Former Cartersville High pitcher Sam Howard returned to the minor leagues after a few rocky outings for Colorado, but it appears the move back to Triple-A Albuquerque has allowed the left-handed reliever to recapture the level of success that saw him gain promotion.
Following three scoreless showings with the Isotopes and the continued struggles of the Rockies bullpen, it remains a strong possibility that Howard returns to the big league club on Sept. 1, when MLB rosters expand.
Elsewhere, former Canes Elliott Anderson (scoreless appearance) and Connor Justus (4-for-12 at the plate) contributed solid weeks to their minor league affiliates.
Also of note, this should be the final pro baseball-only roundup of the year. In the coming weeks, plenty of former county athletes will open their seasons on soccer fields, volleyball courts and football gridirons across the country.
Elliott Anderson (Burlington Royals, Kansas City Royals organization; Cartersville) — Anderson made a 2 1/3 inning scoreless appearance Saturday at home against Johnson City. Anderson allowed one hit and three walks while striking out two. For the season, he is 2-1 with a 1.14 ERA in 15 appearances, working just under 24 innings. Anderson has 25 strikeouts and has earned three saves. Burlington (34-23) is second in the Appalachian League East Division, trailing Pulaski by 3 1/2 games.
Sam Howard (Albuquerque Isotopes, Colorado Rockies organization; Cartersville) — After appearing in six games for the MLB Rockies, Howard returned to Albuquerque, where he made three appearances last week. With the big league club, Howard worked 8 1/3 innings and allowed seven earned runs on nine hits, six walks and a pair of hit batsmen. He had eight strikeouts with the Rockies. With the Isotopes last week, he did not allow a hit or walk and fanned two in 2 2/3 innings, dropping his Triple-A season ERA to 3.61 and 0.90 over his last 10 appearances in the PCL. Albuquerque (53-71) is third in the Pacific Southern Division, trailing El Paso by 19 games.
Connor Justus (Mobile BayBears, L.A. Angels organization; Cartersville) — Justus made four starts last week at division-leading Biloxi and went 4-for-12 at the plate with one RBI and two walks. Through 102 games and 306 at-bats this season, Justus has a .193 batting average with 21 RBIs. Defensively, he has a .957 fielding percentage in 369 total chances and has been a part of 45 double plays for the BayBears. Mobile is 17-36 in the South Division second-half standings — 44-77 for the full season — and has been eliminated from postseason contention.
Luke Schiltz (AZL Rangers, Texas Rangers organization; Cartersville native) — Schiltz gave up one earned run on two hits and a walk last Thursday in a one-inning appearance at Arizona Brewers Blue. For the season, Schiltz is 1-0 in 10 appearances and 13 innings with a 4.85 ERA. He has recorded eight strikeouts. The Rangers (28-21 overall) are 9-12 in the second-half West Division standings and trail the AZL Royals by 3 1/2 games. The Rangers won the first-half division title with a 19-9 mark to clinch a postseason berth.
— Charles Wilson of Bartow Sports Zone contributed to this report.