Four former Midwest Leaguers made their major-league debuts Tuesday, with the pitchers having better success than the position players.
Arguably the best of the four MLB debuts was that of Houston Astros RHP Joe Musgrove, who started last season with the Quad Cities River Bandits. Musgrove entered the game in the top of the 5th inning after starter Lance McCullers (another former River Bandits pitcher) departed due to injury. Musgrove allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out eight batters in 4.1 scoreless innings.
The Astros subsequently placed McCullers on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow, and announced that Musgrove will take his spot in the starting rotation.
Musgrove went 4-1 with a 0.70 ERA, 23 strikeouts and one walk in 25.2 innings (five games/three starts) for the 2015 River Bandits.
Former Lansing Lugnuts pitcher Danny Barnes also impressed in his MLB debut for the Toronto Blue Jays. Here’s how his scoreless inning of relief unfolded, per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm:
The 26-year-old started the 8th by getting George Springer to hit a weak pop-up to shortstop after a three-pitch at-bat. Barnes then recorded the first strikeout of his career by getting Alex Bregman to swing at a 93-mph fastball.
The only minor threat came when Jose Altuve hit a sharp single to left. Barnes promptly bounced back by getting cleanup hitter Carlos Correa to strike out on an 83-mph changeup.
(Yes, Musgrove and Barnes made their MLB debuts in the same game.)
Barnes pitched in 52 games for the 2010-11 Lugnuts, cumulatively going 5-1 with a 2.82 ERA, 13 saves, 115 strikeouts and 28 walks in 76.2 innings.
The most notable of Tuesday’s MLB debuts was that of top Milwaukee Brewers prospect Orlando Arcia, who was the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers’ starting shortstop in 2013. He went 0-for-4 at the plate, striking out swinging in his first at-bat (against former Peoria Chiefs pitcher Luis Perdomo) and grounding out in his other three.
Arcia batted .251 with 4 HR, 39 RBI and 20 SB in 120 games with the Timber Rattlers.
Former Chiefs outfielder Charlie Tilson fared better at the plate in his MLB debut for the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, but his involvement in the game didn’t end on a good note.
Tilson singled in his first at-bat, but left the game two innings later after tearing his left hamstring chasing down a fly ball. The White Sox later placed him on the disabled list and said the outfielder will need season-ending surgery.
Tilson played for the Chiefs in 2013, batting .303 with 4 HR, 30 RBI and 15 SB in 100 games.