Minor League Wrap (7/16-22/12)

Jay Yencich · July 23, 2012 at 6:30 am · Filed Under Minor Leagues 

Late in the week, there was a video making its rounds on the internet of a classic meeting of stoppable force and immovable object. In this case, immovable object was D’Backs catcher Styrker Trahan, and stoppable force? That was Mariners second-round pick Joe DeCarlo. Go look at it. I don’t know what to say. Yikes, perhaps.

If you missed it earlier in the week, I also did a guest article on Lookout Landing of the 2012 Mariners Pre-Draft Prospects as the Moons of Jupiter, which might mark the first and only time I’ve made a prospect list and haven’t hated every second of it.

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (1-7 this week, 41-60 overall, 18.5 GB in PCL Pacific Northern)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 16th 2012
Sacramento 5 (OAK + 20), Tacoma 2
W: Godfrey (9-0, 2.86) L: Garrison (0-2, 6.50) S: Valdez (3)

Tuesday, July 17th 2012
Sacramento 9 (OAK + 21), Tacoma 8 (fourteen innings)
W: Banwart (6-3, 4.21) L: Hensley (1-4, 8.66) S: Valdez (4)

Wednesday, July 18th 2012
Sacramento 1 (OAK + 20), Tacoma 2 (eighteen innings)
W: Savastano (1-0, 0.00) L: Peterson (0-1, 27.00)

Thursday, July 19th 2012
Sacramento 14 (OAK + 21), Tacoma 3
W: Billings (6-3, 3.33) L: Noesi (0-1, 15.12)

Friday, July 20th 2012
Tacoma 6, Colorado Springs 13 (COL + 2)
W: Scahill (8-9, 5.30) L: Carraway (3-5, 4.78)

Saturday, July 21st 2012
Tacoma 1, Colorado Springs 3 (COL + 3)
W: Schmidt (2-2, 6.55) L: Garrison (0-3, 5.76) S: Woods (3)

Sunday, July 22nd 2012
Tacoma 6, Colorado Springs 9 (COL + 4) (seven innings)
W: Moscoso (6-5, 6.07) L: Sweeney (4-3, 5.55)

Tacoma 2, Colorado Springs 3 (COL + 5) (seven innings)
W: Bergmann (2-2, 10.26) L: LaFromboise (2-1, 1.77)

Hitter of the Week:
CF Darren Ford, R/R, 10/1/1985
7 G, 33 AB, 5 R, 9 H, 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 SB, 2 CS, 7/3 K/BB, .273/.333/.485

Someone asked me two weekends ago at Safeco what had gotten into Darren Ford and I muttered something about contact hitters going on streaks every now and then. This was a cop-out answer because, while I knew that Ford had been hitting well, I spend little time thinking about him if I can help it. Oh look, he was a Brewers draft pick. Gosh. Ford’s spent time in the major leagues and it took him until his seventh season to see the PCL. His career clash line is .270/.349/.379 and yet here we are seeing him bat .321/.363/.489 over thirty games in Tacoma since coming back from the busted index finger, slammed in a door, possibly while holding an egg as some kind of prank (I only want to believe that). It’s impressive, but the PCL has been playing weirdly over the past couple of years and it’s the equivalent of a month of games. Perhaps over a thirty-game span elsewhere in his career, he’s hit better. Or maybe he’s a late bloomer. More data please.

This Was My Best Alternate Mention:
SS Carlos Triunfel, R/R, 2/27/1990
8 G, 25 AB, R, 7 H, 4 2B, 2 RBI, 4/1 K/BB, HBP, .280/.321/.440

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Danny Hultzen, 11/28/1989
0-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 3 H (HR), R, 8/2 K/BB, 3/3 G/F

This was sort of a no-brainer, since he started the only game the team won (that was the long one) and was easily the most competent of the bunch. It’s sort of sad that he’s the only one the team can lean on but hey, I bet you can make jokes about that sort of thing. It does seem like he’s getting better from one start to the next, as this was his first time over five innings, under three walks, and over seven Ks (marks set last time out). He has allowed two home runs, which is as many as he allowed in more than three times as many innings with Jackson (everyone is giving up home runs right now), the average has spiked a little, and his tendency has been more towards flyballs of late. That’s sort of new, in that his average was consistently low in Jackson, but he was moving towards flyballs over his tenure there, so maybe that’s not a bad thing, particularly in Safeco.

Long Relief in Long Game Mention:
RHP Steven Hensley, 12/27/1986
0-1, 2 G, 1.69 ERA in 5.1 IP, 3 H (HR), R, 3/0 K/BB, 3/3 G/F

Dingers? Mention:
LHP Brian Moran, 9/30/1988
0-0, 3 G, 3.86 ERA in 4.2 IP, 3 H (2 HR) 8/0 K/BB, 4/1 G/F

From The Training Room:
RHP Blake Beavan was called up and RHP Steve Delabar, optioned, though he didn’t get very far… Following the eighteen-inning game, RHP Jandy Sena was back in Tacoma in what seems to a running gag. I’ll give you a guess as to who replaced him in Jackson. You only have one shot. If you fail, I will be so disappointed in you…. Friday afternoon, RHP Scott Patterson hit the DL and LHP Jose Jimenez came in from Jackson. I’m still surprised that he managed to escape High Desert… RHP Stephen Pryor was officially optioned which didn’t actually affect anything.

Strange Happenings:
Hector Noesi: gave up ten runs (nine earned) on nine hits (two HR), three walks, and three Ks in five inning. He is terrible. Carraway was also terrible this week… Carp was 3-for-18 this week and walked three times. He played five of eight games… I have no idea what it’s possible to say about the eighteen inning affair that Mike Curto didn’t already. Here’s his post-game post. I’m not going to try to add anything to that other than to point out, as he did, that the Rainiers had four of six games go to extra innings. Speaking of Curto, there was this on Sunday:

Mike Curto ?@CurtoWorld
Just happened: Rainiers 1st & 3rd, no out. Liddi fouls out to catcher, Luis Jimenez tags at 1st and tries to take 2nd. F-2-6 double play.

Jackson Generals (3-3 this week, 17-12 in the second half, 59-40 overall, 1 GB in SL North)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 16th 2012
Jackson 10, Tennessee 8 (CHC – 1)
W: Medina (3-4, 3.88) L: McNutt (5-8, 4.44) S: Capps (17)

Tuesday, July 17th 2012
Jackson 9, Tennessee 2 (CHC – 2)
W: Maurer (7-2, 3.74) L: Struck (10-9, 3.60)

Wednesday, July 18th 2012
Off day

Thursday, July 19th 2012
Huntstville 8 (MIL – 5), Jackson 3
W: Stinson (10-5, 3.24) L: Snow (1-4, 4.46)

Friday, July 20th 2012
Huntstville 3 (MIL – 6), Jackson 7
W: Walker (6-5, 4.39) L: Anundsen (5-6, 4.72) S: Capps (18)

Saturday, July 21st 2012
Huntstville 5 (MIL – 5), Jackson 4 (eleven innings)
W: Merklinger (3-7, 6.32) L: Robles (1-1, 3.09)

Huntstville 7 (MIL – 4), Jackson 1 (seven innings)
W: Heckathorn (3-9, 5.14) L: Fernandez (4-1, 2.95)

Sunday, July 22nd 2012
Off day

Hitter of the Week:
1B Rich Poythress, R/R, 8/11/1987
6 G, 21 AB, R, 9 H, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2/5 K/BB, HBP, .429/.556/.523

At the USSM/LL thing a couple weekends ago, McNamara mentioned Poythress as a guy who had been hitting well of late, and I heard various snickers in response to that. It is true though. For July, he’s batting .397/.487/.492 and you probably weren’t aware that, for the year, he has four more walks than strikeouts. This as a guy who ran a 100/52 K/BB his first full year and a 82/50 the year after. His K rates have gone from 16% last year to 10.7% this year. What worries me right now is the level of power output he’s been showing. His High Desert tour, which can basically be discounted, had a roughly even split between doubles and dingers and 42.7% extra-base hits. Last year he was down to 35%, with only eleven home runs. This year, with Jackson (I’m not going to count the three home runs in Peoria), he’s been at 31.5% extra-base hits and only one of those has left the yard. Sometimes a spike in plate discipline numbers precedes a spike in power, but he’s also racked up almost a third of his doubles and his only home run in very limited playing time against left-handers. Right now, I don’t know.

Walks but also Strikeouts Mention:
2B Stefen Romero, R/R, 10/17/1988
6 G, 23 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 3 2B, 3 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 7/2 K/BB, HBP, .348/.407/.478

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Brandon Maurer, 7/3/1990
1-0, GS, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 5 G, 2 R, 7/3 K/BB, 5/5 G/F

Pitching schedules are off a bit at the moment. The Generals had the 10th off, the 13th was rained out, and there are scheduled off days on the 18th, the 22nd, and the 23rd. Maurer was the best of some limited offerings. Looking over his season numbers, what I like is that his K% has increased every month, going from 11.5% in April, unusually low it seemed, to 19.7% in May, 20.5% in June, and 26.3% for July so far. What I can’t quite figured out is the walks going 9.7%, 6.8%, 8.3%, and 7.9%. Up and down a bit. I’d also say the .438 BABIP in May is weird, but I don’t know what to do with that. But really, the consistency within his command is the only concern I have with him at the moment.

Still Striking Out Guys, But Hits? Mention:
RHP Carter Capps, 8/7/1990
0-0, 2 G, 2 SV, 0.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, 4 H, 5/0 K/BB, 1/3 G/F, WP

Now With More Ks than Walks! Mention:
LHP Mauricio Robles, 3/5/1989
0-1, 2 G, 2.08 ERA in 4.1 IP, 3 H, R, 6/1 K/BB, 3/2 G/F, WP

Extra Pitching Notes:
You can probably conclude from what’s mentioned above that the rest of the starting pitching was insufficient in some ways. Paxton got through six, he struck out four, walked three, and allowed four runs to score after seven hits. Walker came away with the win after allowing a run in six innings, five hits and two walks, but he only struck out three. Fernandez was dinged up the worst, starting twice with a total of nine runs allowed in nine and two-thirds on nineteen hits, four walks, and seven Ks. Adjustments, adjustments, adjustments.

From the Training Room:
The return of 3B Francisco Martinez from Arizona prompted the release of OF Chris Pettit, who had been one of the team’s better hitters for a while. Martinez had been splitting his time between third and center in Arizona. I don’t know what that means but it’s continuing… RHP Andrew Kittredge came in from High Desert when Sena left. Laughs… Jimenez’ departure yielded no immediate replacement even though the Generals were playing a doubleheader the next day. I just call ’em like I see ’em.

Strange Happenings:
On Friday, the first 1,000 fans got a Doug Fister bobblehead. Huh… The manager was ejected twice this week, which doesn’t happen all that often, but I imagine that one thing that happens less often is a manger ejected in the top half of an inning and his pitcher being ejected in the bottom half, which is what happened in the sixth inning on Monday. In the top half, Ralph Henriquez struck out swinging, the second out in what would be a three-strikeout inning, and Pankovits was ejected immediately after. Robles was pitching the bottom half of the inning and opened it up with a walk, a single, and another walk to load the bases [from which only one run would score]. Yoervis Medina then replaced Robles, but Moises Hernandez, who had been pitching before Robles (and had walked two) ended up getting ejected, probably for mentioning the strike zone inconsistencies. I wish there was a game story, but this is what we have. The second time Pankovits was ejected was in the first half of the Saturday doubleheader, which is interesting for different reasons.… Huntsville has Philippe Valiquette, who was released by us in spring training. He had a 11.05 ERA in 7.1 innings… Francisco Martinez hit a home run in his first game back. I don’t know what else to say, so I guess I’ll say it again. Francisco Martinez hit a home run in his first game back. The effect is slightly different this time… Romero had thirteen walks in sixty games before being promoted. He has eight walks in twenty-five games after being promoted… Leury Bonilla was 7-for-15 with a triple and a walk. Johermyn Chavez walked five times this week but don’t worry because he also struck out four times.

High Desert Mavericks (6-1 this week, 20-11 in the second half, 57-44 overall, 1st in CAL South)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 16th 2012
Stockton 1 (OAK – 11), High Desert 8
W: Elias (7-5, 4.31) L: Krol (1-7, 5.49)

Tuesday, July 17th 2012
Bakersfield 2 (CIN 0), High Desert 4
W: Stanton (4-1, 4.96) L: Robles (1-1, 1.53) S: Smith (6)

Wednesday, July 18th 2012
Bakersfield 6 (CIN – 1), High Desert 7
W: Burgoon (4-1, 4.09) L: Pinckard (1-5, 7.43)

Thursday, July 19th 2012
Bakersfield 2 (CIN – 2), High Desert 5
W: Hobson (5-3, 5.82) L: Smith (7-6, 3.91) S: Smith (7)

Friday, July 20th 2012
High Desert 5, Stockton 2 (OAK – 11)
W: Shankin (3-1, 9.20) L: Hassebrock (1-4, 8.32) S: Kohlscheen (2)

Saturday, July 21st 2012
High Desert 8, Stockton 3 (OAK – 12)
W: Elias (8-5, 4.26) L: Long (3-1, 3.23) S: Smith (8)

Sunday, July 22nd 2012
High Desert 3, Stockton 5 (OAK – 11)
W: Bowman (3-8, 3.62) L: Stanton (4-2, 5.04) S: Thornton (9)

Hitter of the Week:
3B/LF Mario Martinez, R/R, 11/13/1989
7 G, 27 AB, 3 R, 10 H, 3B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 6/0 K/BB, .370/.370/.667

I haven’t really mentioned Mar Mar any more than I’ve wanted to this year. Did you remember he was a mid-season all-star last year? Probably because he hit .360/.381/.640 in May. His highest single month OPS total otherwise in the past two years is .835 in May, but he’s up to .967 for this month and he could be in line to surpass those totals. I don’t know. More than two-thirds of Mar Mar’s dingers have come at home this year. That’s not Johermyn Chavez territory, but it’s sufficiently bad. He’s topped out at five walks in a month. That’s not really good either. His home road OPS split is under .200, which is near acceptable for me, but he doesn’t even hit that well at home for me to get excited about it. Mario Martinez has been in the system since 2006 as a July signing. That he’s “been in the system” feels like as much as I’ve had to say about him for the past couple of years.

Hitting Not Really a Question Mention:
2B/LF Jack Marder, R/R, 2/21/1990
7 G, 27 AB, 5 R, 10 H, 2B, 3B, 4 RBI, SB, 3/2 K/BB, HBP, .370/.433/.481

Lower-End Qualifier #1 Mention:
OF James Jones, L/L, 9/24/1988
6 G, 23 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 2 3B, RBI, 3 SB, 2 CS, 2/2 K/BB, HBP, .304/.385/.478

Lower-End Qualifier #2 Mention:
C John Hicks, R/R, 8/31/1989
6 G, 23 AB, 4 R, 8 H, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SB, 1/1 K/BB, .348/.360/.478

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Roenis Elias, 8/1/1988
2-0, 2 GS, 2.63 ERA in 13.2 IP, 9 H (2 HR), 4 R, 20/6 K/BB, 8/5 G/F, WP

I’ve dogged on Elias a couple of times now for his maddening inconsistencies, and this week is a good example of that. Start one: 9/5 K/BB, three hits allowed in six innings, only one run! Start two: 11/1 K/BB, six hits in seven and two-thirds, three runs! Arg. He also ranks seventh in home runs allowed, just ahead of Gillheeney. There are three Jethawks pitchers ahead of him, but you’d be surprised to learn the leader pitches for Inland Empire. Anyway, regarding those inconsistencies, here are the ranges we’ve seen from him from one month to the next. Groundballs: 34% to 53.1%. Walks: 5.2 to 11.2%. Ks: 14.6% to 29.7%. The only thing that lines up is that the best groundball month was the one that was light on Ks and heavy on walks, which isn’t too surprising. Baseball.

Good Every Other Start for the Past Month Mention:
LHP Cameron Hobson, 4/10/1989
1-0, GS, 2.57 ERA in 7.0 IP, 4 H (HR), 2 R, 6/1 K/BB, 8/3 G/F WP

Still Good Relief #1 Mention:
RHP Carson Smith, 10/19/1989
0-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.2 IP, H, 3/2 K/BB, 3/5 G/F, HB

Still Good Relief #2 Mention:
RHP Angel Raga 7/25/1989
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, 2 H, 5/2 K/BB, 2/3 G/F

From the Training Room:
When Kittredge left, RHP Willy Kesler came off the DL. He had been out since June 29th.

Strange Happenings:
To address the “Lower-end Qualifier” stuff for the hitters, this is around that point in the season where the Cal League offense starts to lose what tenuous connection it has to reality, and if I went by the strict .800 OPS criteria, I would be naming most of the hitters on the roster. Ergo, from here on out, it’s a .900 cutoff. I’m notifying you of that before dropping it on you… I notice that the Bakersfield Blaze have a pitcher named Justice French. So, what, does he come out of the bullpen in a judge’s robe with a bunch of fleur-de-lis embroidered into it? Inquiring minds and all… Wednesday evening, southpaw James Gillheeney became the Mavericks all-time strikeout leader. That’s a distinction. The previous holder of the record was Jake Wild, who was with the team from 2008 to 2010. These sorts of records would be more interesting if not for the fact that most of the guys holding them are around because they’ve stalled… James Jones was hit by a pitch in the second inning on Saturday and was lifted for a pinch-runner. That’s never a good sign. That pinch-runner was Mickey Wiswall. that was apparently who they had available. Uhhhhh?.. Mario Martinez played in left on Sunday. He’s logged five career games there, all last year. I think this probably says more about what they think about Steve Proscia than what they think of Martinez, but whatever… Hicks stole his fourteenth base on Friday. That’s as many stolen bases as Marder has, and five fewer than Miller, who is known for his speed. But heck, Triunfel stole bases in the Cal League. I’m not reading a lot into it… Two of Raben’s four hits this week left the yard.

Clinton Lumberkings (3-3 this week, 16-13 in the second half, 39-58 overall, T-1st in MWL Western)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 16th 2012
South Bend 10 (ARI 0), Clinton 4
W: Sample (4-1, 3.61) L: Shipers (4-4, 3.81)

Tuesday, July 17th 2012
Off day

Wednesday, July 18th 2012
Clinton 4 , Dayton 1 (CIN – 7)
W: Miller (6-6, 3.42) L: Gerson (4-7, 4.43)

Thursday, July 19th 2012
Clinton 10, Dayton 6 (CIN – 8)
W: Hunter (1-5, 2.94) L: Johnson (1-3, 5.26)

Friday, July 20th 2012
Clinton 1, Dayton 7 (CIN – 7)
W: Gonzalez (2-3, 4.55) L: Taylor (3-5, 5.15)

Saturday, July 21st 2012
Clinton 4, Bowling Green 5 (TB + 8) (eleven innings)
W: Hubbard (2-5, 3.32) L: Corrales (3-3, 3.13)

Sunday, July 22nd 2012
Clinton 10, Bowling Green 9 (TB + 7)
W: Colvin (2-2, 3.86) L: Shull (2-6, 5.98) S: Vargas (2)

Hitter of the Week:
RF Jabari Blash, R/R, 7/4/1989
6 G, 23 AB, 7 R, 9 H, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, 7/4 K/BB, .391/.481/.739

Man, where has this guy been? Well, in June he had four extra-base hits among fifteen total hits, batted .227, and saw his walks drop from 13.5% in April and 17.1% in May to 10.7% in June. So there was that. Entering Sunday, he was batting .281/.391/.456 in July, which I think qualifies as a rebound. The walk % is back up to 13.5% too, so that’s cool. I feel like I should mention this though: he sort of botched an opportunity for a cycle on Thursday. He couldn’t really have known, since there were doubles in his first two at-bats, but if he had held up on either for whatever reason, he had the home run in the seventh and the triple in the eighth. Can’t count the other at-bat he had though, that was a K. That part hasn’t gone away, his month to month has him at 29.2%, 23.8%, 25.3%, and 31.1% for July. Ugh.

Still Trying to Get that Walking Thing Down Mention:
LF Guillermo Pimentel, L/L, 10/5/1992
5 G, 21 AB, 3 R, 8 H, 3 2B, 6 RBI, 5/0 K/BB, HBP, .381/.409/.524

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Trevor Miller, 6/13/1991
1-0, GS, 1.00 ERA in 9.0 IP, 4 H (HR), R, 5/0 K/BB, 17/3 G/F

Oh, so we’re doing this again? Miller threw one of the rare complete games not started by Shipers for the Lumberkings. It’s the first CG of his career, though he had the opportunity on June 27th against Peoria when he got pulled after eight and a third. Groundballs were a theme in this one as Miller kept his infield busy. The game opened with four consecutive groundball outs and then from the third to the fifth, he had seven of eight outs come on a grounder. Oddly, none came in the ninth, as he closed it out with two of his five Ks, stranding a runner who led off with a double and got to third on a throwing error. The string of worm-burners is actually pretty unusual for him though, and even with all of those pumping up his total, he’s been close to neutral for the year, being flyball-oriented the first two months and grounder-oriented the last two.

Now Starting (And Decent At It) Mention:
RHP Bobby Shore, 1/27/1989
0-0, GS, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 3 H, R, 4/2 K/BB, 3/5 G/F

From the Training Room:
On Saturday, RHP Jordan Pries and RHP Mayckol Guaipe traded places in the rotation and on the DL. That is to say, Pries out, Guaipe in.

Strange Happenings:
Kyle Hunter had an interesting week. The first outing he had was on Thursday, throwing four frames and finally earning his first win of the year after two hits and five Ks. Then on Sunday, the Lumberkings had to use him for yet another long relief stint and the results were less positive. Three and a third innings, four runs on seven hits, two Ks. He did enter with the bases loaded though, and stranded all three… Sunday’s game had no shortage of drama, with a two-run shot by Drew Vettleson in the ninth by the Hot Rods to bring it to within one, but it may have ended up a costly victory. Shipers was pulled after an inning and a third and Choi fouled a ball off his foot and was beaned on the next pitch in the same spot and had to be lifted for a pinch-runner… Dowd had a seven-game hit streak going, dating back to the 13th. It’s hard to get mention of backup catchers in… MORLA WALKED FOUR TIMES THIS PAST WEEK.

Everett Aquasox (5-2 this week, 27-10 overall, 1st in NWL West)

Monday, July 16th 2012
Everett 11, Salem-Keizer 2 (SF – 9)
W: Shellhorn (1-0, 0.00) L: Biagini (0-3, 4.07)

Tuesday, July 17th 2012
Everett 6, Salem-Keizer 2 (SF – 10)
W: Hauser (1-0, 2.35) L: Gregorio (3-3, 4.86)

Wednesday, July 18th 2012
Everett 4, Salem-Keizer 11 (SF – 9
W: Montero (3-3, 2.55) L: Sanchez (4-1, 4.01)

Thursday, July 19th 2012
Everett 5, Yakima 3 (ARI + 6)
W: Plotz (1-0, 1.62) L: Forslund (1-2, 6.94) S: Vedo (2)

Friday, July 20th 2012
Everett 2, Yakima 1 (ARI + 5)
W: Unsworth (5-0, 3.32) L: Capellan (2-1, 1.29) S: De Jesus (3)

Saturday, July 21st 2012
Everett 6, Yakima 3 (ARI + 4)
W: Hauser (2-0, 1.86) L: Acosta (1-2, 1.52) S: Leone (2)

Sunday, July 22nd 2012
Everett 6, Yakima 7 (ARI + 5) (eleven innings)
W: Capellan (3-1, 1.23) L: Vedo (1-1, 1.23)

Hitter of the Week:
C/DH Mike Zunino, R/R, 3/25/1991
7 G, 27 AB, 8 R, 11 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 3 RBI, 2/4 K/BB, HBP, .407/.500/.815

There were some good hitting performances this week, though I don’t think this competition was ever particularly close. Zunino was on his first BA Prospect Hot Sheet this week. He’ll probably make hitter of the week for the Northwest League too. I don’t think it will be the last time for either of these things to happen, unless he gets promoted somewhere, which is likely enough. The Aquasox should show some mercy on the rest of the league. Oh look, he’s .550/.625/1.100 with the bases empty and .154/.267/.231 with runners on. Everyone panic immediately about how unclutch he is. And he’s allowed a passed ball and three runners have stolen on him. Terrible. Why must our hopes be so quickly crushed?

Other Catcher is Hitting Too Mention:
C/DH Marcus Littlewood, S/R, 3/18/1992
6 G, 23 AB, 3 R, 8 H, 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 8/4 K/BB, .348/.444/.652

Also the Light-Hitting, Glove-First Guy Continues to Hit Mention:
SS Chris Taylor, R/R, 8/29/1990
7 G, 31 AB, 3 R, 14 H, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 4 SB, CS, 2/1 K/BB, .452/.469/.516

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Dylan Unsworth, 9/23/1992
1-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 5 H, R, 5/0 K/BB, 4/7 G/F

Sanchez has been slacking, which means Unsworth is closing the gap and now ranks second in the league in Ks, though he has more IP than anyone else ahead of him and a fair number behind him. He’s also second in IP, two behind you know who. This week, he shut down the Bears in Yakima, a group that’s hitting .258/.332/.358 as a team. The Aquasox are tied with Boise for a league-leading .709 OPS and the bottom feeders are close to .600, so Yakima is good despite being middle-of-the-pack by meaningless ranking. If Boise could pitch, they might be trouble, but as it stands, Yakima is leading the east and Unsworth’s win on Friday got the Aquasox the first-half title.

Picking a Reliever Mention:
RHP Blake Hauser, 4/14/1991
2-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.1 IP, H, 6/1 K/BB, 4/0 G/F, WP

From the Training Room:
Early in the week the Aquasox added IF Keith Werman from Peoria. There are three ways in which Werman is interesting. One is that he hit .297/.435/.297 in Peoria. No XBH. The other is that he’s listed at 5’7″ and 145 lbs. Jose Altuve! The third is that he was a teammate of all of those guys at Virginia that we’ve drafted. Acevedo didn’t play this week. Werman’s call up may be related.

Strange Happenings:
I thought about mentioning how good the bullpen has been for the Aquasox, but I think that it’s a bit misleading to say that. They haven’t allowed runs, that’s true. In many cases they also haven’t allowed hits. But by any of the more predictive metrics, it seems like they’re approaching danger and backing away at the last second. Looking at the dedicated relievers with six or more appearances, Leone has a 24/13 K/BB in 18.2 innings, so he’s been stranding guys. Reyna has a 15/15 K/BB in 17.2 innings. De Jesus is at a 9/3 K/BB in 11.2 frames, tolerable. Bordonaro, who has a high ERA, is at 10/9 in 11.1. Plotz is at 20/10 in 16.2. Hauser is 9/7 in 8.2, Garcia at 11/10 in 9.0, Vedo at 8/2 in 7.1 IP (again, good), and Wood at 16/5 in 16.0 innings. Collectively, if my math is on, this group has a 2.36 ERA in 118.1 innings. That doesn’t seem like it should be the case.

Pulaski Mariners: (1-5 this week (I know what it says), 12-19 overall, 9 GB in APL East)

Monday, July 16th 2012
Pulaski 1, Danville 2 (ATL + 9)
W: Cabrera (1-2, 2.22) L: Kaalekahi (1-2, 2.61) S: Hyatt (3)

Tuesday, July 17th 2012
Pulaski 8, Greenville 13 (HOU + 9)
W: Garcia (1-0, 3.38) L: Garcia (2-2, 5.81) S: Quezada (1)

Wednesday, July 18th 2012
Pulaski 1, Greenville 4 (HOU + 10)
W: Ramirez (4-0, 1.61) L: Marte (1-2, 2.33) S: Dimock (3)

Thursday, July 19th 2012
Pulaski 5, Greenville 0 (HOU + 9) (seven innings)

Friday, July 20th 2012
Pulaski 2, Bristol 5 (CHW – 12)
W: Cose (1-3, 6.26) L: Ogando (1-2, 3.14)

Saturday, July 21st 2012
Bristol 2 (CHW – 13), Pulaski 5
W: Kaalekahi (2-2, 2.43) L: Leyer (0-4, 5.56) S: Holman (4)

Sunday, July 22nd 2012
Bristol 8 (CHW – 12), Pulaski 4
W: Kibby (2-3, 3.66) L: Garcia (2-3, 5.29)

Hitter of the Week:
LF/RF Phillips Castillo, R/R, 2/2/1994
7 G, 22 AB, 4 R, 6 H, 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 5/2 K/BB, HBP, .273/.360/.727

I think two weeks ago I said Castillo wasn’t hitting dingers. My bad. He has all four for the year in the last ten games, two coming against the team that has been the hardest to hit it out against (there was another near the top, and one in the middle of the pack). And three of his five walks. All this after hitting .174/.296/.217 in June, which fell just a bit shy of the projections most people had for him as a top ten prospect or whatever. So with all this he now had a xbh% just under 50% and an iso slugging of .210 going into Sunday’s game. I hope he’s turning the corner. That would sure be neat. It’s not like I have any other explanation for what’s happening beyond “hot streak.”

Marginal, with Plate Discipline Issues Mention:
C Tyler Marlette, R/R, 1/23/1993
6 G, 24 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 8/0 K/BB, .292/.292/.500

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Charles Kaalekahi, 5/13/1992
1-1, 2 GS, 2.45 ERA in 11.0 IP, 11 H, 4 R (3 ER), 10/1 K/BB, 9/8 G/F, WP, HB

In his second start this week, spanning six innings, Kaalekahi matched his previous season high in Ks with seven. The last time he did that was in his debut when he rung up seven in four innings. If this strikes you as a little odd, well, yeah, that’s been his season. His walk totals from the first seven starts: 3, 1, 1, 0, 3, 1, 0. His K totals: 7, 4, 2, 2, 4, 3, 7. He’s averaging over five innings a start too, and leading the team in innings pitched by a good margin. I would imagine that his stuff has taken a step or two forward over the past few years, it had to have if he was down in the AZL two years in a row, but every time I look at his lines I think “wow, that’s inconsistent though intriguing at times.” Maybe he ends up in Clinton next year?

Probably Should Have Picked This Guy Mention:
LHP Blake Holovach, 3/27/1991
0-0, GS, 0.00 in 6.0 IP, 4 H, 4/2 K/BB, 7/4 G/F

From the Training Room:
No moves. Pulaski is rather static or presumably underreporting their DL stints again.

Strange Happenings:
Something confused me earlier in the week. So, we know that games can be rained out after a certain point and they will still be counted as “official” in the books, correct? It’s usually five. The Pulaski/Greenville game was in the seventh and the M’s had just scored all five of their runs. A reliever had replaced the M’s starter and walked the first batter before the rain came in and shut everything down. But the league’s umpires, even though the M’s had their five-run lead, even though it was the seventh inning, decided “nope, game’s suspended” and the completion of it will be played in August. I DON’T GET IT… There was an article last week about the player adoption program over in Pulaski, which you probably knew about from Everett anyway.

Dispatches from the Land of Rehabbers and Teens:
1B Kristian Brito: 18 G, 76 AB, 9 R, 14 H, 2B, 2 3B, 6 RBI, 2 SB, 25/1 K/BB, .184/.203/.250
CF Daniel Carroll: 3 G, 7 AB, R, H, 3B, 2/1 K/BB, .143/.250/.429
3B Joe DeCarlo: 24 G, 82 AB, 16 R, 20 H, 5 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 16 RBI, CS, 21/12 K/BB, .244/.374/.439
RHP Dylan De Meyer: 2-0, 6 G (4 GS), 3.96 ERA in 25.0 IP, 32 H (HR), 15 R (11 ER), 14/5 K/BB, 3 HB
RHP Edwin Diaz: 1-0, 6 G, 4.97 ERA In 12.2 IP, 6 H (HR), 9 R (7 ER), 12/10 K/BB, 2 HB
SS Gabrial Franca: 19 G, 73 AB, 12 R, 20 H, 5 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 SB, 2 CS, 14/12 K/BB, .274/.384/.425
C Luke Guarnaccia: 11 G, 45 AB, 8 R, 9 H, 3 3B, HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB, 9/1 K/BB, .200/.217/.400
LHP Nick Hill: 0-0, 2 G, 3.00 ERA in 3.0 IP,2 H (HR), R, 2/2 K/BB, HB
OF Jose Leal: 13 G, 34 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 23/6 K/BB, .059/.220/.059
SS/2B Timmy Lopes: 24 G, 99 AB, 23 R, 31 H, 4 2B, 7 3B, 11 RBI, 3 SB, 2 CS, 13/14 K/BB, .313/.395/.495
LHP Tyler Pike: 1-0, 5 GS, 0.83 ERA in 21.2 IP, 10 H, 3 R (2 ER), 23/8 K/BB, 2 HB
RHP Gabe Saquilon: 1-0, 6 G (GS), 1.80 ERA in 20.0 IP, 14 H (HR), 6 R (4 ER), 18/6 K/BB
RHP Daniel Thieben: 2-0, 7 G (GS), 4.24 ERA in 17.0 IP, 20 H, 11 R (8 ER), 9/13 K/BB
RHP Richard White: 1-1, 6 G, 2.61 ERA in 10.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R (3 ER), 11/5 K/BB


8 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (7/16-22/12)”

  1. MosesLakeBrian on July 23rd, 2012 9:14 am

    FYI – I read that Acevedo retired in the Everett Herald.

    When do you think Brazis will get promoted from Pulaski? He has 1H, 19Ks and 0BBs in 8.1 IP which seems to say he is dominating that level(although he is not pitching often enough it seems to get mentioned)

  2. Jay Yencich on July 23rd, 2012 10:49 am

    You’re right. They buried that detail, for something that isn’t all that common, but I can’t say I’m too surprised. Acevedo is a guy whose bat never played well enough for where he was positioned.

    Brazis could probably get promoted whenever, but as you said, he isn’t pitching that much, which makes me question whether they’d want to throw him into a playoff race in Everett (maybe Clinton for the second half) where he’d need to be counted on more often. But he certainly has no issues with the APL level of competition.

    Also, I figured they’d be doing this any day now.

    Kyle Glaser ?@KyleAGlaser
    BREAKING: #Mariners prospect Brad Miller has been promoted to Double-A Jackson. #Mavericks #MiLB

  3. maqman on July 23rd, 2012 11:16 am

    Unsworth is interesting, he must be the only South African player is our system, if not all of MLB. I find Walker’s decline in results a bit concerning, hopefully he’s trying out some new pitch? Zunino needs to move up to better competition.

  4. Typical Idiot Fan on July 23rd, 2012 12:23 pm


    LHP Nick Hill: 0-0, 2 G, 3.00 ERA in 3.0 IP,2 H (HR), R, 2/2 K/BB, HB

    THAT Nick Hill? He’s been out for what seems like ever.

  5. marc w on July 23rd, 2012 3:21 pm


    Actually, he’s not. The first South African the M’s signed was SS Anthony Phillips who got a cup of coffee with Tacoma, but has been in the low-minors for ages now.

    In addition, there’s Dylan De Meyer, who’s currently on the AZL Mariners – he’s from Centurion, SA.

    The Pirates have Gift Ngoepe, a SS/2B who’s reached advanced A.

  6. Jay Yencich on July 23rd, 2012 9:09 pm

    I think the first South African guy we signed was right-hander Tyrone Lamont. Fantastic name, that guy had.

    And yes, it’s that Nick Hill.

  7. thinkfull on July 24th, 2012 7:00 pm

    I got a chance to see Zunino DH for the Aquasox in Yakima yesterday- he looked better at the plate than anyone on either team, although both Littlewood and Marte looked great as well.

    Sanchez was great for the first 5 innings or so, then petered out- he just lost control of his offspeed stuff and gave up walks.

  8. Jay Yencich on July 25th, 2012 10:50 am

    Pat Dillon wants me to tell everyone that Patrick Kivlehan has walked three days in a row. Kivlehan took seventeen games to draw his first walk. I’ll probably repeat it next Monday, since this post was buried in all the Ichiro news.

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