South Atlantic League baseball
What: Four-game series
When: Saturday through Tuesday (7:05 Saturday and Tuesday nights, 2:05 Sunday afternoon, 10:05 Monday morning)
Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark
Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867
Major League affiliates: Washington Nationals (Suns), Kansas City Royals
Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Saturday, RH Luke Farrell (1-3, 5.65) vs. RH Lucas Giolito (2-0, 2.51); Sunday, RH Jake Junis (4-2, 3.16) vs. RH Austin Voth (1-1, 1.87); Monday, RH Andrew Edwards (1-2, 3.69) vs. RH Jake Johansen (3-1, 5.23); Tuesday, LH Cody Reed (0-3, 8.79) vs. RH Nick Pivetta (6-2, 3.03).
Sun to watch: Saturday starter Lucas Giolito (6-foot-6, 230 pounds, age 19, bats and throws right, from Santa Monica, Calif.) is rated by Baseball America as the No. 1 prospect in the Nationals system. Selected in the first round of the 2012 draft, he turned down UCLA and signed for $2.925 million. He made one appearance in 2012 before having Tommy John surgery on Aug. 31. He came back last year to toss eight games for the Gulf Coast League Nationals (1-1, 2.78) and three for the Suns (1-0, 0.64). Baseball America writes in part: “His fastball routinely changes from 93-100 (mph) with exceptional downhill angle, and he learned by the end of the summer that he was more comfortable and had better command when he sat at 95-97, rather than reaching back for triple digits all the time. Between his velocity and his angle, Giolito’s fastball rates as a true 80 pitch on the 20-80 scouting scale, and he does it with minimal effort. He also throws a 12-to-6 power curveball in the 84-86 range that Nationals pitching coordinator Spin Williams has called one of the best curves he’s ever seen when Giolito throws a good one. …. When he throws his 82-83 mph changeup with conviction, it flashes plus, but it remains a work in progress.” He has made seven starts for the Suns, holding opponents to a .186 batting average.
Legend to watch: Monday starter Andrew Edwards (6-6, 265, 22, bats and throws right, from Benton) is a graduate of Marshall County High School and Rend Lake (Ill.) College. He also played for Western Kentucky University. Selected in the 19th round of last year’s draft, he is the fourth native Kentuckian to play for the Legends, following Josh Anderson, Chris Clark and Jason Chowning. In 2012, with Rend Lake, he posted a 1.94 ERA and 73 strikeouts over 69 1/3 innings. With WKU last year, he was 6-4 with a 4.69 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 80 2/3 innings. He finished third in the Appalachian League with eight saves for the Burlington Royals. With the Legends, he has appeared in eight games, including three starts. He has struck out 20 and walked 12 in 31 2/3 innings.
Radio: WLXG-AM 1300