Tuesday, May 7 - 7:05 p.m.
Asheville Tourists (17-13)
RHP Eddie Butler (35 IP, 2.06 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 23 K%, 11.8 BB%, .169 BABIP)
Augusta GreenJackets (18-12)
RHP Justin Schumer (7.2 IP, 9.39 ERA, 5.55 FIP, 8 K%, 15.8 BB%, .259 BABIP)
The GreenJackets are seeking a series win in the four-game set with the Tourists, but it won't be an easy task with Butler on the mound for Asheville. The right-hander was a supplemental first-rounder out of Radford in 2012, ranking sixth in the Rockies system by Baseball America.
Butler reportedly sits in the mid-90s with a sinking fastball, with the ability to touch 99. He has a solid slider and average curveball, while his changeup is developing. One report indicated Butler needs to tighten his secondaries, but it's nothing new for a fresh draft pick at 22 years old. Reports gave Butler a No. 2-3 ceiling.
Butler's best outing to date came against Lexington on April 25, throwing eight shutout innings on one hit with two walks and four strikeouts. He set his season high in strikeouts last time out against Hickory at eight, but the Crawdads lineup got to him for two home runs. He is prone to a big inning or two, thanks in part to his defense, giving up five runs in two separate outings.
Schumer continues to fill in for Joan Gregorio, who the GreenJackets indicated isn't ready to return from his oblique strain yet. Schumer allowed five runs while only lasting two-thirds of an inning in his first spot start, giving up three hits and three walks to Hagerstown. Augusta would like to get a few solid innings from Schumer, which he is certainly capable of doing when his control is on.
The GreenJackets already have a track record of getting to some of the better starters in the South Atlantic League in surprising ways, and I'm sure they would take more of the same against Butler.