Minor League Wrap (8/3-9/09)

Jay Yencich · August 10, 2009 at 6:05 am · Filed Under Mariners 

This week was one in which the hitters were actually hitting in most cases and the pitchers threw three complete game shutouts, which we’re lucky to see in a half a season let alone a week. So, I have quite a bit more to talk about this time than I have in the recent past.

To the jump!

Dispatches from Venezuela:
Now that their season is over, I get to indulge in one of my favorite minor league topics, the Venezuelan Summer League and the useless/ridiculous stats that come out of there. The VSL M’s ran a 39-29-1 record over the course of the season and came up a couple games short of second place, but there were enough players of interest even though the M’s missed out on the playoffs.

The name you’ll hear about the pitching staff most often is RHP Erasmo Ramirez, a nineteen-year-old signed out of Nicaragua for a song a few years back, as few teams were convinced of his age. He lacks top drawer stuff, his fastball is only average as velocity goes, but one thing is for certain: he can pitch. In 88.0 innings he ran an 80/5 K/BB and induced nearly three and a half times as many ground balls as flies. He was particularly brutal against left-handers, against whom he ran a G/F rate of nearly seven and a quarter to one. The average hitter facing him put up numbers only slightly better than Ronny Cedeno.

Ramirez will undoubtedly find his way over soon, but unfortunately the team as a whole lacked a “Juan Ramirez” type arm, as far as I can tell. Twenty-one year old RHP Yoervis Medina had a 62/23 K/BB in 68.0 IP, holding batters to a sub-.200 average, but he was in his fourth year in the league. Another fourth-year, RHP Yovanny Olivero, had a 54/18 K/BB in 72.2 IP a year after Tommy John surgery. One first-year player to keep an eye on might be RHP Maykel Ynfantes, who had a 31/10 ratio in 38.1 innings, but he’ll turn nineteen in December, so he’s already a little old for the level.

On the field, a couple more Ramirezes were making waves. The more prominent of the two was IF Carlos, who hit.336/.439/.447 in his fourth year in the league. He hasn’t played much shortstop of late, not that this is a huge concern (Extrano transitioned back). His ceiling is probably not all that different from Deybis Benitez, but we’ve seen how that type of player can at least buy you [Kop]love. One newcomer Marc and I were rather fond of was Ivan Ramirez, who just turned seventeen and plays first base while catching a bit. His line of .315/.392/.420 isn’t bad at all for a first run at it, and he had a 28/15 K/BB.

After those two, you had the continued development of C Larry Gonzalez, another fourth-year, who hit .324/.373/.482 this season and led the team with four home runs after doing nothing special his first three seasons. He might be the next in a long tradition of summer league catcher promotions. I’ll close out with an Aruban scouting mention, which I don’t often get to make, but second year OF Kenny Hart earned it. After an awful first year and a worse start to the season, Hart rebounded, going from a .167/.219/.267 average in May to a .298/~.442/.438 average the rest of the way, bolstered by an 18/17 K/BB in July. The strikeouts are of some concern and he’s pretty much a corner outfielder, near as I can figure, but you don’t see eye numbers like that coming out of the summer leagues generally.

The Dominican Summer League Mariners, who play until the 21st, will have to wait a couple of weeks.

Tacoma Rainiers (6-1 this week, 57-59 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 3rd 2009
Fresno 2 (SF + 8), Tacoma 7
W: Morrow (1-2, 6.53); L: Mixon (0-1, 10.12)

Tuesday, August 4th 2009
Fresno 11 (SF + 9), Tacoma 0
W: Ortiz, R (5-2, 2.48); L: Seddon (7-6, 4.00)

Wednesday, August 5th 2009
Tacoma 8, Round Rock 0 (HOU – 14)
W: Baldwin (6-7, 4.37); L: Bazardo (9-6, 3.20)

Thursday, August 6th 2009
Tacoma 4, Round Rock 1 (HOU – 15)
W: Stark (1-1, 5.50); L: McLemore (3-8, 4.35); SV: Messenger (22)

Friday, August 7th 2009
Tacoma 5, Round Rock 2 (HOU – 16)
W: Hernandez, G (5-9, 6.03); L: Trinidad (3-3, 4.91); SV: Messenger (23)

Saturday, August 8th 2009
Tacoma 7, Round Rock 6 (HOU – 17)
W: Delgado, J (3-3, 6.83); L: Geary (1-3, 5.40); SV: Messenger (24)

Sunday, August 9th 2009
Tacoma 6, Albuquerque 4 (LA + 10)
W: Manuel (1-1, 8.44); L: Durbin, J (0-3, 6.11); SV: Koplove (1)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Matt Tuiasosopo, R/R, 5/10/1986
6 G, 22 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 6/3 K/BB, .364/~.440/.681

Tui hit home runs on Monday and Wednesday, doubling his season total. That doesn’t sound all that impressive, superficially, but he’s only played in thirty games all season and was injured in the early goings. So let’s look at it this way: since coming off the DL, 44% of his hits have gone for extra-bases and he’s hit .291/.384/.512. Walks and power, and still fairly young. We’re all glad to have Beltre back so quickly and I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing him around next season as well, but I don’t think of that as having a high probability, and I certainly wouldn’t mind having Tui, who could become an above-average hitter, out there at the hot corner.

Same as Last Week Mention:
CF Jerry Owens, L/L, 2/16/1981
6 G, 22 AB, 8 R, 9 H, HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 3/4 K/BB, .409/.500/.545

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Brandon Morrow, 7/26/1984
1-0, 2 GS, 2.07 ERA in 13.0 IP, 12 H, 3 R, 13/2 K/BB, 9/15 G/F, 2 WP

I gave strong consideration to Baldwin, who threw a CG shutout a week after I said in so many words that he was of little interest. Of course, at the higher levels, I do feel the need to be a bit more practical about these, selecting the better prospect over the better performer. Besides, Baldwin needed 116 to get through his nine innings, where Morrow didn’t top ninety either time despite throwing seven and six innings. Over two-thirds of his pitches went for strikes and he had a better strikeout rate too, so there is that. After running a 12/12 K/BB in July, he’s down to 13/2 in August, and has pitched nearly as many innings despite starting only twice. Round Rock isn’t exactly a powerhouse, but there’s nothing wrong with Fresno’s offense, other than they don’t walk a lot. Morrow benefitted from facing those two teams in this case, but it’s something to build off of. His performance against Iowa later this week might be more of the same.

CG SHO #2 (of the week, of his career) Mention:
RHP Andy Baldwin, 10/20/1982
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 9.0 IP, 6 H, 6/0 K/BB, 9/12 G/F

From The Training Room:
With Shelton being activated, Oswaldo Navarro went on the DL with a leg injury, so more hitting, less defense. Fister is up and Vargas is down, as has been covered earlier. Also, I discovered that the reason Shell went on the DL was because he got hit in the face by a liner. I knew about the hit, but not that it was in the face.

Strange Happenings:
The Rainiers had the misfortune of being at Albuquerque on “More Cowbell” Night, Sunday, where the first three thousand fans were given free cowbells. What is this, 2004?

West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (4-4 this week, 22-22 in the second half, 49-65 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 3rd 2009
West Tenn 11, Chattanooga 12 (LA+ 5)
W: Sartor (3-4, 3.55); L: Christensen (0-6, 4.30)

Tuesday, August 4th 2009
West Tenn 10, Chattanooga 5 (LA+ 4) (seven innings)
W: Downs (1-0, 5.59); L: Withrow (0-1, 16.20)

West Tenn 6, Chattanooga 3 (+ 3) (seven innings)
W: Bray (4-6, 3.30); L: Batista (5-1, 2.43); SV: Orta (3)

Wednesday, August 5th 2009
West Tenn 2, Chattanooga 7 (LA+ 4)
W: Bastardo (4-2, 4.63); L: Hill, N (3-4, 3.02)

Thursday, August 6th 2009
Carloina 4 (CIN – 11), West Tenn 7
W: Christensen (1-6, 4.33); L: Montano (0-2, 8.49); SV: Varvaro (6)

Friday, August 7th 2009
Carloina 11 (CIN – 12), West Tenn 20
W: Munoz, L (5-6, 4.48); L: Ward (0-2, 23.14)

Saturday, August 8th 2009
Carloina 7 (CIN – 11), West Tenn 2
W: Cochran (4-4, 3.33); L: Cortes (0-3, 7.66); SV: Krebs, J (2)

Sunday, August 9th 2009
Carloina 6 (CIN – 10), West Tenn 4
W: Atencio (1-0, 0.00); L: Villarreal (0-1, 18.00); SV: Watson, S (5)

Hitter of the Week:
DH Marshall Hubbard, L/R, 4/16/1982
5 G, 13 AB, 6 R, 7 H, 5 2B, 6 RBI, 1/7 K/BB, .538/~.700/.923

First of all, I didn’t really expect Poythress to be upstaged in his debut in the league. Nor did I expect so much competition for the top spot, nor did I expect Hubbard to draw a walk every third time up this week in a bid to get us to pay attention to him even if he’s been pushed off to DH most of the time (his defense, not so good). Let’s face it, the .700 OBP week doesn’t generally happen all that much, nor does a player have a stretch of 70%+ extra-base hits for a week. That included a 2-for-2, one double with three walks night on Friday. Hats off to you, Hubbard. The other guys probably have more of a role in the org than you do, but that didn’t keep you from putting up a fight.

Leadoff Type, Maybe Not with Us Mention:
CF Ezequiel Carrera, L/L, 6/11/1987
8 G, 33 AB, 9 R, 15 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 11 RBI, 3/5 K/BB, 4 SB, CS, .455/~.526/.636

Platoon Guy, Possibly with Us Mention:
1B/OF Johan Limonta, L/L, 8/4/1983
8 G, 30 AB, 9 R, 12 H, 3 2B, 2 3B, 4 RBI, 4/5 K/BB, 3 SB, CS, .400/~.486/.633

Back-up Catcher, in an Emergency Mention:
C Guillermo Guiroz, R/R, 12/19/1981
6 G, 24 AB, 5 R, 9 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 0/1 K/BB, .375/~.500/.708

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Steve Bray, 12/22/1980
1-0, 2 GS, 3.21 ERA in 14.0 IP, 14 H, 5 R, 7/2 K/BB, 12/19 G/F

Bray has become my go-to pitcher when the D-Jaxx aren’t really up to the task. He’s filled that role nicely in the rotation as well, as going back through his past ten starts, you’ll notice that six of them were quality with one just barely missing. That says a bit for a guy who happened to strike out only a little over a batter every other inning in the same span, but listening in on a game on Sunday, I may have found one way of how he does it. Bray doesn’t have any awesome weapons in his arsenal, but he does have a knuckleball that he’ll bust out now and then, which would seem to explain a little. He doesn’t do it often, so you won’t see wild pitches out of him often (none for the season), but it’s an interesting little weapon to have on hand.

Getting Better, Command Needs Work Mention:
RHP Luis Munoz, 1/12/1982
1-0, GS, 4.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), 7/2 K/BB, 7/4 G/F

From the Training Room:
The Mariners did a little scouting while in Kansas City last week and picked up indy leaguer LHP Luis Villarreal from the T-Bones. Fields hit the DL, after walking one and getting the hook on Thursday, and Rohrbaugh came off the DL to replace him and should be due to start any time now. Downs is on the temporarily inactive list. When Poythress was added, Mojica went on the DL after getting hit in the head by a pitch. That came while playing defense, but I don’t know if it’s as serious as what happened with Shell.

Strange Happenings:
The hitters weren’t the only ones walking, as Dan Cortes handed out ten free passes in 9.1 innings this week. Hill also struggled with his command, with four walks in five and a third innings on Wednesday. Poythress had a .267/.333/.267 average in his first four games.

High Desert Mavericks (2-4 this week, 23-21 in the second half, 66-48 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 3rd 2009
Off day

Tuesday, August 4th 2009
High Desert 1, Lancaster 10 (HOU – 3)
W: Salamida (3-0, 5.64); L: Hensley (6-3, 4.64)

Wednesday, August 5th 2009
High Desert 5, Lancaster 18 (HOU – 2)
W: Wolf (4-5, 5.60); L: Robles (0-1, 33.75)

Thursday, August 6th 2009
High Desert 4, Lancaster 2 (HOU – 3) (eleven innings)
W: Paredes (8-4, 4.45); L: Abad (2-5, 4.38)

Friday, August 7th 2009
High Desert 2, Lake Elsinore 8 (SD – 2)
W: Hefner (12-7, 3.92); L: Ramirez, J (6-8, 5.19)

Saturday, August 8th 2009
High Desert 8, Lake Elsinore 2 (SD – 3)
W: Hume (14-5, 4.36); L: Schmidt (2-6, 7.23)

Sunday, August 9th 2009
High Desert 2, Lake Elsinore 3 (SD – 2)
W: Oland (5-1, 2.68); L: Mortimore (2-5, 7.77)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Alex Liddi, R/R, 8/14/1988
6 G, 23 AB, 3 R, 12 H, 6 2B, 3B, 5 RBI, 6/2 K/BB, .521/~.560/.870

The batting eye wasn’t there in the same way as it has been at other times in recent weeks, but hey, production. With six doubles on the week, Liddi only needs one more to hit forty for the season, and he’s four homers away from hitting twenty-five. I don’t think he’ll be hitting thirty exactly, but those two seem like reasonable goals within his sights. The rest, you probably still know: still killing lefties, still raking at home, still posting an OPS over 1.000. I’m almost more excited for next year when he gets a real test in West Tenn.

Needs Plane Fare Back to Tennessee Mention:
IF Leury Bonilla, R/R, 2/8/1985
3 G, 14 AB, 2 R, 6 H, 2 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, 5/0 K/BB, .429/~.429/.714

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Donnie Hume, 8/29/1985
1-0, GS, 2.57 ERA in 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 3/2 K/BB, 11/6 G/F

Even though he was solid on Sunday, I couldn’t put Hensley here because his Tuesday start was an absolute mess and he’s still giving up home runs at a somewhat alarming rate, so enter again Donnie Hume. I feel like most of what there is to say about him I’ve covered at this point, what he throws, his history, if he’ll stay on as a starter, and some improvements in his command noticed since the all-star break, so let’s scrutinize his splits a little more for good measure. You’ll notice that his average against versus left-handers and right-handers are mostly the same, but against southpaws, his K-rate is one lower per nine and his walk-rate against left-handers is also one-and-a-half lower per nine. Semi-educated speculation would lead me to believe that this means his change-up is pretty good, but he doesn’t have great command of it. I could be way off on that.

Effectively… Mention:
RHP Jake Wild, 8/18/1984
0-0, GS, 1.42 ERA in 6.1 IP, 3 H, R, 3/4 K/BB, 8/7 G/F

From the Training Room:
Vega is off the DL and Penney and Colina are both back, but Johnson is still around too. Juan Diaz is back too, replacing the traded Benitez.

Strange Happenings:
Robles had five runs score in a third of an inning on five hits and two walks in his debut. Ug-ly… Brent Johnson played at second the other night, for the second time as a pro.

Clinton Lumberkings (5-2 this week, 21-21 in the second half, 61-51 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 3rd 2009
Burlington 0 (KC – 6), Clinton 5
W: Kasparek (8-5, 2.32); L: Melville (3-6, 4.08)

Tuesday, August 4th 2009
Burlington 19 (KC – 5), Clinton 6
W: Lehmann (4-4, 4.65); L: Hesketh (0-1, 27.00)

Wednesday, August 5th 2009
Burlington 4 (KC – 6), Clinton 7
W: LaFromboise (7-6, 3.83); L: Baez, M (5-5, 3.71)

Thursday, August 6th 2009
Burlington 6 (KC – 5), Clinton 4
W: Hodgson (1-1, 7.04); L: Vasquez (1-1, 4.50); SV: Bowden (8)

Friday, August 7th 2009
Clinton 11, Kane County 2 (OAK – 1)
W: Carraway (1-0, 4.09); L: Ramirez, An (1-2, 4.13)

Saturday, August 8th 2009
Clinton 9, Kane County 1 (OAK – 2)
W: Kasparek (9-5, 2.29); L: Leblanc Poirier (3-6, 4.36)

Sunday, August 9th 2009
Clinton 5, Kane County 3 (OAK – 3)
W: Hesketh (1-1, 13.50); L: Haviland (6-9, 4.33); SV: Hann (9)

Hitter of the Week:
C Blake Ochoa, R/R, 9/5/1985
5 G, 17 AB, 6 R, 11 H, 2B, 3B, HR, 7 RBI, 1/0 K/BB, .647/~.647/1.000

Spit take anyone? That’s about how I felt after running the calculations for this week. The Clinton offense was good, with at least six guys cracking a .300 average, but there was no choice in the matter for me. I couldn’t continue to highlight Shaffer’s hot streak, and making Royster HOTW would have been a stretch too. Forget the fact that he didn’t walk, because he didn’t strike out either. Ochoa has been great for two+ months now, so I might as well submit a proposal. Say the M’s call up Moore. They’d have to figure out what to do with Johjima first (that may be for the offseason), but Moore is one guy who could help us in 2010 and the future. Move Quiroz to Tacoma, Scott to West Tenn, and Ochoa to High Desert. Bring in Tommy Johnson or Brandon Bantz or Trevor Coleman to Clinton, whatever, but I don’t think that would be a bad move in the closing weeks of the minor league season.

Not Quite .500 Average Mention:
LF Jake Shaffer, L/L, 8/16/1987
7 G, 29 AB, 4 R, 14 H, 3 2B, HR, 11 RBI, SB, CS, 4/1 K/BB, .483/~.500./.690

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Kenn Kasparek, 9/23/1985
2-0, 2 GS, 0.63 ERA in 14.1 IP, 11 H, R, 15/1 K/BB, 13/15 G/F

Kasparek is an easy pick here, as he threw the first complete game shutout of the week back on Monday, a game in which he only allowed three hits and struck out nine. It was the first nine inning complete game for Clinton since 2005, and they lost that one. Kasparek retired the first ten in a row, which is interesting because I heard where he said he didn’t have his best stuff warming up in the bullpen and thought he’d be lucky to get through five. Burlington isn’t known for their hitting, or at least not known in a positive light for it, but I’m sure than a bunch of other pitchers would love to be able to get through nine innings against them without their stuff working for them. Kenn still prefers his no-hitter in college to this particular outing though. I don’t think I’d hold that against him.

A 5/1 K/BB vs. Lefties, No Hits Allowed Mention:
LHP Brian Moran, 9/30/1988
0-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.1 IP, H, 2/0 K/BB, 6/5 G/F

From the Training Room:
Stephen Penney had a brief return to Clinton, but then the M’s eventually decided they liked LHP Jonathan Hesketh better there. He and Nation have been doing piggyback starts this week. Savastano hurt himself, fouled a ball off his leg pretty badly from what I remember, and that brought in Ryan Royster from Everett. The M’s also demoted Ian Bladergroen to Clinton, which pushed Jetsy Extrano back to the Arizona League. I, for one, will miss him.

Strange Happenings:
Burlington scored nineteen runs against the Lumberkings on Tuesday. Ten of those were unearned.

Everett Aquasox (5-2 this week, 30-19 overall)

Monday, August 3rd 2009
Boise 1 (CHC – 7), Everett 4
W: Burnett (2-2, 3.47); L: Figueroa, E (2-2, 12.66)

Tuesday, August 4th 2009
Boise 4 (CHC – 8), Everett 6
W: Rios (1-1, 2.53); L: Whitlock (1-3, 8.20); SV: Cooper (8)

Wednesday, August 5th 2009
Boise 5 (CHC – 9), Everett 7
W: Pullen (3-1, 2.89); L: Gonzalez, Y (2-2, 4.82); SV: Staehely (1)

Thursday, August 6th 2009
Boise 0 (CHC – 10), Everett 4
W: Esquibel (2-1, 3.51); L: Rusin (0-1, 1.74)

Friday, August 7th 2009
Boise 3 (CHC – 9), Everett 0
W: Hernandez, R (2-3, 3.06); L: Moorer (0-1, 3.68); SV: Nunez (4)

Saturday, August 8th 2009
Eugene 8 (SD – 7), Everett 6
W: Fetter (2-0, 1.93); L: Hernandez, E (0-1, 8.31)

Sunday, August 9th 2009
Eugene 7 (SD – 8), Everett 9
W: Staehely (4-1, 3.08); L: Greenwood (4-1, 1.99)

Hitter of the Week:
CF Matt Cerione, L/L, 1/4/1988
6 G, 24 AB, 12 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 4/0 K/BB, .500/~.500/1.000

Didn’t even need a calculator for this one… It doesn’t seem as though the Aquasox lost much production when Royster was shipped east, they just shifted in Cerione and everything was good. Even though I would’ve liked to see Jones in there, Poythress’ former teammate at Georgia has been tearing it up this week. That line included a 4-for-4 night with two home runs on Tuesday, when he put the Aquasox over the Boise Hawks 6-4, accounting for the difference in the game. Not bad for an eleventh-round pick.

Try Him Center? Mention:
RF James Jones, L/L, 9/24/1988
7 G, 25 AB, 5 R, 11 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 3/1 K/BB, .440/~.461/.720

Bad Hammy, Still Hitting Mention:
1B Gerardo Avila, L/L, 7/15/1986
4 G, 15 AB, 2 R, 9 H, 3 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 3/0 K/BB, .600/~.600/1.000

Distant Fourth? Mention:
3B Mario Martinez, R/R, 11/13/1989
7 G, 29 AB, 8 R, 11 H, 2 2B, 4/0 K/BB, SB, .379/~.379/.448

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Andres Esquibel, 7/13/1986
1-0, GS, 0.00 in 9.0 IP, 3 H, 3/2 K/BB, 14/8 G/F

Esquibel had a performance rather reminiscent of Washburn’s near no-hitter on July 6th. Except, you know, he’s right-handed, had two hits and two walks on top of that, and gets groundballs. Mainly it’s the three Ks I’m concerned with, which didn’t seem to trip him up any. He retired nine in a row to start it, or twelve in a row, if you want to count the walk opening the fourth that was quickly erased on the double play, one of two turned behind him that night (the other was to first, unassisted). If you couldn’t tell, he gets by on mixing his pitches well, a trade he first learned as a catcher in high school. One more former backstop for Dorman to play with.

Go-to Reliever Mention:
RHP Christian Staehely, 9/28/1985
1-0, 3 G, S, 0.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, 2 H, 5/1 K/BB, 3/0 G/F

From the Training Room:
Relievers LHP Kyle Brown and RHP Phillip Roy both came off the DL, as Hesketh and Royster both went to Clinton. Also, it seems that Taylor Lewis headed back to Pulaski, although I’m not clear as to whether that means Welsh and Czyz will be seen any time soon.

Strange Happenings:
The box score may be lying to me, but it looks like on Sunday, catcher Trevor Coleman got ejected by the home plate umpire in a game that he wasn’t even playing in. Also, the same day, the ‘Sox had more players who had three hits (five) than did not. And Brandon Bantz, who had no home runs as a pro coming into the game, hit two, the second of which gave Everett the walk-off… Burnett had a 4/0 K/BB in six innings in his first outing of the week and a 6/4 K/BB in five innings his next time out… Chris Kirkland leads the league in strikeouts with sixty-one in 57.2 IP.

Pulaski Mariners (2-5 this week, 18-25 overall)
[Note: There was a suspended game that was continued during the week, don’t be confused by there only being six games below.]

Monday, August 3rd 2009
Off day

Tuesday, August 4th 2009
Pulaski 5, Burlington 6 (KC – 17) (seven innings)
W: Sirrett (1-1, 3.46); L: Witten (0-1, 12.46); SV: Richardson (3)

Wednesday, August 5th 2009
And rain again

Thursday, August 6th 2009
Pulaski 3, Burlington 5 (KC – 16) (seven innings)
W: Sample (1-2, 4.62); L: Chang (0-5, 6.55); SV: Richardson (4)

Pulaski 0, Burlington 3 (- 15) (seven innings)
W: De La Cruz, De (2-1, 2.86); L: Maurer (2-3, 4.31); SV: Kelley, S (1)

Friday, August 7th 2009
Pulaski 0, Danville 3 (ATL + 15)
W: Masters, C (4-4, 1.93); L: Housey (1-1, 1.02); SV: Hodges (3)

Saturday, August 8th 2009
Pulaski 3, Danville 2 (ATL + 14)
W: Haas (1-0, 3.38); L: Stovall, Ty (2-1, 3.82); SV: Valdez (4)

Sunday, August 9th 2009
Pulaski 6, Danville 7 (ATL + 15)
W: Crim, M (8-0, 3.06); L: Lewis (0-1, 7.71); SV: Hodges (4)

Hitter of the Week:
OF Mark McGonigle, R/R, 8/6/1985
4 G, 16 AB, R, 6 H, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 5/0 K/BB, .375/~.375/.500

I knew this week was coming, as there’s only so long one can overlook a guy hitting over .300 for the season. Fine, let’s get it over with: I know almost nothing about McGonigle. He was a 43rd round pick by the Mets last year. They released him, we scooped him up. He was at University of Houston (Rob Johnson’s alma mater) for two years before transfering to New Orleans, where he was a moderate power threat. As a prep player in Texas, he was an all-state a few times. There you go, what I know on McGonigle. He was 3-for-4 on Tuesday.

Other OF Mention:
LF Dwight Britton, S/R, 7/17/1987
5 G, 16 AB, 2 R, 5 H, RBI, 3 SB, 4/3 K/BB, .313/~.421/.313

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Richard Ortiz, 11/26/1987
0-0, G, 0.00 ERA in 2.2 IP, 6/1 K/BB, 1/1 G/F

Ortiz got mention from Dave earlier in the week, but getting him in twice can’t hurt. He’s a big kid, he can handle it, even if he only pitched once this week. That was enough to get him on the map, but in his past ten outings, he has three outings where he’s struck out six in three innings or less, and another with four Ks in 2.2 innings. I don’t know what to think of his future because his splits are weird and his command comes and goes. He has a 10/3 K/BB versus lefties in 7.1 innings and only has .148 average against them, whereas it’s more than double versus right-handers, but his K-rate, not his command, are better versus them, at 16/7 ratio in 8.2 innings. He could be good if they ever get him straightened out.

Other ‘Pen Lefty Mention:
LHP James Gilheeney, 11/8/1987
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.2 IP, 3 H, 3/1 K/BB, 2/5 G/F

From the Training Room:
Taylor Lewis is in Pulaski now, and Kyle Haas has moved up from Peoria. There still seem to be more comings than goings, as the only DLed pitchers I know of are Diaz and Eric Thomas. Jean Tome has such an erratic schedule I can’t tell what he’s doing.

Strange Happenings:
The M’s went through five and two-thirds innings without seeing a groundball out on Sunday… Housey struck out six in six innings on Friday, but walked four. Similarly flawed in the outcome, Merry struck out four in two innings, but let three runs score.

Dispatches from the Land of Rehabbers:

RHP Chad Cordero: 0-0, 2 GS, 6.75 ERA in 2.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 4/1 K/BB
RHP Michael Pineda: 0-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 1.0 IP, 3/0 K/BB
RHP Brooks Mohr: 0-0, G, 0.00 ERA in 1.0 IP, H, R (0 ER), 1/1 K/BB, WP
OF Julio Morban: 5 G, 20 AB, 6 R, 5 H, 2 3B, HR, 2 RBI, 4/1 K/BB, .300/~.300/.600
LHP Robert Rohrbaugh: 0-0, GS, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 6 H, R, 5/1 K/BB
1B/3B Evan Sharpley (season): 37 G, 132 AB, 31 R, 44 H, 12 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 29 RBI, 5 SB, 2 CS, 46/21 K/BB, .333/.429/.614
RHP Francisco Valdivia: 0-1, G, 135.00 ERA in 0.1 IP, 4 H, 0/1 K/BB, BK


12 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (8/3-9/09)”

  1. msb on August 10th, 2009 7:50 am

    RHP Erasmo Ramirez, a nineteen-year-old signed out of Nicaragua for a song a few years back, as few teams were convinced of his age.

    based on that photo FSN keeps using, I’m not surprised 🙂

  2. G-Man on August 10th, 2009 8:24 am

    Check the Royals blogs to see if they’re chuckling about this week’s performances of the arms they traded for Yuni. If they are, just post “he who laughs last, …”

  3. Jay Yencich on August 10th, 2009 9:28 am

    based on that photo FSN keeps using, I’m not surprised

    I’m pretty sure you’re joking about this one msb, but to let everyone else in on it, there are two Erasmo Ramirezes and one of them is about thirty and is a journeyman left-hander. I’ve seen pictures of our Erasmo Ramirez and honestly, he’s rather baby-faced.

    Check the Royals blogs to see if they’re chuckling about this week’s performances of the arms they traded for Yuni. If they are, just post “he who laughs last, …”

    What I find interesting is that Saito isn’t being used like a normal reliever. They threw him a start not long ago and each of his past three outings have been three innings or more. I don’t know what’s going on with his velocity, some say it’s dropped, and my shot-in-the-dark theory is that the Royals may have tried to do to him what we did to Austin Bibens-Dirkx, but nonetheless it seems like they may not have given up on him getting longer outings and possibly starting.

    Cortes though… his command is just awful.

  4. marc w on August 10th, 2009 10:06 am

    Here’s to Michael Pineda making a rehab start in the AZL yesterday – 1 IP, 0 H, 3 Ks. Nice. Oops, see that you mentioned that. Anyone know what’s up with Valdivia? How’s his stuff? He shouldn’t be this hittable.

    Good to see Saito stretching it out, and it’s great to see Kasparek continue to improve. I/we missed him early on when we did the roundtable… everyone was focused on Lorin, and Dave and I were interested in Pribanic. But the M’s clearly thought the best of the bunch down there was Kasparek, and for now it seems like they were right on the money. Wow.

  5. decatur7 on August 10th, 2009 1:00 pm

    Great work once again, Jay. Couple questions:

    I was thinking about which minor leaguers the M’s might call up in September (Nick Hill? Tui? Shelton? Aumont?). Do you know if September callups are required to be place on the 40-man roster (particularly people who are protected from being traded or the Rule 5 draft, like our 2009 draft picks, since someone like Ackley or Poythress could conceivably be called up in September)?

    Second, do you think Kasparek had cracked the M’s top 30 with his performance this year, or does his age (23) in regular A-ball or scouting profile (I take it he’s projected as a back-end starter or long-reliever) mean he has alot more to prove before that happens?

  6. Mike Snow on August 10th, 2009 1:05 pm

    Yes, September callups do go on the 40-man roster.

  7. Jay Yencich on August 10th, 2009 1:18 pm

    Poythress didn’t sign a major league contract, so I’m guessing no. Ackley might be a different matter, as he might demand that as the vaunted number two pick. The reason Fister and Saunders work for us is that we would have had to put both on the roster anyway in the offseason and if we’re not optioning them, they don’t lose the year. And yes, the 40-man thing is prerequisite. It would be a bad scene if teams were allowed to throw in players all willy-nilly. I wouldn’t expect much more than what we’ve already seen, as someone would have to go (LaHair?). I stand by my stance that Moore might head north, as he’s of the experience when he would need to be added anyway. As a reference point, we’re looking a ’06 college draftees and ’05 prep draftees.

    We’ve been talking about the Future Forty (STOP THE PRESSES… wait, this is the internet. PLUG THE TUBES!), and Kasparek is definitely included there. For a reference point, Lorin and Pribanic were both on the back end of BA’s top thirty, and Hensley missed, so I think Kenn is safe in his spot after the season he’s had, even if his stuff is a bit below theirs. Hensley’s in too. The list is mostly settled but we’re still going to hash it out in the coming weeks and see who fits where. Don’t get your hopes up too high for a quick turnaround, as I’m away from the computer throughout most of next week. We’re hoping to get things in order after that, time and circumstance permitting.

  8. bzuckercorn88 on August 10th, 2009 2:05 pm

    I noticed Seager has been playing at short the past week. Is that something they are exploring long term?

  9. Jay Yencich on August 10th, 2009 4:04 pm

    I noticed Seager has been playing at short the past week. Is that something they are exploring long term?

    It’s something that they’ve been working on all around with the 2009 draftees. You’ll also notice that Hansen, whom most people thought of as a second baseman, is getting his turns at short and at third. Similarly, Hawkins Gebbers in Everett has been working with the conditioning coaches to help him get to where he’s a passable second baseman, instead of at third, where some thought he would end up, but where his bat plays poorly. They’re making an effort to get some of these guys in at the best possible position before relegating them to less challenging parts.

  10. Breadbaker on August 10th, 2009 5:42 pm

    Strange Happenings:
    The Rainiers had the misfortune of being at Albuquerque on “More Cowbell” Night, Sunday, where the first three thousand fans were given free cowbells. What is this, 2004?

    There’s a reason the term “bush league” has two meanings.

  11. bzuckercorn88 on August 10th, 2009 10:00 pm

    Thanks Jay, that makes a lot of sense.

  12. gag harbor on August 11th, 2009 7:31 am

    You work is amazing. I really enjoy reading on the weekly performance you this one-stop post you labor over makes it too easy to pass up. Thanks for the effort!

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