Minor League Wrap (8/8-14/11)

Jay Yencich · August 15, 2011 at 8:30 am · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

Today is signing deadline day, and we’ll know who’s in and who isn’t at 9 pm PDT. To make some rounds on the latest from each, things with Hultzen are still ongoing, Cron hasn’t talked much with the M’s and has supposedly checked into his dorm at TCU, Chleborad has a pinched ulnar nerve that has kept him from pitching much this summer, and may either result in a lower dollar signing or jumping to college in the hopes of raising his stock, and Null, who was just named a Louisville Slugger All-American, has remained in contact with the M’s since the draft. I’ve found no news on Miller, Smith, Cohoes, Kela, Hawthorne, Brennan, Grifol, or Tresgallo. Marc and I might end up throwing together a podcast when things get finalized.

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (4-2 this week, 62-60 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 8th 2011
Tacoma 8, Round Rock 7 (TEX + 19)
W: Robertson (4-5, 7.19) L: Hurley (6-1, 4.57) S: Patterson (6)

Tuesday, August 9th 2011
Tacoma 5, Round Rock 10 (TEX + 20)
W: Tucker (3-4, 4.58) L: Snow (0-2, 7.15)

Wednesday, August 10th 2011
Tacoma 3, Round Rock 2 (TEX + 19) (fourteen innings)
W: Grube (3-3, 6.55) L: Jones (0-1, 3.51)

Thursday, August 11th 2011
Off day

Friday, August 12th 2011
Iowa 9 (CHC – 10), Tacoma 3
W: Coleman (5-2, 3.65) L: French (8-8, 6.12)

Saturday, August 13th 2011
Iowa 3 (CHC – 11), Tacoma 8
W: Seddon (8-6, 6.43) L: Cabrera (2-4, 6.31)

Sunday, August 14th 2011
Iowa 1 (CHC – 12), Tacoma 9
W: Ramirez (3-0, 3.26) L: Rusin (2-2, 3.47)

Hitter of the Week:
OF Mike Wilson, R/R, 6/29/1983
5 G, 19 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 3 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB, 3/4 K/BB, .368/.478/.684

It was bound to happen eventually. After all, we had Halman, Seager, Carp, and Peguero all at various points putting up gaudy numbers that would make us wonder how they got sent down in the first place, though their glaring flaws would usually also present themselves. Wilson finally got his share of the numbers, though for the season, it’s not as though he’s doing poorly. Over 40% of his hits have gone for extras and with 252 ABs in the books, he’s batting .325/.415/.563. But it seems like now is about as bad a time as any for Wilson in context of the system. He’s competing with Halman, Peguero, and Saunders in Tacoma, all of whom are three or four years younger than him, Catricala and Chiang are on his heels in Jackson, and in the major leagues we have Robinson, Wells, and Carp competing for the spots he’d usually be eligible for. I don’t even know how he would get playing time come September. I can respect his desire to be loyal to the org throughout the years and I love that he finally made it, but it no longer really makes sense to have him around, for either the org or him.

Power Week Mention:
1B/LF Johan Limonta, L/L, 8/4/1983
6 G, 29 AB, 5 R, 9 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 3/1 K/BB, .310/.333/.724

Please Stop Striking Out So Much #1 Mention:
CF Greg Halman, R/R, 8/26/1987
5 G, 22 AB, 6 R, 8 H, 3 2B, 2 SB, 7/1 K/BB, HBP, .364/.417/.500

Please Stop Striking Out So Much #2 Mention:
3B Alex Liddi, R/R, 8/14/1988
6 G, 26 AB, 6 R, 6 H, 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 7/3 K/BB, .231/.300/.500

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Erasmo Ramirez, 5/2/1990
1-0, GS, 1.08 ERA in 8.1 IP, 7 H (HR), R, 11/0 K/BB, 6/5 G/F

If I were to do that whole context thing that I emphasize, I would point out that Iowa is one of only six teams in the league that don’t have an OPS above .800 and that their strikeouts rank fourth in the league. I would also point out that Ramirez pitched all of last year in the Midwest League, which was his stateside debut, that the average age of an Iowa batter is nearly twenty-seven while Ramirez reached drinking age a few months back, and that his first two triple-A starts had him at a 4/4 K/BB through 11.0 innings. I seem to remember some initial struggles in double-A as well before he settled down and was bizarrely dominant for a guy who opened the season perceived as a future #4. Now he’s being talked about in the same breath as the rest of the top pitchers in the system whenever one of those front office guys makes his way onto the radio.

Someone Could Also Explain This One to Me Mention:
RHP Chaz Roe, 10/9/1986
0-0, G, 0.00 ERA in 4.2 IP, 4 H, R (0 ER), 9/1 K/BB, 6/0 G/F

The Start of the Extra Innings Game:
LHP Anthony Vasquez, 9/19/1986
0-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 7 H (HR), R, 2/1 K/BB, 8/3 G/F

The End of the Extra Innings Game:
RHP Jarrett Grube, 11/5/1981
1-0, G, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, H, 4/1 K/BB, 6/4 G/F

From The Training Room:
The Extrano move of last week was the precursor to SS Luis Rodriguez being called up to replace Ryan on Monday… Of course, Extrano isn’t necessarily the best starting option for a team, so they promoted SS Carlos Triunfel from Jackson to take the bulk of the playing time. The same day, RHP Shawn Kelley was activated from the 60-day DL and optioned. I hope he understands that we still love him, but we just need [roster] space right now… On Friday, some more moves happened, like RHP Forrest Snow hitting the temporarily inactive list, which may or may not beat a trip to Adelanto, depending on the reason. CF Michael Saunders was activated and C/OF Chris Jimenez joined on a possible rehab assignment while IF Jetsy Extrano went back to the Northwest League. Condor is 1-for-5 with four runs scored and four walks in his first two games back… A day later, the Mariners had more OF Wily Mo Pena than they’d had before, but Rainiers fans had less Pena.

Strange Happenings:
Alex Liddi is the new Rainiers single season leader in runs scored… The same day that Kelley was optioned, so was our old friend Horacio Ramirez. The Angels also released Ryan Ketchner, so, more reasons to hate them… The Rainiers will be crossing 1000 Ks as a team shortly. Only Albuquerque and Sacramento have passed 900, with Iowa on their heels… Johan Limonta is younger than Mike Wilson. Just think about that for a moment.

Jackson Generals (5-1 this week, 23-26 in second half, 61-58 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 8th 2011
Jackson 6, Birmingham 4 (CHW – 10)
W: Hensley (3-6, 5.52) L: Doyle (3-5, 3.79) S: Pryor (2)

Tuesday, August 9th 2011
Jackson 6, Birmingham 5 (CHW – 11) (thirteen innings)
W: Hernandez (4-2, 6.38) L: Kloess (3-1, 1.46)

Wednesday, August 10th 2011
Off day

Thursday, August 11th 2011
Huntsville 5 (MIL – 7), Jackson 6 (fourteen innings)
W: Moran (4-3, 5.36) L: Manzanillo (0-1, 2.92)

Friday, August 12th 2011
Huntsville 6 (MIL – 8), Jackson 11
W: Paxton (3-0, 1.85) L: Heckathorn (0-4, 7.18)

Saturday, August 13th 2011
Huntsville 6 (MIL – 7), Jackson 3
W: Bowman (4-10, 5.42) L: Gillheeney (0-2, 7.80) S: Manzanillo (2)

Sunday, August 14th 2011
Huntsville 2 (MIL – 8), Jackson 3
W: Penney (5-2, 4.76) L: Wooten (3-3, 3.28) S: Pryor (3)

Hitter of the Week:
LF/3B Vinnie Catricala, R/R, 10/31/1988
6 G, 25 AB, 9 R, 7 H, 7 2B, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 6/5 K/BB, HBP, .280/.419/.560

One of the things that makes the minor leagues interesting to follow for me is how divorced it seems from what we perceive to be normal baseball. Go down any league or team’s list of all-time record holders, single season or otherwise, and you’re probably not going to recognize any of the names listed, or you won’t remember them in that capacity. Talent can be so uneven at various levels, and park factors so atrocious, that it’s almost like a completely different game is being played. There’s a good chance that for however long you follow minor league ball, you’re going to end up seeing a few things each year that you had never known could happen before, or never considered as possibilities. Vinnie Catricala had seven hits this week, and not one of those seven hits wasn’t a double.

Walking Sphere Mention:
DH Luis Antonio Jimenez, L/L, 5/7/1982
6 G, 13 AB, 3 R, 5 H, 2B, 4 RBI, SB, 2/5 K/BB, .385/.556/.461

Power! and Some Walks Mention:
3B Francisco Martinez, R/R, 9/1/1990
6 G, 20 AB, 3 R, 5 H, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBI, 2/2 K/BB, .250/.318/.650

Still Playing Center Mention:
RF/CF Johermyn Chavez, R/R, 1/26/1989
5 G, 18 AB, 2 R, 6 H, 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 5/3 K/BB, .333/.391/.556

Nine-Game Hit Streak Mention:
1B Rich Poythress, R/R, 8/11/1987
6 H, 24 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 7/4 K/BB, HBP, .333/.429/.500

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP James Paxton, 11/6/1988
1-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 4 H, R, 10/0 K/BB, 7/2 G/F, BK

Last week, I tempered enthusiasm over Paxton’s latest double-digit K outing by pointing out that Birmingham, at the time, was hitting .261/.335/.387 and had the third-worst team OPS in the league. Huntsville is batting .258/.331/.363 as a team going into Sunday and has fewer walks than Birmingham. Whoops? If you want some kind of positive development to point to, their squad is nowhere near the top in strikeouts, with an 817 team mark that ranks comfortably in the lower half of the league. Seven innings is also a career high mark for K-Pax and when he won Southern League Pitcher of the Week, he talked about how he was throwing change-ups and pitching inside. BA even liked him at number six on their Hot Sheet. Things are looking up, AND he’ll face the league’s top hitting team in the next turn of the rotation.

Perfect Relief Mention:
LHP Bobby LaFromboise, 6/25/1986
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, 3/0 K/BB, 6/3 G/F

A Few Too Many Hits Mention:
RHP Steven Hensley, 12/27/1986
1-0, 2 GS, 2.84 ERA in 12.2 IP, 17 H (HR), 4 R, 10/3 K/BB, 13/10 G/F, 2 WP

From the Training Room:
With Triunfel heading west, SS Gabriel Noriega was called up from High Desert. Noriega wasn’t exactly hitting over there, at least given the context, with a .266/.307/.363 line and a “holy crap” K/BB of 108/18. He strikes out an awful lot for what his numbers are like.

Strange Happenings:
VINNIE CATRICALA! DOUBLES! I CAN’T EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH

High Desert Mavericks (2-4 this week, 17-31 in second half, 49-69 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 8th 2011
High Desert 3, Modesto 4 (COL + 8 )
W: Perkins (3-5, 5.75) L: Sena (2-3, 5.20) S: Yacko (3)

Tuesday, August 9th 2011
High Desert 2, Modesto 3 (COL + 9)
W: Kuo (3-3, 6.47) L: Medina (1-12, 6.49) S: Marbry (11)

Wednesday, August 10th 2011
Off day

Thursday, August 11th 2011
Stockton 3 (OAK + 8), High Desert 11
W: Stanton (2-3, 5.58) L: Griffin (3-3, 4.05)

Friday, August 12th 2011
Stockton 0 (OAK + 7), High Desert 4
W: Reed (1-1, 3.57) L: Straily (10-8, 3.88)

Saturday, August 13th 2011
Stockton 9 (OAK + 8), High Desert 2
W: Smith (5-8, 4.30) L: Sorce (7-10, 4.79)

Sunday, August 14th 2011
Stockton 13 (OAK + 9), High Desert 3
W: Simmons (2-2, 6.60) L: Sena (2-4, 6.92) S: Brown (1)

Hitter of the Week:
3B/1B Steve Proscia, R/R, 6/26/1990
6 G, 23 AB, 4 R, 11 H, 3 2B, HR, 2 RBI, CS, 1/0 K/BB, .478/.478/.739

It was all contact and not a whole lot else for Proscia this week, but if it’s good contact, I suppose one shouldn’t mind. What I like about this particular week is that, while he was 6-for-16 in the four games at home with a double and a home run, he was 5-for-7 with two doubles in Modesto, which is one of the more pitcher-oriented parks in the Cal League. That leaves him with a .305/.339/.542 line at home and a .347/.353/.531 line on the road. It’s not enough of a sample to draw conclusions from, but I automatically worry about just about any good hitter going there and developing bad tendencies. It’s so far so good for Proscia. Some improvements in the eye numbers might be nice though.

“Why Am I Here Again?” #1 Mention:
OF Joe Dunigan, L/L, 3/29/1986
6 G, 19 AB, 4 R, 5 H, 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 9/3 K/BB, .263/.363/.789

“Why Am I Here Again?” #2 Mention:
OF James McOwen, L/R, 9/26/1985
6 G, 24 AB, 3 R, 7 H, 4 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 5/0 K/BB, .292/.280/.583

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Nate Reed, 12/1/1987
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 7.0 IP, 6 H, 8/0 K/BB, 9/2 G/F, HB

When Reed signed last year, it was difficult to know what the Mariners were getting: the one that featured average velocity and poor command, as he was in his senior year, or the one that had a better heater and a good breaking ball, as he had shown in flashes prior to that. I wasn’t sure either when he opened the season late and in the Clinton bullpen, but as the season went on, he impressed enough in relief to get a switch to the rotation and a promotion to the Cal League soon after. The first outing was bad, with him giving up six runs on seven hits, two of which left the park, two walks, and four Ks. However, his last two outings have been at home and in them he’s pitched a combined 13.0 innings with six hits, only one run and one walk, and fifteen Ks. Can a guy in advanced-A ball who was drafted as a college senior the year before still qualify as a “sleeper?” Pay attention to him going forward at the very least.

Seems to Enjoy Pitching in Adelanto Mention:
RHP Taylor Stanton, 1/15/1988
1-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 4 H, 7/1 K/BB, 5/5 G/F

CG Loss Mention:
RHP Yoervis Medina, 7/27/1988
0-1, GS, 3.38 ERA in 8.0 IP, 8 H (HR), 3 R, 9/3 K/BB, 13/1 G/F, WP

From the Training Room:
C Jack Marder hit the DL on Tuesday and I don’t know what that’s all about, but C Billy Marcoe came in from the AZL to replace him and IF Jack Schlander took over for Noriega.

Strange Happenings:
I don’t know, Medina’s CG loss?

Clinton Lumberkings (4-3 this week, 26-23 in second half, 50-69 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 8th 2011
Clinton 5, Burlington 2 (OAK – 15)
W: Bischoff (3-2, 3.55) L: Walz (0-1, 3.38)

Tuesday, August 9th 2011
Clinton 4, Burlington 5 (OAK – 14) (ten innings)
W: Treinen (1-1, 5.74) L: Arias (4-3, 2.90)

Wednesday, August 10th 2011
Cedar Rapids 0 (ANA – 9), Clinton 2
W: Walker (6-5, 2.89) L: La Tempa (2-7, 4.70) S: Burgoon (12)

Thursday, August 11th 2011
Cedar Rapids 6 (ANA – 8), Clinton 5
W: Schugel (4-3, 2.59) L: Butler (1-3, 3.43) S: Tillman (11)

Friday, August 12th 2011
Cedar Rapids 2 (ANA – 7), Clinton 1
W: Robinson (9-2, 3.30) L: Bischoff (3-3, 3.62) S: Tillman (12)

Saturday, August 13th 2011
Clinton 3, Peoria 1 (CHC – 8 ) (ten innings)
W: Fernandez (5-3, 2.84) L: Liria (1-3, 5.24) S: Burgoon (13)

Sunday, August 14th 2011
Clinton 8, Peoria 2 (CHC – 9)
W: Elias (2-0, 2.89) L: Sosa (4-2, 4.12) S: Arias (6)

Hitter of the Week:
OF Julio Morban, L/L, 2/13/1992
6 G, 20 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 3B, 3 RBI, SB, 6/2 K/BB, .350/.409/.450

Morban is doing his part to remain on the prospect radar, so I’ll do what I can to continue to analyze what he’s been up to. Coming into the system years ago, he had the reputation of being a very advanced bat for his age, but have we seen anything so far to support that? Morban hasn’t been displaying superior plate discipline, running roughly a 4:1 K:BB and striking out in about 30% of his plate appearance. He’s not a tremendous walker either, as he’s drawn twenty this season, which would project out to about forty over a full, healthy season. That’s not terrible, certainly better than guys like Triunfel and Francisco Martinez manage, but not something likely to lead any minor league team or compensate for Ks. Just under 30% of his hits have gone for extras as well, so that’s not something we can point to. But, given the context of him being a nineteen-year-old who has been mostly injured and had all of fifty-six games over two seasons prior to this, it’s probably better than we might have been able to expect, and since the all-star break, he has a 19/8 K/BB over sixty-two ABs and has gone from a .242 average to a .313 average. That’s some discernable improvement at least.

Sneaking in Despite Limited Playing Time:
1B Tim Morris, L/L, 12/11/1987
5 G, 16 AB, 4 R, 5 H, HR, 5 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 3/2 K/BB, .313/.388/.500

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Anthony Fernandez, 6/8/1990
1-0, 2 GS, 1.20 ERA in 15.0 IP, 11 H, 3 R (2 ER), 13/2 K/BB, 19/9 G/F

Fernandez can’t catch a break. On July 11th, he had a chance to log the first complete game of the season for the Lumberkings, but came up an inning shy, facing three batters without an out. On Sunday, he pitched a full nine innings with a run scoring on five hits against nine Ks, but since it was a road game, Burgoon ended up coming in for the tenth when the Lumberkings got a run in the top of the inning. The Monday outing for him wasn’t so great, in that he had a 4/2 K/BB in 6.0 IP, which was his shortest outing since he went five and two-thirds in a start on July 17th. Since coming back, he’s averaged just over seven innings in each start. He’s also run a K/9 of over seven, where before he was at five and three-quarters. Fernandez doesn’t have great stuff, but he’s no junkballer, and should really see some mentions on deep prospect lists for the system.

League Pitcher of the Week Mention:
RHP Steve Kohlscheen, 9/20/1988
0-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 6 H (HR), R, 7/1 K/BB, 8/2 G/F, PO

Done For the Season? Mention:
RHP Taijuan Walker, 8/13/1992
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3/1 K/BB, 7/1 G/F, PO

Not the Closer, But Could Be Mention:
RHP Matt Bischoff, 5/21/1987
1-1, 2 G, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 3 H, R, 6/0 K/BB, 3/3 G/F

From the Training Room:
The impact of the infield dominoes stopped here as 3B Matt Browning was activated to replace Schlander…. RHP Carter Capps, the organization’s third-round supplemental pick, joined the team on Saturday and is scheduled to start (START!) on Monday. To make room for him, RHP Taijuan Walker hit the temporarily inactive list for reasons unknown to me. It seems like they’re shutting him down for the rest of the season.

Strange Happenings:
Elias had the good start/bad start this week, going six and two-thirds innings his second time out with two runs scoring on five hits, a walk, and seven Ks, but letting four plate on five hits (two home runs), three walks, and three Ks in five and two-thirds innings his first time out. Someone asked how he projects, mentioning that someone at Mariner Central said that the radar gun had him at 95 mph. I don’t think I believe that considering that Elias was not hyped at all relative to the other Cuban signings that have been around and in a recent interview with him that I listened to on the Lumberblog, he talked about the change-up and the curveball, but there was no mention of the heater. Usually guys aren’t too reserved about a 95 mph fastball. Usually the broadcaster brings it up at least… With so much good pitching this week, highlighting him didn’t feel right to me, but Butler had a 8/1 K/BB in 6.0 IP, the issue was that he let three runs score because he allowed nine hits, one of which left the park…. Romero had a thirteen-game hit streak end this week.

Everett Aquasox (5-2 this week, 12-7 in second half, 28-29 overall)

Monday, August 8th 2011
Vancouver 1 (TOR – 3), Everett 5
W: Whitmore (3-5, 4.78) L: Syndergaard (1-1, 2.00) S: DiRocco (1)

Tuesday, August 9th 2011
Vancouver 2 (TOR – 4), Everett 12
W: Pries (2-2, 3.62) L: McFarland (4-5, 5.32)

Wednesday, August 10th 2011
Tri-City 18 (COL + 6), Everett 7
W: Ferrer (2-3, 4.25) L: Hobson (0-2, 2.82)

Thursday, August 11th 2011
Tri-City 3 (COL + 5), Everett 4
W: Hunter (2-0, 0.00) L: Bennigson (2-3, 2.91)

Friday, August 12th 2011
Tri-City 8 (COL + 6), Everett 5
W: Alsup (3-1, 2.63) L: Shipers (1-5, 4.71) S: Roberts (8)

Saturday, August 13th 2011
Tri-City 4 (COL + 5), Everett 6
W: Campos (5-3, 2.45) L: Jensen (1-1, 4.02)

Sunday, August 14th 2011
Tri-City 3 (COL + 4), Everett 5
W: Whitmore (4-5, 4.76) L: Bergman (6-4, 2.85) S: Griffin (4)

Hitter of the Week:
RF Jabari Blash, R/R, 7/4/1989
6 G, 19 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, SB, 5/1 K/BB, .368/.400/.895

Paraphrasing a little, last week I talked about how an outburst of plate discipline pushed Blash to nearly a quarter of his appearances resulting in walks. You can see that this week, he had twenty plate appearances and walked just once, but had close to half of his hits leave the park entirely. Blash, on his own, nearly drove in a quarter of the runs for the offense in the last seven days. In my experience watching prospects, guys that have power and plate discipline and hit for average, but rarely all at the same time, tend to get exposed more and struggle as they move up. But I don’t really remember too many that showed the positive extremes that I’ve seen from Blash either. There’s no real point in promoting him now with the Aquasox in a playoff race, though I really, really want to see what he does at a higher level.

Hitting Catcher Mention:
C Mike Dowd, R/R, 4/10/1990
5 G, 20 AB, 5 R, 9 H, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 3/0 K/BB, .450/.450/.700

Switched to “ON” Again Mention:
SS/2B Marcus Littlewood, S/R, 3/18/1992
5 G, 18 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5/1 K/BB, .389/.421/.722

Power! Sans Walks Mention:
3B Ramon Morla, R/R, 11/20/1989
6 G, 24 AB, 5 R, 6 H, 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2 SB, 6/0 K/BB, .250/.250/.667

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Jose Campos, 7/27/1992
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 8.0 IP, 2 H (HR), 2 R (0 ER), 7/0 K/BB, 11/5 G/F

So that’s a new career high mark for innings pitched in a start for Campos. It does feel kind of surprising that he hadn’t even reached seven innings pitched before that, considering, but they are trying to be gentle with the starting rotation. I don’t try to pretend that the line always tells the whole story, and in this case it especially doesn’t, because Campos was perfect up until the seventh inning (that’s the first nineteen down in order) and he threw sixty-eight of ninety-five for strikes. I’ll remind everyone now that he’s walked 3.5% of the batters he’s faced this year where the career mark coming into the season was 9.1%. The front office folks were in the stands for this one and had a few remarks about it, with Grifol saying “He’s got the makings of being as high as a No. 1 (major-league starter) and as low as a No. 3 or 4.” And I believe it: he’s made that much progress this season.

Better in his Second Start Mention:
RHP Jordan Pries, 1/27/1990
1-0, GS, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 5 H (HR), R, 5/1 K/BB, 6/3 G/F

Some Local Ties Mention:
LHP Kyle Hunter, 6/18/1989
1-0, G, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, 2 H, 7/0 K/BB, 3/1 G/F

A Decent Start, A Better Start Mention:
LHP Bennett Whitmore, 4/17/1988
2-0, 2 GS, 3.00 ERA in 12.0 IP, 8 H (2 HR), 4 R, 9/3 K/BB, 10/11 G/F

From the Training Room:
Friday evening, the team got back Extrano from his tour of the PCL and added RHP David Colvin from Pulaski, where he was probably their best reliever.

Strange Happenings:
Just so everyone knows, they’re going to a six-man rotation in Everett to protect all those teenaged arms down there… We got through a five-game set with Tri-Cities without any brawl or near-brawl that I know of.

Pulaski Mariners (3-4 this week, 24-29 overall)

Monday, August 8th 2011
Elizabethton 3 (MIN + 3), Pulaski 6
W: Taylor (2-1, 9.08) L: Ciurcina (1-5, 10.54)

Tuesday, August 9th 2011
Pulaski 1, Kingsport 2 (NYM + 2)
W: Lugo (3-1, 3.38) L: Raga (2-2, 3.31) S: West (5)

Wednesday, August 10th 2011
Pulaski 7, Kingsport 4 (NYM + 1)
W: Corrales (1-0, 0.00) L: Urbina (2-5, 6.69)

Thursday, August 11th 2011
Pulaski 1, Kingsport 4 (NYM + 2)
W: Tapia (4-4, 4.50) L: Unsworth (4-4, 5.40) S: West (6)

Friday, August 12th 2011
Bluefield 10 (TOR + 9), Pulaski 2
W: Meyer (3-2, 3.29) L: Guaipe (3-6, 4.69)

Saturday, August 13th 2011
Bluefield 5 (TOR + 8), Pulaski 15
W: Taylor (3-1, 8.41) L: Jensen (0-1, 8.38)

Sunday, August 14th 2011
Bluefield 7 (TOR + 9), Pulaski 2
W: Ybarra (1-0, 2.75) L: Shankin (0-3, 6.95)

Hitter of the Week:
RF Efrain Nunez, S/R, 2/17/1991
5 G, 21 AB, 3 R, 10 H, 2B, 3B, HR, 7 RBI, 6/0 K/BB, HBP, .476/.500/.762

If I didn’t have the weird and rocky minor league journey of Jharmidy de Jesus to talk about, I’d probably go with Nunez. Following his 2008 campaign in the DSL where he hit .267/.387/.441, more than a few people were in love with him. Young kid, right field projection, power, some competence at drawing walks, though it came with strikeouts in more than a third of his at-bats. There was a lot to like there. In 2009 he landed in the Arizona League, noted hitter’s paradise, and batted .195/.259/.305 with various grumblings attached. The next season he spent in the DSL again, batting .205/.368/.305, still showing none of the power he had his first season. This somehow got him back to the states and we now see him batting .288/.359/.517 for Pulaski. He didn’t have de Jesus’ injuries, but the struggles, the disappointing returns on what appeared to be a breakout, the demotions, Nunez had all those things. I’d like to see more discipline out of him, or at least to know whether that was him or the fact that DSL pitchers can rarely find the strikezone, but overall I think his bat should get him into the lineup a little more than it has been.

Discipline, Defense Could Use Some Work Mention:
2B Dan Paolini, R/R, 10/11/1989
7 G, 29 AB, 4 R, 8 H, 2B, 2 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 8/1 K/BB, .276/.300/.552

Getting Back on Track Mention:
OF Alfredo Morales, L/R, 11/6/1992
7 G, 27 AB, 3 R, 9 H, HR, 3 RBI, 8/3 K/BB, .333/.400/.444

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Luke Taylor, 7/14/1992
2-0, 2 GS, 2.70 ERA in 10.0 IP, 7 H (HR), 3 R, 11/4 K/BB, 6/9 G/F, HB

Some have probably been waiting all season for the Woodinville High School grad to make an appearance here, and so have I. I had hoped that Taylor would get a tour of the Northwest League in his second season, but he’s struggled to even do anything in the Appy League. As I write this, he has a 8.41 ERA in a 27/24 K/BB, and a .305 average against with eight home runs allowed in 40.2 IP. There’s nothing positive that I can really say about any of that except that as bad as it is, it’s still a better K/BB ratio than he had last season in Peoria. And yet we knew that Taylor would have some struggles, because he had played shortstop for much of his prep career, and we knew that this would lead to certain issues as he transitioned to pro ball because the guys like Walker who can do it so easily are the prominent outliers. Bluefield and Elizabethton are both legit offenses though, so let’s hope that this is the start of something.

Easing into Starting Mention:
RHP Angel Raga, 7/25/1989
0-1, 2 GS, 3.00 ERA in 12.0 IP, 10 H (HR), 4 R, 10/1 K/BB, 15/4 G/F, HB

From the Training Room:
Colvin went bye bye. Someone probably came off the DL.

Strange Happenings:
While the Aquasox run a six-man rotation, the Pulaski M’s seem to have Kim piggybacking off Taylor’s starts, and had Valdivia and Hidalgo going for a while…. Acevedo got through twenty-five at-bats this week without striking out. He walked once and got hit once. Those are some bat skills that he has.

Dispatches from the Land of Rehabbers and Teens:
IF Yidid Batista: 31 G, 100 AB, 19 R, 29 H, 2B, 3B, HR, 17 RBI, 8 SB, 4 CS, 15/14 K/BB, .290/.400/.350
2B Felipe Burin: 29 G, 111 AB, 9 R, 36 H, 9 2B, 15 RBI, 2 SB, 3 CS, 25/15 K/BB, .324/.406/.405
OF Phillips Castillo: 38 G, 135 AB, 30 R, 43 H, 13 2B, 5 3B, HR, 23 RBI, 8 SB, 4 CS, 50/15 K/BB, .319/.395/.511
RHP Min-sih Chen: 4-4, 9 GS, 6.64 ERA in 39.1 IP, 49 H (3 HR), 37 R (29 ER), 26/22 K/BB, 6 HB
SS Nick Franklin: G, 2 AB, .000/.000/.000
RHP David Holman: 2-1, 12 G, 6.45 ERA in 22.1 IP, 34 H (4 HR), 28 R (16 ER), 16/5 K/BB, 5 HB
RHP Lars Huijer: 0-0, 3 G (2 GS), 6.43 ERA in 7.0 IP, 9 H (HR), 5 R, 3/2 K/BB
OF Reggie Lawson: 37 G, 143 AB, 14 R, 32 H, 4 2B, 2 3B, HR, 18 RBI, 5 SB, 3 CS, 40/4 K/BB, .224/.263/.315
RHP Jochi Ogando: 1-4, 8 G (5 GS), 5.84 ERA in 24.2 IP, 23 H (HR), 19 R (16 ER), 15/25 K/BB, 2 HB
SS Esteilon Peguero: 38 G, 154 AB, 23 R, 41 H, 11 2B, 3B, HR, 21 RBI, 17 SB, 5 CS, 21/5 K/BB, .266/.296/.370
LHP Scott Ronnenbergh: 1-0, 12 G (GS), 5.47 ERA in 24.2 IP, 34 H, 19 R (15 ER), 18/13 K/BB
RHP Gabe Saquilon: 0-1, 7 G (2 GS), 17.2 IP, 24 H, 11 R, 15/7 K/BB
RHP Alex Sunderland: 0-0, 13 G, 2 SV, 5.09 ERA in 17.2 IP, 18 H (4 HR), 11 R (10 ER), 23/4 K/BB
LHP Nick Valenza: 0-1, 8 G (2 GS), 8.62 ERA in 15.2 IP, 19 H (HR), 18 R (15 ER), 12/17 K/BB
RHP Richard White: 0-0, 3 G (GS), 3.60 ERA in 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 4/2 K/BB, HB
CF James Zamarripa: 25 G, 100 AB, 16 R, 26 H, 4 2B, 3B, 5 RBI, 4 SB, 2 CS, 30/11 K/BB, .260/.330/.320

Comments

25 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (8/8-14/11)”

  1. SonOfZavaras on August 15th, 2011 9:55 am

    Top drawer work as always, Jay.

    Yeah, I’m a little nervous about today. But news should be filtering in all throughout until 9 p.m., eh?

    If it’s okay to pretend I have a crystal ball:

    I’m going to guess we don’t land Cron, Chleborad, Kela, Brennan, Grifol or Tresgallo.

    But we do land Hultzen (with minutes to spare I’ll bet), Null, Miller, Smith, Cohoes (I just have a gut feeling he signs, and nothing more substantial than that) and Hawthorne.

    If I’m at all Kreskin about that, that’d make 45 out of 51 draft picks inked- which to me is a percentage all but unheard of in the drafting era of baseball.

    But I admit it’s occurred to me that Hultzen could NOT sign…and then all of a sudden Draft 2012 ratchets up a notch in intrigue for us, picking #3 overall. Not a strategy I would count on, employ or think of as wise (partially because the ’12 draft looks to be quite a bit weaker than ’11)…

    But I can think of worse fates than having to wait a year for a couple more premium prospects to hit the farm system together.

  2. TumwaterMike on August 15th, 2011 10:11 am

    Jay-Good work. Where would I go to find out when the future M’s sign or are you going to be right on it?

  3. DaveLee on August 15th, 2011 10:21 am

    The Kreskin within me is whispering neither Hultzen nor Rendon sign this year and the Mariners draft both players in 2012… :)

  4. henryv on August 15th, 2011 10:28 am

    Vinnie Catricala had seven hits this week, and not one of those seven hits wasn’t a double.

    That is awesome.

    If Pineda only has 3 or so more starts in him, that appears to give a Tacoma pitcher a chance to start. But there aren’t many extra starting pitchers on the 40 man roster. Medina is the only one that I see. Is he likely to see a September start? It appears that he’s been pitching in nearly every level in the last year, but his number look awful.

    Or do they just make a 40-man roster move and put someone like Seddon, or Castro, or Robertson on the 40 man, and get rid of someone?

    As for the always interesting Paxton. He has only thrown 93 innings this year so far. Does he go somewhere like Venezuela or Fall Ball to pitch?

    Thanks again for the great information!

  5. henryv on August 15th, 2011 10:29 am

    The Kreskin within me is whispering neither Hultzen nor Rendon sign this year and the Mariners draft both players in 2012… :)

    You may want to get that checked out by a medical professional.

  6. asdruballs on August 15th, 2011 10:45 am

    John Sickels wrote about Paxton today, saying at the end that there were some “rumbles” that he may be called up for September. Any thoughts on the subject?

  7. maqman on August 15th, 2011 11:22 am

    The M’s are going to bring up another pitcher at some point in the not too distant future, read that somewhere – maybe MLB.com. Ramirez or Paxton would be my choices. Am a bit surprised if they shut Walker down this early. I wouldn’t mind Mike Wilson getting another shot in September. Same goes for Saunders. Good to see Felipe Burin picking up the pace some. Cat the Bat deserves to move on up. Like the K-Pax moniker, it’s a natural.

  8. Jay Yencich on August 15th, 2011 11:37 am

    Jay-Good work. Where would I go to find out when the future M’s sign or are you going to be right on it?

    I wish, but no, I’m working late tonight and may not be at my computer until midnight. I’d recommend following Dave’s list of Mariners writers on Twitter. They’ll probably have something around the deadline.

    Medina is the only one that I see. Is he likely to see a September start? It appears that he’s been pitching in nearly every level in the last year, but his number look awful.

    God no, he’s only in advanced-A and has been terrible all season. I wouldn’t bother.

    Or do they just make a 40-man roster move and put someone like Seddon, or Castro, or Robertson on the 40 man, and get rid of someone?

    Seddon’s bad, Castro was on the DL up until fairly recently, Robertson is… alive I suppose, but I’d go with Vasquez.

    As for the always interesting Paxton. He has only thrown 93 innings this year so far. Does he go somewhere like Venezuela or Fall Ball to pitch?

    They probably won’t be as cautious with him as they seem to be with Walker, but he effectively didn’t pitch last season, so I don’t know how much they’re going to feel like pushing him.

    John Sickels wrote about Paxton today, saying at the end that there were some “rumbles” that he may be called up for September. Any thoughts on the subject?

    I think if this year’s draft proved anything, it’s that anyone who thinks they’re hearing anything from the Mariners organization about any subject at all is off their nut. The thing about Paxton is that, while the results right now are pretty awesome, the percentage of pitches he’s throwing for strikes is not as high as people think it is. This week, it was 61 of 90 pitches for strikes, which is fine, but last week it was 54 of 96, which is more questionable, and a lot of his outings in double-A have shown a similar trend. It’s one of the reasons (along with the kind of competition he’s been getting) that I’m more leery of Paxton’s numbers right now than most people seem to be.

  9. monkey on August 15th, 2011 12:25 pm

    Shouldn’t today also be the day we find out who the PTNL is in the Fister trade? Or am I wrong?

  10. MosesLakeBrian on August 15th, 2011 12:34 pm

    Thanks for answering my query on Roenis Elias.

    FYI This is the quote I referred to:
    From Mariner Central’s 8/4 Minor League Report

    “I was curious about Elias so I pinged my source with Clinton (Dave Lezotte) for a scouting report. Here’s what he had to say:

    He hit 95 on the in-house gun at one point, but was throwing some stuff with serious movement. The breaking ball looked more like a slider to me, with some late lateral break on it. He did throw a curve from time to time. Then, there was one weird pitch that he threw a few times that just sort of snaked to the plate at around 70.”

  11. Mike Snow on August 15th, 2011 12:35 pm

    Shouldn’t today also be the day we find out who the PTNL is in the Fister trade? Or am I wrong?

    The reported deadline for that is August 20. Some of the players reported to be possible candidates did not sign until August 16, 2010, and aren’t eligible to actually be traded until tomorrow. The signing deadline last year was pushed back a day because the 15th was a Sunday.

  12. SonOfZavaras on August 15th, 2011 12:39 pm

    The reported deadline for that is August 20. Some of the players reported to be possible candidates did not sign until August 16, 2010, and aren’t eligible to actually be traded until tomorrow. The signing deadline last year was pushed back a day because the 15th was a Sunday.

    Awesome to know.

    You know, Mike? You almost certainly don’t get enough notice for it…but I’ve been impressed for awhile how ON IT you are on this arcane kinda stuff.

  13. monkey on August 15th, 2011 12:51 pm

    Thanks for the answer Mike, didn’t mean to take the discussion down a rabbit trail, just very curious to know who we get there.

    On topic, I have heard (cannot remember where now) that the biggest holdup in the Hultzen contract was money he is asking for, specifically for college.

    Which would make sense, given that there’s really no upside to him not signing, but there is good reason for him to make finishing college a big priority (money, from a will and a lot of it apparently, with the stipulation he finishes college).

    Does anyone know if that is correct, or have I just been reading incorrect information or perhaps rumors?

    It would make sense if that were true, and I know he sure wouldn’t increase his draft position any by going back to school.

    Whatever the case I just don’t see a compelling reason for him not to sign.

  14. Jay Yencich on August 15th, 2011 1:13 pm

    On topic, I have heard (cannot remember where now) that the biggest holdup in the Hultzen contract was money he is asking for, specifically for college.
    Which would make sense, given that there’s really no upside to him not signing, but there is good reason for him to make finishing college a big priority (money, from a will and a lot of it apparently, with the stipulation he finishes college).
    Does anyone know if that is correct, or have I just been reading incorrect information or perhaps rumors?

    The stipulation is that he goes to med school and finishes it before a certain age, but he’s been a history major in college so it’s sort of hard to believe that he’ll be ready to jump right into that.

  15. gwangung on August 15th, 2011 1:24 pm

    The stipulation is that he goes to med school and finishes it before a certain age, but he’s been a history major in college so it’s sort of hard to believe that he’ll be ready to jump right into that.

    Depends on the classes he’s taken. Back when I was a young critter, I knew plenty of humanities/social science degree getters who were also pre-meds.

  16. Mike Snow on August 15th, 2011 1:24 pm

    Thanks for the answer Mike, didn’t mean to take the discussion down a rabbit trail, just very curious to know who we get there.

    No problem, I share the interest in finding out. I wasn’t trying to close off the discussion, just saying there are still limits to what we can know right now.

    You almost certainly don’t get enough notice for it…but I’ve been impressed for awhile how ON IT you are on this arcane kinda stuff.

    That’s kind of you to say. Jay is always great about answering questions to the wraps, I’m just trying to lighten the load for him a little bit with what I know.

  17. bookbook on August 15th, 2011 1:52 pm

    Yup. My pre-med friends at Stanford were mostly social sciences types. Take organic chem and a few bio courses along the way, and you’re there.

  18. Kenley on August 15th, 2011 3:31 pm

    I realize this is a little off-topic, but I am driving to Peoria (Illinois that is) this evening to take a look at Carter Capps in his first Mariners start.

    I will post an evaluation here during, or after, the game for anyone interested. I too am surprised he is starting, so I imagine his pitches will be limited.

  19. Auggeydog on August 15th, 2011 3:42 pm

    Looks like Chance Ruffin is the PTBNL from the Tigers .

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/transactiontracker

  20. Auggeydog on August 15th, 2011 3:47 pm

    MLBN also said the M’s and Hultzen was pretty close to a deal and should get one done. They also talked about Rendon not signing, they said the offer was based on the past injuries. He will be better to go back and prove himself next year. They also talked about him moving to 2nd base. Did not really understand why the move, unless there is some concern about his hitting and throwing arm.

  21. Kenley on August 15th, 2011 7:01 pm

    Carter looked pretty good tonight. The scoreboar radar registered 94 most of the night with the changeup at 80. Still at the game now so I will check with a scout in attendance to see what his gun registered.

    Carter is tall, but does not really use his height. He has a very long stride which brings the arm down lower. I would almost say he slings the ball.

    Looked like he was staying with about 80% fastball/20% change. He pounded the strikezone well through 4 innings but started to miss in the 5th and was then pulled.

    Initial reaction is that he can be an effective RP at least. To be a starter in the majors will take some work. He will need to develop an effective third pitch to make it work. The fastball is live, but relatively flat-no downward plane to to low release point.

    The arm is a live one, with good control, so that alone is something to get excited about.

  22. Westside guy on August 15th, 2011 10:30 pm

    I was just looking at the most recent Rainiers’ box score – boy, Tui’s star seems to be falling fast.

  23. SonOfZavaras on August 16th, 2011 5:11 am

    I’m going to guess we don’t land Cron, Chleborad, Kela, Brennan, Grifol or Tresgallo.

    But we do land Hultzen (with minutes to spare I’ll bet), Null, Miller, Smith, Cohoes (I just have a gut feeling he signs, and nothing more substantial than that) and Hawthorne.

    Hmm. Cron- check.
    Chleborad, Kela, Brennan, Grifol or Tresgallo- all checks. We didn’t get them.

    Hultzen- check! Null- missed on that one. Miller, Smith and Cohoes all signed like I predicted. Hawthorne didn’t, though.

    I’ll take my 83.33333333333% correctly called and call it a very good day for the M’s. 43 of 51 is a fantastic amount of inkings for a draft period.

  24. J-Dog on August 17th, 2011 8:18 am

    Kenley – Thanks for the Carter Capps report. Did you find the scout?

  25. Mike Snow on August 17th, 2011 7:36 pm

    To close the loop on that Hultzen medical school trust fund deal, Larry Stone clarifies that it’s fiction.

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