By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
THE top Bahamian pitching prospects, Tahnaj Thomas and Chavez Fernander, took the mound this week in productive relief appearances in minor league baseball.
Thomas recorded his first save for the Altoona Curve while Fernander had a successful outing in his reassignment with the Western Michigan Whitecaps.
Thomas finished with two strikeouts and did not allow a hit in 1.2 innings of the Curve’s 7-3 win over the Harrisburg Senators on July 3. Through 21 appearances this season with one start, Thomas has gone 3-4 with one save in two opportunities.
In 29.1 innings pitched, the 6’4”, 23-year-old right hander has 27 strikeouts and a 3.99 ERA for the Pitsburgh Pirates’ Double- A affiliate.
He is currently ranked no.13 in the Pirates organisation, according to MLB Pipeline.
Thomas had a season high four strikeouts in two innings of a June 11 win over the Reading Fightin’ Phils. He also had three strikeouts in two innings of an 11-5 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on April 21 and got his first win of the season in the series finale against the Fisher Cats on April 24. He picked up his second win of the season in the current series opener against the Seawolves on May 3.
Thomas was one of the club’s non-roster invitees to major league Spring Training in Bradenton, Florida last month.
He spent last season at the High A level for the first time with the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
In 16 appearances, all starts, he finished with a 3-3 record in 60.2 innings, with 62 strikeouts, an ERA of 5.19 and a 1.58 WHIP.
Fernander was reassigned to the Detroit Tigers High A-affiliate, the West Michigan Whitecaps, on July 3 and made a relief appearance the following day in a 20-1 win over the Dayton Dragons.
He struck out two of the three hitters he faced in a single inning.
The 6’3” right-handed pitcher has fluctuated between Double A and Single A for most of the season.
Fernander began the season with the Eerie Seawolves in Double A baseball but was assigned to the Whitecaps on May 3. He spent six games with the Whitecaps before he was recalled to the Seawolves.
In six appearances with the Whitecaps he pitched nine innings with five strikeouts and gave up four runs with a 1.22 WHIP. With the Seawolves he had a 1-1 record in seven appearances, nine innings, a 3.0 ERA and nine strikeouts with a 1.56 WHIP before he was once again reassigned to the Whitecaps last weekend.
Fernander spent the previous season with the Connecticut Tigers in the New York-Penn League in the 2019 season.
In 11 appearances with eight starts, he went 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 35 innings.