11 Jul

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If Cleveland sees a need for rotation help down the stretch, the Guardians may not have to look far. At Triple-A Columbus, ex-Ole Miss star Doug Nikhazy is putting up impressive numbers. The left-hander, 24, was nothing short of sensational on Wednesday, throwing six shutout innings and allowing two hits and no walks with eight strikeouts in a 3-1 win over Indianapolis. In three starts for the Clippers, Nikhazy is 2-0 and has yet to yield a run in 17 innings. He spent some time on the injured list (oblique strain) early this season but bounced back to post a 3.17 ERA in 11 Double-A starts. He has a 3.94 in 64 career pro games. The 6-foot, 210-pound Nikhazy was an ace — and an All-America selection — at Ole Miss in 2021, going 12-2 with a 2.45 and punching out 142 batters in 92 innings. Cleveland took him in the second round that summer, and per scouting reports, he had some command issues early in his pro career. He appears to have cleaned that up, with just 24 walks and 68 strikeouts over 65 innings in 2024. Nikhazy throws four pitches, including a mid-90s fastball. He has slipped off the Guardians’ top prospect chart but no doubt has got their attention now. P.S. Southern Miss alum Matt Wallner, in four games since being recalled by Minnesota, is 6-for-11 with a double and two home runs, including one on Wednesday. The tall left-handed slugger has hit two balls at 116 mph-plus. That’s really hard.

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