I don’t want to think about the major league team right now, so let’s talk about one of the positives for the Rangers — Hans Crouse.
I did a post yesterday about Joe Palumbo’s solid five inning outing for the Down East Wood Ducks in their matinee on Wednesday, as he continues to make good progress in his return from Tommy John surgery. But that was just the appetizer, as Hans Crouse provided the main course for Rangers pitchers on the farm yesterday.
Crouse, the Rangers’ 2017 second rounder who has polarized prognosticators, with some seeing impact starting pitcher potential, while others believe his delivery makes him suited for a relief role, dominated for Spokane last night. He went 7 innings, striking out 12 of the 27 batters he faced, walking no one, allowing 6 hits and 1 run. Crouse threw 92 pitches, 66 for strikes. You can see the box score here.
This is Crouse’s second double-digit strikeout performance in his last three outings — on July 13, he threw 7 innings of one hit ball, striking out 11. He had an off outing (for him) last time out, giving up 4 runs (3 earned) in 5.2 innings, but on the year, he is allowing opposing batters a slash line of .174/.231/.240, with a 2.45 ERA and 41 Ks against 9 walks in 33 innings pitched. The low walk total is particularly encouraging, as a lot of the questions about Crouse is whether his delivery will allow him to maintain his command well enough to stick as a starting pitcher.
As if you are looking for one more good performance from a Ranger minor league starter last night, Edgar Arredondo has a solid game for Frisco. Arredondo went single-home run to the third and fourth batters of the game, but shut down Midland after that, resulting in a 6.2 IP, 2 run, 5 hit, 0 walk game (albeit with just 1 K), lowering his ERA in AA to 4.83.
UPDATE — Dave Nichols has a story from last night’s game for the Spokesman-Review that includes quotes from the Spokane pitching coach about the adjustments Crouse made from his last start.