Hartford LHP Evan Grills Earns Canadian Baseball Network MILB POW
By George Farelli
Canadian Baseball Network
Many a pitcher has been given the news from a doctor, a sentence which contains two impactful words:
“Well, it looks like you are going to need TOMMY JOHN surgery.”
Evan Grills heard those words and on May 17, 2017 the Colorado Rockies farmhand under went surgery, performed by Dr. Thomas Noonan.
After the loneliness of rehab, Grills made his return slightly more than a year later, June 6 this spring, for the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats. He allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Erie SeaWolves.
In his fourth start since returning, Grills worked six scoreless as Hartford blanked the Richmond Flying Squirrels 5-0 against, Grills gave up six hits, walking three and striking out three. He and the bullpen held Richmond hitless in 15 at-bats with runners in scoring position before 6,093 at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.
For that effort Grills earned Canadian Baseball Network minor league Player of the Week for Week XII. He’s the best of the 114 Canucks playing in the minors or in Indy ball.
Grills threw 91 pitches (58 strikes) in his outing. He retired seven batters on ground ball outs and three on fly ball outs. Grills is now 2-1, 2.75, He claimed his first win June 12 when he threw five scoreless innings in a rematch with Erie.
In 2016, he spent time at three levels in Houston Astros organization -- at Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks and High A Lancaster JetHawks -- going 9-8 in 24 games with 19 starts. He had a 3.71 ERA, walking 23 and striking out 100 in 135 2/3 innings. Included were 21 games (eight starts) at Fresno.
Grills, a former Ontario Blue Jay, currently has a 33-25 and four saves, with a 4.12 ERA in 139 games, making 62 starts. He has walked 108 and struck out 367 in 499 2/3 innings.
He was selected in the 10th round in 2010 by Astros scout John Kosciak.