Weekly Minor League Roundup #2: 4/14-4/20
AAA Louisville Bats
This week: 4-3.
Overall: 10-4, first place.
4/14: Seven straight wins for the Bats! They whip Indianapolis (PIT), 5-2, behind starter Chad Reineke (W 2-0, 2.31, 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 92 pitches/62 strikes). Danny Herrera set down four straight Indians (6.75) and Carlos Fisher locked down save #3. LF Dave Sappelt (#2), 3B Todd Frazier (#2), and CF Kris Negron (#2) each launched homers. It’s a good thing they got the power, because Louisville also went 0-for-9 with men in scoring position. Usually a team loses when they do that.
4/15: Dontrelle Willis turned in another fine effort, again shutting out his opposition for six innings (W 2-0, 0.00, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 95 pitches/56 strikes) as his teammates got all three of the game’s runs in the fourth inning. 2B Chris Valaika’s homer accounted for one and Frazier (2-for-4, 2B, R) and RF Jeremy Hermida (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) had hands in the other two. Righty David Johnson set down six men in a row (2 K, 2.25) and Jerry Gil went one little, two little, three little Indians for save #2.
4/16: Rehabbin’ Johnny Cueto allowed just two hits and one earned run in 55 pitches (3.1 IP, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K), but Indy’s Rudy Owens and two relievers stymied the Bats on five hits and a run. Indians take it, 7-1. A five-run outburst in the last two innings off Joe Krebs (14.54, 1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER) and Kyle McCulloch (1.59, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER) made the final look uglier. C Devin Mesoraco doubled, walked, and scored the only Louisville run. Valaika drove him in. SS Zach Cozart, who’d showed some signs of life at the plate last week, went 0-for-4 to fall to .147 while committing a pair of throwing errors- his first two E-6s of the season.
4/17: The Bats returned to their winning ways, taking it 6-4 in thirteen innings after blowing a four-run lead in the ninth (culprits: Carlos Fisher, who failed to retire any of the four hitters he faced, and Gil, who let both of his inherited runners score). Yet lefty Tom Cochran (shunted to the bullpen thanks to the rehabbers) fired 3.1 innings of scoreless relief following Gil (W 2-0, 2.16) and RF Brian Barton, who’d entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, smashed a two-run homer off Indy’s Tony Watson to win it in the bottom of the 13th. Good news for Rehabbin’ Homer Bailey (now hopefully with new and improved mechanics!)- he threw five innings of three-hit shutout ball in 62 pitches (1 BB, 2 K, 40 strikes). Johnson pitched the sixth and Danny Herrera the seventh and eighth (4.50, 2 H, 2 K). Hermida drove in three of the other four runs with an eighth-inning double (.333, 9 RBI total) and 2B Kris Negron was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored (.280).
4/18: Like Tom Cochran above, righty Matt Klinker was pushed into the bullpen while the Rehabbin’ Cavalry get up to speed. But Klinker, unlike Cochran, struggled badly in his relief stint. The Indians pounded him for seven runs in two innings (L 2-1, 9.00, 5 H, 2 BB, 1 K) as they busted open a close game late and won, 10-4. Scott Carroll pitched very well (2.89, 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 87 pitches/55 strikes) and might have had shutout ball if it wasn’t for an untimely Cozart error with two outs in the fourth. Sappelt hit homer #3, a two-run shot, and LF Yonder Alonso showed some signs of getting going (2-for-3, R, 2B, steal #1, BB, outfield assist at home). He still has zero RBIs on the season, however.
4/19: Sappelt singled, doubled, and tripled (.345, 3-for-5, RBI, steal #2) and Chad Reineke made it three wins in three starts (2.04, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 85 pitches/49 strikes) as Louisville beat Columbus (CLE), 4-2. That’s a seven-game hitting streak and 13 consecutive games on base for Dave. Alonso added two more hits and a walk (.262, steal #2) and Valaika, not known for his selectivity, walked twice and scored twice. Jeremy Horst made it 8.1 scoreless innings with nine Ks, one walk, and just four hits (1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K) and Carlos Fisher notched save #4 (7.71, 1.1 IP, 1 K).
4/20: The Bats let this one get away. They led most of the game against a very tough starter (righty Alex White, on the fast track to Cleveland as he ripped through seven innings on 88 pitches) but Dontrelle Willis’ (0.53, 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 102 pitches/62 strikes) bullpen gave up single runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth to give Columbus a 4-3 win. Kyle McCulloch gave up a solo homer in the seventh, Joe Krebs struggled with his control in his stint (13.50, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB) and Jerry Gil retired just one of five hitters he faced in the ninth (L 0-1, 4.05, 0.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 K). Dorn was 1-for-3 with a run scored and RBI and Frazier 2-for-4 with a RBI (.204).
Transactnotes: 4/16: Rehabbin’ Johnny Cueto! 4/17: Rehabbin’ Homer Bailey! 4/18: UT Eric Eymann up from Carolina as the Reds called up OF Jeremy Hermida (to replace DL-bound 3B Juan Francisco). 4/19: RHS Justin Lehr activated from the DL and sent to Carolina for rehab.
C Devin Mesoraco was In the Team Photo in the first Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet of 2011.
Around the league: Atlanta called up C JC Boscan (2007, AA/AAA). Baltimore demoted LHR Pedro Viola (2007-2010, A-AAA, Reds) from Triple-A to Double-A. Viola did make it to the big leagues last year for seven more appearances, but got pasted. He spent most of 2010 in AA after putting up a 17.65 ERA in the IL. Boston outrighted LHR Dennys Reyes (1998-2001, AAA-Reds) to Triple-A after the 34-year-old veteran of almost six hundred big-league appearances started slowly. OVERREACTION! The Cubs released OF Brandon Watson (AAA-Reds, 2006). They also recalled RHR Jeff Stevens (2005-2006, R-A) for about the 16,873rd time. Houston temporarily activated journeyman LHR Andy Van Hekken (2005, AA-AAA). RHR Jason Isringhausen looked done in 2010 (AAA), but that didn’t stop the Mets from adding the 38-year-old to their Opening Day roster. Toronto DL’d OF Dan Perales (2008-2009, A-A+). Perales did make it as far as AAA in the Jays organization. Washington temporarily inactivated C Miguel Perez (2002-2007, GCL-AAA, Reds). The 27-year-old played for Double-A Akron in the Cleveland organization last year, batting .280/.329/.357 in 44 games. He spent 2008 and 2009 with Pittsburgh, mostly Double-A Altoona.
AA Carolina Mudcats
This week: 1-6.
Overall: 2-11, last place.
4/14: The Mudcats fall to 1-6 with a listless 6-2 defeat at the hands of Huntsville (MIL). James Avery fell to 0-2 (3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K). 2B Cody Puckett was 2-for-4 with a solo homer (#1, .350). CF Denis Phipps must have read my first roundup, because he immediately lashed three hits, stole his second bag, and drove in a run (.214). Rehabbin’ LF Fred Lewis was 1-for-3.
4/15: Rained out.
4/16: Will a little MAKEUP MADNESS in lovely stardusted Huntsville, AL help the Mudcats reverse course? Sadly, no. The bad guys took both games, scoring two in the sixth to get game one 8-6 and two in the fifth to grab game two, 3-2. Dallas Buck struggled again (3 IP, 8 H, 5 ER), although it was Ruben Medina (8.31, 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER) who took the L. Jose Arredondo’s third appearance saw him give up one run in 1.2 innings (1 BB, 2 K). Puckett launched a pair of homers and drove in five of the six Mudcats runs (.391). Game two saw some struggling from Jordan Hotchkiss (L 1-1, 5.79, 4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K). 3B Jake Kahauleilo was 2-for-3 with a run batted in (.375). LF Felix Perez was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in that game; he dropped to 3-for-30 for 2011.
4/17: Carolina out-hit the Stars eleven to five, but they went 2-for-11 with men in scoring position and stranded twelve runners overall in a 4-3 loss. This dropped the Mudcats to 1-9 on the season. Perez managed a pair of hits, a single and a triple, to raise his average to .147. Kahauleilo singled, tripled, and walked twice (.407). Phipps (.235) and 2B Jose Castro (.313) also had two safeties apiece. SS Miguel Rojas made his way back to the lineup and went 1-for-3 with a stolen base. Injuries messed up his 2010 pretty badly after a strong 2009 in Dayton, so we’ll see if he can rebound in 2011. Lefty Travis Webb’s control problems continued in his second start (L 0-2, 12.91, 4 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 5 K). Jeff Jeffords, Donnie Joseph, and Brad Boxberger each threw scoreless ball in relief.
4/18: Carolina returned home to face 7-3 Tennessee (CHC) with Daryl Thompson on the hill. He pitched well for the most part, holding the Smokies to one run through five- but Tennessee chased him with two down in the sixth as they wiped out a 2-1 deficit and took a 4-2 lead (5.52, 5.2 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 84 pitches/51 strikes). But the Carolina relief core of Lee Tabor (0.2 IP, 1 BB), Justin Freeman (1.80, 1.2 IP), and Nick Christiani (0.00, 2 IP, 2 K) shut the Smokies down. 1B Mike Costanzo’s third homer and LF David Cook’s RBI single tied the game at 4 in the bottom of the sixth, then stranded two runners in the seventh. The stalemate continued until the 10th. With one down, Kahauleilo stepped in against Smokies closer David Cales… and THERE IT GOES! MUDCATS WIN! Christiani got his first Double-A victory- and Carolina got their second of the season. Cook finished 2-for-3 with two RBI (.250) and Puckett continued raking (2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, BB, .379).
4/19: The Mudcats lose, 6-2, although I must give them credit- they kept fighting, scoring a run and loading the bases in the ninth before Cales managed to get the final out. Rehabbin’ Justin Lehr was rusty (3.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K). Jose Arredondo pitched two innings and allowed one hit and one run (2 BB, 3 K, 32 pitches/16 strikes). Costanzo homered again (#4).
4/20: James Avery pitched excellent ball for five innings, permitting the Smokies just three hits as the Mudcats took a 2-1 lead to the sixth, but let’s just say skipper David Bell stuck with him a bit too long as Tennessee exploded in the sixth:
Tennessee Top of the 6th
• Brett Jackson homers (2) on a fly ball to right center field.
• Ryan Flaherty strikes out swinging.
• DJ LeMahieu homers (1) on a fly ball to left field.
• Matthew Spencer reaches on fielding error by third baseman Jake Kahaulelio.
• Rebel Ridling singles on a line drive to left fielder David Cook. Matthew Spencer to 2nd.
• Steve Clevenger doubles (3) on a sharp line drive to right fielder Fred Lewis. Matthew Spencer scores. Rebel Ridling to 3rd.
• James Adduci reaches on a fielder's choice, fielded by second baseman Cody Puckett. Rebel Ridling scores.
• Marwin Gonzalez singles on a soft line drive to left fielder David Cook. Steve Clevenger scores. James Adduci to 2nd.
• Pitcher Change: Bradley Boxberger replaces James Avery, batting 9th.
• Marco Carrillo ground bunts into a force out, first baseman Mike Costanzo to third baseman Jake Kahaulelio. James Adduci out at 3rd. Marwin Gonzalez to 2nd. Marco Carrillo to 1st.
• Brett Jackson walks. Marwin Gonzalez to 3rd. Marco Carrillo to 2nd.
• Ryan Flaherty strikes out swinging.
Avery fell to 0-3 (6.14, 5.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 2 HR) as Tennessee drops Carolina to 2-11, 9-5. Brad Boxberger did pitch well yet again (0.00, 1.2 IP, 1 BB, 3 K) and it was a solid night at the plate for Castro (2-for-4, 3 RBI), Cook (2-for-4, 2B, R) and Puckett (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB).
Transactnotes: 4/17: SS Miguel Rojas activated from the DL. OF Kyle Day deactivated temporarily. 4/18: Day reactivated. UT Eric Eymann to Louisville. 4/19: 1B Neftali Soto was placed on the 7-day DL with a broken bone in his left wrist.
High-A Bakersfield Blaze
This week: 4-3.
4/14: Finally the Blaze kick off their home season at the Field of Danger, Sam Lynn Stadium. It’s quite amazing how much bile (or what passes for bile amidst the boosterism) Baseball America has slung at the town and the 70-year-old park (reference here and here). I’m not saying I disagree- it’s just that both Bakersfield and Sam Lynn Stadium itself seem particularly targeted. I’ve also heard Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein and Jason Parks single out Bakersfield as a bad place for young players to be on the Up and In podcast (my single favorite podcast, incidentally, if you haven’t heard it). So this is apparently a widespread thing across organized baseball. Anyway, the Blaze opened against Inland Empire (LAA) with righty Curtis Partch on the mount. Bakersfield matched the 66ers’ first-inning run with one of their own, but IE took a 3-1 lead in the third and never looked back. They win it, 6-2. Partch gave up three runs in five innings- but on 12 hits (L 0-1, 6.75, 1 BB, 6 K). Drew Hayes threw two hitless innngs and Tzu-Kai Chiu was victimized by three unearned runs late. 3B Eric Campbell continues to take well to being in the Reds organization; he was 2-for-3 with a run scored (.519).
4/15: Very impressive night for the Blaze in this one; they got 4.2 innings of shutout relief from their bullpen and the first professional homer from C Yasmani Grandal in a 9-2 cruisin’. Clayton Shunick took the victory (W 1-0, 3.00, 2 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 4 K). The lefthander, a fifth-round pick in 2008 out of NC State, had made just 24 appearances in three seasons as a pro due to injuries that cost him all of 2009. Mace Thurman and Doug Salinas finished up. Starter JC Sulbaran worked 4.1 (3.86, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K). Grandal added a pair of walks and another run scored to his homer. RF Andrew Means was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and steal #7 and SS Brodie Greene was 2-for-4 with two RBI (.462).
4/16: Oh, lord. Where do I start? Inland Empire got a ridiculous 31 hits off six different Bakersfield pitchers, yet somehow the two clubs stood in a ludicrous 19-19 tie going to the ninth. The 66ers beat on Salinas (L 0-1, 10.38, 1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K) for the five deciding runs to win it, 24-19. This game featured 47 total hits, seven errors, eight wild pitches, two hit batters, a pair of blown saves, and a pitcher (Bakersfield’s Scott Gaffney) who was charged with six earned runs while not retiring a batter. Bakersfield obviously got its licks in; Means lashed five hits in seven trips including a home run and Campbell hit a three-run bomb (#2) while going 4-for-4 with six RBI (.559). 2B Henry Rodriguez scored four runs and drove in two (2-for-4, .390) while drawing two walks in the same game (!). Grandal doubled and walked three times while scoring three runs. It could have been even worse- the Blaze outfielders threw out two 66ers at home plate.
4/17: Give the Blaze a little credit- they rebounded from the previous night’s craziness well, taking advantage of four Modesto (COL) errors and a great outing by Josh Ravin (1.59, 6.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K) to nip the Nuts, 4-3. Two Campbell errors at third caused a pair of late unearned runs against Chiu, but righty Ryan Smith came on to get the win after allowing one of Chiu’s runners to score (1.2 IP, 1 BB, 2 K). The key blow, by the way, was Grandal’s homer leading off the eighth (#2); he finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored, his best pro game to date!
4/18: Pedro Villareal scattered nine singles and a double over seven innings for his third straight win (W 3-0, 2.37, 0 BB, 3 K), Scott Gaffney rebounded from his infinity-ERA night two days ago with two scoreless innings, and the Blaze just kept slugging all game long. They eventually piled up fourteen runs and fifteen hits, including bombs from 1B Carlos Mendez (.282, 4 RBI), Grandal (#3, 2-for-3, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 2 R), and Rodriguez (#1). Campbell was 3-for-5 with two RBI. 24-year-old RF Welinton Ramirez, a free-agent signee in the offseason from the Toronto organization, had a pair of doubles, a RBI, and two runs scored- but he also showed off his arm by gunning down two runners, including Willy Taverasalike Delta Cleary Jr…. at first! Ramirez clearly has some power and speed tools to go with that arm, but he also whiffed 131 times against 14 walks at High-A Dunedin in the Florida State League last year.
4/19: Three Blaze errors and a Grandal passed ball caused all four Modesto runs off Curtis Partch (L 0-2, 3.78, 7.1 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 4 K, WP, HB) to be unearned. Bakersfield, unfortunately, produced only two while going 0-for-12 with men in scoring position and stranding twelve runners. LF Josh Fellhauer did go 3-for-5 with his second homer (.400). Campbell stayed over .500 (1-for-2, 2 BB, R).
4/20: The Blaze rallied from a 4-2 deficit with three in the fourth and one in the sixth, then rode excellent bullpen work from Clayton Shunick (2.25, 2 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K), Ryan Smith (1 IP) and Doug Salinas (save #3, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 K) to a 6-4 win. Starter JC Sulbaran went to 2-0 (5.02, 5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K). Means was 2-for-5 with a double, run scored, RBI, and two stolen bases (9) from the leadoff spot, Mendez drove in two, and RF Stephen Hunt, 22, homered in his first appearance of 2011. Hunt batted .338 in 22 games in the AZL last season, then .170 in 14 games with Billings. It’s interesting that the Reds decided to jump him over Dayton, even if he was a college pick in 2010 (15th round, University of South Florida).
Transactnotes: 4/14: RHR Chase Ware, so successful last season but off to a tough start in 2011, to the restricted list. RHR Tyree Hayes reactivated to replace him. 4/18: RHR Ryan Smith activated; RHS Lance Janke to Billings. OF Stephen Hunt activated. 1B Chris Richburg placed on the 7-day DL.
Low-A Dayton Dragons
This week: 4-3.
4/14: Starter Tanner Robles, an experienced college pitcher (the near-dynastic Oregon State Beavers, thankyaverrahmuch) when the Reds picked him in the eighth round last year, started slow but dominated in the second half of the Pioneer League season, finishing with a 2.98 ERA in 14 starts and earning a slot on the PL’s postseason all-star team. He looked decent in his first MWL start but didn’t make it out of the first inning in this one, surrendering five runs and retiring just one of the six batters he faced (L 0-1, 11.81, 0.1 IP, 2 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 1 HR). Jason Braun and Pat Doyle took over and nommed up 3.1 innings each (5.68, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K for Braun, 1.23, 2 H, 0 R, 5 K for Doyle) but Dayton was in too deep a hole. They got three runs in the fourth, including CF Yorman Rodriguez’ second homer (he also swiped bag #3), but that was it. Lake County drops them to 2-6 with a 7-3 win. 2B Devin Lohman got only his second hit of 2011 (in 23 ABs), but it was a two-run double. LF Jefry Sierra and C Tucker Barnhart were each 2-for-4. SS Billy Hamilton was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts (.200) and was picked off first the only time he found himself on base. Such is life in A-ball.
4/15: Dayton came back from a 6-3 deficit after Lansing (TOR) chased Dan Tuttle (8.38, 3.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER) with a five-spot in the fourth- but two more Lugnuts runs nin the sixth pinned the loss on Drew Hayes (L 0-1, 4.15, 2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER). Dayton put just one runner on base in the final three innings. 3B David Vidal was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI (.233) while Hamilton reached base four of five times (2-for-3, R, 2 BB), notching steal #9 as well as another pickoff. He also scored from second base on a passed ball in the same at-bat after stealing. The Dragons are committing an alarming number of baserunning errors in the early season; there were three total caught-stealings and pickoffs in this game, and God-knows-how-many in the others. I’m going to follow this to see if the team improves over the course of the season or if manager Delino DeShields runs his team out of more rallies than he creates.
4/16: It’s raining in Lansing! Someone get those Lugnuts in the garage before they rust!
4/17: MAKEUP MADNESS saw a split, with Lansing winning game one 8-4 but the Dragons blowing an 8-4 lead in game two before scoring the decisive run in the top of the seventh to salvage it, 9-8. Dan Renken fell to 0-2 (6.52, 4.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 6 K) in the opener. Sierra had three hits and a RBI as well as another pickoff/CS to add to the tally in game one, then was 2-for-4 with three runs scored, the decisive seventh-inning sacrifice fly, and two steals (5) in the nightcap (.357). 1B Donald Lutz slugged a homer in each game of the doubleheader (3 total, 4-for-7 overall, .353). Hamilton walked, scored, and committed error #5 in game one; 2-for-4, two runs scored, two steals (11), a caught-stealing of third, and error #6 in game two. D’Anna drove in three runs in the nightcap (2-for-4, 2 R, .407). Josh Smith lasted five innings of game two (1.06, 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) but it was Doyle who got the victory following a blown save (2-0, 2.89, 2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K). Dayton committed five errors total on the night, but the Lugnuts turned in nine (!).
4/18: The Dragons fired on all cylinders, getting strong pitching from Daniel Corcino (W 1-2, 7.24, 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K), strong hitting from Vidal (.282, 3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R), Hamilton (2-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, RBI, steals #12, #13 and #14), RF Juan Duran (homer #1), and Lohman (2-for-3, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2B, 2 SB), and strong fundamentals (no errors, no pickoffs, and 6-for-8 stealing). They hammered Bowling Green (TB), 8-2. Even better, it was lefty Enny Romero- last seen shutting Dayton out on one hit on Opening Night- who got the brunt of the Dragons’ fury. He was chased in the fourth- and ultimately charged with five earned runs. Drew Hayes (2.84, 2 IP, 3 K) and Blaine Howell (0.00, 1 IP, 1 K) finished up.
4/19: Again the Dragons impress! They spank the Hot Rods again, 7-2, as Tanner Robles was much better this time out (W 1-1, 6.97, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K) and Billy Hamilton hit an inside-the-park home run. Lutz was 3-for-4 with a double, run scored, and run batted in (.357). Dayton wasn’t as good on the bases (0-for-2 stealing) and Robles threw away a pickoff attempt, but they did atone somewhat with Barnhart picking a BG runner off second and Rodriguez gunning down a runner at third who’d attempted to take an extra bag after stealing second. Yorman did tumble to .152 after going 0-for-4, however. Sierra (2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, .351) and Lohman (2-for-4, .195) did keep hitting. Lefty Ezequiel Infante, who pitched well out of the Dragons bullpen in 2010, got nine straight outs in his 2011 bow.
4/20: Dayton finished a sweep of the Hot Rods, always a tough squad given the strength of the Tampa Bay farm system, with a 4-1 decision. The Dragons have now won four in a row. Starter Dan Tuttle was excellent (W 1-0, 5.74, 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K). Righty Chad Rogers turned in two hitless innings in his pro debut (1 BB, 3 K) and Blaine Howell worked a 1-2-3 ninth (2 K) for save #2. Dayton needed only four hits, thanks to seven walks and three wild pitches from the Bowling Green staff. Lohman had a big two-run double and is five for his last eight to raise his season line to .214/.283/.357. On a down note, Hamilton was caught stealing or picked off both of his times on base. Live by the sword, die by it.
Transactnotes: 4/15: LHS Tanner Robles to Billings. 4/19: Robles reactivated; RHR Porfirio Martinez assigned to Billings. INF Frank Pfister placed on the 7-day DL. LHR Ezequiel Infante (1-3, 3.51 in 36 G and 74 IP between Dayton and Lynchburg in 2010) activated from extended spring training. RHP Chad Rogers, 21, was activated as well. Rogers, a 5’11/175# 21-year-old out of Richland College, was the Reds’ 28th-round pick in 2010. He’s never appeared professionally.
Re: Weekly Minor League Roundup #2: 4/14-4/20
Thanks Doc this is great stuff... Keep up the good work.
Re: Weekly Minor League Roundup #2: 4/14-4/20
Good job Doc, seriously.
Carolina is not a good baseball team right now and I don't see a lot changing anytime soon. Of the 10 teams in the Southern League, only two teams have a team ERA above 5.00. Carolina's ERA is 6.01. If that isn't bad enough, the five starters this year have a combined ERA of 8.15. The more you think about that number the more you have to shake your head. At the outset of the year pitching was advertised as the teams strong point. Believe it or not, the starters were being touted as the reason the pitching would be so solid. Daryl Thompson has the best starting ERA at 5.52.
I have to ackowledge Justin Freeman, Brad Boxberger, and Nick Christiani for being the bright spots as far as pitching goes. These guys have been very solid in relief roles.
As far as offense is concerned, the team batting average is .244. The team is ninth in the SL in hits. Holdovers Felix Perez is batting .170 and Denis Phipps is at .214.
The upside of this order is Puckett at .389, which is huge right now. Little Jake Kahaulileo at .300 and Jose Castro at .364. I like Kauhalileo a lot, but when he is one of your leading hitters, you have problems.
I looked at every league from low A ball up this morning and there is only one team with less wins than Carolina to this point. Ironically, it is Lynchburg with one win. I really had hoped the Reds last year here would have been a good one. One, because of the fans and the players. Secondly, I had hoped the Advanced A team would have a shot here year after next in the Carolina League. This being the third year Cincy has been here, is looking like the worst. Carolina finished last in both halves last year in their division but left a better impression than what is on the field now. There has been talent through here but most of that in the first year and a half. When you look at the Louisville roster you have to be proud of what has been through Carolina.
Re: Weekly Minor League Roundup #2: 4/14-4/20
How soon will it be before someone sends help to Carolina or are they just going to write off the first half of the season and maybe look for help starting the second half?
Re: Weekly Minor League Roundup #2: 4/14-4/20
Probably the latter, if at all.
Re: Weekly Minor League Roundup #2: 4/14-4/20
I do think the Mudcats have a good enough lineup to be moderately successful in their league. Starting pitching is the problem, and the guys doing decently in Bakersfield right now like Pedro Villareal or Lance Janke (six no-hit innings last night) or Josh Ravin are not going to be enough to turn the whole thing around. The latter's control is very inconsistent and the formers don't miss enough bats.
However, Yasmani Grandal can't be in High-A that much longer. Also, I'm really surprised at Felix Perez' slow start given his success last season and advanced age (27, IIRC). He's got to come around.
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