Louisville managed to take four of seven as they lost two of their better hitters in Todd Frazier and Yonder Alonso. Carolina started off with a pair of wins then faceplanted to five straight losses. The Blaze finally had their winning streak ended at nine as they won five of six. Dayton did even better, going undefeated while riding an eight-game winning streak to the next week. 1B Donald Lutz became the first Dragon to ever hit for the cycle. He then followed that up with a three-hit game and a two-homer game. Billings’ bats boomed while its arms occasionally busted. They took four of six but fell further back in the standings. The AZL Reds are the only team above .500 in their division; another .500 week kept them ahead by a half-game.
AAA Louisville Bats
This week: 4-3.
Overall: 55-50, second place, 10.5 games behind Columbus (CLE) . Down one from last week.
7/20: The Bats built a 9-0 lead on Gwinnett (ATL), then held on a through a furious Braves comeback attempt to win, 9-6. A very unusual pitching arrangement in this one, as Matt Maloney returned from a single AZL rehab outing to pitch three scoreless innings (4.05, 3 H, 1 K). Carlos Fisher worked the fourth, then Daryl Thompson took over and pitched the rest of the game (3.18, 5 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR). With the way the runs were scored, that means Fisher got the win for his one inning and Thompson the save for his five! Nuts. Anyway, RF Jeremy Hermida lashed four hits (.324, R, RBI, 2B), LF Yonder Alonso’s one hit in six trips was a three-run homer (#12) and SS Paul Janish had a second straight good game at the plate (2-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, homer #1, BB, .222).
7/21: This daytime wrapup of the four-game series saw the Braves grab a three-run lead early off Chad Reineke (3.12, 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K), but the Bats got six runs in the fifth- five unearned- off Gwinnett starter Mike Minor. Crafty Tom Cochran retired six straight (3.14, 2 K), Jordan Smith worked the eighth. Brad Boxberger came on for the ninth and struck out the first man, but then gave up back-to-back singles. A third single made it 6-4. A walk loaded the bases and summoned Rick Sweet to the mound to call for Dave Johnson, who earned a save his last time out. The veteran middle reliever isn’t normally the closer of choice, but given the conflagrations caused by both Jerry Gil and Nick Christiani over the last week, I can’t blame Manager Sweet. Anyway, one more single later, and the Bats bullpen had turned a 6-3 lead into a 7-6 loss. Boxberger’s ERA rose to 6.75; he’s now 0-2. C Devin Mesoraco was 3-for-4 with a run scored and RBI, raising his average to .305. CF Dave Sappelt added two hits and two RBI (.304).
7/22: Good news for Edinson Volquez, last seen not pitching very well in his last start (6 IP, 8 H, 5 R). Here he throws a complete-game five-hitter (W 2-0, 2.55, 0 BB, 9 K, 110 pitches/82 strikes) to beat Charlotte, 4-2. Mesoraco was 2-for-3 with a double, RBI, walk, and run scored and 3B Chris Valaika knocked in two.
7/23: Negron committed three errors at second base and Scott Carroll gave up eleven hits in three-plus innings (L 6-6, 4.96, 3.1 IP, 7 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K) as the Knights lanced the Bats, 7-4. Dave Johnson (4.01, 1 BB, 1 K), Nick Christiani, Jeremy Horst, and Jerry Gil combined to allow zero hits over the final 5.2 innings, but Louisville trailed by six and wasn’t able to get closer than halfway. The Bats did put men in scoring position in each of the final three innings as well. Janish was 2-for-3 with a double (.256) and Alonso 2-for-5 (.298). C Corky Miller homered (#3).
7/24: Charlotte’s Dylan Axelrod retired the first twenty-one Louisville batters before walking Jeremy Hermida to begin the eighth. Two outs later Mike Costanzo managed a single to break the no-hitter. Axelrod got out of that inning, but when Josh Kinney came on to try and grab the save with a 2-0 lead for the ninth, this happened:
Louisville Bottom of the 9th
• Pitcher Change: Josh Kinney replaces Dylan Axelrod.
• Dave Sappelt flies out to center fielder Jordan Danks.
• Denis Phipps walks.
• Yonder Alonso singles on a line drive to right fielder Lastings Milledge. Denis Phipps to 2nd.
• Offensive Substitution: Pinch runner Michael Griffin replaces Yonder Alonso.
• Jeremy Hermida singles on a ground ball to right fielder Lastings Milledge. Denis Phipps scores. Michael Griffin out at 3rd on the throw, right fielder Lastings Milledge to third baseman Gookie Dawkins.
• Devin Mesoraco singles on a soft line drive to left fielder Alejandro De Aza. Jeremy Hermida to 2nd.
• Daniel Dorn doubles (20) on a line drive to right fielder Lastings Milledge. Jeremy Hermida scores. Devin Mesoraco scores.
Louisville steals one, 3-2! Travis Wood (3.31, 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 87 pitches/59 strikes) and Matt Maloney (W 3-1, 3.86, 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR) both pitched well. Give the newly-promoted Denis Phipps a round of applause for igniting the game-winning rally, and save one for Danny Dorn- who’s overcome a brutal July slump to return to run-producing form.
7/25: Again the Bats come from behind, scoring four in the seventh to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead. Brad Boxberger (W 1-2, 5.56, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K) and Jordan Smith (save #3, 1 IP, 1 K) turned that lead into a win. Phipps poked three hits, scored two, drove one in, and threw out two runners on the basepaths! Starter Daryl Thompson worked five (3.21, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). Mesoraco added two hits and two RBI (.307, BB) and the struggling Mike Costanzo knocked in two key runs.
7/26: Louisville got three runs in its half of the first to take a 3-2 lead over Rochester (MIN), but it all went downhill from there. The Red Wings first chased starter Tom Cochran (L 7-3, 3.49, 3.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K) and then hammered both David Johnson (4.64, 0.2 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) and Nick Christiani (5.40, 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB) for seven runs in the fifth. They cruised, 11-3. Kris Negron made two errors at shortstop and those led to three unearned runs. Utilityman Mike Griffin made another pitching appearance- his second of 2011 and fourth overall for the Bats- and threw a scoreless inning. Sappelt did get three hits (.303, 2B) and Phipps added two more. As his time in the minors perhaps reaches its end, Devin Mesoraco keeps hitting. In this one he was 1-for-2 with a double and walk to raise his overall line to .308/.381/.506.
Transactnotes: 7/20: LHS Matt Maloney activated; this is classified as rehab, meaning he doesn’t take an official roster spot. 7/22: RHS Chad Reineke placed on the DL with right shoulder tendinitis. LHR Jeremy Horst down from Cincinnati. UT Todd Frazier called up to replace the injured Scott Rolen. 7/23: OF Denis Phipps promoted from Carolina. 7/24: SS Paul Janish recalled by the Reds to replace the injured Zack Cozart. 7/25: INF Jose Castro gets his first promotion to Louisville. The 24-year-old switch-hitter was batting .316/.353/.364 in 78 games at Carolina. With five walks and fifteen strikeouts. This was his fifth stint at Double-A; he first reached it in 2007 at age 20, right after the Reds acquired him from New York in the Jeff Conine deal. 7/26: 1B-LF Yonder Alonso called up to Cincinnati to replace the traded Jonny Gomes.
If Todd Frazier sticks with the Reds, maybe he can do these segments with big-leaguers. Here’s one with the illustrious Corky Miller.
Around the league: Baltimore again optioned out LHR Pedro Viola. Yes, again. He didn’t appear in another game and hasn’t since the whole homer-homer-homer-walk appearance from 7/7. Boston sent UT Drew Sutton back to Triple-A; the 28-year-old has been a useful spare part for the Sox this year, batting .292/.346/.438 in 27 games as well as .299/.374/.494 in 41 games for Pawtucket. The Yankees recalled OF Chris Dickerson; he’s been useful as a spare part as well, appearing in 39 games this year. These 39 games have resulted in only 24 at-bats; however, the 29-year-old is batting .292/.346/.375 with those. Oakland optioned INF Adam Rosales to Triple-A Sacramento. Rosales has only 36 at-bats in Oakland this year (.121) after going for .271/.321/.400 in 71 games in 2010. Injuries kept him off the field for most of the first half. He’s done a little better in the PCL, hitting .264/.350/.453 in 14 games.
AA Carolina Mudcats
This week: 2-5.
Overall: 14-17, second place, 5 games behind Chattanooga (LAD). Overall 37-64.
7/20: Carolina whips Tennessee (CHC), 7-4, as 1B Neftali Soto launched two home runs (#17 and #18, now .279/.339/.598 in 63 games) and three other Mudcats- CF Denis Phipps (.322, homer #7, 2 RBI), 3B Eric Campbell (.274, R, 2B), and SS Jose Castro (.313, R, 2B) each had three hits. Pedro Villareal ain’t foolin’ too many, but he made it through six (W 4-2, 5.32, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR). James Adkins worked the seventh, Tim Hamulack the eighth, and Chris Mobley the ninth (save #1, 6.28, 1 IP, 1 K).
7/21: The Mudcats bats keep booming! This time they get nine runs in the sixth inning to build an 11-0 lead over the Smokies. Tennessee came back with five in the bottom of the inning plus one in the next frame off Matt Klinker (W 6-6, 4.98, 5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K) and Clayton Shunick (6.17, 1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER) , including a three-run homer from 2007 third-overall pick Josh Vitters. Donnie Joseph (8.12) and Justin Freeman (6.02) combined to strike out six straight Smokies to end the game, however. Carolina got seventeen hits in total, with three from 2B Henry Rodriguez (.273, 2B, 3 RBI), Castro (.320, R, 2 RBI) and Phipps (.327, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB) as well as two each from LF David Cook, Campbell, and RF Felix Perez (.257, 2B, RBI). Perez now has an eleven-game hitting streak. Phipps now has seven straight games with two or more hits, which is a Carolina club record.
7/22: After beating the tough Smokies two straight, the Mudcats blew a 5-2 lead over the last several innings, then Tim Hamulack gave up the winning run in the bottom of the tenth (L 1-3, 3.24) to lose it 6-5. Brandon Hynick started (4.26, 6.1 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). Rodriguez drove in three more runs (2-for-5, R, steal #6, .277). Phipps added two more hits to make it eight multi-hit games in a row. Perez hit homer #4.
7/23: James Avery fell apart in the sixth (L 5-9, 4.18, 5.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER) and Tennessee wins again, 6-2. Rodriguez was 1-for-2 with a run scored, RBI, and two more steals. C Yasmani Grandal picked up a couple of singles (.264) and Castro was 2-for-4 (.322, R).
7/24: Carolina goes from a 2-0 series lead to losing it 3-2. Smokies win, 8-3. Coming off his best start of the year (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER), Kyle McCulloch had nothing (L 4-5, 5.35, 3 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 0 K). CF Quintin Berry led off the first with a solo homer (#5) and Cook hit #8 a couple of batters later.
7/26: Usually MAKEUP MADNESS is good to our Mudcats. We’ll see:
Jacksonville (FLA) scratched a run off Pedro Villareal in the first on a double-play grounder (set up by a steal of second and a Grandal throwing error), but Carolina came back to tie in the second when Grandal doubled, moved to third on Eric Campbell’s bloop single and scored on LF Josh Fellhauer’s groundout. Villareal then struck out six of seven men faced in a stretch from the end of the first through the third. David Cook walked and Henry Rodriguez singled with two outs in the Mudcat third, but Neftali Soto (now 3-for-his-last-15 after the two-homer game) struck out swinging to end the inning. Pedro also struck out three Suns in the fifth for nine total; he left after that (4.78, 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K). With two outs in the Carolina fifth, the bats blew up. SS Didi Gregorius blooped a single. Cook took a Rudy. Rodriguez ripped a base hit to score one (2-for-4). A double steal put runners on second and third. Soto lined a two-run double. A wild pitch moved him up a base, then Grandal doubled again (.280, 2-for-3) to make it 5-1 Mudcats. That was pretty much the end of anything good happening. Jacksonville got one run back in the sixth and then eight runs (!) in the top of the seventh to take it, 10-5. Chris Mobley (BS #3, L 1-3, 7.56, 0.2 IP, 4 ER) and James Adkins (5.60, 0.2 IP, 4 ER) were the culprits.
Game two went a little better, but not much. The Suns got five in the fourth off Tim Gustafson (L 2-7, 5.57, 3 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K) and Carolina could only get three of those back. They drop game two, 6-4. Donnie Joseph cut his ERA below 8 with two innings of one-run ball. Rodriguez added two more doubles to finish a four-hit night (.291). C James Skelton had a RBI double and a pair of walks (.263).
Transactnotes: 7/23: OF Denis Phipps righteously promoted to Louisville. LHR Travis Webb activated from the DL. 7/25: OF Josh Fellhauer (.281/.363/.385 in 93 games) and SS Didi Gregorius (.303/.333/.457 in 46 games) promoted from Bakersfield. INF Jose Castro to Louisville. 7/26: It appears OF Bill Rhinehart, acquired from Washington in the Gomes trade, will be sent to Carolina. He’s not activated as of this writing.
High-A Bakersfield Blaze
This week: 5-1.
Overall: 15-16 second half, fourth place, five games behind Stockton (OAK)- up three from last week. 50-51 overall.
7/20: The Blaze did something they’ve managed only one other time in eleven tries this season- they beat San Jose (SF)! The Giants took a 2-0 lead through five, but Bakersfield piled up five runs in the sixth and three more in the eighth to win 8-4. C Kevin Coddington had three hits and five RBI(.347) while 2B Brodie Greene homered for the fifth time in six games (#9, .290, 2-for-4, 2 RBI). Mark Serrano worked six solid frames for the win (3-5, 4.68, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 1 HR). Doug Salinas got the last four outs for save #9 (4.76).
7/21: Bakersfield makes it back-to-back wins over the Giants, 5-1, as JC Sulbaran (W 6-2, 4.45, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K) and relievers Mace Thurman, Derrik Lutz, and Drew Bowman held San Jose to a total of four hits. The Blaze got two big homers from 1B Chris Richburg (#6, 2-for-4, .279) and SS Didi Gregorius (#4, 3-for-4, 3 RBI) to beat Giants starter Craig Westcott, who entered the game 11-1 with an ERA under three. Westcott also had three previous wins over the Blaze this season. Greene continues to hit like crazy; he added another 3-for-4 in this one (.295, 2B, R) and is now 19-for-42 over his last ten games (.452) with five homers.
7/22: Wow, a series sweep over the tough Giants! The 7-1 Blaze win also marks Bakersfield’s seventh consecutive victory. Curtis Partch threw a complete-game six-hitter, his best start of the year (W 6-10, 5.29, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K). Gregorius was 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI (.291), LF Josh Fellhauer 3-for-4 (.285, R, 2B, BB) and Richburg 2-for-3. Greene drove in two and swiped bag #25.
7/23: Eight wins! Bakersfield beat Stockton, 6-4, when Richburg smashed his second homer of the game in the top of the ninth (#7 and #8, 4 RBI total). Gregorius led off the first with his fifth and DH Alex Buchholz hit #6 later on. Starter Tim Crabbe did not allow a hit for 6.1 innings (3.57, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 10 K); in fact, the Ports didn’t get a hit until prospect Michael Choice hit his 27th homer of the season off Scott Gaffney in the eighth. Doug Salinas let in an inherited runner and a couple more hits, but finished up for the win (4-1, 4.54, BS #3, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K).
7/24: And that’s nine. Brodie Greene’s grand-slam homer (#10) in the top of the ninth erased a 4-3 deficit! Derrik Lutz struggled to close it out (2.70, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) but induced a 4-6 forceout grounder to end the game, 7-6, and notch save #1. Richburg hit #9 back in the fourth and Buchholz was 4-for-5 with two RBI (.287, steal #2). Gregorius added three more hits (.303, 2 R, 2B). Starter Josh Ravin worked six (4.55, 8 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 2 HB) and Drew Bowman struck out four over a scoreless seventh and eighth for the win (3-2, 4.84, 2 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, BK). CF Ryan LaMarre was 0-for-3 but drew two walks, scored a run, and swiped base #36 to move into third in the California League. Andrew Means stands sixth with 29 and Greene seventh with 27.
7/25: Stockton beat up Mark Serrano (L 3-6, 5.09, 4 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 6 BB, 6 K) early, with professional baseball’s version of Max “Camera Eye” Bishop, Conner Crumbliss, leading off the first with a home run off Serrano. That was the 5’8” Crumbliss’ ninth pro homer. Buchholz had two of the Blaze’ four hits.
7/26: And on the seventh day, they rested. A good week.
Transactnotes: 7/21: C Mark Fleury placed on the 7-day DL; OF Dayne Read returned from Billings. 7/25: OF Josh Fellhauer and SS Didi Gregorius to Carolina. INF Devin Lohman up from Billings. Slight correction from last week: 1B-3B Jorge Jimenez was signed away from the Brockton Rox of the independent Can-Am League, not as a free agent.
2B Brodie Greene was named the California League’s Player of the Week for 7/18-7/24. Greene was 12-for-26 (.462) with three homers, eleven RBI, and eight runs scored. RHS Curtis Partch was named the CL Pitcher of the Week for the same period based on his complete game six-hitter on the 22nd.
Greene also made the Team Photo of BA’s Prospect Hot Sheet: “The Reds love to draft college middle infielders whose defining characteristics are grit and feel for the game rather than foot speed or power. Run down the old scouting axioms if you want, but in the Reds' case, it's paid off pretty well. Adam Rosales, Chris Valaika and Justin Turner have made the big leagues while sporting that profile. Now 2B/SS Brodie Greene is trying to follow the same path. Drafted last year in the fourth round as a senior out of Texas A&M, the 23-year-old went .640/.679/1.360 (16-for-25) with four home runs and nine extra-base hits this week. Three of those home runs did come at High Desert, but a .640 week is hard to do no matter where you're playing.”
I forgot to link this before- a bit about SS Didi Gregorius. The Cal League part is at least temporarily out of date, but if you’re wondering where this guy came from.
Low-A Dayton Dragons
This week: 6-0.
Overall: 22-8, first place, two ahead of Lansing (TOR). Overall 57-43.
7/20: Dayton bludgeoned Peoria (CHC), 13-5. Daniel Corcino didn’t dominate, but he was better than in his previous two starts (W 9-4, 3.61, 6 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR). Brian Pearl pitched two (2.45, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 K). 2B Ronald Torreyes was 4-for-5 with four runs scored, a double, and RBI (.375) as well as steal #7. 3B David Vidal was 3-for-4 with four RBI (.298, 2 R, 2B, BB). And LF Juan Duran hammered a three-run homer, #10. SS Billy Hamilton swiped bag #71 while going 1-for-4 with a run scored and walk (.241). And error #29.
7/21: This was another offensive game for the ages. Not only did the Dragons throttle the Chiefs, 13-0, but several players had career nights. 1B Donald Lutz hit for the cycle- homering in the first, tripling in the second, doubling in the third, and singling in the fifth. Four straight at-bats, and in reverse order! Impressive. Lutz is also the first Dragons player to ever hit for the cycle The big night raised the 22-year-old’s overall batting line to .266/.327/.459 with fourteen homers and 39 RBI in 82 games. He also has a 13-game hitting streak. = Torreyes had five singles in five official at-bats (plus a walk), scoring three runs and driving one in (.402). Anyway, we can’t forget DH Dominic D’Anna, who pounded a first-inning three-run homer (#8) and went 3-for-4 overall with five RBI (.288). Hamilton also had a banner night, going 3-for-5 with a triple, RBI, walk, steal #72, and four runs scored (.247). Starter Dan Renken didn’t need to be great to win this one, but he was- just one hit over 5.2 shutout innings with ten strikeouts (W 5-8, 3.34, 2 BB). That’s one hit that the pitcher’s given up over his last 11.2 innings. Blaine Howell (2.28, 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K), Chad Rogers (3.95, 1 IP, 1 H) and Drew Hayes (1.73, 1 IP) finished up.
7/22: The Dragons completed the three-game dismantling of the Chiefs, 2-0. Five straight wins for the Dayton squad. Mitchell Clarke pitched five one-hit innings for the win in his debut MWL appearance (1 BB, 5 K, 2 HB). Pat Doyle worked the next three (3.23, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 K) and Hayes picked up save #15. Hamilton led off the first with a home run, his second of the year and first to actually exit the ballpark. He ended up going 2-for-4 to reach the .250 plateau. C Tucker Barnhart also had two hits- and drove in the other Dragons run (.279).
7/23: Six! Some vintage Hamilton Havoc ™ in the bottom of the ninth broke a 6-6 tie and propelled the Dragons to the 7-6 win over Burlington (KC). Hamilton walked to start the inning. On an errant pickoff throw, he went to second. Torreyes then bunted to try and get him to third, but another throwing error, this one by the Bees first baseman, allowed Billy to score from second. He finished 2-for-3 with two walks, three runs, a triple, and stolen base #73. Lutz, who got to sit the bench the night after his historic cycle-hitting, was 3-for-4 with a double (.272). Torreyes was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and steal #8 (.392, RBI) and D’Anna had two hits and a RBI as well (.287). Starter Stalin Gerson was chased in the fifth (3.13, 4.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR). Luca Panerati worked the next two (4.20, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) and Dan Wolford allowed an inherited runner to score but otherwise was excellent (W 5-1, 1.55, 2.2 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K).
7/24: Seven! Brian Pearl worked the first three (2.61, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR) as he’s apparently stretching out to being a starter again, but Chad Rogers whiffed seven Bees over the next four (W 4-4, 3.61, 1 H, 1 BB) as Dayton whipped Burlington 7-1. Torreyes got back to .400 with three more hits (R, RBI, steal #9) and both Barnhart (.283) and CF Theo Bowe (.276, 3B, steal #15) were 2-for-4. Hamilton was 1-for-4 with a walk and steal #74 (and CS #13), raising his overall line to .253/.317/.338. He’s 13-for-39 over his last ten (.333/.469/.513). Torreyes is even better over his last 10, going 23-for-46 for a cool .500 with a .609 slugging. The overall line is .403/.442/.535, for reference.
7/25: Eight! Donald Lutz carried the offense with a pair of two-run homers (#15 and #16, .276) and Daniel Corcino (3.43, 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) and Pat Doyle (W 6-2, 3.22, 3 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) the pitchers as Dayton got three in the sixth to break a 2-2 tie and win 5-2. Hayes struck out three straight Bees for save #16. Torreyes bumped his average to .406 with two more singles.
7/26: Off. A great week at the A-ball level all around.
Transactnotes: 7/21: After RHS Kyle Lotzkar was placed on the 7-day DL, the Reds promoted LHP Mitchell Clarke, a 20-year-old Canadian, to Dayton. Clarke had a 3.60 ERA in 20 IP with Billings this year. 7/24: OF Yorman Rodriguez placed on the 7-day DL, retroactive to 7/20. 7/26: LHR Chris Manno, the other half of the Nationals’ payment for Jonny Gomes, appears headed to Dayton. He’s not activated yet.
Dayton Daily News article about Hamilton and Torreyes.
Dan Renken in BA’s Prospect Hot Sheet: If you manage to get tickets to a low Class A Dayton Dragons game (considering every game's a sellout, it's not always easy) and you see that a pitcher named Daniel is on the mound, you're likely to see a solid pitching performance. Daniel Corcino has been a revelation for the Dragons, as he's living up to the Johnny Cueto comps, but Daniel Renken has been equally impressive statistically. Renken's delivery does a good job of hiding the ball, which allows his 91-93 mph fastball to get on hitters quicker than they expect. That combined with a developing slider and changeup have allowed him to rack up 137 strikeouts in 107 2/3 innings. This week, he was dominating. Renken allowed one hit in 11 2/3 scoreless innings, walking five and striking out 17.” From later in the same block, on Ronald Torreyes: The Little Red Machine keeps plugging away for low Class A Dayton, where 5-foot-7 second baseman Ronald Torreyes (Reds) went 5-for-5 with a walk yesterday and has nine hits in his last 10 at-bats. Torreyes, 18, went 15-for-29 (.517) this week and has only one strikeout for all of June, which is why he's hitting .402/.444/.547 in 28 games with the Dragons.”
Rookie-Pioneer Billings Mustangs
This week: 4-2.
Overall: 19-16, second place, four games behind Missoula (ARI).
7/20: Off. The Ponies head to Orem to face the Owlz (LAA) in a four-game set starting Thursday.
7/21: The Mustangs got three in the first, but Orem came right back with four in the bottom of the inning. Billings tied it the next inning, but the two the Owlz got in the sixth to chase Ismael Guillon (L 0-3, 6.23, 5.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR) proved decisive. The Mustangs loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the ninth, but C Yovan Gonzalez grounded into a double play (making it 6-5) and 2B Cristobal Rodriguez (.343, 2-for-4) popped out to end the game. Righty Matt Kemp made his fourth straight scoreless relief appearance, pitching 1.2 innings.
7/22: Billings fell just short in a comeback attempt, getting single runs in the sixth and seventh but nothing of note in the final two, losing 5-4. Kyle McMyne had a rough one (L 0-1, 8.59, 1.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K). 3B Junior Arias did hit homer #2 (.186) and DH Sean Buckley was 2-for-3 with #6 (.333, 2 BB). SS Devin Lohman was 2-for-4 with a walk and RBI (.324) and CF Kurtis Muller was 1-for-3 with two walks, a run, and steals #13 and #14 (.232). LF Drew Poulk was 2-for-4 with a RBI (.361).
7/23: Seemingly every Mustangs runner who got on base scored, as Billings stranded just five in a 14-hit, 17-7 pasting of the Owlz. LF Juan Silva was 2-for-5 with homer #2 and three RBI (.324). 2B Sammy Diaz was 3-for-5 with his first US homer, a grand slam (.273). 1B Robert Maddox hit #7 and C Nick O’Shea got #4. Wes Mugarian fought his control but was effectively wild (W 2-3, 6.34, 5.2 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 5 K).
7/24: Billings finishes strong to earn a four-game split, triumphing 6-3. Orem got three in the eighth off El’Hajj Muhammad (5.57, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER) and Brooks Pinckard (5.27, BS #3, W 2-1, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1-1 IRS) but the Mustangs got three in the top of the ninth to break it. RBI doubles by Arias (.200, 2-for-4), Diaz, and RF Kyle Waldrop did the trick. Poulk was 2-for-4 with homer #4, Silva 2-for-4 with two RBI, and Gonzalez 2-for-4 as well (.246). Starter Tony Cingrani worked three (2.70, 2 H, 3 K) and Cole Green was much better his second time out (3 IP, 2 H, 2 K).
7/25: The Mustangs mauled Ogden (LAD), 14-2. Everything broke right for Billings. Sean Buckley belted two homers and drove in five (3-for-6, .327, homers #7 and #8) and Maddox was 4-for-5 with homer #8 (.266, 2 RBI, 3 R). Arias was 2-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored (.215). Gonzalez had four hits and four RBI (.284). Radhames Quezada had a great outing on a night he didn’t need to be great (W 1-2, 3.97, 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K).
7/26: Ogden piled up four runs in the first off Ismael Guillon (6.00, 4 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K), but the struggling lefty managed to keep the Raptors off the board the next three innings. Meanwhile, Billings struck back- another Buckley homer (#9) and three more runs came in over the second and third to tie it up. Then Ryan Wright hammered a three-run bomb in the fifth to make it 7-4. Wright ended up driving in five runs on the night. The bullpen thought about blowing this lead, but James Allen struck out four of the six men he faced (save #4, 2.00, 1.2 IP, 1 H, 4 K, 1-2 IRS) to close out an 8-7 victory. Diaz made two errors at shortstop but was 3-for-4 at the plate with a triple (.297, 2 R, steal #1). Silva had a pair of triples, three runs scored, a walk, and RBI (.333).
Transactnotes: 7/21: OF Dayne Read back to Bakersfield. LHP Mitchell Clarke up to Dayton. 7/25: INF Devin Lohman to Bakersfield.
Well, now we know what happened to right-hander Jonathan Correa, who pitched very well in 2010 for the Mustangs.
The Reds and Mustangs extended their relationship for another two years, keeping Billings a Cincinnati affiliate through 2014.
Rookie-Arizona AZL Reds
This week: 3-3.
Overall: 15-14, first place, a half-game ahead of the Dodgers and Indians.
7/20: The Reds make it an organization-wide sweep (6 for 6, including the big club) on this day, stomping the Padres 8-2. Lefty Tanner Robles dominated through six (W 2-0, 2.77, 2 H, 2 BB, 9 K), although if you’re a 22-year-old college draftee in his second pro year, you probably should be dominating. 2B Ryan Wright found the combination after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his pro debut- he went 3-for-4 this time with a double and RBI.
7/21: The Angels whooped the Reds, 12-4. Justice French struggled this time around (L 2-2, 3.97, 4.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K). DH Juan Perez did collect three hits (.333, RBI) and C Julio Morillo was 2-for-4 to raise his average to .314.
7/22: After Rehabbin’ Jared Burton (1 IP, 1 H, 1 K) and Matt Fairel (W 1-0, 3.12, 4 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) did their respective work, Joel Bender (4.64, 3 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K) and Alejandro Chacin (save#5, 1 IP, 2 H, 0 K!) kept the Cubs on ice to finish a 4-2 Reds win. Perez lashed three more hits and drove in a run while stealing two more bases (9). RF Jon Matthews was 2-for-4 with steal #10 (.230) and C Julio Morillo 2-for-3 with two runs scored (.333).
7/24: Rangers win big, 10-5. Wright had a good game, though, going 3-for-5 with a triple, homer, and three RBI (.318). CF Spencer Dickinson (.276) and Matthews each had two hits. Venezuelan SS Humberto Valor, just 18, had two hits to raise his average to .217. Eliezer Beard had it rough (L 2-1, 4.07, 4 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K).
7/25: Nobody can hit Alejandro Chacin, but the Rangers figured out how to beat him without hitting him. They got a walk, a steal of second, and a Chacin throwing error to get the decisive run in the tenth and win it 6-5. Chacin still whiffed two (24 K in 11.1 IP, 3 H). Jared Burton rehabbed for two (3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) and Lucas O’Rear was great for three before falling apart in his fourth inning (6.94, 3.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K). Chris Joyce followed with five more Ks over two (0.00 in 10.1 IP, 2 BB, 15 K).
7/26: A rare AZL day game worked out well for our boys, as they doubled up the Athletics 8-4 behind Justice French (W 3-2, 3.14, 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K), a 3-for-3 effort from Perez (.366, 3B, BB) and three hits and three RBI from RF Wilfrel Estevez, a 20-year-old Dominican (.233). LF Brennan May added a pair of doubles and Dickinson had two hits. DH Gabriel Rosa (this year’s second-round pick) was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat and had to be pinch-run for. He will probably miss some time.