Ethan Saporito of Project Prospect was at tonight’s Double-A game between the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and Frisco Rough Riders and reported on two significant events involving two key Royals prospects.
First, Mike Moustakas left the game after running into the wall making a catch in foul territory and was pulled after only one at bat. He did finish the inning after making the play, however, and the move appears to be a precaution only. There will be more information on that tomorrow.
Second, Mike Montgomery left the game after only three innings and 52 pitches.
"Mike Montgomery lasted only 3 innings tonight. Velocity was 3-4 MPH below reported norms. Possible injury? He was getting hit hard. @ESaporitoPP on Twitter"
Montgomery’s final line on the night was 3 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 K but no walks. He also gave up his first homerun since Low-A Burlington. Bad outings happen and pitchers, even phenom left-handers, are prone to a bad start here and there, especially at 20 years old. The line itself isn’t too worrying, but the reported loss of velocity is a significant factor.
Lowered velocity is often a sign of an arm injury for a pitcher, and often there’s a lack of movement which makes pitches much more hittable. Considering Montgomery has rocketed through the minor leagues so far, and has been deemed by many as the top prospect in the organization, the potential for injury is scary in both the short and long term.
We’ll know more tomorrow on his status as well, but it’s not out of the question that he may miss a start or two if even if it’s nothing serious. At the minor league level, it’s not so much about winning games as developing the talent on the roster.
Until then…hold your breath.