News around the minors...
Not much, but some things are worth noting...
Ask BA is currently running a feature on whether or not Felix Hernandez is the next Doc Gooden
. The question wasn't exactly answered, and they didn't mention Felix's slider, but the general assessment is that the M's will try to wait with him and I tend to agree, though if he continues through Double-A at the same pace as before, that may change.
Additionally, John Manuel had this to say when asked about Felix's ETA in the recent BA chat
Who's to know? Felix Hernandez has to be the best pitching prospect in the minor leagues right now, considering his stuff, age level and the fact he's in Double-A, where he dealt last night against Frisco. His stuff is insane, mid-90s fastball, a slider he rarely throws that has touched 91, a power curveball and the makings of a nice changeup. As for his delivery, Inland Empire pitching coach Dwight Bernard said he repeats his mechanics well, and didn't bring up any concerns about his delivery. He really sounds too good to be true, so what do the Mariners do with him? he's already thrown 98 innings, so it seems reasonable to expect he might throw 150 innings this season. That's a lot for a pitcher his age (say, a high school senior or college freshman). There's not a handbook on how to handle prodigies. Dwight Gooden seems like a good comp, and he was in the big leagues at age 19. That doesn't seem far-fetched for Hernandez.
Speaking of BA... ITP did a Q & A with Jim Callis of BA
recently and if you have subscription, you'll definately want to check out what he has to say.
The Tacoma News Tribune is reporting that Meche found something wrong with his mechanics and could be back on track
. It also mentions that Scott Atchison will be replacing Travis Blackley in the PCL All-Star game. Also, bucky was the player of the week last week
Felix was also named pitcher of the week
last week for the Cal League, one week after Livingston got the same honor.
Portland 4 (SD), Tacoma 5
RHP Gil Meche (3.67) started and was pretty decent, going eight innings and getting the no-decision with four runs on nine hits (HR) while striking out three. RHP Scott Atchison (3.75, W) went through the ninth and had a hit and two strikeouts to pick up the win. On offense, three had two hits, CF Jeremy Reed (3B, R, .500), 3B Greg Dobbs (2 R, .333), and RF Greg Jacobs (HR, 3 RBI, .238). 1B A.J. Zapp (HR, .305) also continued his recent power surge, going 1-2 with a couple of walks. LHP Bobby Madritsch tomorrow.
Arkansas 1 (ANA), San Antonio 2
RHP Rich Dorman (4.44) had one of his great starts, going six innings and giving up four hits, a wild pitch, and three walks as he rung up seven. LHP Jared Thomas (1.33) allowed a hit, but nothing else in the seventh, and RHP Renee Cortez (5.09) did the same in the eighth. RHP Rick Guttormson (4.17) gave up a run on two hits in the ninth to tie the game, but the offense came back to pull it out. Speaking of offense, LF Vince Faison (R, .294) had three hits, and DH Ryan Christianson (R, SB, .250) had two. Almost everyone had a hit tonight (Choo was left out), but none went for extra-bases, for San Antonio, at least. Former Mission Cristian Guerrero had a double for the Travelers. RHP Chris Buglovsky tomorrow.
Inland Empire 1, Rancho Cucamonga 2 (ANA) (twelve innings)
RHP Juan Sandoval (4.50) continued the good pitching from starters as he went eight innings and gave up four hits while striking out six. LHP Cesar Jimenez (2.57) went the next two and two-thirds and gave up a run on three hits and a walk as he struck out four. RHP Darwin Soto (4.05, L) would get the loss after two-thirds of an inning where he gave up the winning run, on a hit, a wild pitch, and a walk. Little worth noting for the offense, RF Carlos Arroyo (RBI, .351) was 2-5 and 1B Matt Hagen (2B, .222) had the only extra-base hit. LHP Bobby Livingston tomorrow?
Cedar Rapids 1 (ANA), Wisconsin 4
If this is a sign of things to come, then count me as being back on the RHP Brandon Moorhead (4.08, W) bandwagon. He went eight innings tonight, allowing four hits, a wild pitch, and walking one, as he struck out fourteen
. In other words, it was identical to Oldham’s last start, minus a strikeout. I don’t really know how to describe the next play, as RHP Brad Rose (15.00) came in and allowed a runner to reach on an error, which he would later score on, unearned, and without recording an out, he was pulled for LHP Casey Abrams (11.45), who gave up a hit and struck out another in his third, before giving the ball to RHP Mike Hrynio (3.93, S), who struck out two to get the save. Such bullpen usage is atrocious. The top third was at it again, as LF Josh Womack (2B, R, SB, .274) had three hits, and DH Nick Orlandos (R, RBI, .361) and SS Adam Jones (2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI, .271) had two. RF Chris Colton (2B, .240) and C Justin Ruchti (2B, SB, .173) would also contribute doubles, Ruchti walking twice in addition to that. LHP Thom Oldham starts tomorrow, speaking of which.
Everett 5, Vancouver 2 (OAK) (ten innings)
LHP Shawn Nottingham (0.48) had another solid start, but it just wasn’t quite enough this time, as he went six innings and gave up three hits, walked one, and struck out five. RHP Mark Lowe (2.57) would follow, and struggled a bit, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks against three strikeouts in two and two-thirds innings. LHP Brandon Perry (3.12, W) would pick up the win with a hit and a strikeout in his inning and a third. With the bats, SS Oswaldo Navarro (3B, R, RBI, SB, .262) had three hits and 3B Yung-Chi Chen (RBI, 2 SB, .300) and 1B Brandon Green (R, .327). Another extra-base hit was provided by C Omar Falcon (2B, .314), but the real show was the three-run bomb by DH Thomas Hubbard (HR, 3 RBI, .208) to win the game. RHP Aaron Jensen tomorrow.
Peoria Mariners 5, Mesa Cubs 1
Not sure what to put on this one; the box score says Back, but instead, I’m going to assume that it’s Baek, as in RHP Cha Seung Baek (0.00), making a rehab start and going three innings, walking one and striking out three. RHP Jon Lockwood (3.00, W), recently sent down form Everett, went the next three and gave up a run on two hits, a hit batter, and four walks against another three strikeouts. RHP Donald Clement (1.69) went the next two frames, giving up a hit and striking out two, before RHP Stephen Grasley (1.80) finished the game and struck out a batter in his inning. As for one of the other rehabbers down in Peoria, I’d say LF Jaime Bubela (2B, 3B, SB, .429) is about ready, with three hits tonight. Not that I’d know where to put him. The other hit machine, 2B Francisco Gerez (2B, SB, R, RBI, .406), had another two hits and is really looking like he could move up quickly. DH Jeff Flaig (2B, .211) and SS Jeff Dominguez (2B, 2 R, .143) showed some additional power, while 3B Pedro Ozoria (R, 2 RBI, .241) drove in the runs. I’ll also note that the other rehabber, supposedly, C Cesar Quintero (RBI, SB, .263) had a hit. CF John-Austin Emmons (R, CS, .250) was 1-4 in his debut. RHP Jason Snyder tomorrow.
Aguirre 8, Cagua 2 (CIN)
RHP Marwin Vega (4.26) had a short-lived start where he went three innings and gave up two runs on four hits, two wild pitches, a hit batter, and three walks against the same amount of strikeouts. RHP Edgar Guaramato (2.63, W) compensated by going five shutout innings where he allowed just a hit and two walks while striking out four. Overall, I’d say Guaramato is doing pretty well in his transition from a light-hitting infielder to a strikeout pitcher. RHP Diomny Gaetano (2.08) got through the ninth with just a hit, but I guess he’s sticking to the bullpen for now. Another day, another three hits for 2B Luis Valbuena (2B, 3B, R, 5 RBI, .390). I probably shouldn’t say that, because the past few games dropped his average below .400, sadly. Five others, 3B Humberto Espinoza (3 R, .237), RF Jose Graterol (2B, 3B, R, RBI, CS, .353), C Jair Fernandez (RBI, .301), DH Juan Fuentes (.250), and CF Edzul Robles (RBI, .169), had two hits. It’s good to see Fuentes hitting now that he’s back; I’m assuming that the injury was to his throwing arm, as he had been seeing time at third and behind the plate before going on the DL.
Tacoma Rainiers: 45-33, .577, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 36-43, (6-3, 2nd half) .456 (.667), 1st in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 44-34 (5-3), .564 (.625), 2 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 36-42 (5-4), .462 (.556), 1 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 10-5, .667, 1st in NWL West
Peoria Mariners: 6-3, .667, T-1st GB in AZL
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 20-16-1, .554 2 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 18-3, .857, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 215-179-1, .546
The M's have signed top draft pick Matt Tuiasosopo
today. He's probably on his way to or packing for the Arizona League right now, and should be playing there within a few days. My take on Tui? He's probably better than last year's first pick, Adam Jones. Not a major dis on Jones or anything, but I feel as if the local media has hyped him a little. His numbers are pretty good, taken in context of the Midwest League, but I still feel as if a large part of his status is built upon where he was drafted.
Back to Tui, he's really a shortstop in the sense that he was the best athlete on his high school team. Projecting where he'll end up playing the most, I'm tempted to say right field, where his rocket arm would be best suited. He also has the speed to play out there, and I imagine would adjust to the move rather nicely. He's athletic, he has power to all fields, he's generally what you would look for in a projectability from a high schooler, and considering where the M's drafted him, he was probably the best choice with the least risk that they could take (would have liked to see them take a flyer on Justin Maxwell soon after, but oh well). With right field not exactly set in either Everett or Peoria, I think that he'll start out there in Arizona and then probably get a late-season call up to play in front of a local crowd.
Update: The press releases and articles seem to indicate that the M's are fairly set on Tui as a shortstop, for now. That'll work out fairly well in Peoria, seeing as how Dominguez is underperforming, but I don't know where they'd move him to with Ozoria and Gerez set at third and second and Flaig doing most of the DHing. Hopefully, they'll move Gerez up, but I really have no idea where they'd put him right now. As for the possbility of moving Tui up to Everett later in the season, I still believe they'll do it, if only for the PR, but with four different options are shortstop already, I don't think it's as much of a need there. Maybe they'll move one of them to DH for a few games, I don't know.
Portland 6 (SD), Tacoma 7
With the departure of LHP Travis Blackley to the big leagues, RHP Jeff Harris (5.67) made a spot start and was understandably hit around a bit, giving up all six runs on five hits (HR) and three walks against three strikeouts in just three innings of work. RHP Jared Hoerman (6.08) went the next three frames and allowed a hit, a walk, and struck out a batter. LHP Randy Williams (3.43, W) picked up a win after two innings where he allowed a hit and struck out three. A guy we’ll probably be seeing fairly soon, LHP George Sherrill (2.42, S), gave up two hits but struck out the side in the ninth. With the bats, four Rainiers had two hits, including newcomer CF Jeremy Reed (HR, 2 RBI, .500), who was joined by 1B A.J. Zapp (2 HR, 3 RBI, .303), who had caught fire of late, C Jim Horner (2B, HR, .188), just off the DL, and LF Luis Ugueto (2B, 3B, R, .278). RHP Gil Meche tomorrow?
San Antonio 2, Frisco 3 (TEX)
In his Double-A debut, RHP Felix Hernandez (1.50, E) went six innings and gave up a run on seven hits (HR) with a couple walks and eight strikeouts, pretty common fare for him. RHP David Gil (6.35, L) would figure into the loss as he gave up two runs on a hit (HR) and a hit batter with a strikeout in his inning and a third. LHP Tim Rall (3.95) faced on batter, which he walked, before RHP Emiliano Fruto (6.26) took over for the final two outs. Very little offense for the Missions tonight; LF Vince Faison (2B, HR, 2 RBI, .261) had two hits, but that was really just about it. However, I will note, that CF T.J. Bohn (R, SB, .429) was 1-3 and had another stolen base. RHP Rich Dorman tomorrow.
Inland Empire 11, Rancho Cucamonga 3 (ANA)
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (3.50, W) had one of his better outings, going six innings and allowing two runs on eight hits (2 HR!) and a walk against eight strikeouts. After switching back and forth for some time, I believe that Rowland-Smith’s future is in the rotation at Inland. RHP David Viane (4.09) would go the next inning and log a strikeout before giving way to LHP Melvin Pizarro (3.86), who gave up a walk and struck out two in his inning. Last year’s closer, RHP Mike Steele (9.00), came back and gave up a run on three hits, but still managed to get through. I don’t expect Steele to be used in the closer’s role specifically for a while yet. On offense, there were a few three-hit performances, coming from 3B Jesus Guzman (3 R, 2 RBI, E, .307/.408/.439), RF Carlos Arroyo (2 2B, 2 R, RBI, .350), and C Rene Rivera (R, 2 RBI, .269). Two others, CF Gary Harris (R, SB, .272) and 1B Matt Hagen (2B, R, .221), had two hits each. Making the trip up from his rehab stint in Peoria, 2B Michael Garciaparra (R, SB, .176) was 1-4. Tomorrow’s starter is to be announced.
Dayton 0 (CIN), Wisconsin 4
Continuing his streak of good performances, LHP Ryan Feierabend (3.39, E, W) went seven innings, scattering seven hits, hitting a batter, and walking another as he struck out seven. RHP Ruben Castillo (45.00) was used for just one out before LHP Casey Abrams (11.81) finished off that inning with a strikeout along the way. RHP Mike Hrynio (4.01) had two strikeouts in the ninth to preserve the win. The Wisconsin offense really wasn’t all that interesting today; SS Adam Jones (R, .269) had two hits, and RF Chris Colton (R, 2 RBI, .240) had two RBIs, but other than that, there was nothing. RHP Brandon Moorhead tomorrow.
Everett 1, Vancouver 2 (OAK)
RHP Ruben Flores (1.59, L) didn’t have a bad outing, but it wasn’t terribly good either. Flores went six innings and gave up a couple of runs on five hits, two hit batters, a wild pitch, and three walks against three strikeouts. The easy assessment is that he didn’t have the same control this time around as he did when last he pitched. RHP Chad Fillinger (7.50) went the next two innings and had two hits and two punchouts. The offense sputtered a bit as well, with 3B Brandon Green (R, 2 SB, .311) as the only one with two hits. LHP Shawn Nottingham tomorrow!
Aguirre 5, Universidad 6 (FLA/SD)
The pitching was a bit odd on Tuesday, with each of the normally reliable pitchers giving up a two-spot. RHP Felix Correa (1.80) went four and a third innings, allowing four hits, hitting a batter, and walking three as he struck out four. RHP Alfredo Venaga (2.63) went the next three and two-thirds with some similar results, giving up four hits, hitting a batter, balking, walking one, and striking out another, but managing to not give up his inherited runner. In the ninth, RHP Jorge Acosta (5.16, E, L) stepped in and gave up two runs on a hit and three walks, striking out a batter for his only out. For the offense, RF Jose Graterol (2B, 2 R, RBI, SB, .362) packed some punches with his three hits, but 2B Luis Valbuena (2B, HR, 2 R, E, .403) seemed to a get a bit more into his two hits.
Tronconero #2 5 (NYM), Aguirre 6
LHP Jose Jimenez (3.66) had some issues getting started, and only went an inning and two-thirds, giving up two earned on four hits, two wild pitches, and four walks as he struck out three. Luckily, RHP Kelvin Alarcon (3.32, W) stepped in and calmed the flames a bit, going three and two-thirds innings and allowing another two runs to score on three hits, a hit batter, and two walks while he struck out another three. RHP Diomny Gaetano (2.01), filling in during a bit of a rush, got the final five outs and struck out a batter. RF Jose Graterol (2B, E, .363) had a double for the only extra-baser, but primarily, it was the seven walks given up by the Tronconero #2 pitchers that made the difference.
Tronconero #2 3 (NYM), Aguirre 0
In a make-up game, LHP Hugo Castro (2.49, E, L) got his first start of the season and showed noticeable jitters, as he was greeted with two earned runs on six hits, five wild pitches
and three walks while he struck out seven in his five and two-thirds innings. RHP Carlos Figueroa (5.51) pitched the final inning and a third, hit two batters, walked one, and rung up another. There were six hits by Aguirre in this game, but none for extra-bases and no two by the same batter, so I’ll note that 2B Luis Valbuena (.388) was 0-1 with two walks, as it seemed to be the most interesting occurrence
Aguirre 2, San Joaquin 4 (PIT)
RHP Ronald Uviedo (4.50, L) started and went six innings, giving up three runs on nine hits, a wild pitch, and two walks against three strikeouts. His ERA, in other words, didn’t move. RHP Daniel Yerovi (2.16, E) got only one out and gave up an unearned run on a hit and two walks before RHP Irvin Rodriguez (2.84) pitched the final inning and two-thirds rather uneventfully. No multi-hits again, but contributing the extra-base knocks were 1B Pablo Orfila (2B, RBI, .226) and DH Juan Fuentes (2B, .226), who returns after a long absence from the lineup, possibly due to injury. SS Deybis Benitez (3 E, .264) was pulled for his defensive miscues and replaced by PH/SS Terry Serrano (.350). Given Serrano’s defensive reputation, ouch.
Tacoma Rainiers: 44-33, .571, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 35-43, (5-3, 2nd half) .449 (.625), 1st in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 44-33 (5-2), .571 (.714), 1 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 35-42 (4-4), .455 (.500), 1 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 9-5, .643, 1st in NWL West
Peoria Mariners: 5-3, .625, 1 GB in AZL
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 19-16-1, .542 2 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 18-3, .857, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 209-178-1, .539
Well, those rumors turned out to be true, only a couple of days later than expected. LHP Travis Blackley has been added to the 40 and 25-man rosters and is scheduled to make his major league debut tonight
, wearing number 48. Overall, I can't deny the logic behind this move. With the recent struggles of Nags (granted, I don't think any rookie pitcher WANTS to face the Rangers right now), this only makes sense. Blackley doesn't have much, if anything left to prove, and Nageotte needs to work on his fastball and change-up locations so that his slider isn't the only pitch he can throw for strikes.
Still, in the next couple of days, C Pat Borders is a likely candidate to be sent down, and due to his lack of options, I believe that could remove him from the roster entirely, allowing LHP George Sherrill to slip in and most likely become a strong force out of the pen for years to come.
I'm doing the dual recap today because it gave me a chance to catch up on some thing while SportsNetwork was down... To compensate for the delays, I do have some addition info in the Peoria section for today, courtesy of a recent e-mail.
Tacoma 2, Sacramento 6 (OAK)
LHP Craig Anderson (6.02) may be getting back to last year's form, as he went five innings last night allowing two runs on five hits (HR) and four walks as he struck out seven. RHP Jeff Harris (4.13) didn't fare quite as well in his two innings, giving up four runs on four hits and a walk. LHP Tim Christman (6.35) pitched the eighth and had a strikeout. On offense, 3B Greg Dobbs (.345) and CF Elpidio Guzman (2B, .282) both had two hits, while C Jorge Maduro (3B, R, .192) looks like he could be heating up. LHP Travis Blackley will be pitching tomorrow, the delay in his start was only due to a bullpen session where he was working on his change-up, but nonetheless it was topic of much debate as the fans want to see something, anything, happen. Speaking of which, Jeremy Reed is likely to make his Rainiers debut tomorrow, and certainly that will be worth seeing.
San Antonio 2, Frisco 6 (TEX)
RHP Juan Done (5.94) started and couldn't keep his pace up, allowing four earned on seven hits and four walks with only one strikeout. LHP Chris Key (5.10) pitched for the next three innings, striking out four, before giving way to RHP David Gil (4.15) for the final two innings, where Gil gave up a run on three hits as he rung up two. On the offense it was only the one-through-three hitters that were doing anything of note; CF Vince Faison (HR, .237) homered and was 1-4, 2B Hunter Brown (R, SB, .290) was 1-3 and was hit by a pitch, and RF Shin-Soo Choo (3B, RBI, .296) had a triple. To show how short-handed the Missions are, they had Oliveros playing third base, where he did make an error.
San Antonio 3, Frisco 1 (TEX)
LHP Phil Devey (3.00) went six innings on the night, giving up a run while recording three each of hits, walks, and strikeouts. RHP Aaron Taylor (4.91, W) would pick up the win with a perfect relief effort, and I mean perfect, three strikeouts. RHP Renee Cortez (5.32) followed with an innings worth of two hits and a strikeout, while RHP Rick Guttormson (4.05, S) did the same in the ninth, minus a hit. The new guy, CF T.J. Bohn (R, RBI, SB, .500), and two others, C Ryan Christianson (.250) and 2B Rob Gandolfo (R, .231), had two hits. Only one extra-base hit in the entire game, and that came for Frisco. RHP Felix Hernandez makes his Double-A debut tomorrow.
Dayton 0 (CIN), Wisconsin 6
LHP Jason Mackintosh (3.15, W) had another superb start, going seven innings without allowing a run, six hits, a hit batter, and three walks against ten strikeout
. I like how every night recently, I've been able to do something like that... RHP Mike Hrynio (4.13) pitched the last two and had a strikeout to show for it. RF Wladimir Balentien (3B, HR, 3 R, .275) led the offense with three hits last night, as DH Nick Orlandos (.333), SS Adam Jones (3 RBI, SB, .269), and CF Michael Nesbit (R, RBI, .333) logged two each. LF Josh Womack (2B, R, .269) also had a double.
Dayton 8 (CIN), Wisconsin 6 (ten innings)
RHP Nibaldo Acosta (4.24) was doing all right tonight, going six innings and allowing two on five hits (HR), two hit batters, and four walks against seven strikeouts. RHP Kenly Chang (4.73) went for an inning and a third and gave up two runs on three hits with a strikeout. The game was finished off, and lost, by RHP Bryan Stitt (4.46, S), as he went two and two-thirds giving up four runs on five hits (HR) and a strikeout. Seems like the same bug bit both Bryans... DH Nick Orlandos (3B, 2 R, SB, .377) had four hits tonight and looks like he's in his 2003 Aquasox MVP form, if not better. Two others, 3B Eric Blakeley (2B, R, .323) and C Chris Collins (2B, R, RBI, .242) had three hits, while yet another two, 1B Bryan Lahair (2B, 2 RBI, .313) and LF Wladimir Balentien (HR, 2 RBI, .280), had two hits. Balentien's really been on fire for the past few days, which is quite good to see. LHP Ryan Feierabend tomorrow.
Spokane 3 (TEX), Everett 5
Sort of an odd bit of pitching last night for the Aquasox. LHP Kendall Bergdall (1.88) started the game and went three and a third innings, giving up two runs on six hits, a hit batter, a balk, and three walsk as he struck out only one. RHP Mumba Rivera (1.08, W) went the next three and two-thirds without a run, two hits, a walk, and three strikeouts. In the role I envisioned him taking to start the year, only in Wisconsin, LHP Brandon Perry (3.68, S) closed out the final two innings of the game with two hits leading to a run and a couple of strikeouts. On the offense, DH Rob Johnson (2B, 2 R, RBI, SB, .667) had three hits to lead the team on the night. LF Mike Wilson (.275) and 1B Luis Soto (SB, .200) both had two hits, and the three-through-five hitters, SS Asdrubal Cabrera (2B, R, 2 RBI, .429), back in action, 3B Brandon Green (3B, RBI, .263), and 2B Yung-Chi Chen (2B, RBI, .294), all hit ones for extra bases.
Spokane 8 (TEX), Everett 9
I see a win in the column and think, great, RHP Ivan Blanco (12.10) finally got back on track. Well, not exactly. In four and two-thirds innings, Blanco gave up four runs on five hits (HR), a hit batter, a wild pitch, and two walks against eight strikeouts. Those strikeouts are the plus side of things, because they were pretty constnat throughout and if he's able to do that, then his control is probably getting better. LHP Vance Hall (6.14, W) followed for two innings and ended up giving Spokane two runs on three hits and a walk against three strikeouts. RHP Phil Cullen (3.38) would step in after that and give up a run on two hits and a walk before giving way to RHP Cibney Bello (10.38, S) who gave up a run on a walk and a hit while striking out another. RF Mike Wilson (2 R, .318) had three hits and has been on a real tear of late; surprising, for someone who repeated the Arizona League. On the two hit end, 2B Oswaldo Navarro (2 R, RBI, .211) and 3B Brandon Green (HR, 3 RBI, .293) represented, while C Rob Johnson (2B, R, RBI, .500), finally getting some work behind the plate, SS Asdrubal Cabrera (HR, 2 RBI, .419), and LF Casey Craig (2B, .314) had the extra-basers. RHP Ruben Flores tomorrow!
Peoria Mariners 4, Pheonix Athletics 7
RHP Jason Snyder (0.00) started it off with three innings in which he gave up a walk and two strikeouts but nothing else. RHP Tyrone Lamont (6.43, L) had a rougher going in his three innings, allowing five earned runs on six hits (HR), a wild pitch, and three walks against a couple of strikeouts. Some members of Lamont's family recently e-mailed me concerning his signing, and they have informed me that there are only around 250 U19 baseball players in South Africa (out of about 50 million!) and that baseball isn't even played on the college and high school level. There are only four teams in the state that he is from, and they only play twelve games a season. For him to be signed out of that type of a baseball enviroment, well, it's quite an accomplishment. Big thanks to Tyrone and his family for the info, and hello to those reading. RHP Steve Grasley (2.25) allowed a run on three hits with a couple of strikeouts in his inning, before giving way to RHP Roman Martinez (18.00), who had a hit and a strikeout in his inning, but nothing else. LF Jaime Bubela (HR, 2 RBI, .364) did his part of the damage by logging two hits, including the home run. Wonder where they'll put him when he's ready... In other rehabbing notes 2B Michael Garciaparra (R, .286) was 1-4 while being hit by a pitch. 1B Chao Kuan Wu (2B, RBI .176) also hit his first double of the year. I recognize that by the time this is published, the box score will be lost, so I'll add that DH Danny Santin (R, .450) was 1-3 while being hit by a pitch, RF Reynaldo Cruz (.235) was 1-3 with a walk, and C Gregory Slee (.000), in his first appearance behind the plate the plate this year, was 0-2 with a couple of walks.
Mesa Angels 4, Peoria Mariners 7
I'm not sure what to say about it, but despite being selected in the NFL draft not long ago and playing outfield most recently, RHP
Matt Ware (6.00) got the start tonight. He went three innings and gave up two earned on three hits (HR), a hit batter, a wild pitch, and a balk against five strikeouts. LHP Julio Santiago (0.00) went the next four and didn't even allow a man to reach base as he struck out eight
. Ordinarily, I don't break out the bold-italics for just eight, but considering the peripherals, and what he's done in the VSL before, watch out for this kid. LHP Michael Ciccotelli (15.00) gave up a run on two hits with a strike out in his inning, then RHP Eric Carter (0.00, S) got the save with a couple of strikeouts in the ninth. Lots of hitting on the offense, as CF Jermaine Brock (2B, .400), DH Jaime Bubela (R, .375), RF David Hall (2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, .333), 3B Pedro Ozoria (2B, 2 R, RBI, .250) and SS Francisco Gerez (.407) all had two hits a piece. Showing some additional power were C Chao Kuan Wu (2B, R, RBI, .200) and 1B Rayon Lampe (2B, SB, .200). The other rehabber, 2B Michael Garciaparra (R, RBI, .273), was 1-4. Peoria has the day off tomorrow.
I'm guessing there have been storms running through Venezuela, because I haven't seen and box scores for two days.
In the Dominican, RHP Carlos Colon recently had a 10 K game and jumped to fourth on the leaderboard with 27. Sterling Soto seems to hae moved to the rotation as he's now fourth on the ERA list at 1.06. Otherwise, not much to note since last time.
Tacoma Rainiers: 43-33, .566, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 35-42, (5-2, 2nd half) .455 (.714), 1st in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 43-33 (4-2), .566 (.667), 2 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 34-42 (3-4), .447 (.429), 2 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 9-4, .692, 1st in NWL West
Peoria Mariners: 5-3, .625, 1 GB in AZL
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 18-13-1, .578 1 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 18-3, .857, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 205-173-1, .541
Quickly, before I call it a night, I've found out from the papers that Fulmer has been demoted from San Antonio to make room for Hernandez, and the transaction update
from earlier now reflects that.
Tacoma 21, Sacramento 4 (OAK)
Conventional verbs aren't just going to do it this time, so I'm saying that Sacramaneto got flogged tonight. RHP Gustavo Martinez (4.59, W) went the five inning minimum and allowed four runs on seven hits (HR), a hit batter, two wild pitches, and three walks while striking out seven. RHP Scott Atchison (3.81) and RHP Adny Shibilo (10.61) split the next four innings, both allowing a hit, Atchison striking out four and thrwoing a wild pitch, Shibilo striking out one. I'm sure the Sacramento batters were just demoralized by that time. Every Rainier batter got at least one hit tonight, in fact, Santiago and Jacobsen were the only ones with just one. 1B A.J. Zapp (2B, 5 R, 3 RBI, .304) managed to get five hits tonight. LF Luis Ugueto (3B, 2 R, 4 RBI, .278) and 3B Greg Dobbs (HR, 2 R, 6 RBI) both had four, Dobbs getting the only homer and leading in RBI. SS Justin Leone (3B, 3 R, 3 RBI, .269) and C Jorge Maduro (2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, .182) were in the three-hit group, while CF Elpidio Guzman (2 R, RBI, .279) and RF Greg Jacobs (2 R, RBI, .225) had the two-hits. Good to see Zapp and Dobbs back above .300, but in an odd note, no stolen bases for either team tonight. LHP Craig Anderson tomorrow.
San Antonio 4, Frisco 0 (TEX)
The Missions seem to be developing the same spirit that carried last year's Inland Empire team to a league title, and things are only going to get better for them, from the looks of it. RHP Chris Buglovksy (2.89) started and went five innings allowing just one hit, hitting a batter, and striking out three. RHP Emiliano Fruto (6.37) went the next inning, allowed two walks and rung up two. LHP Jared Thomas (1.40) pitched the next inning and two-thirds, allowing one hit, before the game was wrapped up by RHP Rick Guttormson (4.15, S), who had one each of hits, walks, and strikeouts. CF Dustin Delucchi (2B, R, .298) had two hits, but has been struggling of late, going below .300 for the first time this season. No other big hits worth noting, but RF Shin-Soo Choo (R, RBI, 3 SB, .296) seems to be honing his speed on the basepaths, and is now up to seventeen steals. RHP Juan Done tomorrow.
Dayton 0 (CIN), Wisconsin 6
Well, Inland Empire won't be in the market for a new starter soon (Fulmer was demoted), but otherwise I would endorse LHP Thom Oldham (3.03, W). He went eight innings tonight, allowed four hits, hit a batter, gave up a walk, and rung up fifteen batters
, at one point getting six outs in a row as such. Oldhams now leading the league in strikeouts at 102. Anyone see that one coming? Anyone? RHP Brad Rose (15.00) seemed safe enought to pitch in the ninth, six-run lead and all, and he threw a wild pitch, walked a batter, and struck out another. A few T-Rats, DH Nick Orlandos (2B, .311), LF Wladimir 'Hammer' Balentien (2B, 3B, R, RBI, .264), and 2B Michael Cox (R, RBI, .248) had two hits each. But more interesting were the home runs: CF Michael Nesbit (HR, 2 RBI, .320) and 1B Bryan Lahair (HR, .375), who both hit their first home runs in the Midwest League yesterday, hit their second home runs today. LHP Jason Mackintosh tomorrow.
Spokane 18 (TEX), Everett 9
Not quite the embarassment Sacramaneto faced, but let me get something out right away to save time: every Aquasox pitcher gave up a home run, four of those going to the same batter. RHP Aaron Jensen (3.68, L) started this whole thing and went four and two-thirds, giving up four runs on six hits, two walks, and striking out two. RHP Cibney Bello (10.80) went the next four outs and gave up a run for each, two hits, a hit batter, and a walk against a couple of strikeouts. LHP Vance Hall (5.06) went for the next inning and a third and gave up two earned on two hits and a walk with a strikeout. RHP Joseph Woerman (12.46) went for two-thirds, giving up four runs of his own and one of Hall's on four hits, a hit batter, and wild pitch with another strikeout. RHP Kenny Falconer (12.46) went the final inning and gave up three runs on two hits and a hit batter with another two strikeouts. For the offense, newcomer DH Rob Johnson (R, .600) and RF Mike Wilson (HR, 3 RBI, .243) both had three hits. Three others, CF Brent Johnson (R, SB, .424), 1B Thomas Hubbard (2B, 2 R, RBI, .273), and LF Casey Craig (R, RBI, SB, .313), had two. 3B Brandon Green (HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, .265) also hit his first home run. LHP Kendall Bergdall tomorrow.
Peoria Mariners 14, Arizona Brewers 7
RHP Oliver Arias (2.70, W), started and went five innings giving up three runs on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts. RHP Terry Forbes (0.00) went the next inning, giving up a hit and a walk, before giving way to RHP Tim Dorn (0.00) who threw a wild pitch after hitting a batter, but struck out two. RHP Mike Steele (9.00) is still rehabbing, and it shows, as he went two innings and gave up four runs on three hits, a hit batter, and a wild pitch, though he did manage to strike out four. Speaking of rehabbers, SS Michael Garciaparra (3B, 2 R, RBI, E, .333) turned up down in Peoria today.
I was going to make a crack about the error or the .333 average, but he hit a triple, and that's all right by me. Fellow rehabber DH Jaime Bubela (2 R, RBI, .286) went 1-4 as well. Back on the real offense, C Danny Santin (HR, 2 R, .471) is certainly looking like a hell of a draft-and-follow signing, going 4-5 tonight (and he's left-handed too!). RF David Hall (2 R, .429) and CF Jermaine Brock (2B, R, RBI, .400) both were two-for, though Brock was pulled after two at-bats, possibly just to get everyone else in. DH Jeff Flaig (2 RBI, .188) also made an appearance and was 1-2.
Ciudad Alianza 7 (BOS), Aguirre 1
This was the wrap-up of June 7th's suspended game. RHP Marwin Vega (4.03, L) was unimpressive in his start, going two and a third innings and giving up two runs on five hits, a wild pitch, and three walks against two strikeouts. RHP Alejandro Gutierrez (4.09) labored for three innings of relief after that, and I do mean labor, as he gave up five runs on eight hits, three wild pitches, a balk, and two walks as he struck out four. RHP Daniel Yerovi (2.20) followed with an inning and two-thirds of nothing. Well, it finally happened. 2B Luis Valbuena (2B, R, .402) finally broke .400, with three hits in this game. RF Jose Graterol (2 SB, .333) was also 1-3, no extra-base hits or anything, but I thought the two stolen bases was worth noting.
Ciudad Alianza 3 (BOS), Aguirre 6
This one was actually today's game, but it was one of those weak seven inning ones. Oh well, RHP Carlos Figueroa (6.59) started and gave up three runs on three hits, a hit batter, a wild pitch, and four walks. RHP Alejandro Gutierrez (3.14) went the next three and a third, determined to put the demons to rest, and held them to two hits and a strikeout without allowing any of his three inheritted runners to score. Every guy that stepped to the plate at least oen got a hit today. But more notably, RF Jose Graterol (2B, R, RBI, SB, .347) and C Jair Fernandez (2 RBI, .296) had two. 3B Luis Valbuena (2 R, SB, .400) was also 1-3 with a walk, and 2B Terry Serrano (.355) was 1-2 with two walks. Not bad at all.
Tacoma Rainiers: 43-32, .573, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 34-41, (4-1, 2nd half) .453 (.850), 1st in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 43-33 (4-2), .566 (.667), 2 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 33-41 (2-3), .446 (.400), 2 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 7-4, .636, T-1st in NWL West
Peoria Mariners: 4-2, .600, 1 GB in AZL
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 18-13-1, .578 1 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 17-2, .895, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 199-168-1, .542
According to a report from the Missions radio station, KKYX, and InsideThePark correspondant Joe Ruiz, RHP Felix Hernandez and RF T.J. Bohn are being promoted from the Inland Empire Sixty-Sixers to the San Antonio Missions. To make room, RF Cristian Guerrero has been traded to the Anaheim Angels for a player to be named later and RHP T.A. Fulmer has been sent down. Both players will report to San Antonio following the All-Star game on Tuesday.
, 18, has been putting up Triple Crown numbers in the Cal League for a while now. He's fifth in ERA (2.74), second in innings pitched (92, behind Livingston's 108.1), and tops in strikeouts (114, 14 more than the next guy). Is this move necessary? Probably not, there's a bit of risk involved in this, and in the unlikely event he screws up, it could be damaging to his confidence. Risky, yes, but it's a bit uncharacteristic for the M's as well, and seems to signify a newfound commitment towards youth. Either way, earlier conservative estimates of Felix by 2007 seem a bit too late now.
, 24, trailed off a bit after I named him player of the month in April
. His April line was .338/.432/.500, but his current line is .283/.413/.433, which while good, is a serious dropoff in average, and by association, power. He's managed to maintain his on-base percentage by taking the 2003 Justin Leone route, i.e. walking once or twice a game even when he isn't hitting. Check the overall Cal League standings; he's tied for fourth in the league in taking walks. Sixers broadcaster Mike Saeger didn't seem to believe that Bohn was ready for Double-A when I suggested it before, but the point is really moot right now. I'd be tempted to suggest the change will be good, after all, Bohn's one of my favorites and I'm pulling for him to succeed, but the Texas League is a bit worse for hitters. Raw park factor numbers have Arrowhead Credit Union Park listed as a 867 in 1160 league; Wolff Stadium is a 894 park in a 1061 league. The going won't be easy...
, 23, is your proof for how difficult the jump from high-A to Double-A can be. Last year his line for Inland Empire was .278/.327/.438, but in San Antonio (might I add, he could not hit at home), it was .224/.256/.393. Now he leaves to join his cousin with the Halos, possibly in a sort of PR move, if you will. Guerrero still has some intriguing tools, namely, his power and his arm, and he's still fairly young (six months younger the Bohn), but he doesn't look like anything more than a journeyman right now. No big loss right now, and shouldn't net much of an acquisition either. Regardless, the PTBNL will be added here when I find out exactly who that is.
, 24, is in the same boat as Bohn is, really. Maybe the stars are misalligned, you know, their birthdays are only three days apart. Anyway, Fulmer was co-ace with Bobby Livingston back in April, going 2-0 with an 0.75 ERA, 26 Ks in 24 innings, .151 opposing batting average. Truly, he was pitching incredibly, but since then he kind of hit a wall, and just as he was starting to get things together in Inland (those stats now 3-4, 2.24, 53 in 57.1, and .242), he gets promoted to San Antonio, has one great start, and pretty much is horrible the rest of the time. A 6.20 ERA in Double-A just doesn't cut it. Overally, though it's typically been HIGHLY uncharacteristic of the M's to demote players until this year, this is a good thing, and it just goes to show you the risks involved when sending a pitcher up before their time. Again, not like Felix can't handle it, just an example.
The VSL decided to do something uncharacteristic yesterday and play on a Sunday. The recap has now been added to the post below. Also, for those looking for the unique J perspective on the trade, that's been buried underneath the recaps from yesterday.
Tacoma 8, Sacramento 7 (OAK)
LHP Bobby Madritsch (3.51) is back, maybe for real this time, though he went three innings and gave up three earned on five hits and two walks with a punchout. RHP Jared Hoerman (6.85) went the next three and gave up a hit and had two each in walks and strikeouts. LHP Tim Christman (6.97) tried to give it up with two-thirds where he gave up three on two hits, a hit batter, two walks, and two strikeouts. LHP Randy Williams (3.59, W) got the final out for him. Meanwhile, LHP George Sherrill (2.47, S) picked up the save after a hit, two walks (unusual) and two strikeouts. 1B A.J. Zapp (2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, .292) decided he felt left out of the homer party and decided to hit two bombs of his own. CF Elpidio Guzman (2B, 2 R, .279) also picked up two hits in Strong's usual spot. LHP Travis Blackley tomorrow!
Peoria 15 (STL), Wisconsin 5
The T-Rats were actually doing okay, until a thirteen-run seventh. RHP Brandon Moorhead (4.66, L) started this whole thing as was all right until he couldn't get an out in the seventh. Overall, he pitched six innings and gave up an earned run on six hits, a balk, and three walks while he struck out seven. Then came and out's worth of RHP Juan Ovalles (6.57), and a little Ovalles can go a long way, four earned, three hits and a walk. Then RHP Ruben Castillo (67.50), sent down to help out in the thin Wisconsin bullpen, did the exact opposite and gave up five runs on six hits (HR). Of course, there were also a number of errors mixed in there. How about this: LHP Casey Abrams (12.60) gave up a hit, but no runs in his inning. RHP Bryan Stitt (3.82, E), in what was most definately not a save opportunity, gave up an earned run on two hits (HR). On the offense, which wasn't all that bad, 3B Michael Cox (2 2B, 2 R, .243), 1B Bryan Lahair (2B, HR, 3 RBI, .500), and LF Michael Nesbit (HR, 2 RBI, .326) had two hits each and did all of the damage. Both home runs were firsts for Lahair and Nesbit. Also, in some added notes, when Wiscosnin added Castillo and Lahair, they released Evel Bastida-Martinez and Bryan Heaston. Well, at least I won't have to type up that long last name again, but I don't really view this as much of a loss. LHP Thom Oldham tomorrow.
Spokane 1 (TEX), Everett 11
LHP Shawn Nottingham (0.71, W) is looking like a steal in the thirteenth round of last year. Nottingham went six and two-thirds tonight, allowing a run on three hits, a hit batter, and two walks while striking out ten
, K'ing eight-straight batters at one point. RHP Mark Lowe (0.00) finished off the game with two hits, a walk and strikeout overall. Every night seems to be a big night for the Aquasox batters, particularly CF/3B Brandon Green (2B, 3 RBI, .429), who was 4-5 out of the leadoff spot. C Brian Schweiger (HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, .500) was 3-3 with a walk and crossed the plate every time he came up. In the two-hit group were 2B Yung-Chi Chen (2B, 2 R, 2 SB, .310) and DH Michael Wilson (2 R, RBI, .188). 1B Thomas Hubbard (HR, .167) also had his first home run in his first full game on the team. Speaking of first full games, expect RF Rob Johnson (R, N/A) to make one soon, only behind the plate and not in the outfield. I've also found out that Cabrera is on the shelf after he strained his back in the most recent game he played, where I believe he was 3-3 before being pulled. RHP Aaron Jensen tomorrow.
Arizona Royals 4, Peoria Mariners 2
LHP Robert Fagan (2.70, L) could be getting things straightened out in Peoria, going five innings today with an earned run on four hits (HR),. a hit batter, and a walk with three strikeouts. RHP Donald Clement (2.70) followed with two innings of work where he allowed a run on a hit, a hit batter, and two walks against two strikeouts. RHP Matthew Sundstrom (0.00) got into some twouble in his two-thirds, hitting one and walking two, but RHP Eric Carter (0.00) got him out of it and went the final four outs giving up a hit, throwing a wild pitch, and striking out two. RF David Hall (2 R, SB, .364) and 2B Francisco Gerez (.474) both had two hits. How about Gerez? He's only 19, you know. LF Jaime Bubela (RBI, .333) also made a rehab appearance down in Peoria, which is good to see. RHP Oliver Arias tomorrow.
Cagua 5 (CIN), Aguirre 6
Pitching was a little crazy tonight. The usual closer (one of them at least), RHP Diomny Gaetano (2.37, W), made a start and went five innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out nine
. Gaetano will turn twenty in November, but he's put up good numbers all around throughout and I think he could be good to go to the U.S. next year, provided he keeps pace. RHP Edgar Guaramato (3.22) went the next two and athird with two hits, a walk, and four strikeouts, before giving way to LHP Hugo Castro (1.74) who walked a batter and cranked out a wild pitch before being pulled without recording an out. RHP Ronald Uviedo (4.50) made an unusual relief appearance, more unusual was his performance of three runs allowed on two hits, two walks, and two strikeouts. RHP Daniel Yerovi (2.45) had a two-thirds of an inning stint after that, but nothing happened. The three major offensive threats of the Aguirre team were at it again tonight, as 2B Luis Valbuena (2 2B, R, RBI, .389), RF Jose Graterol (HR, 2 R, .330), and SS Terry Serrano (R, RBI, SB, CS, E, .352) all had three hits. Will Valbuena bat over .400? Will Graterol lead the league in homers? Will Serrano have more errors than games started? Only time will tell. C Jair Fernandez (2B, R, RBI, .284) also picked up two hits, and 1B Gerardo Avila (2B, R, RBI, .317) had his second double.
As for the trade, big topic on everyone's mind, I really don't feel I can say much of anything that the guys at USS Mariner
and Leone For Third
aren't already saying. I will provide some of my opinions on this, which runs like such...
* The press is viewing this move as horribly demoralizing to the team. I suppose htis makes sense, but it's hard to fully comprehend what a pitcher like Garcia can mean to a team, on and off the field, until he's gone. To hear the opinions for Pineiro and others, I don't know... the trade is most definately good for the organization, great really, but I would like to see Garcia back in the winter.
* Olivo is really icing on the cake, as he seems to answer our questions at catcher for the forseeable future. At this point, I'm not entirely certain about the bat of Luis Oliveros down in San Antonio, but Rene Rivera at Inland Empire is looking like a stud. Olivo gives us more stability at that position than Davis ever did, really.
* Reed is Snelling, minus injuries and plus some speed and power (speaking of which, what role does this play in Snelling's future?). He's good, he'll be ready next year, but he doesn't really answer our questions in center. It could be possible that Reed will move Ibanez to first next year, seeing as how Melvin would sooner stop bunting as move Ichiro from right. It would be a definate upgrade at first offensively, but not what I think a lot of people would like. Of course, I could be wrong, and they could try Reed in center anyway, where he shouldn't be bad, but probably not good, especially considering Safeco.
* Morse, as everyone is suggesting, is really rather horrible defensively (BA describes him as having only adequate range). He's displayed some pop recently, possibly enough to move him to third, but really, if he's that bad there, I'd question if I want him there. Also, Birmingham, while in a worse hitters league overall (ever so slightly), is a lot better to hit in than Wolff Stadium is. To be quite honest, I don't really know what to think of him or his future in the organization.
Tacoma Rainiers: 42-32, .568, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 33-41, (3-1, 2nd half) .446 (.750), T-1st in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 43-33 (4-2), .566 (.667), 2 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 32-41 (1-3), .438 (.250), 2 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 7-3, .700, 1st in NWL West
Peoria Mariners: 3-2, .600, 2 GB in AZL
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 17-12-1, .583 1.5 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 17-2, .895, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 193-165-1, .539
News around the minors...
InsideThePark.com has published an article of mine on the successes of the Venezuelan Summer League
, as well as some players to watch down there. Acosta was hit pretty hard in his outing immediately following the writing of this article, so substitute in Columbian RHP Marwin Vega. Better yet, I will, at the end of the month, as I seem to be covering both the Venezuelan and Dominican Leagues for ITP now. I'm hoping to get together some stateside coverage too up in Everett... at least the affiliates, I don't know about the players.
Joe Ruiz, our Missions beat writer, put up a pitcher profile on San Antonio LHRP Jared Thomas
. This is the first in what we hope to make an ongoing feature, but it's basically designed to show how he grips his pitches and what has been effective for him, photos included.
Also by Ruiz is an article on OF John-Austin Emmons
. I know you're probably sitting there wondering, "who?" The M's run tryout camps in various regions of the country; they recently ran one in Everett Memorial Stadium, they typically have one down in the San Bernadino area, and of course, at Wolff Stadium, home of the San Antonio Missions. Emmons is the first player to be signed out of the San Antonio tryout camp in its history. A former two-way player, Emmons has decided to go with baseball over football, and helped his case by displaying some of the best tools in the camp. Best of all, the M's didn't blow a draft pick on him in the first ten rounds.
Just as an added note, all of those articles are freely accessible, so don't worry about signing up or anything.
Back in the local papers, for San Bernadino, there's an article on C Rene Rivera
, one of the five Sixers All-Stars. Rivera is regarded by some as the premier defensive catcher in the league, as well as the top catcher in the organization itself (Christianson is coming back, though...) He seems to haveearned the trust of the pitchers both in his game-calling and defensive abilities, which is good to see. I think that catching will be one of the strengths of the system in future years, which should only make sense as pitching, since the opening of Safeco, has also been one of those strengths.