After knifing through Double-A for a month after establishing his dominance with the Hudson Valley Renegades, Yankees' top pitching Drew Thorpe and his devastating changeup are most definitely ready for a new challenge.
Unfortunately, that doesn't seem likely to come until next season.
There's nothing on earth more inscrutable than Minor-League Baseball's "7-Day IL". Placing a prospect on said Injured List could constitute caution. They could be battling a minor injury. They could be bracing themselves for something major. They could simply be ... gone, as Everson Pereira was for a significant chunk of time earlier this summer.
That is to say, until someone speaks out, there's basically nothing we can glean from Thorpe being placed on Somerset's 7-Day IL on Tuesday morning, other than to say his season is over, with only one week of the Double-A Eastern League regular season remaining. We can close the book on his campaign -- and what a campaign it was -- while simultaneously crossing our fingers that whatever knocked him out of his last start is as minor as we were told last week, when Mike Ashmore reported Thorpe was removed from his outing after feeling discomfort in his non-throwing arm as a precaution.
Yankees top prospect Drew Thorpe hits 7-Day IL
Pitching prospects are notoriously hard to believe in, but Thorpe's MLB-ready changeup gave fans a reason to be optimistic while watching his first pro season. After dazzling at High-A (10-2, 2.81, 138 Ks and 33 walks in 109 innings), Thorpe was somehow even better at Double-A. He allowed 15 hits in 30.1 innings across five starts, striking out 44 and walking five. That was good for a 1.48 ERA, highlighted by eight two-hit shutout innings in his debut at the level.
When his final start was cut short (three hits and a homer in four innings), it seemed possible the Yankees were just preserving his workload, especially after they'd already shut down fellow young ace Chase Hampton by placing him on the Development List. Instead of hitting that list, though, Thorpe has landed on the nebulous IL.
Ideally, this is all an abundance of caution. The Yankees don't want to push Thorpe through a nuisance, so they're keeping him away from the field. He's too valuable to strain at the end of a minor-league season. But ... again ... the 7-Day could mean anything, and pitching prospects are a notoriously dangerous thing to get ideas about. Hopefully, we know more in the days to come, as New York's other sources of hope disappear one by one.