Salt Lake Bees prospect report

Steven Shell

One hundred and nine games into the season, Salt Lake is the only pitching staff in the Pacific Coast League to have not posted a complete game or a shutout. Continuing the sour news, the Bees have also allowed more homers than any other team in the 16-team circuit.

Six different pitchers have surrendered 10 homers or more and the opposition is hitting .293 off Salt Lake pitching. Thirty-three of the homers they have allowed have come over a 10-16 month of July.

His 8-5 record aside, Kasey Olenberger has served up 22 bombs over 22 starts to lead the league. He has given up multiple homers in seven games this year and nine of the dingers he has allowed have come with men on base.

Over his last four outings, which includes three starts, Olenberger has surrendered 20 runs on 29 hits and five walks over a span of 16 innings. Despite the rough stretch, the California native has thrown 66.7 percent of his pitches for strikes and has posted a respectable 1.33 WHIP.

Getting the homers down will be instrumental moving forward and getting back to the double play grounders he notched in each of his first five starts is the Olenberger the Angels hope to see down the stretch.

Worse yet than Olenberger is the way Steven Shell has been, well, shelled. He has given up 12 long balls in 46 innings – or one every 3.2 innings pitched. The right-hander has been given just four starts on the season in Triple-A because of his ineffectiveness, posting an ERA above 5.50 for three straight months.

The opposition is clubbing the Texas native at a .322 clip. Shell has allowed multiple runs in 10 of his 22 appearances this season. Ironically, he has held the opposition to a .192 average with runners in scoring position.

Rich Thompson has made a successful transition to the PCL after spending the majority of the year in Double-A Arkansas (he had one appearance in Rancho to begin the year). Thompson has a string of 10.2 scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 0.77 in Triple-A. The Australian native has given up just three hits over that span while striking out 15.

Thompson has surrendered 10 hits in 58 at bats over three leagues with runners in scoring position, a .172 average and right-handed hitters have a paltry .162 average off him on the year.

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