In the latest installment of Mike Drago’s "Keeping Score," the Reading Phillies beat writer has his eye on fast-rising reliever Joe Bisenius.
Bisenius isn’t a player that generated much buzz around the Phillies organization prior to this season, but the former 12th-round pick out of Oklahoma City University is starting to make a name for himself at Double-A Reading. Using a fastball that sits at 94-95 mph and a late-breaking curve, Drago says the 6-foot-5, 23-year-old right-hander blew away the Bowie Baysox for the second straight night on Wednesday.
"It's obvious this guy has some talent, and a future," Drago said.
Reading pitching coach Tom Filer agreed. "To me, I don’t think he can miss right now," Filer told Drago. "He’s gonna pitch in the big leagues just by looking at his stuff. The only thing that could hold him back is possibly command problems, but tonight he looked sharper than he did last night."
Last season, Bisenius struggled with his command and finished with a 5.88 ERA in 40 games for Lakewood, but pitching this season in Clearwater, it appears he turned a corner, going 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA and averaging better than a strikeout per inning.
In 9.1 innings at Reading, Bisenius has tallied 13 strikeouts, 3 walks and 2 saves.
Also from Drago, the Reading Phillies can give a lot of credit to the addition of free agent outfielder Pedro Swann for the team's mid-season comeback. The Phillies went 17-8 and climbed closer to .500 with the 35-year-old outfielder batting in the middle of the lineup. He has since been promoted to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, where the Barons are making a run at the playoffs. The team also called up Reading infielder Carlos Leon, who was having a solid season for the R-Phils. Drago said it's unlikely the R-Phils will add any more free agents this season.
Bernero earns a second chance
Pitching tonight for those Kansas City Royals ... none other than Adam Benero (0-1, 36.00 ERA), the guy who allowed 8-runs during a spot start for the Phils back on June 30. Bernero was originally signed off waivers from the Royals when a clause in his contract made him available. Bernero allowed four runs in each of his two innings against Toronto and was mercilessly banished from the Phillies organization forever.
A.J. Hinch promoted ...
... to a high-ranking position in the Diamondbacks' front office, that is. The former Phillies catcher, who never held a big-league catching job for very long during his professional career, became the D-Backs director of minor league operations yesterday. Hinch, a Stanford product and former second-round pick of the Athletics, retired from catching in 2005 after spending his last two seasons with Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Hinch was recently featured as "a young executive to watch" by Baseball America magazine.