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It’s never wise to draw conclusions from Grapefruit League numbers, but it was hard to ignore what young right-hander Julio Teheran was doing this past spring in Braves camp. He allowed just seven hits and three earned runs over 26 total spring innings for a 1.04 ERA and 0.62 WHIP, and he struck out 35 batters while issuing only nine walks. Call it fluky, call it foreshadowing, call it what you will. Teheran, the 22-year-old former top prospect, is on a roll now in games that matter.
The native of Colombia hurled six scoreless innings Sunday night versus the defending World Series-champion Giants, fanning eight batters against one walk to pick up his fifth victory of the 2013 campaign. Teheran had some early struggles this season, especially command-wise, but he has registered a 2.42 ERA and 54/9 K/BB ratio over his last 67 innings (10 starts) and is suddenly looking like one of the better pitchers in the National League.
Teheran ranked No. 4 on Baseball America’s ranking of the Top 100 prospects heading into the 2012 season but was then bumped to 31st heading into 2013 after a weak showing at Triple-A Gwinnett. Gotta love post-hype sleepers.
Jason Castro: Emerging Astro
Here’s another post-hype sleeper in the vein of Teheran. Castro, the 10th overall selection in the 2008 first-year player draft, owned a putrid .235/.314/.352 batting line in 512 career major league plate appearances heading into the 2013 season. After singling and launching his 10th home run of the year in the Astros’ sweep of the White Sox on Sunday afternoon in Houston, he’s batting .270/.328/.486. And the production has been especially plentiful lately.
Castro, who didn’t even register on the Yahoo! ADP readings during draft season, is hitting .293/.362/.543 with nine home runs and 20 RBI in 185 plate appearances since April 21. Houston may have found another foundation piece to build around. Fantasy enthusiasts have found a rare waiver-wire catcher worthy of starting in standard mixed leagues.
National League Quick Hits: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Sunday that Yasiel Puig will likely remain in the majors even when Matt Kemp (hamstring) and Carl Crawford (hamstring) return to the active roster … Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera is day-to-day with a left hamstring injury … Matt Garza tossed seven shutout innings Sunday in a no-decision against the Mets … Angel Pagan received platelet-rich plasma therapy last week for his injured hamstring … Reds ace Johnny Cueto threw six innings of one-run ball Sunday against the Brewers and now has a 2.08 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in 43 1/3 total innings this year … Carlos Quentin (shoulder) could be placed on the 15-day disabled list early this week … Padres outfielder Kyle Blanks has eight homers, 26 RBI and a cool .876 OPS in 46 games this season … Starling Marte is day-to-day with a sore left rib cage … Dodgers infielder Juan Uribe is day-to-day with a tight back … Ian Kennedy threw six innings of one-run ball Sunday against the Padres while waiting for a decision on the appeal of his 10-game suspension … Carlos Marmol blew a save in epic fashion on Sunday, yielding four runs on three hits and one walk as the Cubs fell to the Mets … Logan Morrison (back) is expected to return to the Marlins’ starting lineup on Monday … Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez hit his 12th home run of the season in Sunday’s loss to the Reds … Russell Martin was scratched from the Pirates’ lineup on Sunday due to lower body soreness … Michael Fiers broke his right forearm Saturday at Triple-A Nashville and will be sidelined for the next 9-12 weeks.
American League Quick Hits: Rays right-hander Alex Cobb was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list on Sunday morning … Orioles slugger Chris Davis launched his 23rd home run of the season Sunday in the Orioles’ defeat of the Red Sox … Adam Lind finished 3-for-4 in the Blue Jays’ defeat of the Rangers on Sunday and is now batting .350/.417/.561 overall this season … Travis Hafner hit his 11th home run of the season in the Yankees’ win over the Angels on Sunday in Anaheim … Alex Avila is expected to sit out Monday with a bruised forearm … Indians right-hander Corey Kluber was excellent again on Sunday and now owns a 3.58 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 65/12 K/BB ratio over his first 65 1/3 innings this season … Bartolo Colon earned his ninth win of the season Sunday as the A’s defeated the Mariners … Alejandro De Aza had a two-run homer and a triple but the White Sox were swept by the Astros on Sunday … Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks hit his first home run since May 19 in Sunday’s loss to the Orioles … Torii Hunter hit his 300th career home run Sunday in the Tigers’ win against the Twins … An MRI taken Sunday on Mark Teixeira’s troublesome right wrist showed only inflammation … Mike Napoli (illness) is expected to return to the Red Sox starting lineup for at least one half of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Rays … Royals closer Greg Holland earned his 14th save of the season on Sunday … Josh Willingham was given a cortisone shot this weekend for his ailing left knee and is considered day-to-day … Alex Rodriguez (hip) ran the bases at 75 percent effort Saturday in Tampa … Red Sox outfielder Mike Carp is day-to-day with a tight right hamstring.