Minor League Wrap (7/30-8/5/12)

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

This week featured a game that lasted twenty-three innings, a cycle, ten walks by a single hitter who didn’t even take hitter of the week honors, an instance of a helicopter being used to help dry out an outfield after a deluge the previous day, and the official release of RHP Chris Reitsma, who had been unofficially retired and on the restricted list since April of 2008. But the most fascinating thing to happen this week? Jandy Sena didn’t have to take a flight anywhere, nor did Andrew Kittredge! I never expected that to happen!

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (6-1 this week, 50-66 overall, 18 GB in PCL Pacific Northern)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 30th 2012
Tacoma 11, Tucson 8 (ARI – 25)
W: Sweeney (5-3, 5.26) L: Ray (1-2, 4.31)

Tuesday, July 31st 2012
Tacoma 3, Tucson 2 (ARI – 26)
W: Hensley (2-4, 7.82) L: Hamren (2-3, 3.03) S: LaFromboise (2)

Wednesday, August 1st 2012
Oklahoma City 4 (HOU + 13), Tacoma 7
W: Garrison (1-3, 4.89) L: Buchanan (0-1, 10.13) S: Moran (1)

Thursday, August 2nd 2012
Oklahoma City 7 (HOU + 14), Tacoma 1
W: Cisnero (2-0, 1.29) L: Carraway (3-6, 4.79)

Friday, August 3rd 2012
Oklahoma City 3 (HOU + 13), Tacoma 4
W: LaFromboise (4-1, 1.29) L: Valdez (0-4, 5.61)

Saturday, August 4th 2012
Oklahoma City 1 (HOU + 12), Tacoma 5
W: Ramirez (4-2, 3.60) L: Oberholtzer (4-4, 6.17) S: Sweeney (1)

Sunday, August 5th 2012
New Orleans 2 (MIA + 6), Tacoma 3
W: Farquhar (2-2, 5.28) L: Reed (1-2, 6.75)

Hitter of the Week:
DH Luis Antonio Jimenez, L/L, 5/7/1982
5 G, 19 AB, 2 R, 8 H, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1/0 K/BB, HBP, .421/.450/.789

Jimenez recently sort of took a month off. In April, he wasn’t so hot, but in May he hit .400/.517/.642 (who hits .400 in a month?) and in June he was still reasonably good at .308/.374/.510. July constituted some manner of faceplant because he only hit .232/.241/.256. He walked once. He walked eleven times in April and June and twenty-three times in May. He hit two doubles. He hit four times that many in May (high end) and two times as many in April (low end). He did not hit a dinger. He already has two in August and is halfway to his double total for July. I don’t know what happened there. You don’t usually see a guy who had been hitting that well plummet to less than half of where he was at previously, but it happened and maybe cost him a call-up if they were ever thinking about doing so. Him rebounding would be nice though, for him and for whatever team gives him a chance in the future (hope).

That’s More Like It Mention:
LF/1B Alex Liddi, R/R, 8/14/1988
7 G, 27 AB, 5 R, 12 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, 3 SB, CS, 2/2 K/BB, .444/.483/.704

Need Visual Confirmation Mention:
1B Justin Smoak, S/L, 12/5/1986
6 G, 19 AB, 7 R, 6 H, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, 3/6 K/BB, .368/.480/.474

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP D.J. Mitchell, 5/13/1987
0-0, 2 GS, 1.38 ERA in 13.0 IP, 10 H (HR), 4 R (2 ER), 9/4 K/BB, 25/4 G/F, WP

So this part of the trade is going all right. Last week’s start was pretty good too, not really on par with the offerings this week though. On Tuesday, he only allowed five hits over seven innings and on Sunday, he didn’t record one fly out, though he was walking a few more than I’d like. The strikeouts are also off by a little bit, but in terms of PA results as opposed to per nine or something like that, it’s only off by about two percent. That could snap back as he adjusts to the PCL. I don’t think much more of him than I did when it happened, as in he’s a similar part to Andrew Carraway, but it’s not as though those parts don’t have their uses. They’re just not terribly exciting!

The Other Part of the Trade Mention:
RHP Danny Farquhar, 2/17/1987
1-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 4 H, 4/0 K/BB, 6/2 G/F

Could Be Starting (Still) Mention:
RHP Brian Sweeney, 6/13/1974
1-0, 2 G, SV, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, H, 6/1 K/BB, 5/2 G/F

Am I Actually Doing This? Mention:
RHP Hector Noesi, 1/26/1987
0-0, GS, 2.57 ERA in 7.0 IP, 5 H (HR), 2 R, 5/1 K/BB, 4/5 G/F

From The Training Room:
The departures of League and Delabar meant that RHPs Stephen Pryor and Carter Capps were called up pretty quickly. OF Carlos Peguero was also sent down to make way for OF Eric Thames, who was coming over in the Delabar deal. What more is there to say about these moves? Probably a lot, and perhaps even more as time passes and we develop a context with which to evaluate these moves in terms of their long-term impacts on this organization. But who isn’t going to say any more about this subject right now? This guy… Towards the weekend, there were a couple of other moves, like RHP Andrew Carraway leaving the DL and LHP Charlie Furbush joining the team for his rehab stint. He allowed a run to score in an inning of work after two hits, but struck out the side. Furbush!.. On Sunday, RHP Erasmo Ramirez was optioned. Reasonable, I’d say. On Monday he lasted just three and a third innings and gave up eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits (2 HR), a walk, and two Ks. Saturday was better, with an unearned run on five hits and two Ks in six innings, but it was still a little off.

Strange Happenings:
One of the reasons pitching was unexciting this week was that the Mariners have opted to back off Danny Hultzen’s innings, which meant that he didn’t make an appearance this week. This isn’t really a huge concern for me, since it’s his first pro season and he’s been a little uneven in triple-A. The M’s backed off from Walker and Paxton towards the end of last season too. But this might also mean that we should not necessarily expect him to be rolling into spring training and gunning for a job. They will more likely opt to play it safe and let him start out in Tacoma again and try to get his command in order… Brandon Bantz leads the team, or is tied for the team lead, in sacrifice flies with four. Bantz has recorded eighty-eight plate appearances this season. 4.5% of his plate appearances have resulted in a sacrifice fly.

Jackson Generals (4-3 this week, 23-19 in the second half, 65-47 overall, 1.5 GB in SL North)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 30th 2012
Jackson 5, Birmingham 4 (CHW – 3)
W: Maurer (8-2, 3.34) L: Molina (4-8, 4.55) S: Medina (2)

Tuesday, July 31st 2012
Jackson 1, Birmingham 4 (CHW – 2)
W: Arroyo (5-1, 3.06) L: Walker (7-6, 4.12) S: Remenowsky (3)

Wednesday, August 1st 2012
Jackson 9, Birmingham 1 (CHW – 3)
W: Paxton (6-3, 3.09) L: Petricka (0-2, 3.80)

Thursday, August 2nd 2012
Jackson 3, Birmingham 4 (CHW – 2) (eleven innings)
W: Bellamy (1-2, 5.14) L: Hernandez (4-2, 6.54)

Friday, August 3rd 2012

Saturday, August 4th 2012
Tennessee 6 (CHC + 3), Jackson 5
W: Struck (12-10, 3.77) L: Jimenez (0-1, 1.76) S: Batista (20)

Tennessee 7 (CHC + 2), Jackson 8
W: Snow (2-5, 5.36) L: Weathers (4-2, 5.97) S: Medina (3)

Sunday, August 5th 2012
Tennessee 4 (CHC + 1), Jackson 5
W: Bawcom (4-3, 2.39) L: Schlitter (2-3, 4.00)

Hitter of the Week:
2B Stefen Romero, R/R, 10/17/1988
7 G, 23 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 5/1 K/BB, HBP, .348/.400/.870

Romero’s OPS is better in Jackson than it was in High Desert. I suppose that’s been mentioned a couple of times already. But his average is worse, and his relative OBP and slugging are better. Romero has 53.9% of the plate appearances he had with the Mavs and already has 63.2% of his doubles, 100% of his triples, and 63.6% of his home runs. And his walk percentage is up by a full percentage point, which is awesome considering he barely walked in the first place. I suppose then that the negative thing is that he’s up to 68.6% of his Ks, so it could be that he’s either being slightly exposed (he still doesn’t strike out much) or swinging harder since joining the team. Whatever. The results are pretty good here.

More Playing Time! Mention:
3B Nate Tenbrink, L/R, 12/21/1986
5 G, 16 AB, 3 R, 4 H, 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, SB, 9/3 K/BB, 2 HBP, .250/.429/.750

Power! Mention:
DH Joe Dunigan, L/L, 3/29/1986
6 G, 22 AB, 6 R, 6 H, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 12/2 K/BB, .273/.333/.681

Walks and a Home Run Mention:
SS Brad Miller, L/R, 10/18/1989
6 G, 24 AB, 5 R, 7 H, HR, 2 RBI, 4/4 K/BB, .292/.393/.417

An Interesting Trick Mention:
1B Rich Poythress, R/R, 8/11/1987
7 G, 22 AB, 4 R, 7 H, SB, 1/7 K/BB, .318/.483/.318

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP James Paxton, 11/6/1988
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 5 H, 8/1 K/BB, 8/1 G/F

Prior to spending the whole month of June on a DL-induced holiday, Paxton had walked thirty-two in 46.1 innings, which translated to 15.8% of plate appearances ending in a walk against him. 25.6% ended in Ks, for your reference. All of this is probably partially affected by the knee contusion that he was trying and failing to pitch through, but his April numbers and May numbers did end up looking similar overall. Since his month off, Paxton has walked 7% of the batters he’s faced and struck out 24.8%. This includes a couple of the semi-standard fare three walk outings, which were his two outings prior to this one. If this is all sustainable, then he’s perhaps moved up his potential timetable, and if it is not well then I’ve wasted time for both of us trying to convince you of such, I guess?

Still the Second Banana Mention:
RHP Brandon Maurer, 7/3/1990
1-0, 2 GS, 2.13 ERA in 12.2 IP, 10 H (HR), 5 R (3 ER), 16/2 K/BB, 13/5 G/F, WP

No Longer the Butt of Various Jokes Mention:
RHP Yoervis Medina, 7/27/1988
0-0, 4 G, 0.00 ERA in 5.1 IP, 2 H, 8/3 K/BB, 8/2 G/F

Extra Pitching Notes:
I guess I can still do this. Anthony Fernandez was at six innings this week and had a run allowed on two hits and a walk, but only struck out two and I didn’t know what to do with that. Walker went six innings as well, in his case with three runs scoring on seven hits, a hit batter, and a walk, and he struck out three.

From the Training Room:
Sometimes interesting bullpenner RHP Jonathan Arias hit the DL, which prompted the moved of RHP Stephen Kohlscheen in from High Desert. But then the Generals got RHP Logan Bawcom in the League trade and Kohlscheen went back pretty quickly. Sorry, Steve, they were just yanking your chain there.

Strange Happenings:
After Friday’s rainout, the Jackson Generals rented out a helicopter to fly low and help dry out the field. You think I’m kidding?… Maurer’s been so unfortunate as to be on a superior pitching staff this year, which has deflected a lot of attention from what he’s been doing. In July, he ran a 35/9 K/BB in 31.2 innings and had a .198 average against. He’s struck out 21% of the batters he’s faced this year, off from the 24.1% he had last year, but transitioning to double-A (he was half in Clinton, half in High Desert last year), and not yet missing a start (knocking on wood over here), that’s pretty awesome. His tRA is better than Walker’s!.. Miller had a two-error game on Sunday. Just noting.

High Desert Mavericks (5-1 this week, 29-14 in the second half, 66-47 overall, 1st in CAL South)

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

Tuesday, July 31st 2012
High Desert 12, Lake Elsinore 3 (SD + 6)
W: Hobson (7-3, 5.31) L: Pope (6-7, 5.16)

Wednesday, August 1st 2012
High Desert 10, Lake Elsinore 3 (SD + 5)
W: Shankin (4-1, 7.59) L: Smith (9-5, 3.68)

Thursday, August 2nd 2012
High Desert 4, Lake Elsinore 0 (SD + 4)
W: Stanton (5-3, 5.09) L: Lollis (0-2, 4.76)

Friday, August 3rd 2012
High Desert 11, Lancaster 2 (HOU – 1)
W: Gillheeney (8-4, 5.39) L: Perez (7-4, 5.48)

Saturday, August 4th 2012
High Desert 5, Lancaster 6 (HOU 0) (eleven innings)
W: Robinson (4-2, 4.15) L: Burgoon (4-2, 3.71)

Sunday, August 5th 2012
High Desert 4, Lancaster 2 (HOU – 1)
W: Smith (5-1, 3.48) L: Quevedo (2-3, 1.83)

Hitter of the Week:
CF Leon Landry, L/R, 9/20/1989
5 G, 24 AB, 5 R, 10 H, 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 SB, 2 CS, 4/0 K/BB, HBP, .417/.440/.792

One quick way of endearing yourself to a new fanbase is to hit for a cycle in your third game, which is what Landry did on Friday. If nothing else, it proves that it’s possible to hit a single in Lancaster. It’s possible that as a result, he’ll end up repeating as the Cal League hitter of the week, but he was .467/.469/1.033 then and if someone else was taking advantage of friendly hitting environs this week, that might not be enough slugging to get him on the list. There’s also the thorny issue of both the home runs coming in Lancaster, and his base-stealing ability is still less than proficient. He might still top our centerfield depth chart though, which says a bit about him and a lot more about the depth.

LF James Jones, L/L, 9/24/1988
6 G, 14 AB, 8 R, 5 H, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 4 SB, CS, 2/10 K/BB, HBP, .357/.615/.500

Twenty Walks, Twelve Hits By Pitch on the Season Mention:
2B Jack Marder, R/R, 2/21/1990
6 G, 26 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 4 2B, 2 3B, 3 RBI, SB, CS, 5/1 K/BB, 3 HBP, .308/.400/.615

Stolen Bases? Mention:
3B Steve Proscia, R/R, 6/26/1990
5 G, 23 AB, 4 R, 9 H, 2B, 3B, 5 RBI, 3 SB, 2/0 K/BB, .391/.391/.521

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP James Gillheeney, 11/8/1987
1-0, GS, 2.00 ERA in 9.0 IP, 5 H (2 HR), 2 R, 11/0 K/BB, 6/7 G/F

A couple of weeks ago, Gillheeney took the Mavericks all-time strikeout lead from Jake Wild who pitched 271.0 innings with the Mavs, striking out 19.4% of the batters he faced. Gillheeney, right now (as in including the time since he took the lead), has pitched 244.0 innings with the Mavs and has struck out 23.0% of the batters he faced. This is all interesting in that Gillheeney is a mid-80s southpaw, who has managed to find some success below double-A as mid-80s southpaws have been known to now and then. He struck out more than a third of the batters he faced this week! But tRA doesn’t like him all that much and his limited sampling in the Southern League, where he’d accumulated eleven starts between 2010 and 2011, hasn’t impressed anyone. Craig Anderson, or something.

After Some Hiccups, Back to Weird Success Mention:
RHP Taylor Stanton, 1/15/1988
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 8.0 IP, 3 H, 6/1 K/BB, 8/6 G/F

From the Training Room:
Kohlscheen leaving freed up the spot for the team to add CF Leon Landry, but then Kohlscheen had come back. Oh nooooo, what would happen? Well, IF Carlos Ramirez returned to the DL. Which means that he’s played one game since Independence Day. Yup.

Strange Happenings:
Mar Mar was 7-for-17 with two dingers this week, but only played four of six games. One of those dingers was even in Lake Elsinore, which is not an easy park. Lancaster is though. Lancaster totally is… I will probably forget next week that Proscia stole three bases this past week, which seems like it’s weird enough to remember. James Jones walking ten times, that I’ll remember. He only has forty-six on the season. Ten! This Week!… I know that Landry’s nickname is Neon Leon, but his middle name is Renard, which is significant cool points… On Monday, Hobson got through eight innings with only one strikeout.

Clinton Lumberkings (5-2 this week, 26-16 in the second half, 49-61 overall, 1st in MWL Western)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 30th 2012
Wisconsin 9 (MIL – 1), Clinton 4
W: Miller (9-7, 3.79) L: Kim (2-3, 4.91) S: Peterson (3)

Tuesday, July 31st 2012
Clinton 3, Cedar Rapids 2 (ANA – 15)
W: Shackleford (2-1, 2.28) L: Tromblee (4-2, 3.80)

Wednesday, August 1st 2012
Clinton 9, Cedar Rapids 8 (ANA – 16)
W: Guaipe (3-0, 3.67) L: Meade (2-3, 3.28) S: Colvin (2)

Thursday, August 2nd 2012
Clinton 7, Cedar Rapids 5 (ANA – 17)
W: Shackleford (3-1, 2.08) L: Carlin (0-1, 9.00)

Friday, August 3rd 2012
Clinton 4, Cedar Rapids 8 (ANA – 16)
W: Odom (1-4, 5.29) L: Colvin (4-3, 3.55) S: De Jiulio (1)

Saturday, August 4th 2012
Clinton 8, Peoria 1 (CHC – 9)
W: Miller (7-7, 3.36) L: Zeller (2-3, 2.72)

Sunday, August 5th 2012
Clinton 3, Peoria 2 (CHC – 10)
W: Shore (3-2, 1.65) L: Reed (4-5, 3.68) S: Brazis (1)

Hitter of the Week:
1B/2B Dan Paolini, R/R, 10/11/1989
7 G, 24 AB, 3 R, 7 H, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6/7 K/BB, HBP, .292/.469/.542

If you asked me to draw up a list of guys who were approaching an even K/BB for the season, I don’t know that I would have thought to mention Paolini, but right now he’s five away and has one more walk in the second half than he did in the first, and if you compare the two lines, well he was .260/.343/.365 before and .303/.399/.492 since as of Sunday, with a difference of a 27.7% extra-base hits then to 35.1% now. If we’re going by qualifiers, he had the second-best wOBA on the team at .370, behind Choi’s .408, it’s just a skosh easier for left-handers to handle Clinton than it is for right-handers. He might be a candidate to put up some silly numbers in the Cal League next year (I’ll just assume we stay), though whether that allows him to make sense at first is another matter.

Half Doubles? Mention:
RF Kevin Rivers, L/R, 8/24/1988
7 G, 27 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 4 2B, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 5/2 K/BB, 2 HBP, .296/.364/.444

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Bobby Shore, 1/27/1989
1-0, 2 GS, 0.63 ERA in 14.1 IP, 11 H, 4 R (ER), 14/2 K/BB, 19/8 G/F

Sunday afternoon, Shore put in a surprisingly dominant performance that he was initially in line for the loss after. You see, he had gone seven innings and allowed just five hits, striking out ten along the way (career highs, if you’re interested), but due to some defensive miscues behind him, three in one inning, he was charged with a couple of unearned runs. Then the Kings rallied back, as they have been wont to do of late, and Shore goes to a winning record. Shore’s been pitching pretty darned well for Clinton this year, but given his track record his senior year at Oklahoma, when he had a 44/20 K/BB in 54.1 innings, I don’t know how long he’ll keep this up. Then again, he did allow a .218 average against, but he also gave up five dingers, which led the team even though he had less than half as many IP as the Sooners’ leader that year. We’ll see? He’s had more grounders this year, but it’s cause for potential High Desert alarm.

More Relief Ks Mention:
LHP Kyle Hunter, 6/18/1989
0-0, 1.35 ERA in 6.2 IP, 3 H (HR), R, 8/0 K/BB, 5/3 G/F

One Bad Start Every Few Weeks Mention:
RHP Trevor Miller, 6/13/1991
1-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 3 H (HR), R, 3/1 K/BB, 10/7 G/F, HB

From the Training Room:
In a DL exchange of flawed RBI threats, RF Jabari Blash left the DL, but 3B Ramon Morla went on it… Late in the week, there was some catcher shuffling going on as C Toby Demello went on the DL and the Lumberkings picked up C David Villasuso from Everett. Steve Baron has been on the disabled list for a month now.

Strange Happenings:
I missed notice of this (how could I?), but two weeks ago, as in qualifying for last week’s wrap but being omitted from it, the Lumberkings walked off three times in four games. Team of destiny, this one… I talked about Colvin getting all the decisions last time out. Well, he’s not the only one, because now NDFA closer Stephen Shackleford has won his last three appearances. He also leads the team with seven saves despite not joining the team until June. It was one of those “closer by committee” things… Mike Dowd was ejected in the 4th on Sunday for arguing balls and strikes, which helped snap a little five-game hit streak he had. His replacement, Villasuso, made one of those errors behind Shore… Crowding the plate might be part of the reason for the second half success because I’m seeing ten hits by pitch this week, which is just under one seventh of the team’s totals for the year. Another week like this, and they’ll catch up with Beloit, which leads the league… Choi was 6-for-15 this week with a double and a home run, but lacked the qualifying number of games. Gosh, I hope he’s not injured again, but he did get plunked twice. Hazlett was also 7-for-14, sans the xbh. Chris Taylor was 6-for-10, again no xbh.

Everett Aquasox (1-5 this week, 1-5 in the second half, 33-17 overall, 3.5 GB in NWL West)

Monday, July 30th 2012
Off day

Tuesday, July 31st 2012
Everett 1, Eugene 4 (SD 0)
W: Madrid (3-0, 2.29) L: Vedo (1-3, 4.50)

Wednesday, August 1st 2012
Everett 0, Eugene 2 (SD + 1)
W: Nunn (3-0, 0.00) L: Reyna (0-2, 3.04) S: Madrid (10)

Thursday, August 2nd 2012
Everett 2, Eugene 4 (SD + 2)
W: Marcano (3-3, 2.74) L: Shellhorn (1-2, 3.48) S: Shepherd (1)

Friday, August 3rd 2012
Salem-Keizer 4 (SF – 2), Everett 3 (ten innings)
W: Mizenko (2-0, 2.37) L: Hauser (2-1, 1.98)

Saturday, August 4th 2012
Salem-Keizer 6 (SF – 3), Everett 11
W: Hidalgo (2-2, 3.18) L: Mendoza (0-2, 6.35)

Sunday, August 5th 2012
Salem-Keizer 9 (SF – 2), Everett 6
W: Graham (2-0, 2.25) L: Plotz (1-1, 2.70)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Patrick Kivlehan, R/R, 12/22/1989
6 G, 22 AB, 4 R, 9 H, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, SB, 3/3 K/BB, .409/.480/.636

I’m excited about the home run and all, but where the eye immediately went was that Kivlehan had managed his second three-walk week, which means he’s up to eight walks on the season. Great! But then you look at the line and see something else changed. It’s the Ks. Kivlehan has struck out in 27.2% of his plate appearances for the season. This week it was 12%? That’s a pretty substantial drop. And I would like to see more of that going forward, but conjecture might lead one to think that Kivlehan took a little while to settle into pro ball as the guy who hadn’t been playing baseball consistently for a while, and now that he’s locked in, he’ll be okay for the rest of the year. After all, he hit just .255/.293/.382 in June and was up to .333/.393/.568 in July.

Resume Hitting Mention:
C Marcus Littlewood, S/R, 3/18/1992
5 G, 13 AB, 4 R, 4 H, HR, 2 RBI, 3/4 K/BB, .308/.471/.538

Still .500+ Slugging For the Year Mention:
1B Taylor Ard, R/R, 1/31/1990
6 G, 23 AB, 2 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 4/2 K/BB, .348/.385/.435

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Victor Sanchez, 1/30/1995
0-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 5 H (HR), R, 4/1 K/BB, 6/5 G/F

When I first came to this start, I was looking at it in a rather sour way. I began wondering if I had come to expect too much of Sanchez, who is still pitching beyond his years and various other tropes. He went six innings this time, but he’s been averaging six innings for the year. He struck out four, and has six of his ten starts exceeding that. The .227 average against would be tied for his fourth-highest, but his average against for the season is .230. In many respects, this has been an average start for him, which should help to put into perspective how good the year has been for him. The one exceptional aspect to it was that he only walked one, and he’s walked two or more in eight of his starts so far. Salem-Keizer is pretty proficient at walking, ranking second in the league. Be impressed, or at the very least, less jaded about these things.

Needs More Strikeouts Mention:
LHP Scott DeCecco, 5/8/1991
0-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3/1 K/BB, 5/3 G/F, WP

From the Training Room:
Before this week, the Aquasox sent smallish IF Keith Werman back to the AZL for whatever reason… There is no replacement as of yet for Villasuso. I wonder who the Emergency Catcher is. The ‘Sox didn’t chance it anyway and made sure that Littlewood and Zunino weren’t both playing on Sunday.

Strange Happenings:
The Aquasox were announced as the host of the 2013 Northwest League All-Star Game, which is exciting. Of course, as I was reading that, I thought “wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard about that, or was I just not paying attention for a while?” The Northwest League hasn’t had all all-star game since 2004… So, strikeouts? Unsworth had six of them in fourteen innings… Zunino passed four balls this week. He also batted .261/.307/.478, and I guess that means he isn’t three-peating as the league’s hitter of the week… The series that the Aquasox dropped at home over the weekend was their first home series loss of the year… Kivlehan has stolen eleven bases this year and hasn’t been caught yet.

Pulaski Mariners: (2-5 this week, 15-27 overall, 13 GB in APL East)

Monday, July 30th 2012
Pulaski 2, Danville 3 (ATL + 3) (eleven innings)
W: Wright (1-0, 1.50) L: Pereira (0-2, 6.75)

Tuesday, July 31st 2012
Pulaski 3, Danville 8 (ATL + 4)
W: Lafreniere (4-1, 3.98) L: Gonzalez (1-4, 2.70)

Wednesday, August 1st 2012
Princeton 6 (TB + 3), Pulaski 0 (six innings)
W: Snell (4-1, 1.79) L: Holovach (0-2, 2.00)

Thursday, August 2nd 2012
Princeton 12 (TB + 4), Pulaski 9 (twenty-three innings)
W: Kirsch (2-1, 6.14) L: Brazoban (0-2, 7.88)

Friday, August 3rd 2012
Princeton 5 (TB + 3), Pulaski 7
W: Kaalekahi (3-2, 2.27) L: Weaver (0-5, 6.23) S: Holman (5)

Saturday, August 4th 2012
Pulaski 16, Burlington 4 (KC + 13)
W: Garcia (3-3, 5.36) L: Conroy (3-1, 4.75) S: Gonzalez (1)

Sunday, August 5th 2012
Pulaski 3, Burlington 6 (KC + 14)
W: Peterson (4-0, 1.45) L: Marte (1-4, 4.94) S: Stumpf (2)

Hitter of the Week:
3B/1B Jordy Lara, R/R, 5/21/1991
7 G, 30 AB, 8 R, 13 H, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 4/6 K/BB, HBP, .433/.541/.567

The first thing I noticed with this is that Lara has twelve walks to end the week, therefore this week doubled that. There were a few guys that drew more walks than usual this week, so whatever they’re slipping into the juice boxes seems to be working. The thing that I noticed more after evaluating this performance relative to Lara’s season is that Lara’s 2012 has been depressing. In 2011, with these same Pulaski Mariners, he hit .257/.311/.474. This year, he’s hitting .205/.280/.336. In June, he hit .139/.139/.194, and then in July it was .161/.2447/.310. That he’s over the Mendoza line at all is a recent thing. Lara has a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to do better than his 2011 line and repeating a league, a short-season league at that, and then doing worse does not look good on one’s transcript.

More than Doubled Season Walk Totals This Week Mention:
LF Phillips Castillo, R/R, 2/2/1994
7 G, 27 AB, 3 R, 8 H, 4 2B, 4 RBI, 8/6 K/BB, 2 HBP, .296/.457/.444

When I Said “I Want You to Lean into a Pitch Every Now and Then,” I Meant the Other Thing Mention:
RF Dario Pizzano, L/R, 4/25/1991
7 G, 27 AB, 5 R, 9 H, 4 2B, 2 RBI, 5/4 K/BB, 4 HBP, .333/.486/.481

More Hits and Fewer Doubles Mention:
C Tyler Marlette, R/R, 1/23/1993
6 G, 24 AB, 3 R, 10 H, 2B, 4 RBI, SB, 2/1 K/BB, .417/.440/.458

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Min-sih Chen, 12/6/1989
0-0, G, 3.86 ERA in 4.2 IP, H (HR), 2 R, 7/2 K/BB, 3/3 G/F

When a week lacks standouts on any particular front but has a lot of guys in the mix, I have the freedom to talk about basically whatever I want. Chen’s appearance this week was in the twenty-three inning affair, one of three pitcher appearances that spanned four or more innings, of which Chen’s was the longest. So, on one hand, that mistake pitch probably drew things out a bit longer than we would have liked, but on the other, at least he lasted a while? Chen’s been mostly a long reliever for Pulaski as the rotation over there is less than traditional. He’s had some good spots, this week’s being the best, but also some horrible outings like his second appearance of the year when he gave up nine runs (eight earned) on ten hits and a walk through three and two-thirds innings at Elizabethton. Relative to last year in the AZL, he’s performing better in a lot of areas, and one should always consider that he’s only been pitching for a few years and his arm didn’t really respond all that well to it at the outset. Caution will probably continue to be exercised here.

Pitching Through Bad Defense (Some, His Own) Mention:
RHP Charles Kaalekahi, 5/13/1992
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R (0 ER), 6/2 K/BB, 1/5 G/F, PO, E

All Grounders, All the Time Mention:
RHP David Holman, 5/31/1990
0-0, 2 G, SV, 2.70 ERA in 6.2 IP, 4 H (HR), 2 R, 6/1 K/BB, 12/0 G/F

Second Start Mention:
RHP Isliexel Gonzalez, 5/10/1991
0-1, 2 G (GS), SV, 3.24 ERA in 8.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R (3 ER), 7/2 K/BB, 9/6 G/F, 3 HB, WP

From the Training Room:
If something happened, they didn’t announce it. Something probably happened. This is so embarrassing. For both of us.

Strange Happenings:
You should go look at that twenty-three inning box score. Among things that happened: nine pitchers by the M’s, nineteen total, six batters with nine or more at-bats for the M’s, eight total… Was the twenty-three inning game a record setter for the Appalachian League? Of course it wasn’t. Despite lasting seven hours and forty-eight minutes, the longest game in the history books is one that went on to twenty-seven innings, which happened in 1988… Worth mentioning in the long game: Nolan Diaz had two hits and a walk against five Ks in four innings. The explosion of innings makes him less of a candidate to be mentioned though…. Castillo recently had a nine-game hit streak come to an end.

Dispatches from the Land of Rehabbers and Teens:
1B Kristian Brito: 19 G, 78 AB, 9 R, 16 H, 2B, 2 3B, 6 RBI, 2 SB, 25/1 K/BB, .205/.222/.269
CF Daniel Carroll: 3 G, 7 AB, R, H, 3B, 2/1 K/BB, .143/.250/.429
3B Joe DeCarlo: 34 G, 121 AB, 21 R, 28 H, 8 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 20 RBI, CS, 31/16 K/BB, .231/.343/.388
RHP Dylan De Meyer: 3-2, 9 G (7 GS), 3.07 ERA in 41.0 IP, 51 H (2 HR), 19 R (14 ER), 24/8 K/BB, 5 HB
RHP Edwin Diaz: 2-1, 8 G (GS), 5.50 ERA in 18.0 IP, 11 H (2 HR), 13 R (11 ER), 20/16 K/BB, 5 HB
SS Gabrial Franca: 30 G, 117 AB, 21 R, 32 H, 8 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 9 SB, 2 CS, 21/18 K/BB, .274/.375/.410
C Luke Guarnaccia: 20 G, 78 AB, 12 R, 20 H, 2 2B, 3 3B, HR, 12 RBI, 3 SB, 16/2 K/BB, .256/.275/.397
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: 20 G, 54 AB, 4 R, 3 H, RBI, 33/8 K/BB, .056/.215/.056
SS/2B Timmy Lopes: 34 G, 137 AB, 30 R, 43 H, 6 2B, 9 3B, 20 RBI, 5 SB, 3 CS, 21/20 K/BB, .314/.396/.489
LHP Tyler Pike: 1-0, 7 GS, 1.80 ERA in 30.0 IP, 20 H, 9 R (6 ER), 30/13 K/BB, 2 HB
RHP Gabe Saquilon: 2-0, 8 G (2 GS), 1.80 ERA in 30.0 IP, 22 H (HR), 8 R (6 ER), 23/9 K/BB
RHP Daniel Thieben: 2-0, 10 G (GS), 3.91 ERA in 23.0 IP, 29 H, 15 R (10 ER), 13/14 K/BB
RHP Richard White: 1-1, 9 G, 2.93 ERA in 15.1 IP, 13 H (HR), 13 R (5 ER), 15/7 K/BB


14 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (7/30-8/5/12)”

  1. jimabbottsrightarm on August 6th, 2012 7:59 am

    Zunino’s been striking out around 20% in short season. He is doing everything else well it looks like, but is that something to worry about?

  2. Cody on August 6th, 2012 8:21 am

    After a horrific April Guillermo Pimentel looks to have salvaged his season somewhat. Obviously he needs to cut down the K’s and take more walks, but anything to be hopeful with there?


  3. Jay Yencich on August 6th, 2012 10:53 am

    Zunino’s been striking out around 20% in short season. He is doing everything else well it looks like, but is that something to worry about?

    Nope. For one thing, it’s three weeks. For another, it looked like he trying to be aggressive when I saw him in Everett. I don’t know how long they have him stick with it though.

    After a horrific April Guillermo Pimentel looks to have salvaged his season somewhat. Obviously he needs to cut down the K’s and take more walks, but anything to be hopeful with there?

    There are guys that I make fun of for not walking enough who have nonetheless drawn more free passes in a single week than Pimentel will draw in any given month. Also his numbers against southpaws are pretty horrific. Other than that, he’s young and hit for power last month I suppose.

  4. henryv on August 6th, 2012 11:07 am

    So, Noesi finally struck some people out. Anyone know (perhaps marc or rainiersfan) what pitches these were on? Has he figured out an “out pitch”, or were these called strikes?

    Please, Noesi, just learn how to throw a convincing curve or change-up, and be good.

  5. _Hutch_ on August 6th, 2012 11:18 am

    Should I stop dreaming of seeing Hultzen get a September call-up? Given that he had a month off and seems to be looking good again should I start ruminating on Paxton getting one instead?

  6. marcus_andrews on August 6th, 2012 11:29 am

    Thanks again Jay, wonderful as always.

    Do you think that there’s anyone who resembles a prospect that will be promoted this year? It seems like most have happened with Miller, Romero, Hultzen, Franklin, and even Taylor if you want to include him being promoted. Do you think most of those types of moves are made and if not, what players could we see moving up?

  7. henryv on August 6th, 2012 11:31 am

    Should I stop dreaming of seeing Hultzen get a September call-up? Given that he had a month off and seems to be looking good again should I start ruminating on Paxton getting one instead?

    I asked this last week, and Jay (I recall) seemed to think it was unlikely.

    I think you’re stuck with Blake Beaven, unless Jack pulls off the old Chone Figgins for Justin Verlander trade.

  8. Jay Yencich on August 6th, 2012 11:47 am

    Should I stop dreaming of seeing Hultzen get a September call-up?

    Well, there was the article I posted above where they talked about scaling back Hultzen’s innings and in which Jack said they don’t feel any pressure to call him up in September, soooo….

    Given that he had a month off and seems to be looking good again should I start ruminating on Paxton getting one instead?

    The org has been more willing to put guys on the 40-man than I initially thought they would be, but Paxton still hasn’t seen triple-A yet and the team was pretty emphatic about Hultzen getting time in Tacoma before he started thinking about the majors.

    Do you think that there’s anyone who resembles a prospect that will be promoted this year? It seems like most have happened with Miller, Romero, Hultzen, Franklin, and even Taylor if you want to include him being promoted. Do you think most of those types of moves are made and if not, what players could we see moving up?

    Things don’t tend to happen as much in the final month of play and I would argue that with every team except Tacoma and Pulaski participating in a playoff race, there might be less shifting around. What we could see is a couple of summer league players added to Peoria once their seasons are finished and that could in turn push players up to Pulaski or Everett. But there’s no move that at this moment I would say has to be made. Morban to Jackson would be tempting, but they have a lot of outfielders on that roster, both healthy and not, and Morban’s playing time has been off these past few weeks, for whatever reason.

  9. Westside guy on August 6th, 2012 1:37 pm

    I will try not to read too much, with regard to this organization, in your comment above “For another, it looked like [Zunino] trying to be aggressive when I saw him in Everett.”

    Thanks, as always, for the interesting read Jay. They should’ve turned that helicopter field-drying stunt into a promotion somehow…

  10. bavasiisgarbage on August 6th, 2012 11:45 pm

    Could Kivlehan become a top prospect?? I get excited about him with very little facts, but I see a power hitting third baseman there if he gets the Ks down consistently. Almost think of Walker, with little consistent baseball experience, comming back and finding it. Totally different scenarios, of course, but still…

    How is smoak looking?

  11. msfanmike on August 7th, 2012 11:16 am

    Oh my God .. I am excited beyond belief and knew of no other place where I could properly express it:

    Rich Poythress hit a home run last night for Jackson. His second of the year. 4 SB’s and 2 HR’s on the season. WOOHOO! I love his K/BB ratio, but his power is a mystery wrapped in a riddle. Drafted in the second round as a power hitting 1B out of College in ’09 – who has a slugging percentage that might soon be rivaled by Jamodrick MacGruder.

    I also noticed that Stefan Romero continues to do what he does, Taijuan Walker pitched 4 pretty good inning last night (but he did only pitch 4 innings,) Alex Liddi has picked it up lately – as mentioned above – with a drastic reduction in K’s over his past 10 games, and Carlos Triunfel has been pretty consistent with the bat. Hopefully he has much quicker transfers of ball from glove, than Mune. I assume he does. He would have to.

    And as “bavasiisgarbage” has pointed out – Kivlehan is leading Everett in BA over Zunino (currently) – now that Taylor has moved on to Clinton. One year of playing ball in the Big East is paying some sort of nice dividend.

  12. Jay Yencich on August 7th, 2012 1:52 pm

    Could Kivlehan become a top prospect?? I get excited about him with very little facts, but I see a power hitting third baseman there if he gets the Ks down consistently.

    Long-term, he might end up at first or more likely in left field. It depends on how the org decides to weight his defensive performances, but right now he seems average-ish at third.

    How is smoak looking?

    Well, I listed his stat line and prefaced it with “needs visual confirmation” which implies that I don’t know.

    Rich Poythress hit a home run last night for Jackson. His second of the year. 4 SB’s and 2 HR’s on the season. WOOHOO! I love his K/BB ratio, but his power is a mystery wrapped in a riddle. Drafted in the second round as a power hitting 1B out of College in ’09 – who has a slugging percentage that might soon be rivaled by Jamodrick MacGruder.

    I, too, was stoked.

  13. mikemensin on August 8th, 2012 12:33 am

    I am really excited to see Cohoes play… he is now a centerfielder.. as Chris Gwynn and the whole scouting department see him utilizing his speed and arm strength there.. He reportedly has run a 6.19 60 yard dash which is really an unbelievable time.. that is what deion sanders ran when he was with the braves…. Look out for this kid..

  14. msfanmike on August 8th, 2012 12:54 pm

    Well, Poythress hit another home run last night, so I will see your “stoked” and raise you a “giddy.”

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