Minor League Wrap (4/30-5/6/12)

Jay Yencich · May 7, 2012 at 6:30 am · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

This week, Brad Miller scored on an at-bat in which he struck out swinging. There were other interesting things that happened this week, positive signs for players that may end up being significant pieces in the Mariners future development, but nothing I tell you will be more interesting than that.

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (2-4 this week, 11-19 overall, 3.5 GB in PCL Pacific Northern)

The Week in Review:
Monday, April 30th 2012
Off day

Tuesday, May 1st 2012
Tacoma 10, Tucson 9 (SD – 11)
W: Kelley (1-0, 1.32) L: Brach (1-1, 3.18)

Wednesday, May 2nd 2012
Tacoma 8, Tucson 9 (SD – 10)
W: Brach (2-1, 2.70) L: Patterson (0-1, 4.50)

Thursday, May 3rd 2012
Tacoma 6, Tucson 4 (SD – 11)
W: Marquez (2-2, 5.87) L: Reyes (1-5, 6.54) S: Kelley (4)

Friday, May 4th 2012
Tacoma 9, Reno 11 (ARI – 5)
W: Capellan (1-0, 0.00) L: Perez (2-1, 6.59) S: Albaladejo (3)

Saturday, May 5th 2012
Tacoma 10, Reno 11 (ARI – 4)
W: Capellan (2-0, 0.00) L: Ruffin (0-3, 7.31) S: Albaladejo (4)

Sunday, May 6th 2012
Tacoma 4, Reno 9 (ARI – 3)
W: Enright (4-1, 2.13) L: Vasquez (3-2, 5.88)

Hitter of the Week:
DH/1B Luis Antonio Jimenez, L/L, 5/7/1982
6 G, 22 AB, 5 R, 11 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4/7 K/BB, .500/.621/.863

The flipside of what will come in the pitching discussion is this: the Rainiers were in Tucson and Reno this week, parks not unreceptive to hitting. Hitting is practically all that Jimenez is equipped for, so it worked out pretty well for him. Jimenez is running a .928 OPS right now, 152 points ahead of Quiroz among the starters, and he also has the team’s best strikeout to walk ratio at 20/18. This all sounds great and all, but as the PCL goes, this doesn’t provide as much as you’d think. Among starters who have played twenty or more games, Jimenez’ OPS ranks twentieth. If I expanded the definition to mere “qualifiers,” which is usually 3.1 ABs per game or more, he drops to twenty-four. So if you were of the perception earlier that offense around the PCL might have returned to more sane levels, it hasn’t really, it’s just that the Rainiers haven’t hit particularly well so far.

Oh, Please Be Actually Getting Good #1 Mention:
CF Trayvon Robinson, S/R, 9/1/1987
6 G, 23 AB, 6 R, 9 H, 4 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 5/7 K/BB, .391/.533/.696

Oh, Please Be Actually Getting Good #2 Mention:
3B Vinnie Catricala, R/R, 10/31/1988
6 G, 27 AB, 3 R, 10 H, 3 2B, HR, 7 RBI, 2/2 K/BB, .370/.414/.593

No Need For Walks Mention:
SS Carlos Triunfel, R/R, 2/27/1990
5 G, 24 AB, 7 R, 9 H, 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3/0 K/BB, .375/.375/.750

Forgotten Man on Depth Chart Mention:
2B Luis Rodriguez, S/R, 6/27/1980
5 G, 18 AB, 2 R, 6 H, 2B, 3B, 6 RBI, 1/3 K/BB, .333/.409/.500

Something More Than Singles Mention:
IF Scott Savastano, R/R, 6/12/1986
6 G, 25 AB, 6 R, 8 H, 5 2B, 6 RBI, 6/2 K/BB, .320/.370/.520

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Jeff Marquez, 8/10/1984
1-0, GS, 1.35 ERA in 6.2 IP, 9 H, 4 R (ER), 5/2 K/BB, 8/4 G/F, WP

High Desert has given me trouble over the years. With such an offensive inflation, and the Mariners avoidance of sending their better pitchers there, it’s hard to find much worth highlighting. However, I don’t think I’ve ever had as much trouble with them as I’ve been having with Tacoma lately, where there are weeks where I don’t know that I can highlight anyone in good conscience. Marquez was the closest I got, and even then, it’s partially the fact that, even though he had a .333 average against (for the season, it’s .361), three of those runs weren’t earned. One of the errors was his, however. This is such a mess. I’m hoping that Erasmo provides me with something positive to talk about, soon.

One Out Shy of Taking the Top Spot Instead Mention:
RHP Josh Kinney, 3/31/1979
0-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.2 IP, 3 H, 4/1 K/BB, 4/2 G/F

From The Training Room:
With Carp joining the Mariners in Tampa, OF Mario Yepez was shipped over from Clinton. He seems to spend a lot of his time in different places. Maybe he’s secretly a super spy… Later in the week, RHP Shawn Kelley, who had been doing pretty darned well, got promoted in favor of sending RHP Erasmo Ramirez down to get him stretched out. He’ll be starting on Monday. Perhaps this means something?

Strange Happenings:
Vasquez gave up nine runs on eleven hits (2 HR), two walks, and three Ks in four innings of work early in the week. So the lame thing is that he is no longer The Out Whisperer. The crazy thing is that he did not lose. The Rainiers scored five runs in the ninth. He did, however, put himself in a poor position when he let six runs (five earned) score on ten hits in five innings on Sunday… Further adventures in déjà vu: Chris Jakubauskas started for Reno on Saturday… Chiang had eight singles this week. No extra-base hits. No walks. Eight singles.

Jackson Generals (3-3 this week, 20-11 overall, 1st in SL North)

The Week in Review:
Monday, April 30th 2012
Off day

Tuesday, May 1st 2012
Jackson 4, Pensacola 5 (CIN – 2)
W: Joseph (3-0, 0.00) L: Moran (0-1, 0.00)

Wednesday, May 2nd 2012
Rain 🙁

Thursday, May 3rd 2012
Jackson 3, Pensacola 1 (CIN – 3) (seven innings)
W: Paxton (3-0, 2.51) L: Villarreal (1-2, 3.57) S: Pryor (7)

Jackson 0, Pensacola 1 (CIN – 2) (seven innings)
W: Corcino (2-1, 2.61) L: Walker (3-1, 1.30) S: Joseph (5)

Friday, May 4th 2012
Jackson 10, Pensacola 2 (CIN – 3)
W: Maurer (2-0, 3.55) L: Crabbe (1-2, 5.72)

Saturday, May 5th 2012
Jackson 0, Pensacola 4 (CIN – 2)
W: Sulbaran (2-3, 4.05) L: Hultzen (2-3, 2.35)

Sunday, May 6th 2012
Huntsville 0 (MIL + 3), Jackson 9
W: Carraway (4-0, 2.61) L: Merklinger (1-3, 7.23)

Hitter of the Week:
OF Chris Pettit, R/R, 8/15/1984
6 G, 16 AB, 2 R, 4 H, 2B, 3B, 4 RBI, 3/4 K/BB, .250/.400/.438

I mentioned last week that the Jackson pitchers might face an interesting challenge in Pensacola, which featured good and patient hitters. As it turns out, Pensacola is just a pretty good team all-around. They’re tied with Mobile for the second-least hits allowed, rank second in strikeouts behind Jackson, and are above-average in avoiding the free pass. This all combined to give the young and/or inexperienced Generals hitters a harder time than they’re used to. Not Chris Pettit, though. Chris Pettit has seen the PCL. He’s even been in the big leagues, and managed to channel all of that veteran grit into enough peripherals to carry him to the top. He also threw a guy out at home this week. Good for him.

Not Bad, For a Catcher Mention:
C Jesus Sucre, R/R, 4/30/1988
4 G, 14 AB, R, 5 H, 2B, 3 RBI, 3/0 K/BB, HBP, .357/.400/.429

Where Did the Power Go? Mention:
DH Joe Dunigan, L/L, 3/29/1986
6 G, 22 AB, 4 R, 8 H, 2B, 5 RBI, SB, CS, 7/2 K/BB, .364/.417/.409

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP James Paxton, 11/6/1988
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.1 IP, 3 H, R (0 ER), 5/2 K/BB, 7/2 G/F

In some respects, based on the results, this is fine. Paxton wasn’t hit much, didn’t walk too many, and held his own against a patient team. In other respects, it’s refreshing old concerns in my mind. Paxton threw 57.9% of his pitches for strikes on Thursday. That’s a bit low. As a reference point, major league average right now is about 61%. Compare that to Carraway, who had 64% strikes, or Walker’s 60.6%, or Maurer’s 61.2% in their Pensacola starts. This might just be a blip because he was at 63% on April 6th and 64.8% on April 11th (Jackson has stopped tracking pitches consistently), but he also had the 43.5% start against Huntsville on the 21st of April. Even Hultzen’s seven-walk start this week wasn’t that low. These are the things I find myself thinking about as I write these weekly pieces.

Wanting Some Strikeouts #1 Mention:
RHP Taijuan Walker, 8/13/1992
0-1, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.2 IP, 5 H, R (0 ER), 2/2 K/BB, 7/4 G/F

Wanting Some Strikeouts #2 Mention:
RHP Brandon Maurer, 7/3/1990
1-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 6 H, R, 2/2 K/BB, 9/2 G/F

Continued Competent Pitching Mention:
RHP Andrew Carraway, 9/4/1986
1-0, 2 GS, 2.53 ERA in 10.2 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 9/3 K/BB, 9/7 G/F, HB

Extra Pitching Notes:
So yeah, Hultzen. He went 4.1 innings this week and had two runs score on a home run, seven walks, and four Ks. He also threw three wild pitches. I guess it’s possible that his command isn’t quite as advanced as we originally anticipated. Pryor recorded eight outs this week and seven of them were Ks. He’s neat. Capps recorded four outs this week and two were Ks.

From the Training Room:
Nothing going on.

Strange Happenings:
“Ugh” of the Week: Taijuan Walker got into the sixth inning in the second part of Thursday’s doubleheader. The inning opened with a batter reaching on error. Two groundouts later, the runner was on third, then a single drove him home. It was the only run scored in the game. Walker took the loss… Almonte had a 6/1 K/BB in six games this week. Sadface… Larry Stone visited Jackson a little while ago and posted his take on the Jackson hitters where I got a small shoutout for talking about Almonte’s plate discipline. Hi, Larry!… Jack Zduriencik was watching the Pensacola series, probably because he wanted to check out the new digs, and broadcaster Chris Harris got a chance to sit down with the Mariners GM. I don’t know that it will tell you anything you don’t already know, but yay prospects, yay interviews.

High Desert Mavericks (3-3 this week, 17-14 overall, 1st in CAL South)

The Week in Review:
Monday, April 30th 2012
Off day

Tuesday, May 1st 2012
Lake Elsinore 2 (SD + 3), High Desert 7
W: Elias (3-1, 2.30) L: Andriese (2-1, 3.86)

Wednesday, May 2nd 2012
Lake Elsinore 6 (SD + 4), High Desert 5
W: Quigley (2-0, 1.80) L: Arias (1-1, 2.45) S: Quackenbush (7)

Thursday, May 3rd 2012
Lake Elsinore 5 (SD + 3), High Desert 7
W: Sorce (1-1, 5.57) L: Jackson (3-2, 3.60) S: Burgoon (1)

Friday, May 4th 2012
High Desert 5, Visalia 6 (ARI – 3)
W: Cooper (1-2, 5.73) L: Arias (1-2, 3.60)

Saturday, May 5th 2012
High Desert 3, Visalia 4 (ARI- 2) (eight innings)
W: Schultz (1-1, 2.92) L: Hudson (1-3, 6.89)

High Desert 10, Visalia 0 (ARI – 3) (seven innings)
W: Stanton (1-1, 8.66) L: Schuster (0-2, 6.35)

Sunday, May 6th 2012
Off day

Hitter of the Week:
C/DH John Hicks, R/R, 8/31/1989
6 G, 25 AB, 3 R, 13 H, 4 2B, 7 RBI, 2 SB, 2 CS, 1/0 K/BB, HBP, .520/.538/.680

Well, this is something. Hicks has been hitting .477 for the past two weeks, and is running a twelve-game hit streak. The fact that he seems to be seeing and hitting the ball so very well leaves me less worried about the lack of walks this past week. At the same time, one of my earlier concerns, lack of road power, continued for this stretch as only one of the four doubles came when the team was playing Visalia. The difference between Hicks’ home slugging and road slugging is .186. The difference between the two ISOs is .074. This isn’t at Steve Proscia levels of concern, but I don’t like it at all. Also, in nineteen defensive games, he’s passed five balls, which is concerning even if he’s managed a 50% CS rate.

Inside-the-Parker on a Strikeout Mention:
SS Brad Miller, L/R, 10/18/1989
6 G, 24 AB, 6 R, 9 H, 6 2B, HR, 4 RBI, SB, 6/2 K/BB, .375/.407/.750

Please, Start Hitting Before July This Year Mention:
CF/RF James Jones, L/L, 9/24/1988
6 G, 24 AB, 6 R, 8 H, 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 6/1 K/BB, .333/.360/.667

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Roenis Elias, 8/1/1988
1-0, GS, 1.13 ERA in 8.0 IP, 3 H (HR), 8/0 K/BB, 8/2 G/F

At the bottom of the Cal League team leaderboard for OPS, you’ll find two names: Visalia, and then Lake Elsinore. So the Mavericks pitching staff can make inferior hitters go squish. Good to know. Elias took out Lake Elsinore, the inferior team, but I’ve decided to scale for innings, lack of hits and walks, and the fact that this one was played at home. Retiring the first eight in a row wasn’t bad either. With eight frames in this outing, Elias passes Fernandez as the team leader in innings per start. While Elias is two years older and is coming in after a few years of pitching in the Cuban league, they’re pretty similar pitchers. I’m watching both to see who ultimately pulls ahead.

Best Start of the Year #1 Mention:
RHP Chris Sorce, 10/28/1987
1-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 5 H, R, 8/3 K/BB, 6/1 G/F

Best Start of the Year #2 Mention:
RHP George Mieses, 5/3/1991
0-0, GS, 1.69 ERA in 5.1 IP, 4 H (HR), 6/0 K/BB, 7/0 G/F, BK

Doubleheader Starter Mention:
RHP Taylor Stanton, 1/15/1988
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 3 H, 5/0 K/BB, 7/4 G/F, HB

From the Training Room:
As was the case throughout the system, the Mavericks were a little quiet on the transaction front. So quiet they were entirely silent.

Strange Happenings:
From Wednesday’s game:

Brad Miller strikes out swinging. Brad Miller scores. Throwing error by catcher Eddy Rodriguez.

I don’t have any explanation other than that in the initial game log, Rodriguez was credited with a passed ball and a throwing error, so my guess is that the ball went under him as Miller was swinging, and when he finally found it, he threw it away down the right field line… Speaking of Wednesday’s game: Quigley, Quackenbush. When was the last time you saw a team have two players with Q names contribute significantly to a game’s outcome?… Baseball America compiles a list of the top Game Scores recorded in a month for each classification. If you were to guess at who ranked there, you’d think, “oh, one of those Cerberus guys, or maybe a Clinton pitcher surprised.” Nope. The only Mariners representative was Anthony Fernandez, who recorded a 79 on April 26th.

Clinton Lumberkings (1-4 this week, 11-18 overall, 7 GB in MWL Western)

The Week in Review:
Monday, April 30th 2012

Tuesday, May 1st 2012
Off day!

Wednesday, May 2nd 2012
Wisconsin 12 (MIL + 4), Clinton 5
W: Miller (1-3, 5.28) L: Hobson (0-5, 4.65)

Thursday, May 3rd 2012
Wisconsin 8 (MIL + 5), Clinton 2
W: Gagnon (3-0, 1.02) L: Hidalgo (1-3, 4.75)

Friday, May 4th 2012
Wisconsin 5 (MIL + 6), Clinton 0
W: Thompson (1-0, 0.00) L: Landazuri (3-1, 2.83) S: Williams (1)

Saturday, May 5th 2012
Burlington 0 (OAK – 2), Clinton 4
W: Shipers (2-0, 1.62) L: Macias (1-4, 6.59)

Sunday, May 6th 2012
Burlington 2 (OAK – 1), Clinton 0
W: Alcantara (2-3, 5.08) L: Shankin (0-2, 2.82) S: Perlman (1)

Hitter of the Week:
RF Jabari Blash, R/R, 7/4/1989
5 G, 17 AB, 2 R, 5 H, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5/1 K/BB, .294/.333/.647

Last week, 60% of Blash’s plate appearances resulted in a true outcome. This week, it was only 44%. I feel slightly cheated, even if both home runs were right of center, which is awesome. They were also the first two home runs that Blash had hit at home this year, which raises an interesting quirk. Blash’s road OPS coming into Sunday was .946, and at home, it was .601. This shouldn’t be happening because Clinton is fairly neutral for offense, though it is much easier to hit a triple there than a home run and Blash does like his dingers. He is second in the league in dingers. He has more dingers than the rest of the team combined. He is also in the top five in Ks 🙁

Generally Competent Hitting Mention:
2B Jean Acevedo, R/R, 12/5/1990
4 G, 10 AB, R, 3 H, 2B, 2/1 K/BB, HBP, .300/.417/.400

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Jordan Shipers, 6/27/1991
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 9.0 IP, 3 H, 6/2 K/BB, 11/3 G/F, WP

As my own rankings go, Shipers has been in the position of being runner-up a couple of times now, but didn’t take top honors until now when he threw the system’s first nine-inning complete game of the season, and the first complete game, nine-inning shutout for Clinton since Kenn Kasparek did it on August 3rd, 2009. Shipers even managed to finish pretty strong, with four of the final six outs coming as Ks. Shipers’ emergence is good news for us in the long run, but for the sake of getting us some context, I went back to the career stats and found some interesting things. He’s gone from 11.8% walks last year to 6.4% walks this year, which is certainly good, but he’s also gone from 21.4% Ks to 16.8% Ks, which is not positive. At least he’s still getting a whole lot of grounders.

Piggyback Mention:
RHP Trevor Miller, 6/13/1991
0-0, G, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, 2 H, 4/1 K/BB, 2/5 G/F

From the Training Room:
Yepez left again, and the result was that IF Dan Paolini came off the DL to hopefully resume hitting. Please, someone be hitting.

Strange Happenings:
It seemed to me that our rotation was getting a lot of groundballs, particularly this week, so I decided to look back and see if this perception held. Hobson: 9/0 G/F. Hidalgo: 11/1 G/F. Landazuri: 11/1 G/F. Shipers: 11/3 G/F. Shankin: 13/2 G/F. Perhaps this is the kind of group that would manage to survive High Desert? I’d prefer that we just move our advanced-A affiliate elsewhere… Wednesday, Guillermo Pimentel was ejected for arguing a call. It was a groundout where he was called out at first. It wasn’t a K. He’s used to that sort of thing… Baron is 2-for-16 to start May. I am merely saying… Phillips hit a dinger to right field in Saturday. This is the kind of thing that always surprises me even though Phillips has seventeen career home runs over nearly 400 games.


23 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (4/30-5/6/12)”

  1. cjones on May 7th, 2012 6:54 am

    If Walker learns to cope with losing a well-pitched game 1-0, he will be ready for the big league club.

  2. cjones on May 7th, 2012 6:55 am

    Eh, sorry for the cynicism.

  3. greymstreet on May 7th, 2012 7:19 am

    Blash was top 5 on the team or in the league in K’s?

  4. Leroy Stanton on May 7th, 2012 8:04 am

    Happy 30th Birthday to Luis Antonio Jimenez!

  5. sergey on May 7th, 2012 8:38 am

    Thank you for the advice (http://www.ussmariner.com/2012/04/30/minor-league-wrap-423-2912/#more-15323). I saw two of three prospects in Thursday double header. We arrived a bit late, so I missed two innings of Paxtons start, otherwise I saw the rest… For context, there was a strong breeze blowing in upwards of 20-30 mph.

    James Paxton’s fastball was on and consistent between 90-92 mph. His offspeed offering(s) were also fairly reliable (50-50). Got into trouble with command twice and threw 6 consecutive balls to start 4th inning and 6th inning for his only two walks of the game. In the 4th, he settled down and regained composure after multiple mound visits. In the 6th, he settled down, but defense let him down: one error, one infield hit. In his only lefty-righty matchup (of the inning) was a 3 pitch strike out. Left with bases loaded 1 in, 1 out.

    Stephen Pryor was ON with his fastball 95-98, his change-up 90 mph. A little amped up the first few pitches, but showed poise and control, took his time to finish out the 6th without allowing a run to score. Went right after them in the 7th.

  6. MKT on May 7th, 2012 9:05 am

    I’d like to know more about that “inside the park” strikeout. If that’s indeed what happened, it has to be one of the rarest plays in baseball — maybe the first time it’s ever happened, even in the minor leagues?

  7. sergey on May 7th, 2012 9:06 am


    Extra base hits in both games combined were Generals 2 Wahoos 0. and both happened in the first game. The wind was a killer! Anything except a low line drive (Pettit’s triple) was affected significantly. Based on those two games, Pettit was clear hitter of the week! The only one in control of the strike zone.

    I stood right behind home plate in 2nd game. Francisco Martinez started 3-0 without flinching his bat. The Starter, Daniel Corcino, was clearly overthrowing mostly fastballs. He took a strike and swung at a pitch down and out of the zone and grounded out. It was an easy walk that didn’t happen because of batters stupidity. Nick Franklin them proceeded to do the same.

    In 2nd game, Generals were over aggressive, combining for three singles, two walks, and two double plays.

  8. Mike Snow on May 7th, 2012 9:46 am

    I’d like to know more about that “inside the park” strikeout. If that’s indeed what happened, it has to be one of the rarest plays in baseball — maybe the first time it’s ever happened, even in the minor leagues?

    Brandon Inge reached third base on a strikeout in the 11th inning of a game against the White Sox on Sept. 19, 2010. That’s as close as I got with a perfunctory search. If somebody has the time to research it a little more closely, it could be interesting to investigate.

    I would think it must have happened somewhere before at some point, though. Certainly in the minor leagues, where strange ballpark features, poor-quality fields, and players of inferior skill have, over the years, combined to produce all kinds of unusual sequences.

    The event does have a certain charm to it, especially since it doesn’t really require skill to accomplish. It’s the kind of stuff I remember from Little League. I was never much of a hitter, but certainly got to run around the bases a lot. Since the other team has to properly field, throw, and catch the ball to get you out, that’s three big opportunities for something to go wrong, as it very regularly did.

  9. HighBrie on May 7th, 2012 9:52 am

    Anyone been to the Raniers games to see what Trayvon’s doing differently? He wasn’t drawing any walks at all, now he’s got more walks than strikeouts. Is this a matter of someone reminding him what his bread and butter ought to be and him changing approach, or is he “just hot, small sample”? On the reverse side of the coin, any comment on how Almonte looks when *not* on fire? Improvements sustained in the BB/K ratios?

  10. Pat Dillon on May 7th, 2012 10:11 am

    MKT – We’ve seen one inside-the-park strikeout in Everett. On 7/7/08, Yakima CF Collin Cowgill circled the bases after striking out against AquaSox RHP Brett Lorin. Throwing errors by C Travis Howell and RF Dennis Raben made it possible.

  11. sergey on May 7th, 2012 10:42 am

    Taijuan Walker:
    Dominant the first time through the lineup throwing mid-90s fastball almost exclusively. The umpires strike zone was small. Very few called strikes later in the count for both pitchers.

    Second time though the line-up, the fastball was low-90s and the off-speed stuff was not hitting the strike zone. Walker gave up multiple line drives to center, but aided by incoming wind, resulted into outs. Also, a couple of legitimate “home-run” distance hits down the line were blown foul. In fact, Taijuan, second time though line-up on, was pitching for contact.

  12. Jay Yencich on May 7th, 2012 10:43 am

    Blash was top 5 on the team or in the league in K’s?

    League. Definitely league.

    Anyone been to the Raniers games to see what Trayvon’s doing differently? He wasn’t drawing any walks at all, now he’s got more walks than strikeouts. Is this a matter of someone reminding him what his bread and butter ought to be and him changing approach, or is he “just hot, small sample”?

    I got into this discussion with someone over at LL yesterday. I’m a bit skeptical right now because Reno is tied for second in the PCL in walks (behind the good ol’ Rainiers). Tucson is more middle of the pack, but it’s one of those things that I need to see sustained against teams with better command before I actually start to make anything of it.

    As for Almonte, I don’t know! Maybe Sergey has some insight from seeing the team. Thanks, Sergey!

    MKT – We’ve seen one inside-the-park strikeout in Everett. On 7/7/08, Yakima CF Collin Cowgill circled the bases after striking out against AquaSox RHP Brett Lorin. Throwing errors by C Travis Howell and RF Dennis Raben made it possible.

    Aquasox broadcaster Pat Dillon, everyone. Thanks, Pat!

  13. sergey on May 7th, 2012 11:12 am

    3-4-5 hitters looked powerless. (especially 4th inning of second game). 1 and 3 with no outs, 3 at bats yielded no runs.

    In 2nd game, Daniel Corcino off-speed pitches were good. Even when he wasn’t, General hitters bailed him out by swinging. Plus, the wind was severely limiting to all hitters…

    Denny Almonte:
    Looked good defensively in center, taking away single with a run-in dive. And also catching most Taijuan Walker’s pitch-to-contact line drives. The winds gave him extra 1/2 second to get there, otherwise a couple would be extra bases. One was a full spring to warning track (the outfield played shallow) and barely got there.

    Last ab, Hit by a pitch (lower leg) was on 0-2 count after swinging though a couple of times. (lucky hbp). Steal was almost fielder indifference.

  14. maqman on May 7th, 2012 11:17 am

    It’s going to be interesting to see how the High Desert thumpers do in AA and the Jackson arms do in Tacoma.

  15. Jay Yencich on May 7th, 2012 11:46 am

    It looks like we’ll have a chance to see A Jackson pitcher try to do his thing further up the ladder.

    Mike Curto @CurtoWorld
    Rainiers make a transaction, add a pitcher from Double-A Jackson… RHP Stephen Pryor joins Tacoma tomorrow.

    Mike Curto @CurtoWorld
    In a corresponding move, LHP Mauricio Robles will continue his search for the strike zone in Jackson. Hopefully he’ll find it there.

  16. bookbook on May 7th, 2012 12:14 pm

    Good. Pryor may ad well be hanging out in Tacoma when League gets shipped out six weeks from now.

  17. Jay Yencich on May 7th, 2012 12:42 pm

    I’ll speak in more detail on these moves SEVEN DAYS FROM NOW, but it looks like today has been a busy one for the system.

    Tacoma: Added Pryor, dropped Robles [Johan Limonta is also off taking his citizenship test]
    Jackson: Picked up Robles, lost Pryor; released Eddy Martinez-Esteve after reinstating him; Steve Garrison taken off the DL, Felix’s brother put on it
    High Desert: Reinstated Julio Morban, sent away Carlos Ramirez
    Clinton: Picked up Ramirez, RHP Ben Cornwell, IF Bryan Brito; sent away Wes Alsup, Jean Acevedo, Alfredo Morales

    It’s hard for me to decide what move I like best here. Pryor being called up sets the stage for him to join the M’s later in the season. Morban’s hitting was really starting to take off and it’s important that he spend as little time on the DL as possible. I’m not too hot on getting rid of Acevedo when he was starting to show signs of turning it around, but the organization really seems to like Brito and the team might be served well by having him up the middle. I don’t like the demotion of Morales so much as I recognize that there’s no room for him as the outfield is currently configured. I wouldn’t rule out him taking Pimentel’s spot eventually though.

  18. kmsandrbs on May 7th, 2012 2:20 pm

    @ Mike Snow – Scoring on a strikeout also brought me back to my Little League days. I never had any power, but I was a smart base runner. One of my favorite memories was scoring on a walk (it involved other baserunners and several errors, but to me it always stood out as a “home run”).

  19. mariners88 on May 7th, 2012 2:21 pm

    Thanks for the post Jay!

    Aside from Brad Miller’s inside the parker fluke, I’m curious to hear any/all thoughts you or anyone else has on the guy? He’s been running a pretty good stat line this whole year out of the SS position, and that gets me excited! Especially when he’s still a relatively young one (~22), I’m probably overreacting since I’d love to see a 2B/SS tandem that could feature Ackley and someone else who can swing a bat!

  20. msfanmike on May 7th, 2012 3:31 pm

    Check out the number of errors Miller has made. However, I think 9 of them came in the first two weeks. This info may or may not temper your enthusiasm a bit. But yeah … a bat swinging SS who can also field the position would be nice.

    Franklin is supposed to be that guy, eventually … but there are questions about his defensive development, too. At least that is what I have heard/read.

  21. Kazinski on May 7th, 2012 3:43 pm

    Here’s an account of Miller’s inside the park strikeout:

    Brad Miller had given the Mavericks that 5-4 lead with a two-out RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning, one of two doubles on the day for him.

    He also scored the first run of the game in unique fashion. Leading off the bottom of the first, Miller struck out swinging, but the ball got past Lake Elsinore catcher Eddy Rodriguez.

    Rodriguez tried to recover and throw Miller out at first, but the ball sailed into right field and Miller ran all the way around the bases for a four-base error.

  22. just a fan on May 7th, 2012 4:49 pm

    Where was the RF? Picking his nose?

    Gotta love Baseball.

  23. MKT on May 7th, 2012 4:57 pm

    “Aquasox broadcaster Pat Dillon, everyone. Thanks, Pat!”

    “a four-base error”

    Thanks for the responses! Yes, a four-base error is the better way to describe it. I’ve never seen an inside-the-park-HR, but as fun as it would be to see one, I think I’d rather see a 4-base error. It might indicate lower quality of play — but higher fun quality and greater rarity.

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