Dietrich Enns is No. 4.
Before Thursday, the Joliet area boasted three current major league pitchers – the Washington Nationals’ Tanner Roark (Wilmington), the Atlanta Braves’ Mike Foltynewicz (Minooka) and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Tony Cingrani (Lincoln-Way Central).
The number became four when the Minnesota Twins promoted left-hander Enns (Lincoln-Way East) from Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday night. In fact, Enns was inserted into the Twins’ rotation immediately and started Thursday night’s game at Milwaukee. He was removed after allowing five hits and two runs, only one of which was earned, in 21/3 innings.
Enns, 26, broke into professional baseball out of Central Michigan in 2012. In six minor league seasons, he is 27-15 with a 1.89 ERA. In 3952/3 innings, he allowed 283 hits and 148 walks while striking out 401. This season, he was 2-2 with a 2.10 ERA in 511/3 innings, almost entirely in Triple-A.
The scouting report has Enns with a fastball in the low 90s to go with a curve and a slider that acts as his change-up.
Acquired in the deadline trade that sent left-hander Jaime Garcia to the Yankees, Enns made only one start at Rochester before being promoted. It happened at this time largely because left-hander Adalberto Mejia went on the disabled list, and his next start was scheduled Thursday. Then again, with the way Enns has been pitching throughout his pro career, you had to believe the call to the big leagues would come sooner than later.
In late July, right-handed pitcher Kevin McCanna, a Joliet native, was toiling for Sioux City in the independent American Association. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in 2015, and the Astros released him April 1 of this year. He was hoping for another shot in affiliated ball, and it came with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In his organizational debut with the Diamondbacks’ Class A Short-Season team last Saturday night at Hillsboro, McCanna threw 51/3 innings of hitless, shutout relief, striking out nine and walking two.
“I didn’t expect to go out there and throw five-plus innings of no-hit ball,” McCanna, who posted a 2.95 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 392/3 innings at Sioux City, was quoted in a story on milb.com. “It was an awesome feeling coming off the mound and having the fans cheering for me. I was just glad to go out there and give our team a chance to win.”
McCanna’s dad, Pat, was a standout baseball player at Joliet Catholic Academy and went on to letter in baseball at Central Michigan. He also was the quarterback of the 1981 Hilltoppers state championship football team. The McCanna family moved to Texas when Kevin was young. He was an all-state baseball player in Texas, at The Woodlands just outside Houston, and also pitched at Rice.
AROUND THE MINORS
• Shortstop Dean Anna (Lincoln-Way East) is hitting .287 (91-for-317) for Triple-A Omaha in the Kansas City organization.
• First baseman Sam Travis (Providence), who has been up with Boston twice this season, is hitting .272 (65-for-239) with 12 doubles, four homers and 20 RBIs for Triple-A Pawtucket.
• Also in the Boston system, Jesse Barfield’s son Jeremy is at Double-A Portland and is hitting .308 (81-for-263) with 16 doubles, 20 homers and 56 RBIs.
• Right-hander Josh DeGraaf (Morris) is 6-1 with a 2.33 ERA for A-Advanced Dunedin, Toronto’s affiliate in the Florida State League. He has 11 starts among 22 appearances and has allowed 63 hits, 13 walks and struck out 56 in 73 1/3 innings. Included a brief stint in Double-A, he is 6-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 89 innings.
• Second baseman Branden Boggetto (Providence) has 15 hits in his last 30 at-bats for Auburn, Washington’s team in the Class A Short-Season New York-Penn League, to raise his average to .318 (48-for-1515). He has nine doubles, a home run and 23 RBIs.
• Also in the New York-Penn League, catcher Mike Papierski (Lemont) is hitting .194 (14-for-72) for Tri-City, a Houston affiliate. For Detroit’s team at Connecticut in the same league, Brad Bass (Lincoln-Way Central) is 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA. In 21 innings, he has yielded 23 hits and six walks while striking out 18. His Connecticut teammate, outfielder Dylan Rosa (Providence) is hitting .146 (12-for-82) with two doubles, two homers and 10 RBIs.
• Third baseman Rylan Bannon, playing with the Dodgers’ affiliate at Ogden in the Pioneer Rookie League, has six hits in 16 at-bats since recovering from injury. His average is .396 (21-for-53) with two doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs. He has a .439 on-base percentage and .604 slugging mark for a 1.042 OPS.
• Catcher Jake Roberts (Plainfield South) played two years at Yakima Valley Community College and two years at Gonzaga, then signed as a free agent with the Dodgers. He is with the Arizona Rookie League Dodgers and is hitting .250 (7-for-28) with three doubles and three RBIs.
• Catcher Sam Tidaback (Providence), who has been out injured since mid-July, is hitting .314 (16-for-51) with a double, three homers and eight RBIs for Boise, Colorado’s team in the Class A Short-Season Northwest League.
• Dick Goss can be reached at email@example.com.