The TinCaps welcomed a highly-ranked prospect to their roster this afternoon, but also put a pair of key pitchers on the injured list. Here's a breakdown of the trio of changes to Fort Wayne's roster before it completed its series with West Michigan.
Gabe Mosser on the Injured List: The 25-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a pedestrian 4.20 ERA, but has been very good lately, posting a 2-1 mark with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in his five starts since June 23, two of which came against the Great Lakes Loons, the best offensive team in the High-A Central East Division. Mosser started Thursday and struggled for the first time in a while, surrendering eight hits and four runs (three earned) in 4 2/3 innings. He'll likely be replaced in the rotation by the newly-arrived prospect from Low-A Lake Elsinore.
Carlos Guarate promoted to Fort Wayne: It is Guarate who seems to be in line to take Mosser's place in the rotation for the time being. The 6-foot-2 right-hander has relatively pedestrian numbers with Lake Elsinore (2-2, 4.94 ERA), but he has hardly walked anyone and he has an impressive pedigree in rookie ball, where he had ERAs under 2.50 in 2018 and 2019 across a combined 71 innings. In his most recent start with the Storm, the 20-year-old right-hander, who would be the youngest member of Fort Wayne's rotation, pitched six no-hit, shutout innings, striking out six and walking none. His overall numbers are inflated by a rough start he had June 26, when he surrendered 11 runs on 13 hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Guarate pitched briefly (four innings) for the TinCaps in 2019. He is the No. 17 prospect in the Padres' farm system, according to Fangraphs, making him the second top 20 Padres prospect in the Fort Wayne rotation, along with Anderson Espinoza. He doesn't throw particularly hard, sitting 89-91 mph and topping out at 93, but he has an outstanding breaking ball that Fangraphs says has "depth and power." He also has only walked 10 in 58 1/3 innings this season.
Carter Loewen on the Injured List: The second Fort Wayne pitcher placed on the Injured List today is the team's closer. Loewen, 22, is tied for the league lead in saves with seven, but he has not pitched since July 10. This is a tough blow for the TinCaps because Loewen had been on a major roll, throwing 8 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings with 16 strikeouts and three walks over his last seven appearances. This also hurts more than it otherwise would because Loewen's fellow late-inning reliever Jose Geraldo was also placed on the IL this week. Loewen and Geraldo have formed a very good duo at the back end of the bullpen, but those innings are a lot more uncertain right now, as if the TinCaps needed more question marks in the relief corps.