3) Brooks Pounders Got Pounded
Rookie Brooks Pounders came into the game in the seventh inning with the Royals trailing 3-0. He’d logged two rather encouraging outings in which he had allowed one earned run in 3.0 innings pitched, while striking out three.
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Pounders joined the team after he was called up from AAA Omaha due to Wade Davis going to the 15-day disabled list. Pounders is having what many see as a breakthrough year for him in the minor leagues (2.80 ERA in 64.1 IP with a 10.9 K/9 in the Pacific Coast League).
Well, Pounders got pounded for five runs in the top of the seventh inning. He gave up one walk, two singles and two home runs which allowed the Mariners to build an insurmountable 8-0 lead. The debacle inflated his ERA to 13.50 in 4.0 IP in the major-leagues.
No one should really be surprised by the results. As a 24-year-old rookie, Pounders has some lessons to learn before he sticks in MLB. There’s nothing unusual about even a celebrated prospect taking his lumps before getting the swing of things at the highest level of baseball, and Pounders figures to be nothing more than a mid-rotation pitcher if everything breaks just right in his career.
Pounders is likely headed back to AAA Omaha with Wade Davis eligible to return from the 15-day DL after the All-Star break. He does have six strikeouts in his four innings, so we know he can miss bats at the major league level. He also racked up his first career win in his short stint with the Kansas City Royals.
If nothing else, the 2016 season has helped push the development of a number of rookies.