Perusing the prospects: Jose Siri’s new plate discipline

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Skeeters have been explosive at the plate this season, so we had to take a trip down to Sugar Land to see all the commotion.

On Thursday, the Sugar Land Skeeters, Class Triple-A of the Houston Astros, hosted the Oklahoma City Dodgers. With Bryan Abreu, Enoli Paredes and Austin Pruitt starting their rehab assignments with the team during the current homestand, there will be a few Astros’ returning from their respective injuries.

Among the Skeeters hitting the injured list, infielder Yadiel Rivera and right-handed pitcher Jojanse Torres were placed on the 7-day IL prior to Thursday’s game. At the plate, Bryan De La Cruz entered Thursday slashing 16-for-37 with two homers and 12 RBI in last eight games, which was a sneaky good stretch in the shadows of Jake Meyers’ seven home runs over the last five games.

Jose Siri is showing more plate discipline, but is it working?

Jose Siri has been one of the biggest talks in relation to the Skeeters this season. While signed this past offseason, the journeyman minor-leaguer had a hot start in Triple-A, but one thing always seemed to be plaguing his reputation: he doesn’t take many pitches. Through 157 plate appearances, the right-hander was slashing .319/.372/.563 with 19 extra base hits, before Thursday.

Entering Thursday, Siri had 10 walks to his 47 strikeouts, which is a decreasing ratio. In his first at-bat, he worked an 11-pitch count full, then struck out looking on a borderline strike. This hasn’t been something reoccurring in Siri’s tenure with the Astros’ affiliate, but with his new finding of working counts, he isn’t swinging at the balls he usually crushes.

His second time up consisted of six straight pitches taken, resulting in his second looking strikeout of the game. Siri isn’t a 40-man roster member, and although hitting a small speed bump to start June, the right-hander, entering Thursday, was back to a .274/.366/.468 line for the month with seven walks (six of them in the last series).

Siri could be looking to improve his overall value with a new sense of plate discipline and working counts, but it is leading to more strikeouts in the process as well. The right-hander finished the night 2-for-4 with two strikeouts, a bloop single (on the first pitch) and an infield single in an at-bat that he swung at all three pitches.

This change in plate approach could’ve been because of the Skeeters down during his at-bats, but taking pitches wasn’t helping Siri in the end.

Other highlights from Thursday:

On The Mound

Brett Conine was off the rubber for this matchup of the farm hands of the 2020 World Series Champions. The right-hander entered Thursday with a 3.86 ERA over seven appearances (six starts) for the Skeeters. Conine struggled out of the gate, allowing a home run against the first batter he faced. Homers haven’t been an issue for the right-hander in the past, but he did enter Thursday with a 0.9 home run per nine innings.

Conine showed moxie with runners on base, as he picked off D.J. Peters. The outfield reached base, after slashing an infield single off of Conine’s leg. His final line was four innings of work with an earned run on three hits and a walk with two punch outs on 69 pitches. Conine has maxed out at 87 pitches this season, so this wasn’t something that is seen all that often, but the right-hander had a sufficient turn around after allowing a first inning home run.

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In The Field

C.J. Hinojosa, a minor league signing this past offseason, has flashed the leather nicely at the hot corner, but lacks consistency in his arm. He has the strength to make the throw across the diamond, but his issues are circling around his accuracy. Hinojosa, mainly a second baseman, started his 12th game at third base on Thursday, where he recorded his fourth error of the season at the position.

At first base, J.J. Matijevic, who was recently promoted from Double-A Corpus Christi, made a spectacular over the shoulder grab into the outfield at first base. The right-hander can also played left field, pointing to more versatility in the minor-league system.

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The Skeeters dropped game one, 5-3, and will continue the homestand with the Dodgers on Friday at 7:05 p.m.