Mariner Minors
Saturday, June 24, 2006
  Game Recaps (6/23/06)

Tenth-round pick Chris Minaker has signed on with the M's and is joinging the Aquasox on their road trip.

Portland 4 (SD - 2), Tacoma 5 (eleven innings)
LHP Cesar Jimenez (4.52) pitched five innings and gave up a run on two hits (HR) and six walks against five Ks. He’s getting by, but… RHP Aaron Looper (6.43) walked one and struck out two in the next two innings, and then LHP Thom Oldham (6.23) gave up a run on a hit in the eighth. RHP Scott Atchison (4.15, BS, W) pitched the final three innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks with one strikeout.
Apparently, Wednesday night I went to sleep and ended up waking up in a strange and unfamiliar world where LF Greg Dobbs (.294) walks eight times in the span of twelve plate appearances. I’m not dogging on Greg, he’s a great dude from what I hear and has been turning it on of late, it’s just not something I expected out of his performance last year. That’s one way of becoming the new Dave Hansen though. RF Shin-soo Choo (2 R, SB, CS, .299) reached in all six of his appearances, splitting them evenly between hits and walks. CF Adam Jones (3 RBI, .265), C Guillermo Quiroz (RBI, .295), and 2B Scotty Baseball (2B, R, .236) all had two hits.

Springfield 11 (STL 0), San Antonio 7
RHP Nate Mateo (5.44, L) last two and a third innings and gave up seven runs on six hits, a hit batter, and a walk. LHP Jason Mackintosh (4.19) scored two of those runs and went the next three, giving up four runs on four hits and two walks, and RHP Craig James (1.77) scored two of Mac’s runs on a hit and two Ks over the next inning and a third. RHP Mike Flannery (5.20) gave up a hit and struck out one in the eighth, and RHP Mark Lowe (0.00) gave up a pair of hits in the ninth.
LF Mike Wilson (3B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, .571), 1B Marshall Hubbard (R, RBI, .500) and SS Erick Monzon (2B, RBI, .269) all had two hits in the game, and RF Wladimir Balentien (2B, .259) doubled. Nice to see the new kids stepping it up.

Ismael Castro was promoted to Tacoma after the game. Rogelstad moves back to the Texas League.

Modesto 1 (COL - 3), Inland Empire 6
RHP Aaron Jensen (2.51, W) pitched six innings, giving up one run on a hit and four walks while he struck out five. RHP Mike Hrynio (3.50) gave up three hits and a walk and rung up three in the next two innings, and then RHP Joe Woerman (0.00) gave up a couple of hits and struck out one in the ninth.
3B Yung-chi Chen (2B, 3 RBI, SB, .336) had three hits and DH Brian Schweiger (3 R, .393) reached three times by getting plunked and drawing two walks. 2B Jack Arroyo (3B, R, 3 RBI, SB, .467) had two hits, and C Omar Falcon (2B, .245) and RF Chris Colton (2B ,R, .223) both doubled.

Kane County 8 (OAK + 2), Wisconsin 0
I can’t figure out what’s wrong with RHP Marwin Vega (7.28, E, L), but he gave up five runs (two earned) on five hits, a wild pitch, and four walks against three Ks in two and two-thirds. LHP Harold Williams (3.13), back in the ‘pen, pitched the next inning and a third and walked two while striking out three. RHP Roman Martinez (4.09) pitched two innings, and gave up a run on two hits while striking out four, and then RHP Edgar Guaramato (5.40) let two score on a hit, a wild pitch, two walks and two Ks in the next two innings. LHP Rollie Gibson (6.04) walked three, threw a wild pitch, and struck out two to come out of the ninth without giving up any more runs. I guess I can take some comfort in the idea that the Cougars are one of the better teams in the NWL, but that only takes so much of the sting off.
C Travis Scott (2B, .167) was the only batter to do anything worth noting, hitting a double in the eighth.

Tri-City 2 (COL - 2), Everett 8
LHP Greg Nesbitt (1.80, W) threw five innings of work, but ended up being the first Aquasox starter to give up a run on a solo shot in the fifth. Otherwise, he gave up one hit and struck out six. RHP Kam Mikolio (0.00) gave up a hit and struck out one in the sixth, and then RHP Joe Kantakevich (2.25) went the next two, allowing a run on a solo shot, plus two other hits and four Ks. RHP Brian Kappel (0.00) loaded the bases on two hits and a hit batter, but got out of it with two strikeouts and a pop out.
DH Adam Moore (3 2B, R, RBI, .500) had three hits in the game, 2B Dean Zorn (3B, R, RBI, .167) had a triple in the first and a single punched past the reach of the shortstop in the eighth, C Jair Fernandez (2B, R, E, .333) had two hits and probably should’ve had three (more below) and got hit as well, RF Kuo-hui Lo (2B, R, 2 RBI, .091) had a double and a walk, and 1B Joe White (R, .316) had a hit and two walks.

Aquasox Game Notes:
· Nesbit throws in the mid to high 80s mostly, high 3/4ths arm slot, good deception on his delivery. Doesn’t really have a classic change that I saw, but did have a few breaking pitches in the mid-70s, which seemed to be curveballs. Sometimes his arm is a little shorter coming in, giving the batter even less time to read. When batters were swinging off the pitches, they were swinging under them. I didn’t get a chance to see him face a left-handed batter all night because the line up was filled with switch-hitters and righties. There was a bunt play late in the outing that he wasn’t prepared for, and he couldn’t catch his balance in time to make the throw to first.
· Mickolio is more over the top in his delivery. Big guy, the first two pitches he uncorked were fastballs, one in, one up, and the batter was visibly shaken after watching those two go past. Though both were balls, he eventually struck him out. I have fifteen (adjusted) gun readings written down for him, and I’m not sure if the one 83 mph pitch he threw was a slider or just a bad FB he lost a grip on. Everything else was from 89 to 93.
· Kantakevich is good. Mid-70s curve, 90-92 FB, 83 or so on a slider? Got some good Ks on all the pitches. The only bad one he really mad was the first one, a 91 mph fastball that was drilled over the fence.
· I have two batters with stars by their names, Lo and Fernandez
· -- Lo, as I said previously, will not swing at a pitch unless he knows it’s on the plate. He saw thirteen pitches between his second and third at bats, and I suspect he would’ve seen more in the third if not for the borderline inside strike to end the at bat (the ump seemed to be giving the inside strike, though it could’ve just been my angle). Unfortunately, I missed his double, having arrived at the park in the ‘Sox half of the second. Goes through this little routine out there where he does three to six little swings tapping at the air before he’s ready to start an at-bat. Good wheels in the outfield.
· -- It was a tale of two catchers behind the plate. The Devils’ representative frequently looked good in the drills, but there were a few times where you felt he lost the ball and he botched a couple of SB plays at third badly enough to allow the run to score. Jair, on the other hand, kind of made his way through the drills usually without showing off, but once the game was on, and particularly with men on, he looked like a man among boys on the infield despite being its youngest member at nineteen (three months younger than Zorn, I should say). He was extremely alert behind the plate, did not lose the ball once, and the one error against him was kind of questionable to me as it seemed like White hade it and just couldn’t get it into his glove. A real joy to watch after the first game of the series. At the plate, he has a lot of motion, spinning his bat around in his hand, but that doesn’t distract him from getting his hits in. He definitely has one of the fastest bats on the team, literally a blur at times, and would’ve had three hits if not for the fact that the HP ump called him out the third time around for being out of the box when he hit it, which just about everyone thought was crazy (I didn’t get a chance to see it, foolishly looking away). Good speed for a catcher too, ran out an infield single to short in his second at-bat.
· Halman is kind of frustrating to watch, just because you know he has so much potential and you’re not quite sure what he’s going to do in any given at-bat. His stance is spread out, with his right foot slightly turned to the backstop, and he tends to roll the bat around in his hands a lot, as do a lot of the Latin batters, I’ve noticed. His biggest issue is that he just isn’t used to pitching like this and tends to outthink himself up there. He’ll adjust, but he’ll adjust too far in on direction, striking out due to his aggressiveness and then because he’s too patient. On his swinging strikeout in his fourth at-bat, you could tell looking at his swing that he knew he had already struck out. On the other hand, in the eighth he broke his bat on a 93 mph pitch and still managed to muscle the ball into left and take second on the throw. It’ll take some time with him.
· Zorn gets pretty defensive late in the at-bats if he’s in the hole, and will foul quite a few off. I like what I see, I just wasn’t taking a lot of notes on him (Lo, Halman, and Fernandez were my top three in the game). His single in the eighth, along with Halman’s, got a serious fist pump from me, which did not go unnoticed in the booth. I still react to the game like a kid after years of watching it.
· White watches a lot of pitches go by as well, but late in the came he had some swings on the strikeouts that were just awful looking.
· Moore isn’t too patient from what I’ve seen. He checks his swing sometimes, doesn’t always succeed, but he’ll punish the pitches that he gets a good read on. Really jumpy on the base paths. I was watching him at one point late in the game when he was doing a bunch of spread-legged hops back and forth, over and over, until the pitcher looked back at him, saw him doing this in both directions (precariously close to third at one point), and just stared at him until he walked back and tagged second again.
· Bonilla… man, he looked awesome in the opener but just terrible in this one. The book on him and Diaz is to throw fastballs low and away and it hurts almost as much as Beltre’s old at-bats to watch. Fooled terribly on each one of them. On the field, he got bad reads twice on what appeared to be easy grounders and almost fell down converging with the pitcher and the catcher on an infield fly on the other side of the infield. But he does get some points for two reasons. 1) Every year I go to the park waiting for some foreign born player to be completely hypnotized by the minor league antics between innings. In this case, it was a performer balancing on a contraption of two pieces of wood and a pipe, while trying to and juggle three hammers and hold a saw up with a stick in his mouth. Bonilla was watching, giggling, and entirely entranced. 2) One pitch led to a K, him reaching, and then stealing second. I’m really trying to figure out how this happened, because he swung, and didn’t realize the catcher had lost the ball, recovered, ran and was called safe (kind of questionable) on the throw, then while something else was happening with the pitcher, stole second when no one was paying attention. I don’t think it was good sportsmanship or anything, but it was sure as hell funny to watch.

Deanna had a write-up of Thursday night’s game at the Seattle Marinerds blog.

Peoria Mariners 7, Mesa Angels 5 (0)
LHP Aric Van Gaalen (0.00, W) pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up four unearned runs on seven hits, two hit batters, a walk, and three Ks, but all but one of those hits came in the final two innings. RHP Jared Eichelberger (6.75) gave up a run on a solo shot and had another hit and a walk in his inning and a third, and over the final two frames, LHP Will Brown (0.00) walked one and struck out the side in both innings. He might turn out to be good ‘un.
CF Alex Gary (2B, HR, 2 R, .375) had two extra-base hits, including his second homer, and a walk. Methinks he might be close to ready. RF Carlos Peguero (HR, 3 RBI, A, .200) had a three-run bomb and a Golden Sombrero to show for his first game stateside, and there’s a chance that he turns in performances like that quite a bit. LF Marquise Liverpool (R, RBI, 3 SB, .300), 1B Gerardo Avila (R, RBI, .444) and 2B Matt Vogel (R, SB, .750) all had three hits.

Aguirre was rained out.

Today’s Starters:
Tacoma: RHP Rich Dorman, in Tacoma, @ 7:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: LHP Robert Rohrbaugh, in San Antonio, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Inland Empire: RHP Chad Fillinger (?), in San Bernardino, @ 7:11 pm PDT
Wisconsin: LHP Paul Fagan, in Appleton, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Everett: RHP Michael Schilling, at Yakima, @ 7:05 pm PDT
Peoria: TBA, at Scottsdale, @ 9:30 am PDT
Aguirre: TBA, at Cardinals, @ 8:00 am PDT

Tacoma Rainiers: 39-35, .527, 5 GB in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 1-1 (28-42), .500, (.400), 1 GB in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 3-1 (42-32), .750 (.568), T-1st in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 0-2 (27-45), .000 (.375), 2 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 4-1, .800, 1 GB in NWL West
Peoria Mariners: 2-0, 1.000, T-1st in AZL
Aguirre Mariners: 17-15-2, .529, 4.5 GB in VSL
Santo Domingo Mariners: 10-4, .714, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 169-174-2, .493

Friday, June 23, 2006
  Adcock Signs

Just after writing about the lack of draft news lately, I run some quick searches and turn up that fifth-round pick RHP Nathan Adcock has signed and will report to Peoria shortly. The blurb is brief...
North Hardin pitcher Nathan Adcock, a fifth-round draft choice of the Seattle Mariners, signed a pro contract this week. Adcock, a 6-foot-5 right-hander who was 12-2 this season, will give up a scholarship to the University of Louisville and report to Arizona for rookie ball.
Butler, check, Adcock, check, now to get Tillman, Nobles, and possibly Walden or Williamson.

  Game Recaps (6/22/06)

Portland 2 (SD - 1), Tacoma 3 (twelve innings)
LHP Bobby Livingston (4.62) pitched seven innings and gave up both runs (one earned) on four hits, a hit batter, four walks, and five Ks. RHP Renee Cortez (4.54) got the next two, giving up two hits and a walk while ringing up two, and RHP Jon Huber (1.59, W) gave up five hits and walked one over the final three, but got the win and struck out three.
3B Greg Dobbs (2R, .292) walked four times in this one, which is pretty crazy. LF Shin-soo Choo (2B, .292) and RF Chris Snelling (HR, .272) both had two hits. C Jeff Clement (.250) was 1-for-4 at the plate before giving way to Quiroz in extra-innings.

Springfield 2 (STL – 1), San Antonio 8
Ah, this game would’ve been fun to listen to… LHP Ryan Feierabend (4.23, W) opened the second half by going seven innings and giving up a couple of runs on five hits and a balk while he punched out eight. RHP Stephen Kahn (4.91) followed him up with a hit and a couple of Ks in the final two innings.
For the offense, RF Wladimir Balentien (HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, .259) was a perfect 4-for-4 and has hit home runs in his past three games. I just checked his stat line to see if it had been updated so I could check the jump in his OPS, and while that isn’t up yet, I did notice that he only has three times as many Ks as walks this year, whereas every year prior it’s been about four times as many. I’m slightly more impressed by the idea that he’s able to do this while making one of the toughest transitions in minor league baseball (advanced-A to double-A). CF Sebastien Boucher (R, RBI, .228) had three hits, LF Mike Wilson (R, RBI, .500) had two hits, and 1B Erick Monzon (3B, R, RBI, .257) and 2B Ismael Castro (2B, R, RBI, .241) both had extra-base hits. The other newcomer, 3B Matt Tuiasosopo (.250), had a hit and two Ks. Hubbard wasn’t in the lineup.

Adding to the recent surge of transactions the Missionsreleased LHP Adam Pettyjohn and OF Gary Harris. Harris, I can kind of understand, but Pettyjohn, I don’t get.

Modesto 1 (COL ), Inland Empire 4
RHP Cibney Bello (4.56, E, W) threw a no-hitter through six innings and struck out seven. No, really. He threw a no-hitter, he just walked seven and hit a pair. RHP Jon Lockwood (3.38) pitched two innings after that, giving up a run on two hits, a hit batter, two wild pitches, and two walks against two Ks, and then RHP Joe Woerman (0.00) got his first taste of Cal League action, going a third of an inning and giving up a hit and a walk. RHP Jose de la Cruz (3.77, S) bailed him out though, recording the final two outs and notching his seventh save.
1B Andy Hargrove (R, SB, .333) had a couple of hits and a walk, while RF Chris Colton (2B, R, .222) and LF Josh Womack (2B, R, 2 RBI, SB, .292) both doubled.

Kane County 7 (OAK + 1), Wisconsin 3
Kane County, the winner of the MWL West in the first half, is probably not the team that the T-Rats wanted to face to start their second go at it. LHP Jose Escalona (4.59, L) gave up six runs on four hits (HR), a hit batter, a balk, and five walks against three Ks in three innings of work. LHP Lance Beus (1.80) pitched the next two and a third innings and gave up a run on three hits, a wild pitch, two walks, and four Ks, and then LHP David Asher (2.60) gave up one hit over the next inning and two-thirds. RHP Justin Ockerman (7.50) pitched the final two frames, giving up a hit and a walk, though all but one of his outs came via the K.
CF Michael Saunders (2B, R, .212) had a double and SS Jeff Dominguez (R, .278) had a hit and a walk. The newcomers, while in the lineup, didn’t make much noise to start their careers as Timber Rattlers. LF Kevin Reynolds (R, .333) had a hit, but the other two went 0-for.

Tri-City 10 (COL - 1), Everett 1
What happened? RHP Doug Fister (0.00) was perfect through five innings of work, striking out nine, and then RHP Ari Kafka (27.00) got his ERA back to numbers by walking one, throwing a wild pitch, and striking out one in the sixth. And then, insanity. LHP Saydel Beltran (22.50, BS, L) gave up five runs on six hits in an inning+ of work, RHP Juan Colon (19.29, 2 E) scored one of those and four of his own (three earned) on three hits, two wild pitches, and two walks against two Ks over the next inning and a third, and LHP Jose Suriel (0.00) let one of Colon’s runs score and unearned of his own on a couple of hits while he finished the inning.
The offense wasn’t as bad as the lone run indicates, though they weren’t capable of pushing any more across the plate. C Adam Moore (.333), RF Bryan Sabatella (R, 2 SB, .500), and SS Ogui Diaz (2 SB, 2 E, 231) all had two hits, and 1B Joe White (2B, .312) and 2B Leury Bonilla (2B, .300) both had doubles, but not much came of it.

Looks like, barring anything strange happening, I’ll be back at Everett Memorial later on today.

Peoria Padres 8, Peoria Mariners 9
Just because having two wacky leagues in foreign countries isn’t enough, we have a league at home to provide all that fun and those great crowds (attendance: 10) right here in the U.S. RHP Leonardo Torres (10.38) pitched four and a third innings and gave up six runs (five earned) on four hits, two wild pitches, seven walks, and one strikeout. UW grad RHP Kyle Parker (10.80) would give up two runs of his own in the next inning and two-thirds on three hits, two wild pitches, and three walks against one K. After that, things settled down a bit, and RHP Robert Harmon (0.00) only walked two over the next two innings while RHP Rocky Collis (0.00, W) gave up one hit and picked up the win in the ninth.
C Juan Beltran (R, RBI, PB, .600) had three hits batting second and SS Marcos Villezcas (2B, 2 R, E, .500) and 2B Alex Meneses (R, 2 RBI, .667) had two hits batting eighth and ninth. RF Wellington Dotel (HR, 2 R, .250) and CF Alex Gary (HR, 3 RBI, .250) both hit dingers, the first of many for Dotel, I would hope, and 3B Alex Liddi (3B, R, .250) had a double.

Aguirre 5, VSL Twins/Blue Jays 2 (- 18)
RHP Miguel Marquez (2.01, 2 E) got the hook after three and two-thirds innings, having given up two runs (one earned) on eight hits, a hit batter, a walk and two Ks. RHP Leonardo Rodriguez (3.70, W) gave up just one hit, hit a batter, and struck out three over the final five and a third innings.
CF Dwight Britton (2B, R, .260) and DH Edilio Colina (R, .306) both had two hits, and LF Greysom Berroteran (R, .273) walked three times while 3B Jetsy Extrano (.227) walked twice. There have been a few names that have appeared more often than others for the offense, but it seems like much of the time, either the batter is in the midst of a crazy hot streak or he can’t buy a hit.

Today’s Starters:
Tacoma: LHP Cesar Jimenez, in Tacoma, @ 7:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: RHP Nate Mateo, in San Antonio, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Inland Empire: RHP Aaron Jensen, in San Bernardino, @ 7:11 pm PDT
Wisconsin: RHP Marwin Vega, in Appleton, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Everett: LHP Greg Nesbit, in Everett, @ 7:05 pm PDT
Peoria: TBA, at Mesa, @ 9:30 am PDT
Aguirre: TBA, in Aguirre, @ 8:00 am PDT

Tacoma Rainiers: 38-35, .521, 5 GB in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 1-0 (28-41), 1.000, (.406), T-1st in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 2-1 (41-32), .667 (.562), 1 GB in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 0-1 (27-44), .000 (.380), 1 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 3-1, .750, 1 GB in NWL West
Aguirre Mariners: 17-15-2, .529, 4.5 GB in VSL
Santo Domingo Mariners: 10-4, .714, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 164-172-2, .488

Thursday, June 22, 2006
  Peoria Roster Final Update
Now that the official Peoria Mariners roster is out, it’s time to expand on the the last entry.

First off, neither Brock nor Thorne are listed and odds are probably good that you can close the book on either of them showing up. Huang is also absent, and may not play this season.

The pitching staff is loaded with a lot of college arms right now, most of them recent draft picks (Collis, Parker, Harmon, Winter), along with a older minor league FAs (Koliscak from last year, Eichelberger), some guys who should be rehabbing (Varvaro, Frye), and Brandon Morrow, who should be out of there pretty soon. Aside from that, the guys worth following are mostly under twenty and rotation candidates in Brown, Butler, Salinas, Javier, and Torres. Brown, I’ve already talked about before, with his fine college performance at Modesto CC, and I’ve mentioned a bit about Butler and Javier, who are both worth keeping a close eye on. Torres is a guy that the M’s are supposedly pretty high on, so I’ve been told. His numbers weren’t great last year, as he gave up about a hit per inning, and struck out a little less than a batter per inning while recording half as many walks, but he was a guy that I was sort of in my peripheral view. They must think he’s capable of more if they’re sending him to Peoria this year. And then we have Salinas… he’s a big guy, really young, and already hitting the high-80s on the gun, but there are some who think he’ll be able to add several MPH before he’s through developing. He’s their favorite project right now, but we probably won’t know what we have in him for a few years yet. Aside from that, standard summer league favorites in Zapata and Gaetano, who are both a little old for the level, and Van Gaalen, who I’m still trying to figure out. Oh, and there’s Pettis, who the M’s drafted as an outfielder a few years back and just got around to signing, only to switch his position.

The backstops are listed as Beltran, Jacobo, Henson, and Daniel Santin. I’ve talked about the first three already, which leaves me with Santin, who is still probably in that strange tweener catcher position and hasn’t made an appearance all season, due to injury perhaps. He can hit, or at least he seems to be able to, but getting the at-bats and finding the position is still an issue.

Your Peoria Mariners infield is still Avila, Benitez, Guzman, and Liddi, or so they are listed on the roster. Yes, Liddi still seems to be a third baseman, for now. Guzman, who I haven’t talked about, seems like a good guy to bump up if a spot opens, depending on how he’s hitting (free Yung-chi Chen!), especially considering he’s already 24. They’re now listing middle IFs Marcos Villezcas, who hit .326/.364/.426 with Brigham Young last year and .275/.352/.336 this year, and Matt Vogel, who hit .376/.435/.541 for Lewis-Clark State this year. This kind of continues the trend of picking up guys who showed greater potential a year earlier and slipped and guys who tore it up against weaker competition.

The outfield is much the same as it was last time, with Liverpool (Mike Wilson, v 2.0), Dotel, Ruiz, Peguero, and Posluszny listed. New to it are Alex Meneses, moved from the infield, and Alex Gary, who’s rehabbing. Meneses hit .367/.515/.493 for Barry University in Florida (tearing up a small conference, again) and appears to be a solid on-base guy with some speed (Leadoff? Nine?). Posluszny hit .332/.396/.543 for the West Virginia Mountaineers this year, and is described as one of the better LH power bats they’ve had, though I don’t know how much that’s saying. Despite his listing on the roster, I’m pretty sure he’s not 7’5 (WV has him at 6’3). Ruiz takes a return tour of the league after posting mediocre numbers last year. The rest, well, I’m pretty sure I’ve already talked about them, so let’s just get to the games.

  Promotions, and More All-Star Goodness
Edit: Thread bumped, as new moves have been revealed in Wisconsin. Also, the real Peoria roster has shown up, with neither Thorne nor Brock, as I had expected all along. There is a listing of both Varvaro and Douglas Salinas, which is awesome. More updates later

Last night, it was announced and confirmed that Jeff Clement would be activated from the disabled list in time for the start of Tacoma's home stand. Jason at PI said in the comments section of a post that more moves were coming, and yeah... he was right.

According to an article from the San Bernardino County Sun that was sent in by a reader, the Sixer, having won the first half, just promoted six players to San Antonio, LHPs Robert Rohrbaugh, Thom Oldham, Ryan Rowland-Smith, 1B Marshall Hubbard, 3B/SS Matt Tuiasosopo, and RF Mike Wilson. Good news for Missions fans, who have had to put up with the league's worst offense by a .060 point margin in the OPS column, though I don't expect any of those three to tear it up right away (free Yung-chi Chen!). The extra pitching can't hurt either. As for the exchange, the Sixers will be receiving RHP Chad Fillinger, 1B Andy Hargrove, and UT Jack Arroyo from San Antonio, and OF Casey Craig and RHP Joe Woerman from Wisconsin. Craig and Woerman should help out, but I'm not sold on Hargrove, and can only guess with Arroyo. As for Fillinger, well, I can't for the life of me figure out why he was demoted.

Chris Mehring's blog is now saying that the M's have sent 1B Johan Limonta and OF Kevin Reynolds to Wisconsin. Reynolds has hit pretty well in the limited time he's had and should help the T-Rats offense. I don't know as much about Limonta, but he did hit .386 and slug .602 for Miami-Dade CC in 176 at-bats earlier this year.

The Aquasox also had their share of moves, via a press release I received earlier, it seem that LHP Aric Van Gaalen was sent back down to Peoria and C Travis Scott was promoted to Wisconsin, where he might be splitting time between first base and catcher duties. I say that because according to today's Aquasox notebook, Jair Fernandez is back in town to take over behind the plate, and corner IF Bryan Sabatella has been demoted.

I'm sure there are other moves afoot, but with San Antonio and Wisconsin press coverage still in the all-star hangover, I'm probably not going to get the goods 'til later on tonight.

As for the all-star material I promised, Wladimir Balentien won the home run derby in the Texas League last night, and the Futures Game rosters were announced as well, with Balentien and Chen on the World roster.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
  Game Recaps (6/21/06)

Portland 1 (SD 0), Tacoma 7
RHP Cha Seung Baek (3.42, W) gave up a run on five hits (HR), a hit batter, five walks, and five Ks in six innings of work tonight. RHP Sean Green (1.64, S) walked three and struck out three in the final three frames.
Everyone in the Rainiers lineup was hitting in this one, and LF Shin-soo Choo (2B, .290), 1B Bryan Lahair (HR, 3 RBI, .312), and 2B Scotty Baseball (HR, 2 R, .231) each collected two, while RF Adam Jones (HR, 3 RBI, .262), CF Chris Snelling (2B, R, .265), and 3B Greg Dobbs (2B, R, .295) had extra-base hits. C Guillermo Quiroz (.308) had a hit and a walk in his return to the lineup, and DH Jeff Clement (.250) had a hit and two strikeouts in four trips to the plate.

Jason has more on Clement’s debut at Prospect Insider.

High Desert 6 (KC – 1), Inland Empire 2
LHP Shawn Nottingham (3.52, L) took a rough loss, giving up four runs, only one earned, on six hit and a walk against three Ks through seven innings of work. RHP Justin Jordan (4.58) had an uneventful eighth, and then we got to see a rare sight in RHP Juan Done (18.00) pitching for the first time in over a year. Done gave up two runs on three hits and a wild pitch while striking out one.
C Omar Falcon (.253) had a hit and a walk, and 3B Reed Eastley (RBI, .265) had a hit and a RBI.

I forgot to mention this yesterday, but I got an e-mail this morning reminding me that the Sixer got the first half title with the win last night. The Cal League reversed the decision to award it to High Desert after realizing that it didn’t account for an earlier rainout between the two teams that hadn’t been made up, and in the winner-take-all match-up, the Sixers came out on top.

Tri-City 2 (COL - 2), Everett 4
The bad news is, that it’s still a four way tie in both sides of the NWL, but the good news is RHP Natividad Dilone (0.00) pitched five innings, giving up three hits, a hit batter, a wild pitch, and a walk while striking out five. The rest of the game was filled with one-inning stints from the relievers. RHP Aaron Solomon (0.00) walked one, hit one, and threw a wild pitch, LHPs Jose Suriel (0.00, W) and Saydel Beltran (0.00) both struck out one, and RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx (0.00, S) gave up a hit, threw a wild pitch, and struck out two.
On offense, CF Greg Halman (2 2B, R, RBI, SB, CS, .154), 1B Joe White (RBI, .333), and LF Gavin Dickey (R, 3 SB, .500) each had two hits, and C Jair Fernandez (.500) had a hit and two walks. Good to see Halman doing something at the plate.

The Peoria M’s start up the season tomorrow. No new updates on the roster as of the writing of this recap.

VSL Tigers/Marlins 0 (- 4), Aguirre 7
RHP Alfredo Venegas (2.50, W) gave up four hits and three wild pitches through six innings of work while he struck out five. His WHIP is 1.11 now, and his K/9 is at an even 6.5, so he’s edging his way back to respectability. LHP Jose Jimenez (2.67, S) gave up a hit, walked one, and struck out three over the final three frames.
RF Mario Yepez (2 RBI, .259) had three hits in the game, LF Greysom Berroteran (2B, R, RBI, .333) had two hits and a walk, and PH-DH Jonathan Loaisiga (2B, .296) had a double in his only plate appearance of the game. Curious note of the game, the catcher was Humberto Espinoza (R, .302), who was 0-for-2 with a walk.

Being a few weeks into the season now, it’s about time to check in with the DSL M’s and see what the team is up to. Jon, I hate to break it to ya, but LHP Eddy Fernandez is still in the DSL, as are RHPs Gregorio Rosario and Bruno Mercedes (the name I couldn’t remember the other night), but the good news is that you may be right on Salinas and you’ll have a chance to watch a great team in a couple of weeks. IF Luis Nunez is the top player on the team currently, batting .429/.509/.571 in 49 at-bats and leading the division in batting average. No other batter is anywhere close in average or at-bats, but more names will emerge soon. The pitching, again, has been the driving force behind the team. Fernandez has a seventeen Ks in nineteen innings and a sub-1.00 WHIP, Andy Henriquez has allowed baserunners at a similar clip and struck out twelve in ten innings, Rosario is just above one, but has seventeen Ks in 15.2, and the newcomer, Mercedes, has a WHIP and a K/IP of exactly one.

Tomorrow’s Starters:
Tacoma: LHP Bobby Livingston, in Tacoma, @ 7:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: LHP Ryan Feierabend, in San Antonio, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Inland Empire: RHP Cibney Bello (?), in San Bernardino, @ 7:11 pm PDT
Wisconsin: LHP Jose Escalona, in Appleton, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Everett: RHP Doug Fister, in Everett, @ 7:05 pm PDT
Peoria: TBA, in Peoria, @ 9:30 am PDT
Aguirre: TBA, in Aguirre, @ 8:00 am PDT

Tacoma Rainiers: 37-35, .514, 6 GB in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 27-41, .397, 13.5 GB in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 1-1 (40-32), .500 (.556), 1 GB in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 27-43, .386, 14.5 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 3-0, 1.000, T-1st in NWL West
Aguirre Mariners: 16-15-2, .515, 4.5 GB in VSL
Santo Domingo Mariners: 10-4, .714, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 159-170-2, .483

  Game Recaps (6/20/06)

Third-hand rumor, coming from Prospect Insider via Dave Cameron at USSM, is that Jeff Clement will be activated from the DL tomorrow and promoted to Tacoma.

The Texas League played their all-star game today. LHP Travis Blackley showed up as a replacement for Lahair and pitched two innings, giving up a hit, walking one, and striking out three. LF Wladimir Balentien was 0-for-2 on the day. Mackintosh and Bazardo were also named, but didn’t play.

High Desert 10 (KC – 2), Inland Empire 16
This may just be one of three games played today, but I think there was enough offense here for two more. LHP Justin Thomas (2.65, W) escaped being hit too hard, giving up just three runs on seven hits, three walks, and four Ks through five innings of work. The same can’t be said for RHP Mike Hrynio (3.94), who gave up four runs on a hit batter, a wild pitch, four walks and a K in an inning and a third, or RHP Mumba Rivera (3.10), who let three of those score and three of his own (two earned) in two-thirds+ on two hits (HR) and two walks against a K. LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (5.68) let two of Rivera’s runs score on the one hit he allowed in the eighth, and then RHP Jose de la Cruz (3.86) had a perfect ninth.
Surprisingly, in a seventeen-hit game, the Sixers had a couple of batters go hitless. 2B Yung-chi Chen (2B, R, 3 RBI, .335) had four hits to lead the charge, CF Brent Johnson (2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI, .292) and 1B Reed Eastley (R, 2 RBI, .266) had two each, and DH Marshall Hubbard (2 R, .265), RF Mike Wilson (2B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, A, E, .315), and C J.B. Tucker (2 R, SB, 3 RBI, .214) all had two hits.

In the Midwest League All-Star Game, the West unsurprisingly got mowed down by the East. RHP Edgar Guaramato recorded one fly out and LHP Harold Williams walked a batter who later came around to score. 3B Ron Garth had a hit, but LF Casey Craig and 2B Jeff Dominguez both couldn’t hack it at the plate.

Tri-City 2 (COL - 2), Everett 4
LHP Steve Uhlmansiek (0.00, E) had a fine debut to his season, going five innings and giving up just a hit, a hit batter, and a walk while he rung up six. RHP Juan Colon (18.00, BS, W) gave up two run on two hits (HR) and two Ks in the sixth, and then RHP Joe Kantakevich (0.00) struck out three over the next two innings. RHP Brian Kappel (0.00, S) notched his second save in as many games with a couple of Ks in the ninth.
C Chao Kuan Wu (2B, R, PB, .750) had three hits in the game, 1B Manelik Pimentel (HR, 2 RBI, .667) had two hits and a walk, and DH Joe White (HR, 2 RBI, .250) had the other two-run shot to give the Aquasox the lead initially. For the second day, all the western teams won and all the eastern ones lost.

Aguirre 1, VSL Orioles/White Sox 4 (+ 5)
RHP Yoervis Medina (4.30, E, L) gave up three unearned runs through five innings on four hits, a wild pitch, a walk, and three Ks. RHP Felix Correa (3.44) would go the rest of the distance and allow another run on a couple of hits, two walks, and two Ks.
3B Edilio Colina (.297) gets the note in this one for having a hit and a walk.

Tomorrow’s Starters:
Tacoma: RHP Cha Seung Baek, in Tacoma, @ 7:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: All-star break
Inland Empire: LHP Shawn Nottingham, in San Bernardino, @ 7:11 pm PDT
Wisconsin: All-star break
Everett: RHP Natividad Dilone in Everett, @ 7:05 pm PDT
Aguirre: TBA, in Aguirre, @ 8:00 am PDT

Tacoma Rainiers: 36-35, .507, 6 GB in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 27-41, .397, 13.5 GB in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 2-0 (40-31), 1.000 (.563), T-1st in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 27-43, .386, 14.5 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 2-0, 1.000, T-1st in NWL West
Aguirre Mariners: 15-15-2, .500, 4.5 GB in VSL
Organizational Record: 147-165-2, .471

Monday, June 19, 2006
  Game Recaps (6/19/06)

Four games to recap is practically an off day. All the same, SWEEEEP!

Tacoma 8, Sacramento 2 (OAK 0)
RHP Francisco Cruceta (3.54, W) had an off day for his control and still won, giving up a run on four hits, three wild pitches, and six walks against seven Ks in six innings of work. RHP Scott Atchison (3.77, S) pitched the final three for the save, giving up another run on three hits and a walk while he struck out four.
CF Chris Snelling (2B, 3 RBI, SB, .263), 3B Hunter Brown (HR, 2 R, .269), and 2B Scotty Baseball (R, RBI, .224) each had two hits, and LF Shin-soo Choo (HR, 2 R, SB, .288) had a home run and a walk. The game also answered the question Helfgott and I had while chilling at the Aquasox opener, concerning the whereabouts of C Jair Fernandez (.000). An hour and a half to the south, apparently.

High Desert 0 (KC – 1), Inland Empire 5
LHP Robert Rohrbaugh (1.46, W) did it again, going the full nine innings and allowing just four hits while striking out ten and racking up almost twice as many groundouts as flyouts. Not much else to say, aside from giving a little thanks to the minor league gods for letting a starting pitcher step up.
All the batters in the lineup had hits, and notably, DH Marshall Hubbard (2B, R, RBi, .262) had two and 3B Matt Tuiasosopo (RBI, .307) had one, plus a walk.

Tri-City 3 (COL - 1), Everett 5
Ah yes, the moment we’ve been waiting for. RHP Michael Schilling (0.00, W) was strong through seven innings of work, giving up just three hits and striking out seven and recording ten groundouts to four flies. Unfortunately, RHP Ari Kafka (“when your ERA is written out with letters instead of numbers, that’s a bad thing”) couldn’t get an out in the eighth, with three hits and a walk, which came around to score as three runs. RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx (0.00) was summoned from the ‘pen, let one of those score, and struck out one while finishing up the eighth, and then RHP Brian Kappel (0.00, S) struck out two in the ninth for the save.
For a standout in the offense, you can’t go wrong with 3B Leury Bonilla (2 2B, 4 RBI, .667), who had a pair of doubles to the deeper parts of the park and picked up all the RBI in the lineup. LF Kuo-hui Lo (R, .000) also did well in his debut, walking twice, and C Adam Moore (2 R, .000) reached twice by walking and getting plunked.

Game Notes:
· Play of the game? Tough call. One of them that I liked was when the pitcher tried to pick off Graterol, but Rifkin (yes, THAT Rifkin) was playing to his right and couldn’t get to it. The ball was thrown away, and seeing this, Graterol dove to his right, bowled over Rifkin, and quickly took second. The other “fine” play was when Halman hit a bouncer that played the Tri-City third baseman so badly that it jumped way over his head just before he reached it. The shortstop zigzagged in from behind him to cut it off, and overran it. Tri-City fans: you may have to wait until next year for a decent team.
· Schilling was a little odd to watch. He struggled in the first, and we kind of wrote him off, only to realize that he was really dominating, consistently throwing down in the zone and racking up Ks in the bunches. His velocity seemed to fade as the game went on, though. He was topping about 92 or so (adjusting for the stadium gun) in early innings, but was about 86 late.
· Kafka could not throw inside, and missed out a lot.
· Bibens-Dirkx is a fun guy to watch, and really dominated the LHB for the K. I don’t know how effective he’s going to be long-term, but I can’t recall a pitcher I’ve seen that threw more sidearm than he does.
· Kappel was throwing half FBs half breaking balls in the ninth, and utterly dominated the competition.
· Halman showed incredible discipline in odd numbered at bats, and none whatsoever in the even ones. Struck out twice, didn’t make good contact, kind of an enigma.
· Zorn made the best contact of anyone (including a deep foul to LF), outside of your player of the game, Leury Bonilla, who nailed both of his doubles and had the two hardest hit balls of the game to left-center and right-center for his RBI doubles. Joe White also had a solid hit down the LF line, and IIRC, a deep foul to RF.
· Moore was not as good defensively as one would hope, though they did not suffer because of it.
· Lo has an excellent eye at the plate, clearly the best of anyone on the team, and didn’t touch the ball unless it was the pitch he wanted. In the first at bat, he walked on five pitches, second at bat, on six pitches, and in the third, he grounded into a fielder’s choice on a 3-0 count. Little to say about his swing, because I didn’t really see much of it.
· Ogui Diaz didn’t impress me at all. He wasn’t that good defensively, had a decent arm, but not much else. He was also overaggressive at the plate and got himself out pretty quickly all three times. I guess the arm strength might be what shifted Zorn to second, because right now, I’m just not understanding this. I guess I’ll see what I can figure out about him when I get back to the park on Friday.
· In the NWL today, every western division team won, and every eastern division team lost.

VSL Pirates 8 (+ 5), Aguirre 9
RHP Juan Ramirez (2.42) pitched four innings this time out and gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits against four Ks. LHP Jose Jimenez (3.00) pitched two and a third after that, letting four more cross on four hits, a hit batter, a wild pitch, two walks, and three Ks, though RHP Jessie Nava (3.12) let one of those score, as he pitched an inning and two-thirds+, giving up two runs of his own on a hit, two wild pitches, and two walks with one K. One run scored against Nava under the watch of RHP Carlos Sanchez (2.61, S), who had two hits, a walk, and a K in the ninth.
The offense ended up scoring nine runs on four hits. Yes, you did read that correctly, though the eight walks and four errors obviously helped a bit. 3B Edilio Colina (2B, R, .293) and LF Rayon Lampe (3B, R, RBI, .204) both had extra-base hits, and 1B Humberto Espinoza (2 R, RBI, .312) and SS Cesar Fuentes (R, .226) both walked twice.

Tomorrow’s Starters:
Tacoma: Off day
San Antonio: All-star break
Inland Empire: LHP Justin Thomas, in San Bernardino, @ 7:11 pm PDT
Wisconsin: All-star break
Everett: LHP Steve Uhlmansiek, in Everett, @ 7:05 pm PDT
Aguirre: TBA, at Orioles/White Sox, @ 8:00 am PDT

Tacoma Rainiers: 36-35, .507, 6 GB in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 27-41, .397, 13.5 GB in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 1-0 (39-31), 1.000 (.557), 1st (?) in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 27-43, .386, 14.5 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 1-0, 1.000, T-1st in NWL West
Aguirre Mariners: 15-14-2, .516, 4.5 GB in VSL
Organizational Record: 145-164-2, .469

  Aquasox Roster Update:

Of course, with the Aquasox roster in the Times today, it’s also time to talk up the Frogs a little bit.

While other parts of the roster are a bit younger, the pitching staff doesn’t have a single listed player who is under the age of twenty, and the average age is a little over 22. My favorite pitcher on the roster is probably RHP Justin Souza, an undersized CC pitcher who can bring it in the mid-90s, though not without the usual durability concerns. Of course, there are other interesting storylines here… LHP Saydel Beltran was on the boat with Yuniesky Betancourt and could develop into a solid LOOGY, perhaps spending very little time in Everett at all… RHP Kameron Mickolio is a huge guy (6’9, 255 lbs) who is still learning how to pitch… LHP Jose Suriel, and RHPs Natividad Dilone and Juan Colon have all shown success in the DSL, but haven’t quite translated it to the U.S. yet (though this is Dilone’s first shot)… LHP Steve Uhlmansiek is still recovering from Tommy John surgery and still doesn’t have that velocity back… RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx is a ture sidearm pitcher and a local kid to boot… LHP Aric Van Gaalen is a lefty with good velocity coming in from Canada… RHP Doug Fister is the highest drafted pitcher on the roster and doesn’t look bad from the video I’ve seen… RHP Michael Schilling is the opening day starter after taking the end of last year off, and that probably speaks in his favor, though to what extent we don’t yet know.

The catching corps should be solid, with Jair Fernandez likely to get the nod as starter more often than not. Talented kid, still young, and tore through the VSL for much of last season before tailing off at the end. Chao Kuan Wu is the back-up, for now, though Adam Moore may join up soon, and he’s been described by the higher-ups as having as much power and batting ability as anyone in the draft. Travis Scott should see time as well in the meantime, though he may be plugged in at first or DH more often. There were rumors last year of turning Joe White into a catcher as well, but by and large, it looks like there could be a rotation of three of these guys playing first, catcher, and DH on any given day, though they may choose other options for the DH slot. More on that a little later.

Manelik Pimentel, a DSL import who hit for some power in ’04 and not so much in ’05, is another possibility for first base. I’ve heard he’s a good defender, and he has a good eye at the plate, but we’re still waiting on the consistent power stroke, and for some of those doubles to turn into homers (he was second on the team in two-baggers with thirteen). Ogui Diaz was an also-ran in the team MVP race for the Santo Domingo M’s last year, before Dotel blew everyone else out of the water. He hit for similar power to what Pimentel did, had a higher average, and worse eye ratios. Should be somewhere in the middle of the infield, and fits the bill of the summer league shortstop promoted to Everett after one year, except he doesn’t switch-hit and I haven’t heard about him being a gold glove defender. I’ll take what I can get, but the switch-hitter they do have, Dean Zorn, has been doing so since tee ball, if I remember correctly. He spent some time with Everett last year as a fill-in, but didn’t do so well in Peoria after his demotion. He may be the last of the group of four Aussies signed a couple years back, since Auty, Dixon, and Thorne (possibly) all moved on. At third, you have Leury Bonilla, who has power and some speed, but still is putting things together.

The outfield, of course, is my favorite part of the team, and it’s not really a contest. Kuo-hui Lo is rumored to be a better hitter than Chin-feng Chen and may have the tools to turn into a top prospect in short order. One of, if not the best Taiwanese hitter to sign a minor league contract in years. Greg Halman is still a teenager and a former Dutch league MVP to boot. His AZL stats, which included an isolated OBP of .092 and an isolated SLG of .189, showed tremendous potential, and they’re really pushing him to move him up against even more polished competition. Jose Graterol is a solid, strong-armed outfielder and has flashed some power to go with his on-base skills in his years in the VSL, as well as the AZL last year. Rounding out the group is Gavin Dickey, who just switched to playing his favorite spoty full-time this year and probably would’ve gone higher than the 12th round had he not signed with us this year. It’s difficult to peg a rotation down, as all of these guys should prove capable in all three spots, but I wouldn’t rule out having the fourth guy play as the DH on any given day. The only issue there is that it doesn’t allow for the ample bat development of the rather large C/1B group.

It’s going to be a fun year for Aquasox fans, and I’m going to catch as many games as I can, starting tonight. Of course, the standard roster disclaimers apply: wait for more signings to see what we're really working with here.

  Peoria Roster Update

While the Aquasox are preparing for their opener later today, there’s been a new release of a Peoria Mariners roster at that has a few things worth noting.

There are a number of stories here involving some foreign imports, and the biggest one is probably going to be how OF Wellington Dotel follows up last year’s campaign, which had him earning the league MVP nod in the DSL. Dotel hit .373/.417/.635 in 241 at-bats for the Santo Domingo M’s, and that slugging percentage was the best in the league (average was second, and he was among the leaders in most other categories as well), but he was also nineteen for the whole of his first year in the league. Usually the incredible talents are noticed fairly early on, and it could be a case of him just being older and considerably more polished than the competition. Joining him from the same team will be RHPs Carlos Javier and Leonardo Torres, C Juan Beltran, and OF Carlos Peguero. Javier is a guy worth taking a look at as held opponents to the lowest average of any full time starter (.179), but part of that could probably be attributed to his 58/33 K/BB in 58 innings. Still a young guy, and could turn into something interesting. Beltran is another in a line of young catchers to come into the system, though his hitting (.288/.339/.333 in 111 at-bats) isn’t as impressive as Fernandez or some of the others. What little I’ve heard says that he’s kind of small, but moves around well behind the plate. Peguero is a bit of a surprise promotion because the stats from last season didn’t indicate much polish. He has as much power as anyone outside of Dotel, but he struck out in over a third of his at bats. He walked at a decent enough clip (.086 iso OBP in 179 at-bats), but how much of that was pitcher terrified of throwing him anything on the plate remains to be seen.

From the VSL, there are three guys coming in, 1B Gerardo Avila, SS Deybis Benitez, and RHP Diomny Gaetano. Avila is a young LH bat who led the team with seven HR last season and put up some nice peripheral numbers as well. They’re pushing him a little, but that’s okay because he seems to have some talent. Benitez has shown potential at times, but struggled a little last year after a good first campaign. Gaetano is a bullpen arm who finally put things together after four years in the league and almost got through the season without giving up a run last year. I’d rather see him in Everett, but it’s not a big deal.

There’s only one additional new import to the team and that’s Italian prospect Alex Liddi, currently listed as an infielder though rumor has him moving to the OF soon. He’s the only Italian-born player currently in the affiliated minors, but he’s the third Italian signed by the Mariners in recent years (a couple of others played for Peoria in ’01). Something to watch.

The biggest surprise right now is the listings of RHP Aaron Thorne and OF Jermaine Brock on the roster. Thorne was out all of last season with arm surgery and went unlisted in the media guide, having left camp sometime earlier. Brock, we know as the toolsy outfielder who sat out all of last year for undetermined reasons. Whether they’re actually down there, or the roster is just pieced together from last year’s data (free Matt Ware!), remains to be seen.

As for the rest of the roster, well, we should know better once more signings have been announced, but the rotation at this point looks to consist of Anthony Butler, Will Brown, Javier, Thorne, and Chia-an Huang (assuming both are down there, Huang’s been having visa issues), with a few college vets filling in different roles. Good, but should be more interesting if/when Tillman/Adcock/Nobles/whoever else you like signs. The catching corps could have Beltran, Erwin Jacobo, and Julian Henson. I say could because Jacobo played mostly around the infield last year and Henson is listed as an outfielder, though MiLB has messed up player placements in the past (RRS was listed as an infielder on the Sixers roster for a little while). The infield and outfield also have a number of college types filling in, as that’s where the draft leaned. Johan Limonta is a former Cuban player, a left-handed first baseman who hit well for Miami-Dade CC. He’s probably the guy that interests me the most. Otherwise, it’s a lot of older guys drafted in the late rounds, and it’s not easy to tell what you might have there. Right now, it looks to be one of the older rosters in the league, though the details still have a few more days to be hashed out.

  Game Recaps (6/18/06)

Tacoma 13, Sacramento 8 (OAK + 1)
I’d count this one as a pleasant surprise as I walked away from the computer several hours ago convinced this game was a lost cause. RHP Clint Nageotte (5.45) gave up six runs (five earned) through four and two-thirds innings on seven hits (HR), a hit batter, and four walks against four Ks. Running out of things to say about this kind of outing… RHP Renee Cortez (4.78) went the next inning and two-thirds and let two more score on a hit, four walks, and four Ks, and then RHP Jon Huber (2.16, W) came in for an inning and two-thirds, threw a wild pitch, walked two, and struck out one, though two of Cortez’ runs scored on his watch. RHP Sean Green (1.89) gave up a couple hits in the ninth.
Lots of offense in this one, naturally, as every batter had a hit and all but one of them had at least two. RF Adam Jones (R, .263) and SS Asdrubal Cabrera (2B, R, RBI, 2 SB, .249) both had three hits, and CF Shin-soo Choo (2B, 2 R, SB, .289), DH Chris Snelling (2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, .256), 1B Bryan Lahair (2 RBI, .292), 3B Hunter Brown (2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB, .264), 2B Scotty Baseball (HR, 2 R, .216), and C Brian Schweiger (2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, E, 2 PB, .417) all had two hits.

San Antonio 2, Midland 3 (OAK + 2)
RHP Yorman Bazardo (3.02, L) pitched five innings and gave up a couple of runs on five hits, a wild pitch, a hit batter, and two walks. RHP Chad Fillinger (2.56) gave up another run in the sixth on three hits, and then LHP Eric O’Flaherty (1.17) gave up two hits, walked three, and struck out one in the final two innings. O’Flaherty’s been getting a little lucky in terms of the runs scoring against him, considering how many baserunners he’s allowing. The strikeouts are still awesome though.
3B Jesus Guzman (2B, R, .261) and RF Wladimir Balentien (HR, SB, A, .245) both had two hits, and SS Oswaldo Navarro (2B, .250) doubled.

Inland Empire 3, Visalia 6 (TB - 4)
Can’t fault RHP Aaron Jensen (2.73) in this one, as he went five and two-thirds innings and gave up a run on six hits and a walk while striking out two. LHP Thom Oldham (4.83, L) pitched the next inning, and allowed three runs to score on three hits and a K, though RHP Jon Lockwood (3.33) scored one of those and gave up two more of his own on three hits and a K in the final inning and a third. RF Mike Wilson (2 2B, R, RBI, .312) had three hits in the game, 1B Reed Eastley (.255) had two, and C Omar Falcon (2B, RBI, .250) had a double.

Wisconsin 0, Quad Cities 6 (STL - 1)
LHP Paul Fagan (4.67, PO, L) gave up three runs on seven hits, two wild pitches, and a hit batter through seven innings of work, while racking up his usual groundball totals. Unfortunately, the scoreless streak for RHP Joe Woerman (2.12) came to an end, in a bad way, as he gave up three runs on three hits (HR) and a walk with one strikeout in the eighth.
In past games, I’ve managed to track down a notable by picking the guy that stole a base or something in addition to the weak single, but I can’t even do that tonight. There were three hits in the lineup, and the offense was just terrible. The opposing starter had his best start of the season, even if he only struck out four.

There’s a story about the international nature of the Aquasox roster, which seems to be a story they recycle from year to year (to the point where even I wouldn’t dare write about it), but the good news is that there’s a roster at the bottom. I’ll probably be chilling in the press box for the opener, but if not, I should at least be at the park.

Today’s Starters:
Tacoma: RHP Francisco Cruceta, at Sacramento, @ 7:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: All-star break
Inland Empire: LHP Robert Rohrbaugh, in San Bernardino, @ 7:11 pm PDT
Wisconsin: All-star break
Everett: RHP Michael Schilling, in Everett, @ 7:05 pm PDT
Aguirre: TBA, in Aguirre, @ 8:00 am PDT

Tacoma Rainiers: 35-35, .493, 6 GB in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 27-41, .397, 13.5 GB in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 38-31, .551, 1st (?) in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 27-43, .386, 14.5 GB in MWL Western
Aguirre Mariners: 14-14-2, .500, 4.5 GB in VSL
Organizational Record: 141-164-2, .463

Sunday, June 18, 2006
  Game Recaps (6/17/06)

No new draft news today, but it is worth noting that the M’s signed a former teammate of YuBet, LHP Saydel Beltran. I link to the Herald article because it’s better than the Times’ one. He pitched decently last season, but didn’t play so well in limited time this year.

Tacoma 1, Sacramento 11 (OAK + 2)
It hurts. RHP Rich Dorman (4.09, L) gave up five runs on seven hits, two wild pitches, and four walks with five Ks in four frames of work. RHP Dan Wright (6.55) gave up four runs on four hits, a wild pitch, two walks and a K in the next three, and then RHP Aaron Looper (6.82) gave up two runs on three hits in the ninth.
There were still some notables in the offense, in spite of the lack of offense. RF Adam Jones (.257) had two hits, 1B Bryan Lahair (.278) had a hit and walked twice, and LF Jon Nelson (2B, R, .282) and 2B Scotty Baseball (2B, .208) had doubles.

San Antonio 6, Midland 4 (OAK + 1) (eleven innings)
RHP Nate Mateo (4.41) went five+ innings and gave up a couple of runs on eight hits, a hit batter, three walks, and three Ks. LHP Jason Mackintosh (3.79) gave up two runs in the next inning and a third on three hits and a wild pitch, and then RHP Mark Lowe (0.00) came in, scoring one of those runs, and giving up three hits and striking out two in three and two-thirds innings. RHP Craig James (1.85, W) was perfect through the last three innings and struck out three for the win.
As impressive as James was, and really has been for the majority of the season, gameball goes to LF Wladimir Balentien (HR, 2 RBI, 2 A, E, .241) for the two-run shot that decided the game, as is commonly the case in extra-inning games. Additional bonus points to 1B Erick Monzon (HR, .253) for two hits, one of which was the homer that sent it to extra innings in the ninth to begin with. DH Jack Arroyo (R, .135) had two hits as well, and CF Sebastien Boucher (R, .223) and RF Gary Harris (R, SB, .212) both had a hit and two walks.

Inland Empire 4, Visalia 3 (TB - 5)
RHP Cibney Bello (4.98) was spotted an early three-run lead, but couldn’t hold it and gave up three of his own on five hits (2 HR), a wild pitch, and four walks against two Ks. RHP Mumba Rivera (2.59, W) followed him, giving up a hit and striking out two in two and a third innings, then LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (6.75) struck out the final batter of the eighth. RHP Jose de la Cruz (3.99, S) struck out one in the ninth.
LF Josh Womack (R, .309) had two hits, and 1B Marshall Hubbard (2B, .258), RF Mike Wilson (HR, 2 RBI, .305), and SS Matt Rogelstad (2B, ,234) had extra-base knocks.

Wisconsin 8, Quad Cities 9 (STL - 2)
RHP Ruben Flores (6.18) gave up six runs on three hits, a balk, two hit batters, and two walks against two Ks. Flores also had seven wild pitches, which is insane. LHP David Asher (2.87) gave up two unearned runs in the next three innings on two hits and a hit batter while he rung up two. RHP Roman Martinez (4.00, L) would take the loss, giving up a run on three hits, a hit batter, and a K, though LHP Lance Beus (1.17) scored that run, giving up a hit before he K’d two.
Can’t really fault the offense too much in this one, though you’d think they’d get more mileage out of seventeen hits. RF Eddy Hernandez (2B, 2 R, PO, .215) had three hits and a walk in the game, and SS Jeff Dominguez (2 R, CS, E, .281), DH Robby Hudson (R, 2 RBi, CS, .272), 2B Luis Valbuena (RBI, 2 SB, .269), 3B Ron Garth (2B, RBI, .276), C Curtis Ledbetter (2B, R, .205), and LF Bryan Sabatella (2B, R, RBI, .202) had two hits each. They’re going to need more guys stepping up like this to compete in the second half.

Good story in the Herald today about OF Greg Halman, who seems to be slated for center, though I wouldn’t make too much of that. Except the Netherlands does have a baseball league, the best in Europe by a good margin, it’s just still not really comparable to a lot of the other international leagues.

VSL Mets 4 (+ 4), Aguirre 7,
RHP Yovanny Olivero (2.48, W) may be pitching his way onto my radar screen with another performance like this, as he went six innings and gave up just two hits while ringing up seven. RHP Leonardo Rodriguez (4.74) pitched the next two and a third, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits, a wild pitch, a hit batter, two walks, and a K, and the RHP Alfredo Venegas (3.00) came in, scoring two of those runs as he finished up the game with two hits and a strikeout.
CF Dwight Britton (2B, R, RBI, .278) is hot again after a few weeks of being cold, with three more hits tonight. 3B Edilio Colina (3B, R, 2 RBI, .295) and C Larry Gonzalez (2B, 2 R, .308) both had extra-base hits. PH-RF Greysom Berroteran (.000) finally made his first appearance of the season striking out late in the game.

Today’s Starters:
Tacoma: RHP Clint Nageotte, at Sacramento, @ 1:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: RHP Yorman Bazardo, at Midland, @ 4:05 pm PDT
Inland Empire: RHP Aaron Jensen, at Visalia, @ 1:35 pm PDT
WisconsinLHP Paul Fagan, at Quad Cities, @ 12:00 pm PDT
Aguirre: Off day

Tacoma Rainiers: 34-35, .493, 6 GB in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 27-40, .403, 13.5 GB in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 38-30, .559, 1st in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 27-42, .391, 14.5 GB in MWL Western
Aguirre Mariners: 14-14-2, .500, 4.5 GB in VSL
Organizational Record: 140-161-2, .465

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