Futures Game fallout: Thompson promoted, Moya bats right-handed
It took barely 24 hours for Steven Moya and Jake Thompson to go from Futures Game opponents to Tigers minor-leauge teammates. No sooner had Thompson returned from Minnesota than the Tigers promoted him from Class A Lakeland to Double-A Erie, where Moya has been playing all season.
It’s a relatively big step for the 20-year-old Thompson after 39 professional starts. He made 16 starts for Lakeland, posting a 6-4 record with a 3.14 ERA and 75 hits allowed over 83 innings. He walked 25, struck out 79 and gave up just three home runs, two of them allowed in his final start before the break last week.
The late-season stint in the more hitter-friendly Eastern League, which has smaller ballparks than in Florida, should be a good test for the sinkerballing Thompson, who has allowed just eight home runs over 194 2/3 professional innings.
“I got off to a hot start at the beginning of the year and kind of just worked off of that,” Thompson said about his season Sunday. “That’s really it. I’m actually really proud of how far I’ve come since last year, just kind of tweaking my game plan and going out there and executing it.”
Also joining the Erie rotation is left-hander Josh Turley, who went 7-1 with a 1.85 ERA in Lakeland while allowing just 70 hits over 97 1/3 innings. The 23-year-old was a 16th-round draft pick out of Baylor two years ago.
Thompson’s promotion came out moments after outfielder Steven Moya turned around and batted right-handed for the SeaWolves in a pinch-hitting appearance. For a slugger who bats left-handed, it was a surprise. Whether it’s a sign of things to come remains to be seen.
Moya was a switch-hitter as a teenager before he signed with the Tigers. According to Tom Reisenweber of the Erie Times-News, Moya had been taking right-handed swings in batting practice for the past month or so. At some point, the SeaWolves were going to give him an opportunity to try it in a blowout. They lost 11-4 last night.
The batting splits from Moya don’t suggest it’s a pressing issue. He’s batting .260 (33-for-127) with an .829 OPS against left-handers, and .267 (59-for-221) with an .835 OPS off righties.