For those wondering about how Felix Hernandez has jumped over San Francisco's Matt Cain on most prospect charts recently, look no further than today's chat at Baseball America
Q: Mike Marinaro from Tampa, FL asks:
John: I've been picketing outside Baseball America's headquarters. My sign reads "Felix Hernandez is the NOT the best pitcher in the minor leagues. That title belongs to Matt Cain." Nobody has stopped me or told me to move on down the block yet. A hot dog vendor told me to wait until Cole Hamels gets healthy. I replied "what about Greg Miller?" LOL How can Cain, who we KNOW is 19 years old, NOT be the number 1 pitching prospect in baseball?
A: John Manuel: Hernandez vs. Cain . . . Doubt Hernandez' age all you like, it's fine; I'll just remind you that Matt Cain already has had an arm injury (elbow stress fracture). Hernandez hasn't even been allowed to throw his 90 mph slider; it's yet to come, but he has shown it in side work, along with an 82-84 mph curve, wicked hard change in the mid to upper 80s and a fastball he throws every bit as hard as Matt Cain. Cain has had a great year by showing great stuff and staying healthy. They're very similar in some ways. The consensus, however, sounds like Cain is in the discussion but behind Hernandez.
For the record, I tried to ask about how Jesus Guzman stacked up against other third basemen and how he would project as a prospect and as part of the M's system, but I think they've learned to ignore me because I keep asking weird things like that.
Just as I was thinking I could get back on track with the blog, some things have come up and it looks like I might be delayed a bit yet again. I'm currently trying to put together another notebook type-piece on the Venezuelan Summer League for ITP, and that's going to postpone tonight's recaps, which is disappointing to me because Tui just got his average back to .500. I'm thinking Sunday is when I'll be back and ready to work on the recaps, and a lot of other content I've been meaning to get to. I swear, summer's aren't usually this hectic for me.
Tacoma 2, Portland 5 (SD)
RHP Gustavo Martinez (4.61, L) was his usual self, at least his Triple-A self, going five innings and giving up four runs on six hits (HR) and two walks against two strikeouts. RHP Jeff Harris (6.00) went the next two innings, giving up a run on two hits (HR) and a walk before passing the ball to RHP Scott Atchison (4.31) who gave up a hit and rung up a batter in his inning. On offense, SS Jose Lopez (2B, R, .287) had a couple of hits, including what I think is the first to go for extra-bases since he returned. LF Luis Ugueto (3B, R, .251) and 3B Greg Dobbs (2B, RBI, .297) also had ones go for multiple bases.
Tacoma 9, Portland 3 (SD)
Nags! RHP Clint Nageotte (4.89, W) was perfect through three, and went six innings overall, giving up three runs on six hits (HR) and a walk with four strikeouts. LHP Randy Williams (3.27) went the next two innings, giving up a hit and a walk while striking out three, then LHP Tim Christman (4.50) had a hit and a strikeout in the ninth. LF Jamal Strong (2 R, 2 SB, .313) and RF Greg Jacobs (3 R, 2 RBI, SB, .270) both had three hits to lead the offense, and 1B A.J. Zapp (HR, 2 R, .292) had two. Contributing additional power for the Rainiers were SS Jose Lopez (2B, RBI, .285) and 3B Greg Dobbs (2B, R, .293). This win stopped a five-game losing streak for the Rainiers that saw them drop out of first, but LHP Matt Thornton starts tomorrow.
Frisco 15 (TEX), San Antonio 6
RHP Felix Hernandez (4.79, L) struggled for the fist time in Double-A, going only two and two-thirds innings and giving up six runs on six hits (HR), drilling three batters (ouch!), throwing a wild pitch, and giving up a walk against just one strikeout. LHP Jared Thomas (3.38) didn’t fare much better, getting through two and a third innings and giving up five runs on five hits, two wild pitches, and three walks against a couple of strikeouts. LHP Renee Cortez (5.23) gave up just one hit and hit one batter over his inning and two-thirds, then LHP Tim Rall (4.69) was roughed up in the next inning and a third, giving up four runs on three hits (HR) and two walks against two strikeouts. LHP Chris Key (4.78) pitched the final inning and gave up two hits. On offense, RF Shin-Soo Choo (HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .305), SS Michael Morse (R, 2 RBI, .296), and C Luis Oliveros (2B, RBI, .243) had two hits and all the power for the Missions.
San Antonio 0, Arkansas 7 (ANA)
RHP Rich Dorman (4.18, L) allowed three earned runs on eight hits (2 HR!), a wild pitch, and three walks against eight strikeouts over six innings. RHP Emiliano Fruto (6.31) went the last two innings and gave up three runs, on three hits and three walks, again, maddeningly inconsistent. Sadly, the only thing worth noting on offense was 3B Hunter Brown (.289) going 1-3 with a walk. RHP Chris Buglovsky tomorrow.
Lake Elsinore 8 (SD), Inland Empire 7
RHP Greg Wear (5.50) started this one and had an outing that can be expected from a guy who hasn’t pitched in a while. During his five innings, he gave up five earned runs on ten hits (HR) and a walk with four strikeouts. RHP Tanner Watson (5.14, L) went the next four and two-thirds, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks against three strikeouts before LHP Miguel Martinez (5.80) struck out a batter for the final out. With the bats, LF Jon Nelson (2B, HR, 3 RBI, .292) had three hits, CF Gary Harris (3B, R, .263) and 2B Michael Garciaparra (2B, R, 3 RBI, .184) had two, and DH Josh Ellison (2B, R, .324) had an additional extra-base knock.
Lake Elsinore 5 (SD), Inland Empire 8
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (3.74, W) had a good display of both his value in the rotation and his potential for the Australian Olympic team. He went seven innings, allowing three runs on four hits (HR) and three walks, while striking out twelve
. LHP Cesar Jimenez (2.88) went the next inning and two thirds, giving up two runs on five hits, a wild pitch, and a walk against three strikeouts, before RHP Darwin Soto (4.62, S) got the final out. SS Juan Gonzalez (HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, .296) did most of the offensive damage with his two hits, though 1B Matt Rogelstad (R, .239) didn’t get the same mileage from his. RHP Juan Sandoval tomorrow.
Burlington 8 (KC), Wisconsin 7
LHP Jason Mackintosh (3.34) gave up an earned run on four hits, a wild pitch, and five walks against six strikeouts. RHP Ruben Castillo (4.82) went the next three innings, giving up two hits and ringing up two. RHP Mike Hrynio (4.36) couldn’t get an out in the ninth, giving up three hits, all of which would score as RHP Bryan Stitt (4.91, L) came in and gave up a run of hits own on two hits, a wild pitch, and two walks. RF Chris Colton (HR, .239) had three hits, including his thirteenth home run, and DH Adam Jones (2B, HR, 3 R, .254), 1B Bryan Lahair (HR, 4 RBI, .326) and CF Wladimir Balentien (R, SB, .278) all had two hits. Though it’s a bit of a complicated matter, Balentien will be leaving the team in ten days to play for The Netherlands’ Olympic baseball team
. Some additional power was shown by 2B Nick Orlandos (2B, R, RBI, SB, E, .359) and SS Eric Blakeley (3B, .308), but oddly enough, no one else even reach base.
Burlington 5 (KC), Wisconsin 1
RHP Nibaldo Acosta (3.99, L) pitched better than the line looks, going seven innings and allowing two earned runs on nine hits, a hit batter, a wild pitch, and a walk against four strikeouts. The next two innings were split by RHP Kenly Chang (5.17) and LHP Casey Abrams (10.57), Chang striking out one and Abrams striking out two. 1B Bryan Lahair (E, .333) had two hits, but neither amounted to anything, while 2B Nick Orlandos (2B, .356) and C Justin Ruchti (2B, RBI, .201) contributed the doubles, Ruchti finally getting above the Mendoza line. LHP Ryan Feierabend tomorrow.
Everett 3, Eugene 16 (SD)
With lines like this, who needs recaps? RHP Mark Lowe (6.35, L) gave up five runs on five hit (HR) and two walks with five strikeouts in just three innings. RHP Cibney Bello (8.22) went the next three and a third, giving up four runs on three hits (2 HR, remember what I told you about those long flyouts?) and three walks against another five strikeouts. LHP Brandon Perry (9.45) went for the next four outs and gave up six earned runs on four hits (HR) and three walks with three strikeouts. He’s getting so bad I just want to quarantine him… The same could be said for RHP Kenny Falconer (14.21), who gave up a hit before recording the last out. I’m tempted to ask how the team that was leading the league in ERA in the first couple of weeks got so bad, but I don’t think the three passed balls by C Brian Schweiger (CS, 3 PB, .276) particularly helped. CF Mike Wilson (2B, R, .280) and RF Elvis Cruz (RBI, .241) both had a couple of hits, and SS Oswaldo Navarro (2B, R, .252) and DH Robert Johnson (2B, .262) showed some power.
Everett 3, Eugene 2 (SD)
RHP Ruben Flores (4.38) went six stellar innings and gave up a run on two hits (HR), a wild pitch, and three walks while striking out seven, before RHP Mumba Rivera (2.50) took over for an inning and allowed a run on two hits, a wild pitch, and a walk against a strikeout. I’m still tempted to suggest Rivera and Lowe switch roles. RHP Chad Fillinger (6.19) went for two outs and gave up a hit, and then RHP Aaron Trolia (4.32) finished up the game and had a strikeout. 3B Yung-Chi Chen (2 RBI, 2 SB, .345) had three hits, 1B Brandon Green (2B, RBI, .264) and 2B Oswaldo Navarro (2B, R, SB, .262) had two apiece, and DH Marshall Hubbard (2B, .244) flashed some power. LHP Shawn Nottingham tomorrow!
Peoria Mariners 7, Mesa Cubs 2
RHP Jon Lockwood (10.93, W) went the five-inning minimum to pick up the win, giving up a run on three hits, three hit batters, and two walks against four strikeouts. LHP Michael Ciccotelli (13.03) went the next two and gave up a run on three hits and a walk with a couple of strikeouts. RHP Tyrone Lamont (3.86) was perfect through the final two innings, striking out two. CF David Hall (2B, 2 R, RBI, SB, .328) had three hits, while 1B Luis Soto (3B, 2 RBI, .356) and C Danny Santin (RBI, .362) had two hits apiece. In other notes, 3B Francisco Gerez (3 R, RBI, 2 SB, .380) was 1-3, but reached base two other times via walking and getting hit; SS Matt Tuiasosopo (.485) was 1-4, and 2B Jack Arroyo (2 R, SB, .000), an 18th round pick earlier in the year, made his field debut by going 0-1, getting hit and walking twice. Tomorrow’s starter has yet to be announced.
Aguirre 0, Universidad 1 (FLA/SD)
LHP Hugo Castro (2.25, L) didn’t deserve to lose this one at all, going seven innings and giving up a run on three hits, a wild pitch, and a walk while striking out NINE. He really should be stateside by now, but there’s not much that can be done about that this season. RHP Carlos Figueroa (8.00, E) went the last inning, walked two, and struck out one. Not a lot of offense, so I’ll note C Juan Fuentes (PB, .314) going 1-2 with a plunk and a walk.
Tacoma Rainiers: 50-45, .526, 1 GB in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 47-54, (16-13, 2nd half) .465 (.552), T-1st in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 51-44 (13-14), .537 (.481), 3.5 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 43-55 (11-16), .439 (.407), 7 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 21-13, .618, 1st in NWL West
Peoria Mariners: 14-11, .560, 3 GB in AZL
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 28-25-1, .528 1 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 30-9, .769, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 284-257-1, .525
In player of the week news, LHP Thom Oldham was named pitcher of the week
in the Midwest League. This comes after Oldham threw the only complete game for the week. Oddly enough, despite his 2.82 ERA and his leage-leading 125 strikeouts, this is Oldham's first time winning the award this year. Meanwhile, down in Venezuela, RHP Edgar Guaramato is pitcher of the week after going eight innings against Venoco #1, holding them to two hits and two walks while striking out four. Guaramato used to be a light-hitting infielder before switching to the mound this year, and is one of the guys I'm keeping my eye on.
In other good news, the monster is dead and the horror is finally over; RHP Andy Shibilo
has finally been released from his contract with the Rainiers.
Tacoma 0, Portland 10 (SD)
RHP Gil Meche (5.76, L) still can’t get it together, so hold off on your fantasy league, because he gave up six runs on six hits (HR) and five walks against three strikeouts over five innings tonight. RHP Jared Hoerman (5.61) went the next two innings and gave up a couple of earned runs on two hits and two walks. Continuing the trend, LHP Tim Christman (4.76) gave up a run on two hits with a strikeout in his inning. RF Elpidio Guzman (E, .288) contributed two hits to a nothing offense, but hey, SS Jose Lopez (.283) had another hit too. LHP Bobby Madritsch tomorrow!
Frisco 5 (TEX), San Antonio 0
LHP Phil Devey (3.26, L) can’t catch any breaks, going five innings tonight and giving up two runs on three hits (HR) and three walks against four strikeouts while his offense was two-hit and his defense made four errors and passed a ball. RHP Emiliano Fruto (6.02) was unusually on, going two innings and gave up just a hit and a walk while striking out two. LHP Chris Key (4.85, E) went the final two innings and allowed two earned runs on four hits with a strikeout. I’ve already said too much about the offense, but I’ll note that 1B Hunter Brown (.290) was 0-1, walking twice and getting hit by a pitch once. RHP Felix Hernandez tomorrow!
Lake Elsinore 5 (SD), Inland Empire 11
LHP Bobby Livingston (3.62, W) was all right, going five innings and giving up an earned run on seven hits and a couple of walks against a couple of strikeouts. LHP Cesar Jimenez (2.63) went next and uncharacteristically gave up two runs on two hits (HR) with two strikeouts in his two frames of work. RHP Mike Steele (7.56) is still a bit off, as he gave up a run on two hits (HR), a wild pitch, and four walks with two strikeouts over the course of his five outs, but LHP Melvin Pizarro (3.13) dug him out for the final out. The offense had some crazy things of note, namely, RF Carlos Arroyo (3B, HR, 3 RBI, .323) getting three hits and homering for the second consecutive game after not hitting a home run for the entire year prior to that point, and some extra-base hits from 2B Michael Garciaparra (2B, 3B, R, RBI, .172). In more usual news, SS Juan Gonzalez (RBI, SB, .297) had three hits, CF Gary Harris (2B, 3 R, RBI, 2 SB, .261) and DH Josh Ellison (RBI, .323) had two apiece, and 3B Jesus Guzman (2 R, RBI, .318/.419/.455) is still an on-base machine, going 1-2 and walking twice. RHP Greg Wear tomorrow.
Burlington 8 (KC), Wisconsin 2
Another game that LHP Thom Oldham (2.92, E, L) didn’t really deserve to lose; Oldham went seven innings and allowed two earned runs on four hits (HR) and a walk against nine strikeouts. RHP Brad Rose (13.97) face two batters, walking one and striking out the other, before giving the ball to LHP Casey Abrams (11.30), who skipped the out and just walked the batter anyway. Both would later have those runs score when RHP Austin Bilke (7.11) gave up a hit to score both in the process of recording the final two outs of that inning. RHP Bryan Stitt (4.82) is still surprisingly awful, and gave up three runs on three hits and two walks in his inning of work. Not much notable on offense, aside from two more hits from 2B Nick Orlandos (.362) and another double and two walks by 1B Bryan Lahair (2B, R, RBI, CS, .321). LHP Jason Mackintosh tomorrow.
Everett 10, Eugene 4 (SD)
LHP Kendall Bergdall (5.35, W) wasn’t great, but the Eugene pitchers happened to be worse. Bergdall gave up four runs on seven hits, a wild pitch, and three walks against three strikeouts. After that, the Emeralds ran into RHP Phil Cullen (1.80), who held them to two hits and struck out one over four innings, which is what he ought to be doing at this level. More offense tonight from the usuals, as 3B Yung Chi-Chen (2B, 2 R, RBI, .336/.383/.536) and SS/2B Asdrubal Cabrera (HR, 2 R, .319/.358/.511) both had two hits, as did LF Trevor Heid (2 R, RBI, .246) and RF Elvis Cruz (R, RBI, .218). DH Casey Craig (2 R, RBI, .300) pulled his usual stunt of a hit and two walks. RHP Mark Lowe tomorrow.
Mesa Angels 5, Peoria Mariners 3
RHP Jason Snyder (2.88) went six innings, which I think is still the most for any Peoria starter this year, scattering seven hits and a walk, but giving up two runs overall while striking out six. RHP Donald Clement (3.09, E, L) went the next inning and gave up an earned run on a hit and a hit batter. RHP Stephen Grasley (6.35) gave up a run as well on two hits along with a strikeout in his inning of work. RHP Ryan Leaist (0.00) also resurfaced and gave up a hit and struck out another. DH Matt Tuiasosopo (2B, .517) and 1B Chao Kuan Wu (2B, 2 R, SB, .280) had another two hits each, and LF John-Austin Emmons (2B, .256) had another double. Peoria has the day off tomorrow.
Ciudad Alianza 8 (BOS), Aguirre 4 (seven innings)
RHP Carlos Figueroa (8.47, E, L) started the game on the worst possible foot, giving up four walks before being pulled from the game, with three earned runs scoring overall. LHP Jose Jimenez (2.82) had to work through that and gave up four hits, two wild pitches, a hit batter, and two walks against four strikeouts in his four innings. RHP Daniel Yerovi (3.92) went the next inning and gave up three runs on two hits, a hit batter, a wild pitch, and a walk. RHP Alejandro Gutierrez (2.60) had an uneventful ninth where he struck out a batter. DH Juan Fuentes (R, RBI, .309) had two hits, while C/2B Luis Valbuena (2B, R, RBI, .393) and 2B/SS Terry Serrano (2B, .330) had the doubles.
Ciudad Alianza 4 (BOS), Aguirre 2
LHP Jose Escalona (2.41, L) gave up three runs on four hits and a walk against seven strikeouts in his five and a third innings. Two of those runs were given up by the suddenly useless RHP Jorge Acosta (5.51), who gave up a hit, a wild pitch, and a walk without recording an out. RHP Irvin Rodriguez (1.74) would, in turn, give up one of Acosta’s runs on two hits and a hit batter overall with one strikeout for the final five outs of the game. LF Pablo Orfila (2B, .286) had the only extra-base hit for Aguirre in the game. DH Juan Fuentes (R, .310) had a hit and took the only walk for the team.
Tacoma Rainiers: 49-44, .529, 2 GB in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 47-52, (16-11, 2nd half) .475 (.593), 1st in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 50-43 (12-13), .538 (.480), 3 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 43-53 (11-14), .450 (.440), 6 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 20-12, .625, 1st in NWL West
Peoria Mariners: 13-11, .542, 3 GB in AZL
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 28-23-1, .548 1 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 26-8, .765, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 275-246-1, .528
Signed RHP Stephen Grasley. Released RHPs Audy Alcantara, LHP Eric Sandberg, and C Jorge Maduro. Placed OFs Sebastien Boucher and Matt Ware and RHPs Chia Huang and Justin Ockerman on restricted list.
This one has been a long time coming, but for the sake of keeping it from dragging on for too long, I'm excluding meaningless transactions like Gerez' and Slee's movements, or the signing and then release of David Gil. I'm also skipping over the recent callups for now because if you've been reading here long enough, you should know what Jacobsen, Leone, etc are capable of and that I'm a big fan of Sherrill's.
, 23, is the latest Creighton product to sign with the M's, one of the recent notables being LHP Thom Oldham. There, he was noted for giving up roughly a hit per inning, walking very few, and striking out a little under a batter per inning. Thus far in Peoria, he seems to have been around the strike zone more, as he's K'ing more batters but giving up hits left and right (.353 opposing batting average). The sample size is still small, only ten and a third innings, but if you're a five-year senior, about to turn twenty-four, and you're putting up 6.10 ERA in a rookie league, something is wrong. I know some people who have been rather high on him, so he could still put it together.
, 21 (I believe), was another VSL product who was trying to make his mark in the US. Unfortunately, he wasn't really all that good, as his ERA last year was 8.75 and he was putting up a WHIP of 1.833. I seem to remember similar results in his Peoria stint. No big loss at all.
, 24, was one of those famous name pickups in the rule V draft from the Twins a couple of years back. He was solid, but unimpressive as an infielder, so the M's had plans to use him as a sort of switch-pitcher, which can be valuable if effective, after all, Bobby Livingston pitched both game of a double header that way back in high school. He was immediately assigned to Everett, but due to some arm troubles, he never did take the field in the M's system. A curiousity, but again, no big loss.
, 23, was one of those experiments in catching (think Mosquera, Falcon) that was indicative of the past few years before the M's decided to draft it heavily this season. A former Devil Ray prospect, Maduro just cannot hit, posting a .223 career batting average, including this season. While he is still relatively young, and may have been rushed a bit when the M's decided to put him in Triple-A on two separate occasions, this one isn't a loss either, just discarding a useless part.
Boucher, 22, and Huang, 17, were caught in the recent visa debacle
that has kept a number of players in limbo, among the most notable, Australian LHP Graeme Lloyd who was under contract with the Red Sox. These players are in a unique situation, as they cannot play in any games due to lack of work visas, but are free to work out with the team and otherwise use the facilities. As a result, most players have just stayed in their countries of origin; Huang should be fairly set with the M's baseball clinics/academies in Taiwan, but I don't know how Boucher is dealing with this. There are a few other players among M's prospects that seem to have been affected by this; RHP Carlos Colon may be repeating the DSL for this very reason, and C Kent Dixon may also still be in Australia due to it, though they may be just holding him back to join the other three Aussies (Auty, Thorne, and Zorn) next year. As an added note, I don't know if I'd bank to much on Valbuena coming up from the VSL because of this whole thing.
, 21, was selected in the NFL draft a few months ago, so this really comes as no real surprise. I don't know that he's made a decision yet, but I'm pretty sure the M's still have the baseball part of his rights. He tore up the AZL before going down with some sort of injury last year, but it's been a few years since he was drafted and he still hasn't moved out of the AZL, possibly due to school commitments.
, 21, is less noted for his pitching ability and more noted for being a giant. At 6'10, he dwarfs just about everyone, but as a pitcher, he tends to have some control issues. I don't know what's keeping him on the restricted list, as he was drafted out of northern Michigan (maybe he's a Canadian citizen now?), but he hasn't done too much since being drafted in 2001.
Tacoma 5, Portland 8 (SD)
The Rainiers are out of first now as they’ve lost three straight games while Edmonton has won six. RHP Cha Seung Baek (4.34) went three and a third innings, allowing three runs on four hits, a hit batter, and three each of walks and strikeouts. LHP Craig Anderson (6.40) pitched two and a two-thirds innings of perfect relief with a couple of strikeouts after that. RHP Jeff Harris (6.09) gave up a hit, hit a batter, and struck out another in his inning and two-thirds, then LHP Randy Williams (3.40) got an out and gave up a hit, which would lead to a run. That run would score while RHP Scott Atchison (4.38, L) was pitching, on the only out Atchison got. After that, a couple of walks, and then a grand slam, though the batter would injure himself stomping on home plate to end it and may have torn ACL, which is a hell of a way to go out. LF Jamal Strong (HR, 4 R, .305) had three hits, 2B Mickey Lopez (2B, 2 RBI, CS, .267) had two. In other notes, CF Jeremy Reed (3B, R, RBI, SB, .302) was 1-3 with two walks and his first stolen base, and 1B A.J. Zapp (2B, RBI, .296) and C Jim Horner (2B, .200) had a double each. RHP Gil Meche today.
Frisco 3 (TEX), San Antonio 2
I think RHP Juan Done (5.25) is finally getting it, as he went six and two-thirds innings, gave up three hits, a wild pitch, and five walks against four strikeouts. Done allowed two runs, but there wouldn’t have been any had LHP Tim Rall (4.05) not stepped in to give up the three-run bomb. RHP Aaron Taylor (2.16) went the final two and a third innings and struck out four without a batter reaching base. Maybe we can start thinking about him in terms of the future again. DH Shin-Soo Choo (CS, .303) and 2B Eddie Menchaca (2B, RBI, .221) had two hits, while the suddenly red-hot SS Michael Morse (2B, R, .306) had a double. LHP Phil Devey today.
Wisconsin 10, South Bend 4 (ARI)
RHP Brandon Moorhead (3.64, W) was a killer through his eight innings, scattering seven hits, hitting a batter, and striking out six. LHP Casey Abrams (11.30) wasn’t as lucky (but what else is new?), giving up four runs on two hits (HR), a hit batter, and a walk against a strikeout in the ninth. LF/1B Bryan Lahair (2B, R, RBI, CS, E, .317), CF Michael Nesbit (2B, 2 R, RBI, .362), and 3B Michael Cox (R, CS, .255) all had three hits, while RF/LF Josh Womack (2 R, 2 RBI, 2 SB, .271), SS Eric Blakeley (2B, R, .313), and C Chris Collins (2B, R, 2 RBI, .256) chipped in with two apiece. LHP Thom Oldham today.
Everett 7, Eugene 4 (SD)
RHP Aaron Jensen (3.47, W) had one of his better outings, going six and two-thirds innings and gave up two runs on three hits (HR), a couple of walks, and six strikeouts. LHP Vance Hall (9.20) went the next inning and would give up two runs on two hits (HR), a hit batter, and two walks. RHP Chad Fillinger (6.46, S) went the last inning and a third, walking a batter and punching out two. 3B Yung-Chi Chen (2B, HR, 2 R, .333) was leading the offense yet again with his two hits, and C Omar Falcon (2B, 2 R, RBI, .246) tossed a double into the mix. Stathead’s dream LF Casey Craig (SB, CS, .299/.460/.429) was 1-1, taking three walks. LHP Kendall Bergdall today.
Peoria Mariners 2, Phoenix Athletics 5
RHP Eric Carter (2.04, L) really didn’t deserve the loss, as both runs he gave up were unearned over his five innings of work, giving up three hits, throwing two wild pitches, walking two, and striking out three. RHP Roman Martinez (9.24) goofed it again, going the final three innings and allowing two earned on four hits, a hit batter, and one walk against one strikeout. 2B Francisco Gerez (2B, .397) had yet another three-hit performance, and SS Matt Tuiasosopo (HR, .481) had two hits, including his third home run. Further proof that his one home run during his senior year doesn’t really mean a thing. DH Reynaldo Cruz (HR, .345) also hit his long-awaited first pro home run. RHP Jason Snyder today.
Tacoma Rainiers: 49-43, .533, 1 GB in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 47-51, (16-10, 2nd half) .480 (.615), 1st in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 49-43 (11-13), .533 (.455), 4 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 43-52 (11-13), .453 (.458), 5 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 19-12, .613, 1st in NWL West
Peoria Mariners: 13-10, .565, 1 GB in AZL
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 28-21-1, .570 1 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 26-8, .765, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 273-239-1, .533
Tacoma 2, Fresno 4 (SF)
LHP Matt Thornton (5.58, L) actually did pretty well for himself, getting an eight-inning complete game and allowing just two earned runs on seven hits (HR), a hit batter, and one walk while he struck out four. It was the two unearned runs from the defense behind him that lost the game. SS Jose Lopez (2 E, .283) had two hits, but made both the errors and has had at least one in every game since coming back. CF Jeremy Reed (R, RBI, .300) and RF/LF Luis Ugueto (R, .254) also had a couple of significant hits, while DH Ryan Christianson (.333) was 1-3 with a walk in his Triple-A debut. RHP Cha Seung Baek today.
Frisco 4 (TEX), San Antonio 6
RHP Chris Buglovsky (3.38, W) wasn't the killer he usually is, going six and two-thirds and giving up four runs on five hits (HR) and five walks against four strikeouts, but he got the job done. LHP Jared Thomas (2.12) went the next inning and a third, walking two and striking out one. RHP Rick Guttormson (4.05, S) picked up his seventeenth save with an uneventful ninth. The four-through-seven hitters, 1B John Lindsey (2B, 3B, R, RBI, .298), LF Jaime Bubela (.385), SS Michael Morse (R, RBI, .305), and CF T.J. Bohn (CS, .338) all had two hits each. DH Dustin Delucchi (2B, R, .296) had the only extra-base hit. Former M's farmhands CF Mike Curry and C Julio Mosquera are playing for Frisco now... crazy. RHP Juan Done today.
Inland Empire 2, Lancaster 6 (ARI) (seven innings)
RHP Juan Sandoval (4.18, L) had his switch set to "off" last night, as he went five innings and gave up four earned runs on eight hits, a wild pitch, and two walks against two strikeouts over five innings. LHP Miguel Martinez (5.86) had a strikeout in the sixth. 1B Matt Hagen (2 2B, 2 R, .221) pretty much was the Sixers' offense in the first game.
Inland Empire 5, Lancaster 4 (ARI) (seven innings)
RHP T.A. Fulmer (5.54, W) went the full seven innings, giving up four runs on ten hits, a hit batter, and a walk with four strikeouts. 3B Jesus Guzman (2B, R, RBI, E, .317/.413/.454) was 2-2 with a couple of walks and is still pretty much the Sixers offense on all his own. RF Carlos Arroyo (HR, SB, .316) hit his first home run in the Cal League, which is why you don't hear more about him. Inland Empire has the day off today.
Wisconsin 5, South Bend 6 (ARI)
LHP Ryan Feierabend (3.48) went six innings and gave up just one run on six hits, a wild pitch, and a walk against four strikeouts. RHP Kenly Chang (5.28) just went one third of an inning, giving up four hits and hitting a batter. All of the runners would score, three of them by RHP Mike Hrynio (3.74, L), who would go the last five outs and give up a run on three hits while striking out a couple. 2B Nick Orlandos (2B, .361) and 3B Michael Cox (2B, 2 RBI, E, .248) had a couple of hits apiece, and SS Eric Blakeley (2B, R, SB, .310) and LF Wladimir Balentien (2B, R, 2 RBI, .273) showed some additional power. RHP Brandon Moorhead today.
Everett 7, Eugene 5 (SD)
This was the kind of outing I wanted to see back when I was up there. LHP Shawn Nottingham (1.43, W) went seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits (HR) while striking out twelve
. RHP Cibeny Bello (7.50) went the next inning and gave upa run on a hit, a hit batter, a wild pitch, and a walk. LHP Brandon Perry (6.00) is still getting attacked in low-A, giving up two runs on three hits in just a third of an inning, before RHP Aaron Trolia (5.14, S) took over for the final two outs, walking a batter in the process. 2B Yung-Chi Chen (HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .330) and 1B Brandon Green (2B, R, 3 RBI, .266) both had two hits, and DH Rob Johnson (HR, 2 RBI, .264) had his first pro homer. RHP Aaron Jensen today.
Peoria Mariners 13, Arizona Brewers 2
I was planning on doing another dual recap and getting fully caught up that way, but due to a request, I'm doing last night's games now due to this particular one (since I'm suddenly doing requests, I might add the rest of the Peoria recaps for those three days). LHP Robert Fagan (2.86, W) had perhaps his best outing yet, going five and a third innings and giving up just an earned run on six hits, a hit batter, and two walks against six strikeouts. After that, RHP Terry Forbes (0.00) continued to tear through AZL batters like they were nothing at all, going two and two-thirds inning and striking out two. Forbes really ought to be in Everett right now. LHP Michael Ciccotelli (15.26) went the final inning and struck out two. 1B Luis "What Am I Doing Back In Peoria?" Soto (2 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, .389/.410/.611) had four hits yesterday, and RF Reynaldo Cruz (2B, 3B, R, 4 RBI, E, .353) had three hits. SS Matt Tuiasosopo (2 2B, 4 R, .478), C Dany Santin (3 R, 2 RBI, PB, .380), LF David Hall (2B, RBI, .353) and DH Jeff Flaig (R, RBI, SB, .253) all had two hits, and 3B Francisco Gerez (3B, R, .373) had his first triple. The term "rout" comes to mind. RHP Eric Carter pitches today.
Tacoma Rainiers: 49-42, .538, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 47-50, (16-9, 2nd half) .485 (.640), 1st in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 49-43 (11-13), .533 (.455), 4 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 42-52 (10-13), .447 (.435), 5 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 18-12, .600, 1st in NWL West
Peoria Mariners: 13-9, .591, 1 GB in AZL
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 28-21-1, .570 1 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 26-8, .765, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 271-236-1, .535
Baseball America is reporting that Mariners prospects LHP Craig Anderson (AAA) and LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (A+) will be on the Australian team
during the Olympics. The presence of Anderson on the roster leaves me wondering how desperate the team was for pitching. Which reminds me, where have you gone Luke Prokopec
Tacoma 8, Fresno 3 (SF)
LHP Bobby Madritsch (3.75, W) went the five inning minimum and gave up an earned run on five hits (HR), a hit batter, and five walks against a couple of strikeouts. If Mads lowers his walks a little and gets a few more strikeouts, which should happen within a few more starts, I expect him to be part of the revolving door of rotation prospects. LHP Randy Williams (3.24) went the next inning and two-thirds, giving up a run on three hits and a walk with a strikeout. Williams might have an outside shot at getting into the bullpen depending on what happens with Myers/Villone, but Sherrill has a much better chance of sticking, particularly if Melvin can see through his bad luck. RHP Gustavo Martinez (4.35) pitched the final two and a third innings, giving up a hit and striking out two; I’m assuming Baek took Martinez’ rotation spot. RF Elpidio Guzman (2B, R, RBI, .289), CF Jeremy Reed (2 B, 2 R, RBI, .333), 1B A.J. Zapp (2B, 2 R, RBI, .305), and Jose Lopez (2 RBI, E,.283), making his long-awaited return, all had two hits. All but Lopez also took walks.
Tacoma 1, Fresno 2 (SF)
RHP Clint Nageotte (4.92, L) somehow managed to give up only two runs after allowing twelve hits, hitting a batter, and walking two while striking out three over the course of seven and a third innings. LHP Tim Christman (4.50) faced one batter and gave up a hit before RHP Scott Atchison (3.84) faced the final two and struck out one of them. The most notable offense was basically the eighth inning when 3B Greg Dobbs (R, .333) got a hit, stole second, and then scored when RF Greg Jacobs (RBI, .250) had another single. LHP Matt Thornton today.
Round Rock 3 (HOU), San Antonio 11
RHP Felix Hernandez (2.50, W) went five innings and allowed a couple of runs on four hits and four walks while striking out six. Felix is up to 110 innings now, which means that he could be shut down pretty soon. LHP Tim Rall (3.52) went the next two-thirds and walked a couple before giving the ball to RHP Aaron Taylor (2.51) who went two and a third, striking out three, and allowing only one batter to reach (via getting hit). LHP Jared Thomas (2.22) pitched the final inning and gave up a run on a hit, a wild pitch, and a couple of walks against a strikeout. LF Dustin Delucchi (HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .294), 1B Hunter Brown (2 R, .297), RF Shin-Soo Choo (2 R, .299), DH Jaime Bubela (R, 2 RBI, .500), making his return, and CF T.J. Bohn (3B, R, RBI, .333) all had three hits, but SS Michael Morse (HR, 5 RBI, .275) made the most of his one with a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth.
Round Rock 7 (HOU), San Antonio 4
RHP Rich Dorman (4.15) started and went five and two-thirds innings, allowing two runs on four hits (HR) and four walks against NINE strikeouts. RHP Renee Cortez (5.52) pitched the next two-thirds, giving up a hit, then passed the ball to LHP Tim Rall (3.86) who gave up a two-run home run after a walk. It didn’t get any easier for RHP Rick Guttormson (4.14, L), who hit a batter and walked four with only one strikeout over just two outs, allowing two earned runs to score. LHP Chris Key (4.73) came in for the final four outs, gave up a hit, and struck out two. RF Shin-Soo Choo (RBI, .303), C Luis Oliveros (HR, .249), and 2B Eddie Menchaca (2B, .217) all had three hits, while LF Dustin Delucchi (R, RBI, SB, .296), and SS Michael Morse (2 2B, .291) both had two. RHP Chris Buglovsky today against RHP Chan Ho Park. I hear Hunter Brown already has a homer.
Inland Empire 4, Lancaster 10 (ARI)
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (3.73, E) went six innings and allowed three earned on seven hits (HR) and two walks against seven strikeouts. Unfortunately, things got pretty bad when the awful-turned-good-turned-bad RHP Darwin Soto (4.66, L) recorded one out and allowed five batters to reach on three hits, a hit batter, and a walk, with a balk tossed in the mix just for kicks. Four earned runs would score, and an unearned one also scored after RHP Mike Steele (8.10) took the mound. Steele would give up a run of his own on a hit and walk during his inning and two-thirds. Every pitcher also threw a wild pitch. SS Juan Gonzalez (3B, R, RBI, .294) decided to break out of his slump in a big way with four hits, and 2B Michael Garciaparra (2B, R, .161) had two. Yesterday’s game was postponed due to FIRE, but RHP Juan Sandoval and RHP T.A. Fulmer are scheduled to go in the doubleheader.
Wisconsin 5, South Bend 2 (ARI)
LHP Jason Mackintosh (3.43, W) did his usual thing over seven innings, one earned run on three hits (HR), two hit batters, a wild pitch, and four strikeouts. RHP Kenly Chang (4.53) and RHP Bryan Stitt (4.34, S) followed with an inning each of scoreless relief, Chang giving up a hit and striking out a batter, Stitt walking one. LF Josh Womack (2 R, RBI, SB, CS, .271) had three hits, and SS Adam Jones (RBI, .254), 1B Bryan Lahair (2 RBI, .304), and C Chris Collins (R, RBI, SB, PB, .257) all had two.
Wisconsin 4, South Bend 2 (ARI)
Off-and-on RHP Nibaldo Acosta (4.08, W) was on last night, going six innings and giving up two runs on nine hits, a hit batter, a walk, and a strikeout. LHP Casey Abrams (9.45) faced one batter and gave up a hit before RHP Ruben Castillo (7.11, S) shut the Silver Hawks down. DH Josh Womack (R, SB, .274) and CF Michael Nesbit (2B, 2 R, .355) both had two hits, but LF Wladimir Balentien (HR, CS, .273) hit his fourteenth homer. LHP Ryan Feierabend pitched today.
Yakima 14 (ARI), Everett 5
The RHP Mark Lowe (5.03, L) experiment continued, this time, with less successful results, as he went five innings and gave up five runs on four hits (HR), three hit batters, a balk, and two walks against five strikeouts. Blanco is still MIA, so I wonder if an injury might have been contributing to his less than stellar results. RHP Chad Fillinger (7.07) did even worse by giving up four runs on four hits (HR) and a walk with a couple of strikeouts in just one inning. On the other hand, we can say that RHP Joe Woerman (7.15) was partially victimized by shoddy defensive play, as of his five runs, only one was earned on two hits (HR), a hit batter, two wild pitches, and four walks against five strikeouts in three innings of work. 2B Oswaldo Navarro (R, 2 SB, .267) had two hits and C Omar Falcon (HR, 2 RBI, .254) had his second jack. CF Brent Johnson (R, .325) continues to wreak havoc in the leadoff spot, going 1-2 and walking twice.
Yakima 6 (ARI), Everett 8
RHP Ruben Flores (4.94, E) didn’t do so well in his four and a third innings, giving up six runs on five hits (2 HR!), a hit batter, THREE wild pitches, and four walks against two strikeouts. After that, RHP Mumba Rivera (2.12, W) decided it was his time to shine and went the next three and two-thirds innings and gave up only a hit and a walk while striking out five. I think he’s probably a candidate to snatch up a rotation spot next year; I can certainly say I have Mumba fever. RHP Aaron Trolia (5.68, S) got the save with a hit and a strikeout in the ninth. LF Casey Craig (3B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 SB, .292) made the most of his two hits, but 1B Brandon Green (2B, 2 R, .257) got a lot out of his one and DH Marshall Hubbard (R, .260) got some similar results while walking once more than Green did. LHP Shawn Nottingham laid waste to Eugene earlier tonight.
Arizona Royals 10, Peoria Mariners 7
RHP Oliver Arias (6.65, E, L) went four and two-thirds innings and gave up four earned runs on five hits (2 HR!), a balk, and five walks, though he did strikeout five. RHP Tyrone Lamont (4.40, E) would follow for an inning and a third and give up two unearned runs on two hits and two walks, before passing the ball to RHP Tim Dorn (10.80), who had strikeouts for both of his outs, but gave up two runs on five walks in the process. I wonder if they’ll keep Dorn as a pitcher, or convert him to RF/1B. LHP Adam Brandt (6.75, E) went the last two and a third innings and gave up an unearned run on two hits and a walk while striking out five. RF David Hall (2 2B, R, 3 RBI, .348) raked three hits last night, while 1B Luis Soto (R, .333) and 2B Rayon Lampe (2B, R, 2 RBI, .300) had two hits. LF John-Austin Emmons (3B, .290) contributed the only other extra-base hit. LHP Robert Fagan started earlier today.
I’m not going to recap the VSL/DSL action from when I was gone, or go through the stale Peoria boxes unless there’s some demand for it (I do have the last four Peoria games copied down, if anyone’s wondering). I got caught up in a few things the past week or so (like pressure washing a deck for all of yesterday) and it’s just been a mess trying to get all the recaps up.
Tacoma Rainiers: 49-41, .544, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 46-50, (15-9, 2nd half) .479 (.625), 1st in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 49-43 (10-12), .533 (.455), 4 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 41-50 (10-12), .451 (.454), 4 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 17-12, .586, 1st in NWL West
Peoria Mariners: 12-9, .571, 1 GB in AZL
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 28-21-1, .570 1 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 26-8, .765, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 267-233-1, .535