Andres Santiago and Jharel Cotton are not generally ranked among the top 10 prospects in the Dodgers’ organization. Fact is, unless you’re a prospect wonk, or you’ve been to baseball games in Chattanooga or Rancho Cucamonga this season, you probably haven’t heard of them.
After reading this, you might not hear from either pitcher again.
But in 2014 Santiago and Cotton did something few minor-league pitchers do — or even get the chance to do.
The two ranked first and second on Baseball America’s list of the best minor-league starts of 2014. Both authored complete-game shutouts this season: Santiago tossed a no-hitter for Double-A Chatanooga seven days ago and Cotton threw a two-hit shutout for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on July 29.
Santiago, 24, was a 16th-round draft pick out of Puerto Rico in 2007. Take away the no-hitter, and he had a 4.80 ERA (which is about a full run above the Southern League average ERA of 3.85).
Cotton, 22, was a 20th-round draft pick out of Eastern Carolina University in 2012. Take away the shutout, and he had a 4.36 ERA for the season (which is still below the California League average ERA of 4.62).
Here’s more from Matt Eddy’s piece:
Erisbel Arruebarrena‘s rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque came to a violent end Saturday night, when the 24-year-old infielder incited a massive brawl in the Isotopes’ game against the Reno Aces.
Sunday, the Dodgers activated Arruebarrena from the 15-day disabled list and re-assigned him to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. The timing of the move, one day after the brawl, suggests this is more than a coincidence.
Arruebarrena had not been performing badly at Albuquerque. He hit his first Triple-A home run Saturday — his slow home run trot might have provoked Reno to begin with — and was batting .351/.410/.486. Albuquerque is playing Reno again tonight and Monday.
A source with knowledge of the situation said there is no precedent for a player on a major-league rehabilitation assignment being suspended by the Pacific Coast League. Nonetheless, the league is reviewing the incident and is expected to discipline Arruebarrena. It’s unclear whether or not he would be required to serve his suspension while playing in a different league.
Dodgers infielder Alex Guerrero, whose progress to the majors was stunted when then-teammate Miguel Olivo bit off a portion of his ear during a Triple-A game in May, will continue his rehabilitation playing for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Guerrero had been playing games for the Dodgers’ Rookie-level affiliate in Arizona since July 11. He is due to play second base and bat third today for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, who are playing in Bakersfield until Tuesday.
The Quakes’ next home game is Thursday. Dodgers pitching prospect Julio Urias is scheduled to start that game.