Monday mayhem: Promotions aplenty

Hope everyone had a good weekend. Me and Mrs. B3 caught Duplicity over the weekend. Fun flick, nothing earth-shattering, but entertaining…

On to the task at hand, today’s Game of the Day:

West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx at Birmingham Barons, 6 p.m. ET
Pitching Matchup: Steven Hensley vs. Aaron Poreda
Gameday Audio: West Tenn |Birmingham

This is the first game of a doubleheader between the Southern League teams, so we’re talking a seven-inning affair here, but this could be a dandy. Both of these pitchers have been highlighted here in my recent Game of the Day efforts. Last time I mentioned Poreda, it was to preview a great matchup in which the 2007 first-rounder beat Bryan Augenstein in a 2-0 pitchers duel. Hensley came up in my discussion about guys who had yet to give up an earned run.  (Don’t you love bloggers who link to their own previous posts?).

Hensley was the Mariners’ fourth-round pick in the 2008 draft out of Elon University in North Carolina. He made his first four outings this year with Clinton in the Midwest League, where he threw 17 2/3 innings without giving up an earned run (he’s given up four unearned runs). Tonight’s start is a double-jump for the right-hander, going from A ball up to Double-A without a stop in the California League. We’ll see how he fares in his Double-A debut.

It got me thinking about other guys who have been promoted thus far in the 2009 season. I know it’s early, but there have been some interesting prospects who have already been bumped up. Here’s a selection and, as always, feel free to chime in with other candidates:

Jarrod Parker, RHP, Diamondbacks: Our No. 18 prospect made the California League look easy, allowing just two earned runs over 19 innings, so the D-backs moved him up. His first Double-A start on Saturday in Jacksonville, was a little rougher as the 20-year-old gave up 8 hits and three earned runs (four total) over 4 1/3 IP. He did only walk one while striking out five.

Lance Lynn, RHP, Cardinals: The Cardinals’ supplemental first-round pick out of University of Mississippi last June has kind of flown under the radar, but maybe he shouldn’t. After five outings in the Florida State League, the right-hander just made his Double-A debut on Monday morning and the Texas League didn’t seem to bother him, as he fired five shutout innings.

Adrian Cardenas, SS/2B, A’s:
  After hitting .372 over 19 games with Double-A Midland, the infielder who came to the A’s late last year in the Joe Blanton trade with the Phillies got bumped up to Triple-A Sacramento as the A’s made a number of roster moves across a few levels. He made his PCL debut on Friday and has played in two games. While he’s gone just 1-for-7 thus far, he has driven in three runs. He’s playing both middle infield positions, so he’s ready whenever there’s a need in either spot in Oakland.

Peter Kozma, SS, Cardinals: Kozma was the Cards’ top pick in the 2007 draft and he had a solid, but unspectalar, first full season. He broke out of the gates well in the pitching-friendly FSL this year, hitting .315 over 18 games, to earn a bump up to Double-A Springfield with Lynn. He’s gone 1-for-6 over his first two games.

Hector Ambriz, RHP, Diamondbacks: Arizona’s fifth-rounder in 2006 out of UCLA, Ambriz had an up-and-down 2008 with Double-A Mobile. But he pitched well, in a relief role, in the Arizona Fall League (he even blogged for us) and it’s carried over so far this season. He went back to Mobile and quickly showed he was ready for a new challenge, with a 2.17 ERA over five starts. In 29 IP, he gave up just 18 hits (.180 BAA) and struck out 32 vs. only 6 walks. He got the promotion to Triple-A Reno after his Friday start (seven innings of shutout ball), so he should make his PCL debut some time later this week.

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