04-30-2012, 05:04 PM #1
Luke French is a lefthanded starting pitcher for the New Britain Rock Cats. At the age of 26, Luke French has had a cup of coffee in the show. 155 innings of Folgers in your cup to be exact with the Tigers and Mariners over 2009 and 2010. Returning to the majors is the best part of waking up and Luke appears to be wiping the sleep from his eyes through 5 starts and 30 innings of work thus far pitching for the Rock Cats in 2012. French is currently pacing the New Britain starting staff with a 1.80 ERA and a WHIP under 1.00 at 0.967. That's 30 innings of work, he has given up 17 hits, 12 walks and only 18 strikeouts. Without a calculator in hand, you could surmise that those numbers add up to a lot of balls put in play and thus far the majority of those balls find a glove somewhere on the field.
Throughout his career, French was never the type to knock you out as he seems to prefer the rope-a-dope style. He is the ultimate pitch to contact pitcher, never eclipsing triple digits in strikeouts, in any year.
Luke was Born in Kansas but he achieved his high school All American status while attending High School in Littleton Colorado. This brought him to the attention of the Scouts and led to an 8th round selection by the Detroit Tigers in 2004 which was the same year the Tigers grabbed Justin Verlander in the 1st round.
Luke reported to rookie ball that year and despite never having overwhelming stats at any level he steadily progressed up the ladder and French made his debut in a Tigers uniform at the age of 23 in 2009 and after 5 starts and a respectable 3.38 ERA and 1-2 win loss record. He was traded to the Mariners, part of the deal that netted the Tigers Jerrod Washburn.
Luke was excited about the trade because he admittedly grew up a huge Mariners Fan. However, his time in Seattle wouldn't last long as he finished up 2009 making 7 starts and posting a 6.63 ERA. He split time in 2010 between Seattle and Tacoma which is one of the shorter MLB-AAA MLB hops, distance wise, that you can make. Luke finished 2010 with 13 starts for the Mariners and 4.83 ERA.
2011 was a disaster, pitching for Tacoma exclusively before the team he loved DFA'd him in August. The culprit for his tossing was a 6.27 ERA.
Now Luke is picking up the pieces after signing a minor league contract with the Twins in January and so far, obviously, so good and as long as he keeps hitting his spots, who knows, maybe he'll find his way back.
Seth Stohs sent me a private message stating that Luke has been called up to AAA Rochester. I couldn't find any news that confirmed this but Seth is probably all the confirmation you need.
One Last note... I actually looked up what the Origin of the last name "French" was. Interestingly enough... It's not French in Origin, it's IRISH!!! This makes me laugh, and it's a wonderful quirk in the world of Geneology. Kind of like getting a Cat and naming it "Dog".
04-30-2012, 05:42 PM #2
Had the opportunity to watch Luke pitch this Spring Training in an intersquad game of Field #2 at Fort Myers. I will dig my files to see if I have any pictures. My first thoughts were: a. Darn, he is an imposing figure. The guy is big. Almost Tyler Robertson big. Can play DE for the Vikings big. b. He tosses so softly. He must have 4-5 different pitches ranging from low low 70s to mid 80s. I think that that fastest fastball I saw him toss was at 86. He is a nibbler. What people call "crafty leftie" (aka "junkballer"). Here is one occassion where the pitching style does not fit the player's frame...-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
04-30-2012, 06:32 PM #3
Why is he pitching for AA?
05-01-2012, 07:45 AM #4
That's a question for TR. He's a Red Wing now and if he keeps up the pitch spotting. Minnesota is next.
05-01-2012, 07:46 AM #5
05-01-2012, 08:42 AM #6
05-05-2012, 01:21 PM #7
Luke made his first Start for the Red Wings on Thursday (May 3). He pitched 5 Innings giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks with 1 home run allowed. Not a bad first start and not an amazing one either. The Red Wings won 4 to 3.
05-15-2012, 11:32 PM #8
Frenchy made his third Red Wing start and suffered a tinge of wildness, out of character for a control pitcher like himself. His line reads 5IP... 4 runs on 6 hits, a couple of free passes and he was charged with 3 wild pitches including a wild pitch strikeout with two outs and a runner on third that plated a run for Louisville. Left handed Louisville Bats RF Bill Rhinehart took lefty Luke French deep in the 4th inning. Back to Back Doubles in the third and a pair of Walks and a wild pitch in the 5th were the primary blemishes on what was another LUKE warm performance. His ERA now sits at 6.75.
Rocheter did manage to come back and win the game scoring two runs in the 8th for a 5 4 victory. Sean Burroughs now hitting .360 drove in the game winner with a double.