Friday, May 2 - Augusta 4, Greenville 1
Diaz wasn't quite as sharp, but it mainly came with two outs when he didn't bear down and get out of the inning. All three walks came with two outs, which is a sign of losing focus and not working to be as efficient as possible. As Mike Goff said, it's a way to maximize your pitch count and possibly get an extra inning out of your start. Diaz still went seven innings, which was his longest through five starts, allowing one run on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
The left-hander didn't have swing-and-miss stuff, but he worked the corners with an average fastball and very good changeup. He flashed a few average sliders around 80, probably more often than the first couple times I've seen him. But the out pitch remains the changeup, and it's a good one.
Diaz's command wavered some in the first few innings, but he settled in and got a better feel for his changeup as the game progressed. He said afterward that he had to make adjustments to improve his command, so he shows smarts on the mound by making adjustments and pitching to his strengths.
Buttrey's mechanics have gone through an overhaul since the draft. I would wager this is the reason the Red Sox have taken things slowly with him since getting drafted in 2012. He no longer has a huge leg kick, and he lost nearly all of the drop and drive that resulted in poor plane.
However, Buttrey's mechanics are now very rigid, and you can tell he's not comfortable with them yet. He has a stiff front side and has to work over a very stiff front leg, and he's trying to come over the top more, but his release point wavered. Buttrey is very deliberate coming forward, and it's going to take time to get used to the changes. He was all over the place in this start and failed to get out of the first inning by a combination of poor command, poor defense and hard hits.
Buttrey's fastball sat 87-90 and touched 91 with some sink. He gets better plane on the pitch than he did before the draft, but he failed to keep the ball down consistently in this start. He showed four pitches, but none had any command to judge them on. The changeup was left high every time. The curveball was a loose spinner. The slider was the only secondary he spun well, which he did a couple times, and it flashed above average. But it didn't have the same bite that I saw on draft video.
Buttrey will need time. He might fall behind some in development, but he has a good arm and some workable pitches. If he can find some comfort in his motion, he has a chance to progress well.
Notable Augusta lines:
Carlos Diaz: 7 IP, 4 H, R/ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 12 ground balls, 5 fly balls, 3 line drives, 3 swinging strikes, 87-90 fastball
Jeremy Sy: 2-4
Tyler Horan: 1-4, RBI (11-game hitting streak)
Notable Greenville lines:
Ty Buttrey: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, BB, 2 K, 3 ground balls, 1 fly ball, 1 line drive, 9 swinging strikes, 87-90, touched 91 fastball
Jonathan Aro: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 5 K
Taylor Grover: 3 IP, 3 K
Carlos Asuaje: 2-4, 2B
Jordan Weems: 1-2, 2B, RBI, 2 BB