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The Journal Gazette

Monday, May 06, 2019 11:40 pm

TinCaps bullpen gets shake-up

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

The Fort Wayne bullpen added a couple of arms from High-A Lake Elsinore today, as right-hander Nick Kuzia and left-hander Cody Tyler were sent to the TinCaps ahead of their series-opener with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. To make room for them on the Fort Wayne roster, right-hander Tom Colletti was sent to extended spring training and another right-hander, Jonathan Guzman, was released from the organization.

Kuzia, 23, returns to the TinCaps after pitching 6 2/3 innings for them over two relief appearances last season. He spent most of the season in Low-A Tri Cities, making 22 appearances (one start) and posting a 4.26 ERA while striking out more than a batter per inning. He made one appearance each in Lake Elsinore and Double-A Amarillo this season before being sent down to the Midwest League. He might be here for a while to see how he handles the level, which he never really experienced for any prolonged length of time.

Tyler, meanwhile, made his Midwest League debut Monday night after skipping the level in 2018. He tossed two scoreless innings and earned his first professional save. He was drafted in the 32nd round in June and moved quickly through rookie ball and Low-A before skipping directly to Lake Elsinore. There, he went 2-2 with a 4.05 ERA in 15 relief appearances covering 20 innings. Like Kuzia, he's pitched sparingly this season, making three appearances for the Storm and giving up two runs in six innings. Tyler, 24, also had one outing at Triple-A El Paso. It's unclear how long he'll be here, as he's already proved he can hold his own at a higher level.

As for those who are no longer with Fort Wayne, I wouldn't be surprised if Colletti is back this season. He was dominant in rookie ball last season, posting a 0.64 ERA in 28 1/3 innings and bad luck had a lot to do with his 6.75 ERA with the TinCaps this year. His walk and strikeout numbers weren't anything to write home about, but they were passable and he'd already made nine appearances. 

As for Guzman, 24, his Padres career comes to an end just weeks into his fifth season. He stuck around despite failing to advance beyond rookie ball for three seasons and finally got his shot in the Midwest League a few weeks ago. He missed plenty of bats, but his command just wasn't there. One of the best moments of the season so far, in my mind, was Guzman escaping his first inning in the Midwest League without giving up a run despite throwing 10 straight balls to start his appearance. That took guts.

dsinn@jg.net