On Monday night, the West Virginia Power placed right-handed pitcher Cody Bolton on the disabled list. They also announced that left-handed pitcher Oddy Nunez was joining the team, getting moved down from Bradenton.
We held off posting this last night because the transactions didn’t have a reason listed for Bolton being placed on the disabled list and we didn’t get an answer until this morning. So you may have already noticed these transactions in today’s Morning Report. We are told that Bolton has a minor arm injury in the form of a right forearm strain. While the injury is minor, I’m sure the Pirates will be cautious with his return.
Bolton is just 20 years old and has 44.1 innings with the Power. That doesn’t include Spring Training innings and seven weeks of Extended Spring Training (EST), where he was making regular starts. You don’t see those EST innings on paper, but they will be factored in next year when he should be in full-season ball for the entire year. So a cautious approach with six weeks left in this season, wouldn’t do much to limit him next year. For now, all we know is that he will be out at least six more days, but I’d expect it to be longer.
Nunez is having a disappointing season and this demotion just adds to that. Last year he looked like a potential starting pitching prospect due to a low-90s fastball with a lot of movement and deception, coming from a 6’8″ lefty. Most of that hasn’t changed, except the two most important things. He has mostly been in the 87-88 MPH range, sometimes dipping lower, and he isn’t controlling his pitches as well as he did last year. He didn’t have great control in 2017, though you would expect that area to improve with more experience, not get noticeably worse. Even at 87-88 MPH, Nunez is hard to square up when his control is on, but that’s been rare this season.
He’s still only 21 years old, which is another reason he was so intriguing last year. The problem is that there was room to add velocity and instead he has seen a significant loss (4 MPH average) in that area.
UPDATE 2:17 PM: Erich Weiss has been assigned to Morgantown on rehab. He hasn’t played since June 29th due to a right hip flexor strain.