Minor League Wrap (8/6-12/12)

Jay Yencich · August 13, 2012 at 6:30 am · Filed Under Minor Leagues 

Before I get to anything else here, as I was writing the wrap last night, word came over from Pat Dillon that Zunino is going to Jackson. This might mean Marlette in Everett, or it might mean a lesser move.

Going outside to other sources, John Sickels had two features on the M’s this week, one reviewing his pre-season top 20 (Disappointments: F-Mart, Catricala, Ruffin. Enthusiasm: Romero, Pryor, Capps, Miller) and he also took at look at Pryor and Capps. Churchill also talked about Brandon Maurer, which is good, because Maurer is neato. Baseball America also ran their best tools survey in which relatively few Mariners prospects were named.

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (1-5 this week, 51-71 overall, 20 GB in PCL Pacific Northern)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 6th 2012
New Orleans 9 (MIA + 7), Tacoma 4
W: Poveda (3-1, 3.89) L: Garrison (1-4, 5.86) S: Link (1)

Tuesday, August 7th 2012
New Orleans 2 (MIA + 8), Tacoma 0
W: Ray (2-2, 4.17) L: Pauley (3-2, 2.24) S: Link (2)

Wednesday, August 8th 2012
New Orleans 5 (MIA + 9), Tacoma 3
W: Hand (9-5, 3.65) L: Noesi (0-4, 7.24) S: Link (3)

Thursday, August 9th 2012
Off day

Friday, August 10th 2012
Tacoma 1, Memphis 3 (STL – 30)
W: Lyons (2-7, 4.52) L: Ramirez (4-3, 3.44) S: Rondon (1)

Saturday, August 11th 2012
Tacoma 5, Memphis 7 (STL – 29)
W: Miller (8-9, 5.22) L: Mitchell (0-2, 3.63) S: Cleto (2)

Sunday, August 12th 2012
Tacoma 4, Memphis 2 (STL – 30)
W: Carraway (4-6, 4.28) L: Dickson (5-10, 3.58) S: LaFromboise (3)

Hitter of the Week:
1B/DH Luis Antonio Jimenez, L/L, 5/7/1982
5 G, 18 AB, 2 R, 5 H, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5/2 K/BB, .278/.350/.611

This isn’t last week. As opposed to only losing one game, the Rainiers only won a single game, and Jimenez saw his average drop by 150, his OBP by 100, and his slugging by about 175, and he was still more than qualified to take top honors here. An interesting fact, or perhaps it’s fun depending on how many of Jeff’s “fun facts” you’ve read: Jimenez isn’t even in the top ten in dingers for the league anymore. And only two guys ahead of him on the list have more at-bats. Peguero is ahead of him. Peguero! And Brad Nelson, who is still around. Jimenez is also well out of the top ten in on-base percentage. One can’t help but wonder where he might be if not for July (no HRs, one walk).

It’s Not Like I Want to Do This Mention:
RF Carlos Peguero, L/L, 2/22/1987
6 G, 20 AB, 2 R, 5 H, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 12/5 K/BB, .250/.400/.450

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Andrew Carraway, 9/4/1986
1-0, 2 GS, 0.75 ERA in 12.0 IP, 7 H, R, 8/1 K/BB, 5/15 G/F

Carraway’s been going through this thing where he isn’t allowing hits. Right-handed Out Whisperer? I shouldn’t say that, since he actually had a few strikeouts, but we’ve now seen sixteen starts of Carraway and he’s had some bright spots (June 30th!), but overall he’s only striking out about 14.3% of the batters he’s faced. That’s 3% better than Vasquez, but worse than guys like Noesi, Grube, Ruffin, and various guys who ended up released like Henn, Fox, and Patterson. He’s only gained roughly 1% more walks among total PAs, but he’s lost about 7% of his Ks in the transition from double-A. Carraway will probably need another few months in Tacoma to get some things straightened out, and by then, who knows if there will be room in Seattle?

This Was a Start Mention:
RHP Erasmo Ramirez, 5/2/1990
0-1, GS, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (ER), 5/4 K/BB, 5/6 G/F, HB

Constitutes Some Manner of Improvement Mention:
RHP Hector Noesi, 1/26/1987
0-1, GS, 3.86 ERA in 7.0 IP, 6 H (HR), 3 R, 6/3 K/BB, 2/8 G/F

From The Training Room:
LHP Steve Garrison was sent to Jackson, which I think was prompted by Ramirez being optioned… LHP Danny Hultzen had another start skipped.

Strange Happenings:
Smoak was 3-for-20. Maybe that’s not too strange. He walked five times. That’s something… Catricala got ejected during Friday’s game. While I don’t know how often he’s been ejected over his career, ejections in and of themselves aren’t generally interesting. It’s usually arguing strikes or something like that, maybe a close play now and then. Catricala got ejected for arguing a missed catch that allowed the Redbirds to load the bases in the sixth. The sixth was when they scored all of their runs, so one might make an argument that it was really a crucial out, but the umpire didn’t think that he made it and Catricala emphatically disagreed.

Jackson Generals (3-4 this week, 26-23 in the second half, 68-51 overall, 1.5 GB in SL North)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 6th 2012
Tennessee 6 (CHC 0), Jackson 7
W: Sena (2-2, 3.35) L: Rhee (7-6, 5.24) S: Bawcom (14)

Tuesday, August 7th 2012
Tennessee 4 (CHC – 1), Jackson 10
W: Paxton (7-3, 3.31) L: Brigham (0-2, 19.64)

Wednesday, August 8th 2012
Jackson 1, Montgomery 2 (TB + 4)
W: Yates (2-2, 2.47) L: Robles (1-2, 4.54)

Thursday, August 9th 2012
Jackson 4, Montgomery 6 (TB + 3)
W: Yates (3-2, 2.40) L: Medina (3-5, 3.39)

Friday, August 10th 2012
Jackson 4, Montgomery 2 (TB + 2)
W: Jimenez (1-1, 1.93) L: Riefenhauser (0-1, 4.91) S: Medina (4)

Saturday, August 11th 2012
Jackson 3, Montgomery 4 (TB + 3)
W: Rearick (1-0, 1.32) L: Arias (1-4, 4.58)

Sunday, August 12th 2012
Jackson 2, Montgomery 5 (TB + 4)
W: Barnese (3-1, 4.35) L: Walker (7-7, 4.25) S: Yates (13)

Hitter of the Week:
2B Stefen Romero, R/R, 10/17/1988
5 G, 20 AB, 4 R, 8 H, 2 HR, 4 RBI, CS, 2/1 K/BB, 2 HBP, .400/.478/.700

What more can I say about this guy right now? He’s two home runs away from tying the mark he had in High Desert, and in a fraction of the time. The more time he spends in Jackson, the more legitimate he seems to look as a hitter. So here’s another interesting fact about Romero’s hitting that might make you optimistic about his future: he doesn’t really have left/right splits, or not more than one would expect. He’s hit .324/.382/.550 against lefties this season and .310/.358/.521 against right-handers. Last year shows a similar spread as far as the difference between the two. I sure hope Romero in Tacoma ends up being more exciting than Catricala in Tacoma has been.

Two Dingers in a Week! Sound the Alarms! Mention:
1B Rich Poythress, R/R, 8/11/1987
7 G, 23 AB, 4 R, 8 H, 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 1/6 K/BB, .348/.483/.652

Fringe Mention:
SS Brad Miller, L/R, 10/18/1989
7 G, 27 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, SB, 6/6 K/BB, .259/.394/.407

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Anthony Fernandez, 6/8/1990
0-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 3 H (HR), R, 4/2 K/BB, 8/1 G/F, PO

Not many exciting offerings this week. The last start for Fernandez was also rather similar to this one, since he went six innings and allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out two. The lack of Ks is somewhat confusing, not that he’s expected to be a strikeout pitcher, but he does have above-average velocity and was throwing 61.6% of his pitches for strikes, which is not bad. It was 60.7% the time before, which is still not especially bad. He’s still getting deep into starts and within the next couple of starts, he’s going to set a new personal high in innings pitched after hitting 153.1 innings last year.

First Double-A Start of the Year! Mention:
LHP James Gillheeney, 11/8/1987
0-0, GS, 3.86 ERA in 7.0 IP, 7 H (HR), 4 R (3 ER), 6/1 K/BB, 7/6 G/F, WP

Extra Pitching Notes:
Maurer was laboring in his start and left after giving up a run on three hits, four walks, and three Ks in three and two-thirds. There’s nothing wrong with him. In fact, he’s exceeded his previous career high in innings by more than fifty. Yaaaaaaaaaay… Walker got through four frames his first time out this week, with a run scoring on four hits and two walks against three Ks. Sunday’s start was a big deal because it was going to be his last start as a teenager, since he turns twenty today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY), but he left after giving up five runs on twelve hits (HR), a walk, and five Ks in five and two-thirds.

From the Training Room:
More pitching moves? RHP Jonathan Arias came back off the DL pretty quick, but then RHP Moises Hernandez went on it. A day later, the Generals got back Garrison and released RHP Matt Fox, who had been Tacoma’s opening day starter… In “moves that don’t really make sense as an exchange,” binary power hitter OF Kalian Sams hit the DL for some reason, and figuring that they had enough outfielders to do whatever they needed to do, the Generals brought in LHP James Gillheeney, a low-to-mid-80s starter, to fill the roster spot. ‘Kay.

Strange Happenings:
Denny Almonte’s started out August hitting .069/.156/.172. OOF… On the opposite end of the spectrum, Nate Tenbrink was 5-for-10 this week with a double and a triple and three walks. He’s only seen at-bats in eight of his last ten games, and in those games he’s been batting .3246/.514/.769. Free Nate Tenbrink already… In his last six games, Francisco Martinez has walked seven times, which would be nice if he were at all interesting… Stefen Romero is older than Brad Miller by a year and a day… Poythress has sixteen more walks than Ks this year.

High Desert Mavericks (5-1 this week, 34-15 in the second half, 71-48 overall, 1st in CAL South)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 6th 2012
Off day

Tuesday, August 7th 2012
Lancaster 15 (HOU -1), High Desert 7
W: Martinez (6-4, 4.76) L: Shankin (4-2, 8.61)

Wednesday, August 8th 2012
Lancaster 6 (HOU -2), High Desert 8
W: Burgoon (5-2, 3.63) L: Urckfitz (0-3, 3.72) S: Smith (12)

Thursday, August 9th 2012
Lancaster 5 (HOU -3), High Desert 7
W: Burgoon (6-2, 3.74) L: Quevedo (2-4, 2.66)

Friday, August 10th 2012
Bakersfield 3 (CIN – 7), High Desert 11
W: Elias (10-5, 4.02) L: Walczak (3-3, 5.38)

Saturday, August 11th 2012
Bakersfield 3 (CIN – 8), High Desert 4
W: Kohlscheen (3-1, 3.82) L: McMyne (2-3, 5.79) S: Smith (13)

Sunday, August 12th 2012
Bakersfield 6 (CIN – 9), High Desert 13
W: Shankin (5-2, 8.47) L: Renken (4-8, 5.41)

Hitter of the Week:
CF Leon Landry, L/R, 9/20/1989
6 G, 25 AB, 9 R, 14 H, 6 2B, 2 3B, 8 RBI, SB, 1/2 K/BB, .560/.593/.960

So maybe Neon Leon ends up with Hitter of the Week honors from the league in two of three weeks. I don’t know. Landry has logged ten games in system, ten games in August. Right now, he’s logging a K-rate way down at 10.6% for the month, lower than the 10.9% he had in June, and he’s been around 15% most other months. But in June he had a 1.8% walk rate and was going all contact. Right now, he has a 4.3% walk rate, in line with any of the other months he’s had. He’s still getting caught about half the time he goes running, which is not good, and he’s still projecting out to about thirty walks over a full season, which isn’t great for a lead-off type. Heck, Ichiro has a career walk% of about six. The less Landry walks, the more pressure it will put on his ability to hit for average, and at some point we’re going to see him in games that aren’t in Adelanto or Lancaster.

A Triple? On Those Knees? Mention:
1B/DH Dennis Raben, L/L, 7/31/1987
5 G, 20 AB, 6 R, 7 H, 3B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 4/2 K/BB, .350/.409/.900

Home/Road Splits Better Than I Thought Mention:
3B Mario Martinez, R/R, 11/13/1989
6 G, 21 AB, 2 R, 7 H, 3 2B, HR, 9 RBI, SB, 3/0 K/BB, HBP, .333/.364/.619

Ten Walks Last Week, Batting .400 This Week Mention:
LF/RF James Jones, L/L, 9/24/1988
6 G, 25 AB, 5 R, 10 H, 2 2B, RBI, 2 SB, CS, 3/2 K/BB, .400/.444/.480

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Roenis Elias, 8/1/1988
1-0, GS, 2.57 ERA in 7.0 IP, 4 H (HR), 2 R, 7/1 K/BB, 5/7 G/F

For much of the season, I’ve been complaining about Elias lack of consistency, which seemed to have him looking average after bouncing from dominant outings to pathetic ones. July’s numbers didn’t look especially great for him. He had a 35/12 K/BB in 32.1 innings, which is a better strikeout rate than he’d had in any month, but you look at the month-to-month stuff and it seems like it was two steps forward and one back for a while. April’s 14.6% Ks gave way to 20.3% in May, then 18.1% in June and 26.5% in July. The walks are harder to figure out, going from 11.2% to 5.2%, to 5.5%, then spiking to 9.1% in July again before dropping through two August starts. Even then, the July spike is largely one weird outing where he had a 9/5 K/BB through six innings, and only allowed three hits. To summarize, it looks like Elias is getting better at generating strikeouts, and he is at least improving his walk rate relative to April. How far, I don’t know.

Debuting Back in the Home State Mention:
RHP Trevor Miller, 6/13/1991
0-0, GS, 3.60 ERA in 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 7/1 K/BB, 3/3 G/F, WP, PO

From the Training Room:
RHP Trevor Miller got the call from Clinton to Adelanto, which I suppose was some time coming. That corresponded with Gillheeney getting the move to Jackson.

Strange Happenings:
The Mavs plunked the same batter three times in Tuesday night’s game. This ties a Cal League record because someone keeps track of this stuff… Taylor Stanton responded to his being named Cal League pitcher of the week by giving up six runs on ten hits (three dingers) in five and two-thirds innings. Whoops. On the plus side, 9/1 K/BB?.. Burgoon has gotten the decision in his last three appearances prior to Sunday’s outing… Morban was 6-for-13 this week with four walks and a dinger. I can’t highlight a guy that played four games in a six-game week. I’m sorry.

Clinton Lumberkings (4-3 this week, 30-19 in the second half, 53-64 overall, 1st in MWL Western)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 6th 2012
Clinton 8, Peoria 6 (CHC – 11)
W: Hunter (2-5, 3.53) L: Berg (0-2, 7.71) S: Colvin (3)

Tuesday, August 7th 2012
Clinton 3, Peoria 5 (CHC – 10)
W: Peralta (4-7, 3.17) L: Shipers (4-5, 3.80) S: Suarez (1)

Wednesday, August 8th 2012
Kane County 2 (KC + 1), Clinton 6
W: Kim (3-3, 5.03) L: Brooks (9-11, 4.80)

Thursday, August 9th 2012
Kane County 1 (KC 0), Clinton 2 (ten innings)
W: Shackleford (4-1, 2.03) L: Moen (3-9, 5.37)

Friday, August 10th 2012
Kane County 5 (KC + 1), Clinton 0
W: Zimmer (1-2, 4.32) L: Corrales (3-4, 4.15)

Saturday, August 11th 2012
Clinton 8, Wisconsin 9 (MIL 0) (thirteen innings)
W: Cravy (2-5, 3.16) L: Shackleford (4-2, 1.93)

Sunday, August 12th 2012
Clinton 9, Wisconsin 4 (MIL – 1)
W: Hunter (3-5, 3.22) L: Goforth (8-7, 5.04) S: Dobbs (1)

Hitter of the Week:
CF Jamal Austin, R/R, 8/26/1990
6 G, 26 AB, 9 R, 12 H, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 3 SB, 6/2 K/BB, .462/.500/.538

Not too often that a guy comes off the DL and immediately starts hitting. This is something that Austin needs to do more of because otherwise, his season has been a lot less than I thought it would be. I figured that he’d be similar to Jamal Strong based off of his skillset. I mean, our Jabaris are pretty similar. This is totally based off of logic. But look at Strong’s first full season and you’ll see that he drew ninety-one walks and stole eighty-two bases, which helped offset the fact that only 15.5% of his hits went for extras. Austin has had 16.5% of his hits go for extras which would be less of a gap to make up except, no, he’s only walked twenty-two times and stolen thirty-one bases while being caught nine times. That isn’t really enough to make him any kind of interesting prospect. Our centerfield depth is pretty sad.

All the Hits in Two Games Mention:
RF Kevin Rivers, L/R, 8/24/1988
6 G, 26 AB, 4 R, 6 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, SB, 9/1 K/BB, .231/.259/.654

Approaching Double-Digit Dingers Mention:
2B/1B Dan Paolini, R/R, 10/11/1989
7 G, 30 AB, 3 R, 9 H, 4 2B, HR, 8 RBI, 6/3 K/BB, .300/.364/.533

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Bobby Shore, 1/27/1989
0-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 5 H, 10/0 K/BB, 4/2 G/F

Last week, when Shore had similar totals (there were a couple of unearned runs in there), he nearly lost the game. This time around, the only runs scored after he left. The closest the Cougars came was in the sixth inning when the leadoff hitter tripled. The next two batters then struck out and the final batter grounded out. From the third through the fourth, five of the six outs recorded by Clinton were Ks by Shore. Kane County isn’t as easy to strike out as Peoria is either, striking out 848 times against a league average of 869. Shore needed one fewer inning this time to get the ten-spot. Prior to these two starts, he’d had a high of six, and walked two in three of four outings.

Triumphant Return Mention:
RHP Jordan Pries, 1/27/1990
0-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 2 H, 6/0 K/BB, 5/2 G/F

Still Striking out Everyone Mention:
RHP Matt Brazis, 9/6/1989
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, H, 8/1 K/BB, 1/1 G/F, HB

Closer Figuring in a Lot of Decisions Mention:
RHP Stephen Shackleford, 5/5/1989
1-1, 3 G, 1.35 ERA in 6.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R (ER), 12/2 K/BB, 5/3 G/F, WP, HB

From the Training Room:
Early in the week, DH/1B Ji-Man Choi went on the DL because he got plunked a couple of times in the previous week. I’m making a sad face over here. CF Jamal Austin came off the DL, which is cool I guess, but I’m finding that I like the idea of Austin a lot more than I like his batting line. Choi going on the DL means that there are five guys on the roster listed as catchers, only two of which are healthy…. As Miller left, RHP Jordan Pries, who had been doing some interesting things in small samples, came off the DL… 3B Ramon Morla didn’t spend long on the DL, and him returning to activity pushed out CF James Zamarripa to Everett… Chris Taylor has been mostly a DH these past few weeks. Go figure. Shipers also seems to be on a rather limited pitch count.

Strange Happenings:
Pimentel got all his hits in one game, going 4-for-4 on Wednesday with two home runs. He was 0-for-17 with a walk and nine Ks otherwise… Rivers was 0-for-18 with nine Ks in his other games… From the M’s site, Brazis allowed a single on July 30th against Wisconsin, and that broke a streak he had going back to Pulaski of twenty-nine straight batters retired.

Everett Aquasox (3-4 this week, 8-11 in the second half, 36-21 overall, 3.5 GB in NWL West)

Monday, August 6th 2012
Boise 11 (CHC + 5), Everett 7
W: Pena (1-1, 4.19) L: DeCecco (1-2, 3.96) S: Dorris (1)

Tuesday, August 7th 2012
Boise 3 (CHC + 4), Everett 6
W: Shellhorn (2-2, 3.38) L: Heesch (0-1, 2.87) S: Leone (3)

Wednesday, August 8th 2012
Boise 8 (CHC + 5), Everett 6
W: Arias (3-2, 3.62) L: Sanchez (5-2, 3.97) S: Orozco (3)

Thursday, August 9th 2012
Boise 3 (CHC + 6), Everett 2
W: Iannazzo (1-1, 10.61) L: Bordonaro (3-2, 4.82) S: Bremer (1)

Friday, August 10th 2012
Boise 11 (CHC + 7), Everett 8
W: Diplan (2-2, 4.44) L: Hidalgo (2-3, 5.00) S: Dorris (2)

Saturday, August 11th 2012
Everett 6, Spokane 5 (TEX – 2)
W: Unsworth (6-0, 3.66) L: Kukuruda (2-3, 5.01) S: Leone (4)

Sunday, August 12th 2012
Everett 7, Spokane 6 (TEX – 3) (twelve innings)
W: Plotz (2-1, 2.16) L: Melo (1-1, 3.68)

Hitter of the Week:
C Mike Zunino, R/R, 3/25/1991
7 G, 28 AB, 7 R, 14 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 17 RBI, SB, 7/8 K/BB, .500/.611/.929

Zunino might be taking a third NWL Hitter of the Week award with him as he heads over to Jackson. I can’t say I’m disappointed with the M’s for making this move, since Zunino’s bat was getting hard to keep down. To put things in perspective, he’s leading the league in dingers, just ahead of Kivlehan and Ard who have roughly twice as many at-bats. He ranks third on the team in RBI with thirty-five (Ard leads at forty-three), third in total bases (Ard has 111), has as many doubles as Kivlehan who ranks fourth on the team, is tied with Littlewood for fourth most runs scored, his average is forty-five points better than Chris Taylor’s was when he left, his OBP is roughly the same, and he’s outslugging Kivlehan by .229. It’s tempting to call Zunino, Kivlehan, and Ard some manner of Bash Brothers given how the mind likes nicknames and narrative, but as good as the other two are in the league right now, Zunino has blown them both out of the water. The comparison isn’t fair.

Here’s Something I Have No Explanation For Mention:
CF/RF Janelfry Zorilla, R/R, 9/2/1990
7 G, 24 AB, 6 R, 12 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, CS, 6/4 K/BB, .500/.571/.833

.400 Hitter, Emphasis “Hitter” Mention:
SS Ketel Marte, S/R, 10/12/1993
6 G, 25 AB, 3 R, 10 H, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, SB, CS, 4/0 K/BB, .400/.400/.520

More Catching Time Coming Mention:
C Marcus Littlewood, S/R, 3/18/1992
7 G, 26 AB, 6 R, 8 H, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 9/6 K/BB, .308/.438/.462

Ks Still a Problem Spot Mention:
3B Patrick Kivlehan, R/R, 12/22/1989
7 G, 30 AB, 3 R, 10 H, HR, 2 RBI, 12/2 K/BB, HBP, .300/.394/.433

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Rusty Shellhorn, 2/25/1990
1-0, GS, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 5 H (HR), 2 R, 6/2 K/BB, 5/1 G/F, 2 WP, HB, PO

Shellhorn, who is sort of local (Liberty Lake, WA listed as his birthplace), got four appearances in Peoria before it became apparent that he didn’t really belong there. He ran a 26/3 K/B B through 17.2 innings and was running a .138 average against. The Northwest League has proven more difficult for him by a good margin, but he still isn’t struggling as such. He’s made five starts now and has a 25/7 K/BB in 26.2 innings and a .231 average against. So that’s an uptick of 1.4% in walks and a downtick of 19.2% in Ks, so let’s say that he’s okay where he’s at. Even with that significant decrease in Ks, he’s still second among the team’s starters behind DeCecco’s 25.2% and is ahead of Sanchez, who is at 19.3%. Hooray for college southpaws.

Walks Tapering Off, I Hope Mention:
RHP Dominic Leone, 10/26/1991
0-0, 2 G, SV, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 4 H, R, 5/1 K/BB, 5/0 G/F

First Two Dingers Allowed, Earned Run Problem Otherwise Mention:
LHP Steve Ewing, 8/8/1991
0-0, GS, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 3 H (2 HR), 2 R, 7/2 K/BB, 4/2 G/F

From the Training Room:
Zamarripa joined up after his stint in the MWL. Better to be aggressive with him by one level than by two levels…. Zunino will come in next week’s wrap since it wasn’t official yet when I was writing this.

Strange Happenings:
In the short-term, the Aquasox way around their conundrum with two catchers they wanted to get into the lineup was to put Littlewood at first and Ard at DH. Smrat? Now it seems like they don’t care about potentially batting a pitcher, since they weren’t eager to add another catcher, but they’ll have to do something with Zunino on the outs… In the final three games of the Boise series, all losses, the Aquasox outhit the Hawks in each… On Sunday, in the fifth inning, Zunino, Ard, and Kivlehan went back-to-back-to-back, which is cool because they’re also 1-2-3 in the league in home runs. Technically 1-2-2. Whatever… Sanchez gave up two home runs and plunked three guys in the start this week. So that’s what he’s been up to.

Pulaski Mariners: (3-4 this week (I KNOW WHAT IT SAYS), 19-31 overall, 13.5 GB in APL East)

Monday, August 6th 2012
Pulaski 3, Burlington 5 (KC + 15)
W: Binford (1-1, 2.57) L: Holovach (0-3, 3.16) S: Walter (7)

Tuesday, August 7th 2012
Pulaski 8, Greenville 3 (HOU) (completion of July 19th game)
W: Holovach (1-1, 0.96) L: Minor (0-1, 3.18) S: Chen (1)

Greeneville 1 (HOU + 2), Pulaski 2
W: Ogando (2-2, 3.10) L: Tiburcio (2-4, 5.01) S: Holman (6)

Wednesday, August 8th 2012
Greeneville 9 (HOU + 3), Pulaski 4
W: Ramirez (5-3, 3.55) L: Kaalekahi (3-3, 2.31)

Thursday, August 9th 2012
Greeneville 8 (HOU + 2), Pulaski 9
W: Gonzalez (2-4, 2.27) L: Quezada (3-3, 2.81)

Friday, August 10th 2012
Pulaski 3, Johnson City 10 (STL + 4)
W: Paulino (1-0, 1.50) L: Marte (1-5, 5.06)

Saturday, August 11th 2012
Pulaski 2, Johnson City 10 (STL + 5)
W: Petrick (4-0, 1.96) L: Holovach (1-4, 3.47) S: Shaban (12)

Sunday, August 12th 2012
Pulaski 14, Johnson City 9 (STL + 4)
W: Gonzalez (3-4, 2.78) L: Donofrio (1-2, 1.89) S: Koneski (1)

Hitter of the Week:
C Tyler Marlette, R/R, 1/23/1993
6 G, 23 AB, 3 R, 7 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 10/1 K/BB, .304/.333/.696

Last year, Marlette struck out thirteen times in forty-five ABs with Pulaski and didn’t log one walk. This year isn’t so bad. He’s logged six walks. He’s also struck out thirty-eight times, which is a decrease in his K% by about 5% while his walks have gone up from “none” to “any.” He was touted on his power potential down the line, but then you see where he’s striking out a low and only has about 33% extra-base hits this year, three-quarters of which are doubles, and you start to wonder a little bit about how much of his power is usable. To be fair, he’s started out August quite well, batting .386/.400/.614 in eleven games with two of his four home runs on the season. More would be nice, but I think my skepticism for now is justified.

Finally Doing Something! Mention:
SS Martin Peguero, R/R, 11/3/1993
7 G, 26 AB, 6 R, 10 H, 4 2B, 6 RBI, 2/2 K/BB, .385/.429/.538

A High Average Mention:
RF Dario Pizzano, L/R, 4/25/1991
7 G, 27 AB, 4 R, 10 H, 2 2B, 6 RBI, 1/2 K/BB, .370/.400/.444

One of Four Dingers on the Season Mention:
3B Jordy Lara, R/R, 5/21/1991
7 G, 31 AB, 3 R, 11 H, HR, 8 RBI, 4/2 K/BB, .355/.382/.452

.400 Hitter and Slugger Mention:
DH/RF Reggie Lawson, R/R, 8/14/1991
6 G, 25 AB, 2 R, 10 H, 7/1 K/BB, .400/.423/.400

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Nate Koneski, 3/11/1990
0-0, 2 G, SV, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 8/0 K/BB, 4/3 G/F

The pitching staff was giving up about seven and a half runs a game this week. Relievers it is. Koneski was the staff ace for Holy Cross as a senior, going 7-3 with a 2.54 ERA in 74.1 innings, a .221 average against, and a 82/26 K/BB. That’s a few walks there, but probably decent numbers for a southpaw and Holy Cross is technically D-I. He’s been a reliever solely for the M’s, as is sometimes the case with college starters, and he’s struck out twenty-one at this point through 17.2 innings. He’s only walked two and they were both in the same game. He’s only allowed a couple of home runs and they were both in the same game. His average against is floating around Mendoza levels. I think they might give him a chance to start again next year. We’ll see!

Missed July Mention:
RHP Ernesto Zaragoza, 9/26/1992
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.2 IP, 4 H, R, 4/1 K/BB, 4/1 G/F, 2 WP

Erratic Mention:
RHP Jochi Ogando, 5/27/1993
1-0, 2 GS, 3.52 ERA in 7.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 6/8 K/BB, 7/4 G/F

From the Training Room:
IF Keith Werman is on the team now after coming up from Peoria! He still walks a lot and is short. SS Bryan Brito hasn’t played in a few days and may be injured. It’s hard to tell.

Strange Happenings:
Remember that game that I complained about that was long enough to be official but wasn’t? It resumed on Tuesday, when the M’s were playing Greeneville. Here’s some fun: in the top of that eighth inning, following the rain delay, the M’s opened up with five consecutive singles to score three runs before a K and a double play ended the threat… Jochi Ogando on Tuesday gave up four hits and five walks while striking out five. There were no runs. The M’s struck out twelve on the day. Here’s some video… Domingo Brazoban has pitched in thirteen games for Pulaski and has an ERA of ten in 18.0 innings and has a .371 average against. This is only the second time I’ve thought about Domingo Brazoban this year… Lara presently has the devil’s OPS.

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: 39 G, 140 AB, 23 R, 33 H, 9 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 23 RBI, CS, 35/17 K/BB, .236/.339/.393
RHP Dylan De Meyer: 3-2, 10 G (8 GS), 3.33 ERA in 46.0 IP, 55 H (2 HR), 22 R (17 ER), 31/10 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: 35 G, 139 AB, 26 R, 37 H, 10 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 13 SB, 2 CS, 27/22 K/BB, .266/.370/.396
C Luke Guarnaccia: 22 G, 84 AB, 12 R, 20 H, 2 2B, 3 3B, HR, 12 RBI, 3 SB, 17/3 K/BB, .238/.264/.369
OF Gabriel Guerrero: 4 G, 18 AB, 4 R, 6 H, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 3/1 K/BB, .333/.368/.444
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: 21 G, 58 AB, 4 R, 3 H, RBI, 34/8 K/BB, .052/.203/.052
SS/2B Timmy Lopes: 39 G, 157 AB, 35 R, 50 H, 7 2B, 10 3B, 23 RBI, 6 SB, 3 CS, 24/21 K/BB, .318/.396/.490
LHP Tyler Pike: 1-0, 8 GS, 1.54 ERA in 35.0 IP, 20 H, 9 R (6 ER), 34/15 K/BB, 2 HB
RHP Gabe Saquilon: 2-1, 9 G (3 GS), 2.94 ERA in 33.2 IP, 28 H (HR), 13 R (11 ER), 27/11 K/BB
RHP Daniel Thieben: 2-0, 11 G (GS), 3.60 ERA in 25.0 IP, 29 H, 15 R (10 ER), 14/14 K/BB
RHP Richard White: 2-1, 10 G, 4.41 ERA in 16.1 IP, 16 H (HR), 16 R (8 ER), 16/9 K/BB


21 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (8/6-12/12)”

  1. stevemotivateir on August 13th, 2012 7:48 am

    Thanks for the update Jay! Good to hear about Zunino being promoted. Real curious what they do with Marlette. He’s hitting too well right now to be demoted, right? Is it possible he ends up in Tacoma? I realize he wouldn’t likely start there, but that would seem to make more sense than Everett, given his hot bat of late. Is it more likely he’ll stay at Jackson, at least for a while?

  2. ivan on August 13th, 2012 8:09 am

    I note that Gabriel Guerrero has been brought stateside.

  3. harrison_crow on August 13th, 2012 8:58 am

    What do you think about possibly promoting Carmichael up to Everett, Jay?

  4. kuptain on August 13th, 2012 9:04 am

    NNOOOO! Zunino can’t get promoted yet… I’m coming up to Spokane and wanted to watch him and the Aquasox play this week!!

  5. HighBrie on August 13th, 2012 9:22 am

    Steve, are you sure you’re not confusing Marder (at High Desert) with Marlette? There are a kettle of catchers in the system now, but Marder hasn’t been doing a lot of catching lately.

    Thanks for the writeup Jay. I have some questions, do not feel obliged to answer them all: (1) Do you anticipate other promotions, or is there too much congestion at the higher levels? (2) Regarding levels: I’ve heard it said that the jump between A and AA is the most significant. Why is this and what would the graph of relative difficulty vs. level look like? In this vein, any thoughts on Cat’s struggles? (3) Do you know why the M’s renewed with High Desert? There must be a nice high school ballpark they could rent near Portland for cheap.. (4) How does Hicks have nearly as many steals (19) and a better percentage than Landry and Jones and even Marder? (5) First basemen: Is Poythress a prospect worth considering or not? He walks a lot (but has repeated a level and not hit for power since leaving HD). He strikes me as a lousy version of Nick Johnson. I wouldn’t ask if Smoak didn’t look like a bad version of Jose Vidro. How long is Smoak’s leash?

  6. TumwaterMike on August 13th, 2012 9:42 am

    What’s going on with Cavan Cohoes? He played in the first two games of the season with Arizona and hasn’t plyed since. Is he injured and will he be back this season?

  7. thurston24 on August 13th, 2012 10:47 am

    Here is hoping Zunino continues his slugging at Jackson. I’m guessing he is there for the playoffs.

  8. marc w on August 13th, 2012 11:12 am

    Def. hoping Marlette moves up to Everett. They’ve got a spot for him, and I think it might help to face some of the college guys teams drafted this year.

  9. Jay Yencich on August 13th, 2012 11:23 am

    What do you think about possibly promoting Carmichael up to Everett, Jay?

    It’s possible. The org probably has a fair amount of money invested in him as a former sixth-round pick and he’s been hitting well, but he tested positive for a PED and the org’s tolerance for such things has not been extraordinary in the past. I don’t think about him much unless I have reason to.

    (1) Do you anticipate other promotions, or is there too much congestion at the higher levels?

    I answered that last week. Therefore, I won’t answer it this week.

    (2) Regarding levels: I’ve heard it said that the jump between A and AA is the most significant. Why is this and what would the graph of relative difficulty vs. level look like? In this vein, any thoughts on Cat’s struggles?

    It’s the rules that dictate roster construction. Below double-A, a team is only allowed to have a certain number of players who have x years of experience in pro ball. I forget what the exact figure is, but it’s to keep organizations from stockpiling “veterans” and neglecting the farm system entirely. Double and triple-A don’t have those same caps and are allowed a lot more veteran minor leaguers to fill out rosters. Look at the average age in most low minors leagues and it’s all pretty close. The Cal League sits at 22.6 right now, but look at the Southern League and it’s 24.3 and the PCL is 26.7.

    (3) Do you know why the M’s renewed with High Desert? There must be a nice high school ballpark they could rent near Portland for cheap

    They haven’t. They renewed with Everett. That’s the only thing that’s happened so far.

    They probably will renew with High Desert because it’s the devil they know at this point. There aren’t many appealing options elsewhere and the advanced-A landscape probably isn’t going to change all that much. There was talk a while ago about moving the franchise to Apple Valley (not much change) or Chico (big change) but the economy tanked and neither could rustle up enough funds to get up a ballpark proposal.

    (4) How does Hicks have nearly as many steals (19) and a better percentage than Landry and Jones and even Marder?

    For the same reasons that Carlos Triunfel stole thirty bases in his Cal League season when he’s never topped ten at any other time. Minor league catchers aren’t very good at what they do in most cases. All you need to do is be a smart baserunner and you can take a lot of extra bases at the lower levels.

    (5) First basemen: Is Poythress a prospect worth considering or not? He walks a lot (but has repeated a level and not hit for power since leaving HD). He strikes me as a lousy version of Nick Johnson. I wouldn’t ask if Smoak didn’t look like a bad version of Jose Vidro. How long is Smoak’s leash?

    I feel like I’ve answered this one a million times too, but whatever. Poythress had his walk rate spike and in some cases, there is a historical precedent for players learning the strike zone extremely well and then developing adequate or better power later. Youkilis is the poster boy for this, with a couple of season of 90-100 walks under his belt. Poythress will be lucky to hit 50 this year, but he also missed a lot of time, most of May for example, and projecting Poythress’ walk totals out to what would be 130 games (out of a 140 game season), you get him at 80 for the year. That’s territory that’s interesting. My hope is that they find some winter ball locale to put him in and see how he fares there because, while I’m not predicting breakout or anything, there’s a potential for something interesting.

    As for Smoak’s leash, there’s not a whole lot of first base depth in the organization and the free agent pickings are slim, so I figure he’ll be around until something develops.

    What’s going on with Cavan Cohoes? He played in the first two games of the season with Arizona and hasn’t plyed since. Is he injured and will he be back this season?

    Injuries. Not sure with what, especially considering it was three weeks ago that someone was telling me that he was nearly done rehabbing. He’s supposed to have ++ speed though.

  10. Auggeydog on August 13th, 2012 11:37 am

    I went to the Auqusox’s 4 hour marathon on Fri, longest 9 inning game I can remember ever going to. It lasted so long the sprinklers came on at 10:20 in the 7th inning.

    I was really impressed with Zunino. He hit the ball well, and did a pretty good job behind the plate. He blocked some nice ball’s, and threw a guy out who was leading off too far at 3rd. He really did not have a fair chance to throw a guy out stealing second, the pitching was all over the place, and he was blocking a lot of balls. I am excited to see hoe he does in AA, and wonder if he will get called up to Tacoma when the roster expands?

    There was one play that made me shake my head, and have to remember they were still young. The Sox were down by 3 or 4 do not remember for sure. Zunino comes up with the bases loaded, and one out. On a wold pitch the guy on 3rd try to steal home and gets tagged out. They then just walked Mike. The ball was not that far to make it easily, and why take the bat out of your best hitters hands? Hopefully they use it as a learning tool.

    Janelfry Zorilla looked really good, seemed to have a pretty strong arm in RF. He signed with the M’s in 2007 and I wonder where he has been all this time? Is he a guy who has a chance to make it, or will he be a career minor league guy? He is not one I know much about.

  11. maqman on August 13th, 2012 11:49 am

    Glad to see Zunino movin’ on up, he was a man among boys in Everett. Hopefully Jackson will give us a better read on what to expect from him next season. Wow! just imagine a first round pick and a catcher that turns out to be a winner for the M’s. Just dreaming.

  12. argh on August 13th, 2012 11:58 am

    Got to see Zunino play Friday night against the Hawks — lad looks very nice behind the plate, framing the pitches like a big boy and seems to have a pretty nice arm. And, of course, he can hit that A- pitching…doubled, singled and walked twice IIRC. Fun game — although Zunino was kind of overshadowed by the Hawk’s Chris Farley-lookalike 1st baseman Daniel Vogelbach. Kid hit 4 homers in two nights Thursday and Friday and with his fireplug build looks kind of Babe Ruthian running the bases. Zunino looks more like he’s got major league make up but Vogelbach could slug that ball for miles. And did.

  13. Westside guy on August 13th, 2012 12:41 pm

    Thank you for the update, Jay. It’ll definitely be interesting to see how Zunino does as the competition gets better.

    Regarding Smoak… even if there were lots of other 1B options in the org, one would think they’ve got too much invested in him to cut bait anytime soon (or even not so soon).

  14. msfanmike on August 13th, 2012 1:22 pm

    Jay, or any of the other Rainier fans who have seen games in person:

    What are your thoughts on Bobby LaFromboise and his chances for a September callup?

  15. Auggeydog on August 13th, 2012 2:57 pm

    Argh the framing pitches was something I forgot about. I still think much of it was the poor umping. He seemed to hold the ball a long time after many pitches. Was amazing to see the glove not move, and the pitch be called a ball.

    Talked to Vogelbach for a bit after the game. He had a nice series, seemed like a good kid. Found it funny when he got pissed when they brushed him back a bit though. He might have a tough time keeping the weight down if he can could be a good hitter.

  16. SonOfZavaras on August 13th, 2012 5:05 pm

    Well, I had a feeling Zunino wouldn’t be around if I bought tickets to the game against Eugene on the 19th…dude was just DESTROYING the league.

    I’m happy for Zunino, it was obvious that his feet were good and wet and he was ready to move on…but High Desert has a bunch of people- Proscia, James Jones, Hicks and Marder- who I’m REALLY curious to see play in AA.

  17. bookbook on August 13th, 2012 6:32 pm

    Well, Son, watching Proscia play in AA earlier this year wasn’t as much fun as we thought it might be. Jones and Hicks and Morban, sure.

  18. Rainiers_fan on August 13th, 2012 6:46 pm

    Thanks for a great writeup as always Jay!

    Nice to see Zunino promoted. He should get some experience in the playoffs.

    Too bad Jimenez’ numbers dropped, his swing was starting to look better again before the Rainers left on their last road trip.

  19. stevemotivateir on August 13th, 2012 7:04 pm


    Yep, I had them mixed up. And I had Marder on the wrong club. Way off! Thanks for the correction. Something didn’t seem right. Now I know why 😛

  20. R8rJohn81 on August 13th, 2012 10:48 pm

    I was at Zunino’s last game in A-ball at Spokane the other night. I agree he looked good. I was impressed with Kivlehan, too. He made a great play charging in on a squeeze and tossed to Zunino for the out, but had trouble with a couple balls hit to his right. His swing looks decent, if a little long, but he hacks 100% all the time. Ard is a big, big man, but he doesn’t seem to rotate his hips much which makes it look like his swing is all upper body. I wonder if this will hurt him as he moves up.

  21. currcoug on August 14th, 2012 3:55 pm

    Have you ever noticed that Wells and Zunino could be brothers? Maybe they had the same mother in another life.

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