It is pretty obvious by now that the American Association has one more of its former pitchers established in the major leagues. Toronto’s Bo Schultz, part of Grand Prairie’s bullpen in its 2011 championship season, is the fifth along with three others currently on the disabled list, and most of them are with teams challenging for the postseason.
“In spring training we saw a real good arm (Schultz),” Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons told The Toronto Sun. “He’s throwing strikes now consistently. He’d scatter it a little bit in spring training. It’s one thing you look at, if it all comes together for this guy you’ve got something pretty good and that’s what happened. He went to Buffalo and became a new guy. Guys that throw that hard, sometimes it takes a little time.”
Schultz can hit 98 mph with his fastball and 93 with the cutter and is coming in later in games for the Jays. “Teams don’t know him a lot,” Gibbons added. “He overpowers you.” He has opponents hitting only .182 against him for the 24.1 innings he has pitched in 15 opportunities starting June 2 when he came up from the minor leagues. The 29-year-old had only four brief major league outings prior to this season, and he has allowed only 16 hits and has struck out 21 while posting a team-leading 1.85 earned run average.
Keep Eyes on Geoff Broussard
While he still is some distance away from the majors, Geoff Broussard is having a solid season in the Los Angeles Angels farm system one year after being released by Philadelphia and rejuvenating his career at Sioux City followed by a brief Mexican Winter League stint.
“When I got signed I was like ‘I have to make this team, I have to prove to (the Angels) that this isn’t going to be a wash’ and that’s what’s driven me this whole time,” Broussard told The Orange County (CA) Register. “It’s been incredible so far. It’s going really well and I’m just thankful to be in this position.”
Broussard, 24, is 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA and 10 saves in as many chances for Inland Empire (San Bernardino). The 6-foot, 185-pound right-hander has 52 strikeouts against just eight walks in 30.2 innings. He is among California League leaders in strikeouts per nine innings (15.3), and has not allowed more than one earned run in any of his 24 outings.
Previously the chief spokesman for Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth, Bob Wirz has been writing extensively about Independent Baseball since 2003. He is a frequent contributor to this site as well as writing his blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com.