Alex Colome, the number five prospect in the Rays organization according to Baseball America, is scheduled to
return Saturday and make his first start since he suffered an oblique injury April 11,
according to Biscuits manager Billy Gardner.
In two starts this season, the right-hander has pitched eight innings and
surrendered five earned runs, eight hits and three walks. He has struck out five. In 28
combined starts between High-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery last season,
Colome was 12-9 with a 3.82 ERA and had 123 strikeouts against 72 walks in 157.2
Colome, who will be restrained to five innings and 75 pitches Saturday, will take
the place of right-hander Merrill Kelly. In two starts, Kelly did not allow a run in eight
innings. Colome will join the likes of Matt Buschmann and Kyle Lobstein — two
Southern League Pitchers of the Week this month. In two starts last week, Lobstein was
1-0 with a 0.64 ERA, allowing one run over 14 innings pitched.
Biscuits catcher Mark Thomas believes Colome has the stuff to receive similar
recognition sometime soon, as long as the hard-thrower stays healthy.
“He’s a really impressive pitcher,” Thomas says. “He’s really been gifted with an
unbelievable arm and he’s been one of the best pitchers I ever caught.”
Learning how to locate his pitches and mix in his off-speed stuff will be keys to
Colome’s development, according to Biscuits pitching coach R.C. Lichtenstein.
“He has to understand that the guys, who are at the big league level who came
through with that power arm that he has, had to learn to understand where to throw the
ball, get the ball down and separate speeds,” Lichtenstein says.
Kang slumping, Garko starting to slug
The Biscuits were 4-1 this past week, despite the struggles of their left-handed
power bat, Kyeong Kang. The outfielder has slumped since he was awarded the Southern
League Hitter of the Week May 7.
Kang was 5-21 last week including 11 strikeouts. He drove in only one run. The
Korean-native is still third in the league in home runs, eight, but none of them having
been hit off of lefties. Kang is 6-35 against left-handed pitching this season and has
struck out 17 times against them.
“There’s still a lot he needs to work on and that includes his defense as well,” said
Biscuits hitting instructor Ozzie Timmons.
While Kang has slumped, slugging first baseman Ryan Garko has seemingly found his power stroke. Over the course of the past week, Garko was 5-16 with three
doubles and his first home run in a Biscuits uniform. One of his doubles was a game-
winning hit in extra-innings May 19.
“That was fun,” Garko said. “I’ve just enjoyed putting this uniform on and
helping this team win games. I feel like I’m starting to see the ball real well now.”
After the Biscuits (24-23) conclude their five-game series with the Jackson
Generals (28-19), who own the best record in the Southern League, they will go on the
road and travel to take on the Mississippi Braves (20-26).
Will Sammon is the Montgomery Biscuits beat writer for Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @WillSammon.
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