Atkins up, Stevens down
The club called up right-hander Mitch Atkins today and optioned Jeff Stevens to Triple A. With the bullpen being stretched thin over the past few days, some fresh arms will be welcome.
Atkins had a lot of trouble early in the year, after adding a sinker (and thus a lower arm angle) to his repertoire: fastball, cutter, change-up and curveball. It affected his control, which generally has rated good in the organization. But by going back to basics, according to Atkins, he got himself on track to have a strong June.
Iowa Cubs manager Bobby Dickerson told Vine Line he believes Atkins could be a big-league starter some day.
“He invites contact, gets ahead of hitters and he can get deep into games because he keeps his pitch count down.”
You can read more about Atkins in our August issue.
Left-hander Mike Hampton (6-7, 4.74 ERA) pitches for the Astros.
— Sean Ahmed