(Portland ME) The question needs to be asked after the Australian continued on a roll that has had him allow only ONE run in his last fifty-nine innings of pitching for the Portland Sea Dogs.
Daniel was connected to the Doncaster Dragon in Melbourne (Australia) seven years ago as a 17-year-old. His pitching promise, while with the Dragons, attracted the interest of fifteen major league teams. The Red Sox signed him for $400,000.
Since then? He’s had his moments but has hardly turned a whole lot of heads……….until recently.
Daniel was the Player-of-the-Month in the Eastern League for July.
After tonight’s 1-0 win over the Erie SeaWolves, his ERA is a remarkable 1.34. Daniel toiled seven innings versus Erie and allowed only three hits. He’s struck out a season-high nine SeaWolves.
Erie had a great chance in the second to put a dent into Daniel’s ERA. The visitors had runners on first and third with no outs. But the lefty can not only pitch, he also has a nifty pickoff move. Daniel Pinero was victimized straying from first and then the next two batters were retired with no runs scoring.
I’ll admit that I didn’t go to Hadlock Field last night to see Daniel McGrath.
It was Casey Mize I wanted to get a look at. Casey is the Eastern League’s top prospect. He was the first pick in the major league draft in 2018. He dazzled at Auburn University averaging nearly thirteen strikeouts per game.
He was promoted to Erie this season after a few starts in the lower minors. Result? No-Hitter against Altoona in his first EL start!
Casey scuffled in his last start (Binghamton) allowing seven hits and six runs in 3 1/3 innings. He was much better tonight at Portland.
The native of Alabama allowed only five hits in six innings. Now 6-2, he is very good but on this night, it was Daniel McGrath that had the buzz-worthy performance.
To watch Daniel pitch as masterfully as he did, couldn’t have come at a better time for Red Sox fans. The last week has been a pitching nightmare for the Boston team. Those expensive arms on the Big Club have been a tough watch night after night.
Daniel pitched once at Pawtucket (AAA) this season. He certainly has earned some more time there. I hope it happens.
Nice crowd with nice weather.
I have always had the sense that most attendees to minor league games know little about the players. Tonight was a bit different. As I waited to get pictures of Casey Mize warming up, there was a good collection of fans nearby doing the same thing. They had heard about Casey Mize.
Casey, by the way, will reach the majors by this time next year. He’s just too good to hold back. Plus they invested $7,500,000 on him when they signed him.
Slugger was in camouflage gear carrying a branch. It is fair to say that the Big Guy can not be carrying things and expect to compete. The competition tonight was short in size as well as short in experience. The young opponent had to be guided onto the field, around the bases, and off the field………..and still he wasted Slugger. Embarrassing.
Thanks to Chris Cameron for arranging the pleasant visit for me.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)