Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Tale of Two Prospects

   Righthander Roberto Osuna and Lefthander Daniel Norris have both been considered top pitching prospects before they even entered the Blue Jays organization.
   The two have followed very different career trajectories to date.
   Osuna and Norris are both with the Lansing Lugnuts of the Low A Midwestern League, the first full-season experience for both.  But while Osuna dazzled in his debut in the Appalachian and Northwest Leagues last year, Norris struggled at both levels.  Both started games in Sunday in the Lugnuts' doubleheader with South Bend, and both continued true to form.
  Osuna started the opener, and while he showed a tendency to rely more on his fastball than his off-speed pitches, he put together a decent outing, with a line of 4.2 IP, 4H, IR, 1 BB, 6 K's, and 1 wild pitch.
On any other day, that might have been good enough for the victory, but on this occasion, local college star Kyle Schepel, in just his 2nd pro appearance (Schepel spent last year in Independent Ball), threw a 7-inning no-hitter against Lansing, with a 5th inning walk the only thing keeping him from perfection.  Osuna took the loss, to even his record at 1-1, with a sparkling 1.86 ERA and 0.72 WHIP.
  Norris did not fare so well in the nightcap, as the Lugnuts fell 8-2.  In 4 innings of work, Norris gave up 4 hits, 5 runs (the key being a 3-run HR to South Bend's Roidany Aguila), walked 1 and struck out 5.  Norris also uncorked a pair of wild pitches, and hit a pair of batters.  While his stuff, by all accounts, was electric as usual, Norris also obviously struggled with his command, forcing him to be too fine when he fell behind hitters.  Norris took the loss to drop his record to 0-1, with a 12.36 ERA.
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