Towering righthander Matt Lollis has been promoted to full-season ball for the first time. The 15th round pick in 2009 for San Diego, Lollis is a 6’9″ behemoth with surprising command. He walked just eight batters in 34 2/3 innings for short-season Eugene this year.
Lollis also did not allow a home run this season, and does a good job getting ground balls. He pitches to contact (just 24 strikeouts), but has the power stuff to get a strikeout when he needs it. He’s just 19 years old and posted a 2.86 ERA in six starts for Eugene.
Lollis will likely be used in the Fort Wayne rotation from here on out. Since he has a low workload this year, he can help take some stress of the arms of the Fort Wayne starters, who have been pitching every fifth day since April.
It comes as something of a surprise that Lollis, and not fellow 19-year-old Keyvius Sampson, was the one promoted, as Sampson has a lower ERA and more strikeouts. In any case, Lollis deserves a promotion, and hopefully he’ll continue to find success against the more advanced Midwest League hitters.
To make room for Lollis on the Fort Wayne roster, the TinCaps released first baseman Jon Alia, a 24-year-old who hit .278/.353/.315. Alia has little defensive value, and he needed to show some extra-base pop to justify being a first baseman. He didn’t, and at his age, he likely didn’t have much of a future in pro ball. It’s always sad to see someone released, but it’s hard to argue with the decision from a baseball perspective.