lopez (0-2, 3.27 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 18 K, 8 BB)

Notes: Jose Lopez will make his first start since August 16 with Daytona. Lopez allowed just three hits and one earned run (two total) over six innings in his High-A debut on August 4. However, he allowed eight hits and seven runs (three earned) in his start on August 11 and six hits and three runs in four innings in his August 16 start. He did strike out 11 hitters between the three games.


Dayton at Bowling Green, 5:05 p.m. EST

Starting pitcher: Ty Boyles (6-8, 4.86 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 90 K, 45 BB)

Notes: Ty Boyles’ has made a nice end of season bounce back to save what could have been a disaster season. His struggles even landed him in the bullpen late last month, but a need with a thin rotation earned him another chance to start. He made the most of it to get another opportunity, and has received five starts since. In those five starts, he has worked 29 innings, allowing just 22 hits and 10 runs. He also had his first two outings of the season in which he did not allow a run.


Billings at Helena, 3:05 p.m. EST

Starting pitcher: Moises Nova (0-6, 5.66 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 36 K, 29 BB)

Notes: Moises Nova had really been much better of late for Billings prior to his last start, as he had worked into the fifth inning in three of his four starts. In those starts, he has allowed six hits and six runs, while striking out 12. However, on August 12, Nova retired just one batter and allowed three hits and three runs. Walks have been the main issue for Nova, who has allowed 29 free passes in his last 41.1 innings of work, and that was the issue again in his last start, as he walked five in three innings. He also allowed four hits and it led to him allowing five earned runs.


AZL Reds at AZL Indians, 9 p.m. EST

Starting pitcher: TBD

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