Friday night, John Lannan had another rough start at Class AAA Syracuse. He allowed eight runs, only four earned, in four innings on eight hits and three walks while striking out four. The ragged second start followed his two-inning, five-run season debut at Syracuse. Lannan should be fine, but it seems he’s having a tough transition to his unexpected life back in the minors.
Through nine games in Syracuse, Bryce Harper is hitting .222/.263/.333. If history is a guide, Harper may be ready to explode. He had slow starts at Class A Hagerstown and Class AA Harrisburg last season before erupting. And he also had a bad start during his one season at the College of Southern Nevada before laying waste to the junior college’s record books. If Harper doesn’t turn it around, then we can start talking about a delayed promotion to the majors.
The most conspicuous aspect to Harper’s start: He is 3 for 17 with five strikeouts and a double against left-handed pitching. If there is one concern about Harper’s bat among scouts, it’s how he’ll adjust against lefties who throw an adundance of offspeed pitches. That’s the kind of thing Class AAA has in spades compared to lower minor leagues. Harper, though, does have two hits in his last five at-bats against them, so that’s a good sign.