After making a spot start on June 10 for Triple-A Nashville, Dalton Sawyer was sent back to the Midwest League.But he wouldn't be staying very long. "They told me I was flying back to Beloit. I had to go get my stuff and fly right out to Stockton," Sawyer said Friday.
After making a spot start on June 10 for Triple-A Nashville, Dalton Sawyer was sent back to the Midwest League.
But he wouldn't be staying very long.
"They told me I was flying back to Beloit. I had to go get my stuff and fly right out to Stockton," Sawyer said Friday. "Waking up at 4:30 to catch a bus to catch a plane wasn't something I was accustomed to, but being able to go and pitch against high-level competition was just an incredible experience and I was very grateful for the opportunity."
Pitching for his third team in his last three outings, Sawyer allowed one hit and struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings, but Class A Advanced Stockton fell to Lake Elsinore, 3-0.
"You can't let the circumstances or situation dictate how you approach a ballgame," the left-hander said. "Wherever you're playing or however the ball flies, the plate is still 60 feet away and you're still just trying to hit the mitt, no matter the competition you're facing or the level you're playing at."
Gameday box score
Sawyer's adventure began June 9 when he was told to see pitching coach Carlos Chavez after Class A Beloit's loss to Quad Cities.
"I was charting in the stands that night," Sawyer said. "After the game, Chavez brought me into his office and tried to tell me my chart was all wrong and there was no chance because my charts are flawless, so I knew something was up. And then they said I was starting in Nashville the next day and I thought they were kidding again, but then they were like, 'No, seriously. Go pack a bag, you're pitching tomorrow.' It was kind of a whirlwind, but it was fun."
The 2016 ninth-round pick filled in admirably by recording a quality start in a win over Memphis.
"The guys up there could be called up at any minute, so they take the game very seriously and professionally. So, they know what they need to do and how to do it," Sawyer said.
Sawyer worked around a throwing error by shortstop Eli White and a walk in California League debut and retired the side in order in the second.
After he issued a walk in the third, Sawyer gave up his first hit of the game, a two-out single by Kyle Overstreet in the fourth. The 6-foot-5 hurler retired six of the last batters he faced, ending his night by striking out Javier Guerra.
"I think I'd give the start a B-plus or an A-minus," the University of Minnesota product said. "I walked three guys so it definitely wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but all in all it was a productive start and I put us in a position to win, so I can't argue with that."
Sawyer produced a 2.25 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 12 appearances, including eight starts for the Snappers. He also fanned 64 in 56 frames.
Even though he is from Waconia, Minnesota, Sawyer is looking forward to the challenges and comforts that come with the California League.
"It's been a good experience so far. You can't beat California weather -- it's a lot better than in the Midwest and the team has been very welcoming," he said.
Padres No. 8 prospect Eric Lauer scattered six hits and struck out six in five innings, while Overstreet singled, doubled and drove in all three runs for Lake Elsinore.
Michael Leboff is a contributor to MiLB.com.