Minor League Wrap (6/11-17/12)

Jay Yencich · June 18, 2012 at 6:30 am · Filed Under Minor Leagues 

This is going to be the last regularly scheduled update for a while, which is to say that the others will be irregularly scheduled. I’m at a conference in western Massachusetts from this coming Sunday to the Sunday after that and seeing as how I usually write on Sundays, I have three fewer hours to work with (sort of), and will be busy throughout, there’s no telling when I’m going to have enough time set aside to draft this thing up. Also the one that would otherwise be scheduled for July 9th might be delayed too.

Since I only had three days to work with, Everett is getting their first write-up next week. I’m looking forward to attending the season opener on Wednesday! Also there’s going to be a Pulaski preview tomorrow if I get the roster in time. I hope to get the roster in time.

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (5-2 this week, 29-41 overall, 13.5 GB in PCL Pacific Northern)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 11th 2012
Tacoma 4, Salt Lake 10 (ANA + 5)
W: Hurley (6-5, 5.13) L: Grube (0-3, 9.20)

Tuesday, June 12th 2012
Tacoma 7, Salt Lake 3 (ANA + 4)
W: Sweeney (2-1, 3.92) L: Smith (2-4, 2.89)

Wednesday, June 13th 2012
Tacoma 14, Salt Lake 10 (ANA + 3)
W: Jimenez (1-2, 6.95) L: Rodriguez (0-3, 6.75)

Thursday, June 14th 2012
Tacoma 6, Sacramento 4 (OAK + 16)
W: Kinney (1-0, 2.81) L: Farquhar (0-2, 6.75)

Friday, June 15th 2012
Tacoma 2, Sacramento 5 (OAK + 17)
W: Godfrey (6-0, 1.21) L: Marquez (4-8, 6.91) S: Threets (2)

Saturday, June 16th 2012
Tacoma 11, Sacramento 5 (OAK + 16)
W: LaFromboise (1-0, 4.50) L: De Los Santos (1-3, 8.02)

Sunday, June 17th 2012
Tacoma 12, Sacramento 10 (OAK + 15)
W: Jimenez (2-2, 6.82) L: Threets (3-2, 2.41) S: Kinney (3)

Hitter of the Week:
DH Mike Wilson, R/R, 6/29/1983
6 G, 24 AB, 7 R, 12 H, 2 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 3/4 K/BB, .500/.571/1.083

I guess it’s getting to be that time of the year again. We had avoided it thus far because Mike Wilson hadn’t been healthy which is something that seems to happen an awful lot every couple of years. In April, he played three games. In May, he more than doubled that but didn’t triple it. Now it’s seventeen days into June and he’s already played ten games and hit four dingers. I don’t remember the last time a Seattle Mariner hit four dingers in a week, but I think it’s probably been a while and I’m not not-lazy enough to go and look that up. So if Wilson keeps this up there might be some people crying for him to be given another chance in the major leagues because if we can call Oliver Perez up, then certainly other moves are also legal.

One Fewer HR Than Wilson Mention:
2B Luis Rodriguez, S/R, 6/27/1980
6 G, 24 AB, 6 R, 10 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 3/4 K/BB, HBP, .417/.517/.875

Please Let This Be the Beginning of Something Mention:
3B Vinnie Catricala, R/R, 10/31/1988
6 G, 21 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, CS, 4/3 K/BB, 2 HBP, .333/.461/.714

Basically Your Average Week Mention:
DH Luis Antonio Jimenez, L/L, 5/7/1982
6 G, 27 AB, 4 R, 10 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4/4 K/BB, .370/.452/.667

What, No Dingers? Mention:
RF Carlos Peguero, L/L, 2/22/1987
5 G, 20 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 5/1 K/BB, .350/.381/.450

Blip on the Radar Mention:
SS Carlos Triunfel, R/R, 2/27/1990
6 G, 24 AB, 7 R, 9 H, 2B, 3 RBI, 2/1 K/BB, .375/.385/.417

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Jarrett Grube, 11/5/1981
0-1, 2 G (GS), 1.80 ERA in 5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R (ER), 6/1 K/BB, 7/5 G/F

Monday, when Grube was making his start, the Rainiers made four errors in the game, two of which came while Grube was on the mound and contributed to some additional run scoring and hits allowed. This is me giving credit to Grube where the stat line might otherwise suggest poor performance, and indeed, seeing this, some might cry foul on the fact that Grube exited the rotation with the addition of Beavan as opposed to anyone else they had. Grube has an ERA north of nine for the season. His tRA is a few runs below that, but it’s still not good, and he’s been a liability this year after being fairly reliable before that. What is causing this? Well, the fact that opponents are batting .407 off him for the season isn’t helping things. It also doesn’t help that he’s walked 8.4% of the hitters he’s faced this year when it was 6.5% last year, but mostly, I’d say it’s the hits. He should stop allowing so many of them.

My Alternate Suggestion for a Reliever Call-Up Mention:
RHP Josh Kinney, 3/31/1979
1-0, 3 G, SV, 0.00 ERA in 4.1 IP, 4 H, 5/3 K/BB, 2/4 G/F

From The Training Room:
LHP Anthony Vasquez hit the DL on Monday and was replaced the next day by RHP Jandy Sena from Jackson. What one should know about Sena: he doesn’t have great command, he doesn’t strike out many hitters, but he gets a LOT of groundballs… Wednesday’s moves have been covered. RHP Blake Beavan and 3B Alex Liddi were optioned, and with Carp and Pryor going on the DL, four spots were opened for CF Franklin Gutierrez, CF Casper Wells, RHP Erasmo Ramirez, and RHP Steve Delabar. That’s a lot of players to be losing all at once, but more rearranging occurred the next day: CF Darren Ford came off the DL, and the Rainiers sent Sena and RHP Forrest Snow to Jackson while bringing in LHP Bobby LaFromboise and RHP Steven Hensley… Later, Delabar was optioned and LHP Oliver Perez was called up because of a threatening out in his contract or something.

Strange Happenings:
The Rainiers scored more than ten runs in consecutive games and three times this week. Sorcery? They also won five games a week after losing six. And moved nowhere in the standings… So Chance Ruffin still has an ERA of around nine for the season… From Sunday

Mike Curto ?@CurtoWorld
Rainiers lead 7-5 after five innings. Brian Sweeney walked 5 batters in a game for the first time in the USA since June 9, 2000.

Jackson Generals (4-2 this week, 42-28 overall, 1st in SL North)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 11th 2012
Jackson 8, Jacksonville 0 (MIA – 3)
W: Maurer (5-1, 3.42) L: Neil (1-1, 4.67)

Tuesday, June 12th 2012
Off day

Wednesday, June 13th 2012
Chattanooga 0 (LA – 4), Jackson 8
W: Hultzen (8-3, 1.19) L: Webster (1-7, 5.24)

Thursday, June 14th 2012
Chattanooga 1 (LA – 5), Jackson 2
W: Garrison (4-3, 4.32) L: Martin (6-3, 3.35) S: Capps (8)

Friday, June 15th 2012
Chattanooga 11 (LA – 4), Jackson 10
W: Patterson (3-1, 2.08) L: Walker (4-3, 3.79) S: Bawcom (5)

Saturday, June 16th 2012
Chattanooga 4 (LA – 3), Jackson 2
W: Miller (4-4, 4.12) L: Snow (0-1, 1.59) S: Bawcom (6)

Sunday, June 17th 2012
Chattanooga 5 (LA – 4), Jackson 7
W: Robles (1-0, 3.20) L: Roemer (0-1, 0.00) S: Capps (9)

Hitter of the Week:
DH Joe Dunigan, L/L, 3/29/1986
6 G, 25 AB, 6 R, 8 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, SB, CS, 13/2 K/BB, .320/.370/.800

Dingers go a long way towards bumping up your slugging percentage to respectable levels. They also go a long way. (cough) Right now, he has more home runs through 213 at-bats than he did in 360 at-bats in 2010. I guess the other thing that’s noticeable about Dunigan’s line is that he’s hitting for a decent average despite striking out in 35.7% of his at-bats for the year (he’s 35.4% for his career). That’s something that’s getting worse too. In April, he had 25 Ks in 92 ABs. In May, it was 26, in 65 ABs. Now in June, it’s 25 in 56 ABs. And he’s somehow walking more on top of that? What am I supposed to say about this! Joe Dunigan, you don’t make much sense do you?

Not Getting Nearly Enough Opportunities to Play Every Position in a Single Game Mention:
3B Leury Bonilla, R/R, 2/8/1985
6 G, 23 AB, 2 R, 8 H, 2B, HR, 7 RBI, SB, 6/3 K/BB, .348/.423/.522

Seasoned Veteran Mention:
OF Chris Pettit, R/R, 8/15/1984
6 G, 21 AB, 6 R, 7 H, 4 2B, RBI, 4/2 K/BB, .333/.391/.523

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Danny Hultzen, 11/28/1989
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 4 H, 4/1 K/BB, 4/4 G/F

By rates, this seemed better than Garrison’s start even if it was shorter. I won’t dock Hultzen any points for that because he’s supposed to be the North starter in the all-star game, which may have limited his pitch count in this outing. At the same time, because I said last time out that I was running out of things to say or commentary to make about his starts, ahem… Danny Hultzen leads the league in wins (8), ERA (1.19, Skaggs is second with 2.51), average against (.151), WHIP (pfft, 0.93), and ranks second in strikeouts. He hasn’t lost since May 5th. Left-handers are hitting .094 off of him. I would be really surprised if he began the second half in the Southern League.

Best Start of the Year:
LHP Steve Garrison, 9/12/1986
1-0, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 7 H, R, 5/0 K/BB, 5/8 G/F

No Runs Since May Mention:
RHP Yoervis Medina, 7/27/1988
0-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.1 IP, 2 H, 4/2 K/BB, 3/3 G/F

Still Starting I Guess! Mention:
RHP Forrest Snow, 12/30/1988
0-1, GS, 1.59 ERA in 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (ER), 4/0 K/BB

Extra Pitching Notes:
Brandon Maurer went seven and a third innings on Monday and allowed six hits and a walk while striking out seven. It was one of his best starts this season. On Sunday, he left after four innings having given up five runs on eight hits, two walks, and four Ks. Looks like my hesitation to mention him on the radio paid off… Taijaun Walker allowed six runs on six hits, three walks, and four Ks in three and two-thirds innings. He hasn’t been quite right since landing on his ankle funny… Capps’ command was off a bit this week. In 3.1 innings, he had a 5/3 K/BB.

From the Training Room:
Sena was gone, but then he was back and on the DL, and then Hensley and LaFromboise were gone, but Snow came in. This all led to one spot needing to be filled by, in this case, RHP Andrew Kittredge. Confusing.

Strange Happenings:
Denny Almonte walked three times in Saturday. File that under things I didn’t expect to point out… Nick Franklin was named Topps Southern League Player of the Month for May. I don’t know that I was aware that Topps did players of the month in the various leagues but if you’d asked me about it, I would have said “sure, why not?”… There were no walks or hits by pitches for our guys this week, making my life easy.

High Desert Mavericks (4-2 this week, 37-33 overall, T-1st in CAL South)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 11th 2012
High Desert 7, Lake Elsinore 4 (SD + 3)
W: Gillheeney (5-2, 5.40) L: Sullivan (1-3, 6.63) S: Arias (6)

Tuesday, June 12th 2012
High Desert 4, Lake Elsinore 7 (SD + 4)
W: Branham (2-0, 2.45) L: Boyce (0-2, 3.55)

Wednesday, June 13th 2012
High Desert 5, Lake Elsinore 4 (SD + 3)
W: Elias (6-4, 3.82) L: Wilkes (0-1, 7.20) S: Arias (7)

Thursday, June 14th 2012
Rancho Cucamonga 5 (LA + 6), High Desert 3
W: Sanchez (6-3, 4.67) L: Fernandez (2-5, 3.68) S: Eadington (9)

Friday, June 15th 2012
Rancho Cucamonga 7 (LA + 5), High Desert 9
W: Arias (4-3, 5.40) L: Purpura (2-1, 3.18)

Saturday, June 16th 2012
Rancho Cucamonga 2 (LA + 4), High Desert 5
W: Gillheeney (6-2, 5.04) L: Gould (1-6, 4.90) S: Kohlscheen (1)

Sunday, June 17th 2012
All-star Break

Hitter of the Week:
2B Stefen Romero, R/R, 10/17/1988
5 G, 20 AB, 6 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, SB, 3/3 K/BB, HBP, .350/.458/.700

Word has been going around the past couple of days that Romero is going to be in Jackson for the second half, which is cool by me. Romero hasn’t quite been the Mavericks’ best hitter, that’s Morban, but he’s been the second best and far healthier. This move solidifies my prediction of him having a Catricala-like trajectory this year. Romero hit .357/.391/.581 in his Cal League first half, Catricala hit .351/.421/.574 in his Cal League first half. I’d like more walks from Romero, but there’s not a lot more I feel like I can ask for. One note I will make: Romero has a .836 OPS on the road compared to 1.098 at home. That falls in “good enough” territory for me, but Catricala had less of a split back in the day, with a .915 OPS on the road and 1.085 at home. I’m looking forward to seeing what Romero can do in double-A, and you should be looking forward to it too. Maintain reasonable expectations.

Average! Mention:
RF James Jones, L/L, 9/24/1988
6 G, 21 AB, 2 R, 10 H, 2 2B, 3 RBI, SB, 5/1 K/BB, .476/.478/.571

Power! Mention:
3B Steven Proscia, R/R, 6/26/1990
6 G, 26 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 4 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 4/0 K/BB, .269/.269/.538

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Roenis Elias, 8/1/1988
1-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (ER), 9/1 K/BB, 4/4 G/F

Ever since it was mentioned a few weeks back that Elias was hitting 96 a couple of times on the radar gun, I’ve been pretty fascinated with him, which is not so much a good thing because he hasn’t been pitching well. He hasn’t had an outing like this since May 1st, when he also faced Lake Elsinore and went eight innings with a run scoring on three hits and eight strikeouts. Lake Elsinore is a pretty bad hitting team. Looking at the season as a whole, you’ll see that his command was bad out of the gate (13/10 K/BB in April), improved in May (31/8) but with a jump of opposing batting average (from .197 to .271), and now the hits are down again, but the command is slightly worse and he’s allowed five home runs in 17.1 innings. So, if you were ever wondering “how is it that there is this hard throwing lefty in the system that no one has ever heard of?”, it is because he is so inconsistent!

Also Rumored to be Heading to Jackson Mention:
LHP Anthony Fernandez, 6/8/1990
0-1, GS, 2.35 ERA in 7.2 IP, 7 H (HR), 4 R (2 ER), 6/0 K/BB

Reliever IP Leader Mention:
RHP Jonathan Arias, 2/8/1988
1-0, 3 G, 2 SV, 0.00 ERA in 5.1 IP, 5 H, 5/2 K/BB, 4/6 G/F

From the Training Room:
After hitting a home run in Monday’s game, RF Julio Morban was pinch-hit for. It turns out he was injured, even though he was the DH that night. This seems to be a thing that happens to Morban. After he landed on the DL, DH Dennis Raben came in, giving the team another frustrating combination of hitting talent and poor constitution.

Strange Happenings:
Gillheeney had a fun start to end the first half: 6.1 IP, five hits, 7/5 K/BB, one run… Friday was bullpen day as the Mavericks used seven pitchers, none of them for any longer than two and two-thirds innings, and not one of them allowed an inherited runner to score, so they won. Six batters were hit, no one was ejected… The Saturday game for the Mavericks, I was curious as to what was going to happen. After all, the Mavs were hoping to tie the Quakes for first place in their division with the final game, and then what? So I clicked over and found out that Saturday night, it was Duct Tape Appreciation Night and fans who brought a roll would get a free Lower Box ticket. ‘Kay… Regarding that division title, well, for one thing, the box score says Pedro got ejected in the fourth, and for another, the Mavericks Facebook page tells me this:

Mavs win! High Desert beat Rancho Cucamonga 5-2 to move into a tie for first place in the South Division. The first game the Mavericks and the Quakes face in the 2nd Half will serve as the tiebreaker for the 1st Half South Division Championship. The game is on Monday, June 25th, which is the next Mavericks home game. Go Mavs!!!

Go Mavs indeed. We may be there a while, since the Diamondback extended their PDC with Visalia for another four years.

Clinton Lumberkings (0-6 this week, 23-39 overall, 20.5 GB in MWL Western)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 11th 2012
Clinton 2, Cedar Rapids 6 (ANA – 10)
W: De Jiulio (3-1, 6.32) L: Shipers (2-3, 3.75)

Tuesday, June 12th 2012
Wisconsin 3 (MIL + 19), Clinton 1 (ten innings)
W: Barnes (3-2, 2.58) L: Hunter (0-5, 3.13)

Wednesday, June 13th 2012
Wisconsin 4 (MIL + 20), Clinton 2
W: Miller (5-5, 4.18) L: Miller (3-5, 4.10) S: Cravy (1)

Thursday, June 14th 2012
Wisconsin 9 (MIL + 21), Clinton 1
W: Gagnon (6-1, 2.49) L: Hidalgo (2-9, 5.69) S: Shackelford (1)

Friday, June 15th 2012
Clinton 4, Peoria 6 (CHC 0)
W: Peralta (1-2, 5.06) L: Dobbs (1-2, 6.83) S: Wang (9)

Saturday, June 16th 2012
Canceled after being suspended four innings in (with the Lumberkings leading)

Sunday, June 17th 2012
Clinton 5, Peoria 10 (CHC + 1)
W: Jensen (7-3, 2.58) L: Shankin (1-3, 4.22)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Ramon Morla, R/R, 10/20/1989
6 G, 25 AB, 4 R, 11 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBI, 2/0 K/BB, .440/.440/.720

The offense had the kind of week that usually gets sports writers to insinuate that the players are suffering from some blood disorder or mineral deficiency. Not Morla! He just has a walk deficiency, which returned again, and was promptly ignored again because he didn’t really strike out and batted over .400. This means that, despite ending April with a .220/.292/.366 line, Morla is close to a .300 average for the season and his slugging percentage is over .500 (and an OBP around .330). It’s like, back then, he was patient because he couldn’t figure out how to hit things, and now he’s not patient because baseballs make sense to him. I’d consider throwing him at High Desert just to see what happens, but the Mariners are probably not of a similar mind even though he’s the team’s OPS leader.

Peripherals or Something Mention:
2B Dillon Hazlett, 1/22/1989
6 G, 20 AB, 2 R, 4 H, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 6/3 K/BB, HBP, .200/.333/.450

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Trevor Miller, 6/13/1991
0-1, GS, 3.60 ERA in 5.0 IP, 7 H (HR), 4 R (2 ER), 5/1 K/BB, 8/2 G/F

If I cut slack for poor defense elsewhere, then I’ll apply that to Miller as well. A run scored against him in the third inning that wouldn’t have been in position if not for a passed ball. The error in the fourth inning would have been the final out, instead of a runner on first to drive home on a subsequent double. One positive thing in Miller’s column right now is that as the season has gone on, we’ve seen an uptick in strikeouts from him. In April, he only had twelve in 25.1 innings, which is kind of miserable, but since then he’s picked it up to twenty in 24.2 innings for May and nine in 9.1 innings for June, though that has been accompanied by a hundred point jump in opposing batting average. He’s also pitched nearly sixty innings and is still in single digits for his walk totals. He’s quietly putting together a decent season.

From the Training Room:
When Kittredge left, it was in part because UT Patrick Brady came off the DL. I suppose that, heading into their all-star break, they didn’t need as much pitching? And then the same day the starter allowed eight runs in three and two-thirds innings. Ha. ha ha… RHP Richard Vargas landed on the DL because that’s one of the things he does, and RHP Bobby Shore was promoted from Tacoma as a replacement.

Strange Happenings:
There was another Miller v. Miller showdown. AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!… Steve Baron was 8-for-15 this week with three doubles, continuing his unusually hot-hitting June, but again, he lacked the games played to qualify… It was something of a theme this week to have a starter have one good outing and one terrible one, or two terrible ones. I’m not that picky. But where the former was concerned, Shankin went seven innings and let a run score on four hits, a couple hit batters, a walk, and five Ks his first time out and his second time out, he went three and two-thirds and let seven plate on ten hits, a walk, and four Ks… Shipers hasn’t had a good outing since May 15th… Joshua Corrales did not qualify, but struck out six in two and two-thirds innings, which is noteworthy.


12 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (6/11-17/12)”

  1. wbathurs on June 18th, 2012 10:10 am

    I saw that Sanchez had a good opening night at Everett. Amazing that the kid is only 17 and pitching there.

  2. 9inningknowitall on June 18th, 2012 10:18 am

    Sanchez is supposed to be the real deal. I hope he pitches while he is playing against the Volcanoes next week. If he does I’ll take some pictures and see if I can’t get some quotes from the scouts here at the stadium.

  3. maqman on June 18th, 2012 10:22 am

    Thanks for all of the input Jay. Going to be interesting to see how the new draftees do in Everett.

  4. groundzero55 on June 18th, 2012 11:16 am

    Unfortunate that Walker has had a bit of a setback. And Paxton, on the DL now, no? I was somewhat hoping we could see some sort of promotion en masse to Tacoma but at this point it appears Hultzen will be going it alone.

    As far as draft picks goes, we still have yet to sign Zunino right? What is the signing deadline?

  5. Jay Yencich on June 18th, 2012 11:31 am

    Deadline is July 13th. Zunino is still doing College World Series stuff. Paxton is still on the DL with the knee thing but he threw a simulated game against live hitters the other night.

  6. Adam B. on June 18th, 2012 12:18 pm

    Good to hear about Paxton, I was wondering when he was due back since “random knee injury” is kind of nebulous.

    It’d be good to see him get back on track for the second half and finish off the season with a cup-of-coffee and an eye towards a MLB rotation spot next year.

  7. Westside guy on June 18th, 2012 12:47 pm

    Thanks for the write-up, Jay! Enjoy the east coast humidity!

  8. Typical Idiot Fan on June 18th, 2012 12:55 pm

    Adam B,

    It was just a contusion on his knee. He probably took a liner off it or something and they’re just being cautious (what with his other knee having issues in the past).

  9. Paul B on June 18th, 2012 3:56 pm

    I’d be suggesting they swap L Rod for the Mascot, but with just a handful of at bats a month it really isn’t worth getting excited about.

  10. msfanmike on June 18th, 2012 4:22 pm

    Speaking of Zunino: he just singled up the middle in the 7th inning with the bases loaded and his team down by three runs. Down two – now – after the hit. Zunino’s second hit of the day.

  11. Typical Idiot Fan on June 18th, 2012 5:29 pm

    More Zunino: Florida is eliminated. Bring on the signage.

  12. dnc on June 18th, 2012 6:18 pm

    Surprised UF went out so early, but excited to get Zunino inked and figure out where we’re at with the bonuses.

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