Yamamoto spins hitless ball for Shrimp

Marlins No. 16 prospect strikes out nine over six innings in return

Jordan Yamamoto has a 2.12 ERA and has struck out 23 batters in 17 innings for Jacksonville. (Emma Napper)

By Michael Avallone / MiLB.com | August 31, 2018 12:04 AM

As the Minor League season winds down, Jordan Yamamoto found a way to build off a successful, albeit injury-plagued season. 

Fresh off a rehab assignment, the No. 16 Marlins prospect struck out nine over six hitless innings before leaving the game after reaching his allotted pitch limit.

Tommy Eveld surrendered a one-out triple to Travis Demeritte in the seventh and eventually a run as Double-A Jacksonville lost to visiting Mississippi, 1-0, in the nightcap and was swept in Thursday's doubleheader.

Video: Shrimp's Yamamoto finishes sixth hitless frame

One of the more enjoyable moments for Yamamoto was simply getting his competitive juices flowing again.

"It was a great feeling out there," the 22-year-old said. "Being on rehab for as long as I was makes you anxious to get back and compete. I trusted what I had tonight and I trusted my defense.

"It's a good confidence booster for me moving forward. I feel I progressed as a pitcher and learned how to really pitch during my limited time on the field. I'll use this as a nice stepping stone into the offseason and get ready for next year."

Gameday box score

Yamamoto showed no ill effects in his return, striking out the side in the first inning. He set the Braves down in order in the second and fanned Daniel Lockhart to open the third. Yamamoto then plunked Ray-Patrick Didder, who took second on a passed ball by Jacksonville catcher Sharif Othman. But the right-hander struck out opposing pitcher Elian Leyva and induced a groundout from Braves No. 5 prospect Cristian Pache to end the inning.

Didder was the last Braves baserunner until Demeritte's one-out triple in the seventh. Yamamoto set down the final 11 batters he faced, five via the strikeout. 

"Getting ahead was the key," the Hawaii-born hurler said. "The plan was to get ahead with off-speed stuff and then go from there. They're a good-hitting team and one that can really mash the fastball. So we decided to go slow first and then mix it up after that. I give a lot of credit to my catcher [Othman]. He did a great job calling the game. I might have shaken him off once all night. I had a lot of trust in him and it made a difference for me."

MiLB include

Yamamoto posted a 2.45 ERA in three rehab starts in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League prior to his activation from the disabled list. He made two starts for the Jumbo Shrimp -- the last on July 14 -- after dominating at Class A Advanced Jupiter. Through seven starts in the Florida State League, Yamamoto went 4-1 with a 1.55 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings. He was assigned to the Southern League on June 28, but was placed on the DL three weeks later for the second time this season with a recurrence of shoulder discomfort.

Yamamoto was obtained from the Brewers in the Christian Yelich trade on January 25 that sent top prospect Monte Harrison, No. 8 Isan Diaz and Lewis Brinson to the Marlins. The 2014 12th-round Draft pick has gone 6-1 with a 1.83 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings spanning 13 starts in his first year with Miami. He began the year on the DL with shoulder discomfort and did not make his season debut until May 27.

"For me, I view baseball as a business," Yamamoto said of the offseason trade. "Whoever wants you will take you. I'm not going to go to a new organization and be someone I'm not. They see me as a certain type of pitcher and I tried to do the same things I did with the Brewers. But it has been a journey this year. Baseball is a lot like life. There are good days and bad. I've experienced plenty of both this season, so you just take it as it comes."

Video: Demeritte's triple breaks up no-no for M-Braves

Eveld (2-1) suffered the loss after his fielding error allowed Demeritte to score with two outs in the seventh.

Leyva surrendered four hits and three walks with five strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings for Mississippi. Justin Kelly (1-0) struck out four over 2 2/3 perfect frames in relief.

The M-Braves took the opener, 4-3, behind five innings of two-run ball by starter Michael Mader (6-3). The 24-year-old allowed three hits and a walk with two strikeouts for his third straight win.

Michael Avallone is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More