Called up from Tulsa this morning, new Sky Sox lefty Brandon
Durden is set to make his AAA debut on Thursday against the Albuquerque
A command specialist, the talented lefty comes off a
successful start to the season with the Drillers, having posted a 1-3 record with a 4.93 ERA.
This following up a stellar 2009 campaign that saw the hurler post a 3.46 ERA
in 101.1 innings with Tulsa, Durden seems primed to provide much-needed relief
to the Sky Sox’ revolving-door rotation.
Perhaps Durden’s best attribute is his stinginess with free
passes. Having walked just 54 batters in the last two seasons, the big lefty
has averaged just 1.98 walks per nine innings over that span – among the best
rates in the Rockies’ system.
Thursday’s start will surely be a significant test of Durden’s
meddle. Though the pitcher has more than enough talent to succeed against the
Isotopes’ lineup, Durden will be up against jitters and the elements in his
Facing off against one of the most righty-heavy lineups in
the league, he will also have to combat first-start nerves, a jump in talent to
unfamiliar AAA hitters, the high altitude, and an impending snow fall that will
be a stark climate contrast to the Tulsa environs with which he is familiar.
Either way, expect Durden to turn heads while with the CoSox
as a far more-than-adequate patch for the club’s beleaguered rotation.