Lompoc native and Cabrillo High grad Danny Duffy was traded from his longtime Kansas City Royals to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline at the end of July.
It's now September and Duffy has yet to make an appearance for his new club, though there is hope on the horizon.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, according to multiple reports, said earlier this week that the left-handed pitcher is making progress, though it's coming along slowly.
Duffy, who's rehabbing a forearm injury, has been playing catch but is "weeks away" from throwing off the mound. Duffy, if or when he pitches for Los Angeles, will likely be used out of the bullpen. He has almost exclusively been a starter throughout his MLB career.
The Royals drafted Duffy in 2007 out of Cabrillo. Kansas City selected the left-hander with the 96th overall pick then. Duffy won a World Series with the Royals in 2015 and threw nearly 1,200 innings with the franchise, going 68-68 with a 3.95 ERA in 234 games.
His 14-year run with the organization ended on July 29. Duffy will be a free agent after his run with the Dodgers ends this fall.
The former Conquistador became a sought-after trade commodity with a strong season this year, though he's been dealing with nagging injuries with his throwing arm.
Duffy is 4-3 with a 2.51 ERA this year, making 12 starts and appearing in 13 games. He started 204 of his 234 games with the Royals, but with the Dodgers' strong starting rotation will likely be used as a multiple-inning reliever.
The Dodgers were in a heated NL West title chase with the San Francisco Giants heading into their weekend series.
Another Dodgers lefty, Clayton Kershaw, who's dealing with left elbow inflammation, was set to complete a bullpen session this week and throw a two-inning simulated game on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.
Matt Sauer, Righetti High/New York Yankees (minors)
Sauer was rolling with the Tampa Tarpons when the Times last published an update on area players in July. In fact, Sauer was named the Southeast League's Pitcher of the Week on July 6.
In his first start of July, while with Tampa, Sauer struck out 10 while allowing just one hit over six innings.
He later moved up from Low-A to High-A, pitching with the Hudson Valley Renegades in Fishkill, New York.
Sauer went 3-6 with a 4.34 ERA in 13 starts with the Tarpons. It appears he's still adjusting to High-A ball. He's 2-4 with a 5.46 ERA with Hudson Valley in five starts.
Sauer’s strikeout numbers are still good, striking out a batter an inning with 28 Ks in 28 innings. He's walked 11 batters in those 28 innings and has allowed 25 hits.
This is Sauer's first full season since 2018. The right-hander threw just eight innings in 2019 as he tore the main ligament in his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery that year. There was no minor league baseball during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
Jeff McNeil, Nipomo High/New York Mets
The infielder for the Mets has had an up-and-down season in New York.
He ended the night hitting .250 on the season. He hit .357 in July and just .187 in August. He hit .206 in June. He is hitting .429 over the last seven days.
Mickey Jannis, Arroyo Grande/Hancock/Orioles
Jannis made news earlier this season as the knuckleball pitcher made a start with the Baltimore Orioles as the only knuckleballer in the majors.
That start did not go well as he gave up seven runs in 3 1/3 innings against the Houston Astros.
The former Hancock Bulldog has since split time with the Triple-A Norfolk Tide and Double-A Bowie Bowsox. Jannis has pitched in 16 games in the minors this year and has a 5.37 ERA over 62 innings, striking out 39 batters.
Jannis has pitched in 157 career minor league games and is 39-47 with a 4.27 ERA.
Thomas Rowan, Santa Ynez/UCSB/Miami Marlins (minors)
Rowan starred at Santa Ynez High before attending UCSB, developing into the Gauchos' starting catcher.
He was then drafted by the Marlins in 2019, with Miami taking him in the 20th round.
Rowan had a rough 2021 season, hitting .098 in 61 at-bats this spring. He was released in August.
Hunter Barnhart, St. Joseph/Tampa Bay Rays (minors)
Barnhart was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays last year in the third round and has yet to make his pro ball debut. Barnhart, a right-handed pitcher, was placed on the 60-day injured list by the FCL Rays last month.
Barnhart played his final two seasons at St. Joseph after playing quarterback and pitching at Paso Robles High. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder turned 19 in February.
Chad De La Guerra, Pioneer Valley High/Boston Red Sox (minors)
The 28-year-old De La Guerra has played 34 games with the Triple-A Worcester Sox this year and is hitting .192 with two homers and nine RBIs in 99 at bats.
He's logged 1,591 career at bats and is a .260 hitter in the minors with 43 homers and 212 RBIs.
Spencer Howard, Templeton High/Texas Rangers
Howard, who pitched at Cal Poly, was traded from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Rangers in July, going to Texas with former Santa Barbara High standout Kevin Gowdy.
He's made three starts with the Rangers and had a 9.82 ERA over 7 1/3 innings. Howard was placed on the COVID-19 list in August and was sent to Round Rock to make a rehab start.