Right-hander Rob Luce, the JetHawks’ most dependable starter in the first half, and second baseman Chris Dean were promoted to double-A Memphis on Thursday, joining catcher Dusty Wathan and outfielder Miguel Correa, who were promoted on Sunday.
Luce’s promotion is the only real surprise. The 22-year-old is barely a year removed from Nevada Las Vegas. But Luce went 10-1 with a 2.81 earned-run average for the JetHawks.
“He deserves it,” said pitching coach Jim Slaton. “He definitely proved he can pitch here.”
The JetHawks’ new rotation is somewhat shaky.
“There are a lot of question marks,” Slaton said. “We’ve got [Damaso] Marte and he hasn’t won a game. [Joe] Mays hasn’t pitched here yet. [Kevin] Gryboski is coming off the DL with shoulder problems, and [Joe] Victery had shoulder surgery.”
The fifth starter is Javier Gutierrez, who came up from Wisconsin earlier this month.
Only Marte and Gryboski were expected to be in the JetHawk rotation when spring training broke. Marte is 0-5 with a 4.99 ERA and Gryboski is 0-3 with a 9.77 ERA.
The best of the incoming players appears to be Mays, who was 9-3 with a 2.09 ERA in the first half at Class-A Wisconsin. Also coming up from Wisconsin are outfielder Josh Watts (.278, four homers, 21 runs batted in), infielder Jason Regan (.254, nine homers, 23 RBIs) and catcher Jim Horner (.248, five homers, 24 RBIs).
Catcher Karl Thompson was sent down from Memphis. Thompson, who figures to get the most playing time behind the plate, was hitting .230 with four homers and 21 RBIs.
Tonight’s Game: Lake Elsinore (Stevenson Agosto, 3-4, 5.03) at JetHawks (Joe Mays, 0-0, 0.00), 7:15.
AROUND THE LEAGUES
Scanning Wednesday’s box scores: TRIPLE A--First baseman Rich Aude (Chatsworth) hit his second home run for Syracuse, N.Y. . . . Catcher Bobby Hughes (Notre Dame) hit his third home run for Tucson. . . . Outfielder Ryan Radmanovich (Pepperdine) hit his 16th home run for Salt Lake City. DOUBLE A--Former JetHawk right-hander John Thompson picked up his first save for Memphis. . . . Former JetHawk outfielder Scott Smith hit his seventh home run and drove in three runs for Memphis.