Minor League Wrap (8/12-19/12)

Jay Yencich · August 20, 2012 at 6:30 am · Filed Under Minor Leagues 

In a special edition of this intro, we have reactions to Felix’s perfect game, from other teams in the Mariners minor league system. For example, you had the Jackson Generals flipping out, note Felix’s brother wearing 45, and you have the Peoria Mariners celebrating in the way that a bunch of teens or near teens are inclined to do. It’s not something that I usually think about because we’re drawing in players from all around the country and indeed the world, but when something major like this happens in the organization, everyone is on board completely, and it’s awesome to see.

Speaking of awesome things, Zunino and Landry were both mentions on BA’s Prospect Hot Sheet.

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (4-3 this week, 55-74 overall, 17 GB in PCL Pacific Northern)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 13th 2012
Tacoma 6, Memphis 4 (STL – 31)
W: Noesi (1-4, 7.04) L: Gaub (0-3, 6.67) S: Farquhar (1)

Tuesday, August 14th 2012
Tacoma 2, Nashville 3 (MIL – 10)
W: Dillard (1-1, 7.90) L: LaFromboise (4-2, 1.71)

Wednesday, August 15th 2012
Tacoma 7, Nashville 6 (MIL – 11)
W: Sweeney (6-3, 4.87) L: Perez (4-1, 3.86) S: Farquhar (2)

Thursday, August 16th 2012
Tacoma 2, Nashville 3 (MIL – 10) (ten innings)
W: Sanchez (4-0, 1.02) L: Moran (2-2, 3.41)

Friday, August 17th 2012
Tacoma 2, Nashville 7 (MIL – 9)
W: Baker (3-4, 4.44) L: Carraway (4-7, 4.70)

Saturday, August 18th 2012
Reno 0 (ARI + 16), Tacoma 2
W: Kelley (2-0, 1.13) L: Demel (1-4, 4.60)

Sunday, August 19th 2012
Reno 3 (ARI + 15), Tacoma 4
W: LaFromboise (5-2, 1.65) L: Lewis (4-2, 4.13) S: Farquhar (3)

Hitter of the Week:
DH Luis Antonio Jimenez, L/L, 5/7/1982
7 G, 23 AB, 3 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, SB, 6/6 K/BB, .348/.483/.696

Power Sphere is back on his game, which means I get to try to fish for things to say again beyond “this is better than last week, but not as good for hitting as two weeks ago (the OBP is much improved). Coming into Sunday, when Jimenez went 0-for-3 with a walk ( šŸ™ ), Jimenez was batting .377/.459/.774, which provided a higher OPS than his .400/.517/.642 May. The difference here is that we’re at the nineteenth of the month and Jimenez has already eclipsed his previous monthly dinger high by one, and more could be on the way. What’s curious about it is that he’s only had three doubles so far, so it seems that balls that would usually bounce off the wall for him are instead going over it. Understandable, for this time of year.

One of Each #1 Mention:
3B Alex Liddi, R/R, 8/14/1988
7 G, 26 AB, 4 R, 9 H, 2B, 3B, HR, SB, 4/3 K/BB, .346/.414/.577

One of Each #2 Mention:
SS Nick Franklin, S/R, 3/2/1991
6 G, 25 AB, 8 H, 2B, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 3/2 K/BB, .320/.370/.560

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Hector Noesi, 1/26/1987
1-0, 2 GS, 2.63 ERA in 13.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 13/2 K/BB, 16/12 G/F, HB

For our purposes, we’re only focusing on the second start, for which the line was 7.2IP, H, 11/2 K/BB. Noesi had a no-hitter running until the final batter he faced, at which point he gave up a single and got the hook, having thrown 121 pitches. By that time there was a runner on first and second, thanks to an error earlier, and he didn’t get the win because the Rainiers bats didn’t come alive until late in the game. Still, he struck out a batter in every inning save one and Curto had a blog post stating that Noesi’s fastball was consistently 91-94 with good movement and that he was throwing a very strong change-up all night. The pitch totals are a little excessive, but it’s the most promising start he’s made by a good margin. The concern lies in the other start, where he had two Ks in six innings and let four runs score. Consistency, after all, is a big issue here.

Command Issues After Two+ Weeks Off Mention:
LHP Danny Hultzen, 11/28/1989
0-0, 2 GS, 1.04 ERA in 8.2 IP, 2 H, R, 9/5 K/BB, 5/9 G/F, HB

Competent Start Mention:
RHP D.J. Mitchell, 5/13/1987
0-0, GS, 2.25 ERA in 8.0 IP, 6 H (HR), 2 R, 5/2 K/BB, 10/6 G/F

From The Training Room:
With Carp landing on the DL, 1B Justin Smoak was recalled on Tuesday to the surprise of misinformed people. Smoak was 5-for-10 with three doubles his final three games before being recalled. He also ran a 16/16 K/BB in sixty-six ABs, which is good and badā€¦ Continuing the larger scale moves, LHP Charlie Furbush got through his rehab stint and now is back with the team leaving RHP Shawn Kelley as the odd man out because they didn’t want to option anyone else or somethingā€¦ Guti is on rehab and is 2-for-6 with a double and a run scored. He’s struck out two times.

Strange Happenings:
Erasmo gave up six runs on five innings after eight hits and a walk. So he isn’t mentioned among positive pitching performers! He hasn’t figured things out! Life is full of disappointments large and small!… Remember when we though Catricala might be coming around? He hit .253/.333/.337 in July and is at .196/.260/.370 in Augustā€¦ Triunfel has a ten-game hit streakā€¦ Peguero got plunked three times this week. In the past ten games, he’s struck out twenty-one times. He’s had two days where he has failed to strike out. Everything else is two or more.

Jackson Generals (4-2 this week, 30-25 in the second half, 72-53 overall, 3 GB in SL North)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 13th 2012
Off day

Tuesday, August 14th 2012
Mississippi 4 (ATL – 4), Jackson 2
W: Leach (1-4, 2.70) L: Paxton (7-4, 3.09) S: Tarsi (1)

Mississippi 3 (ATL – 5), Jackson 4
W: Bawcom (5-3, 2.83) L: Lamm (1-6, 4.41)

Wednesday, August 15th 2012
Mississippi 2 (ATL – 4), Jackson 1
W: Hale (7-4, 4.08) L: Gillheeney (0-1, 3.55) S: Rasmus (4)

Thursday, August 16th 2012
Mississippi 2 (ATL – 5), Jackson 5
W: Maurer (9-2, 3.20) L: Graham (1-1, 4.13) S: Medina (5)

Friday, August 17th 2012
Mississippi 6 (ATL – 6), Jackson 7 (thirteen innings)
W: Sena (3-2, 2.88) L: Rasmus (2-4, 3.96)

Saturday, August 18th 2012
Mississippi 2 (ATL – 7), Jackson 3 (ten innings)
W: Snow (3-5, 5.05) L: Jones (2-4, 3.71)

Sunday, August 19th 2012

Hitter of the Week:
RF Johermyn Chavez, R/R, 1/26/1989
5 G, 14 AB, 2 R, 5 H, 2 2B, HR, RBI, 6/3 K/BB, HBP, .357/.500/.714

If you think that I haven’t been mentioning Chavez much this year because of lack of performance, you’re partially correct. After hitting thirty-two dingers in High Desert in 2010, about three-quarters of them at home, Chavez batted .216/.312/.360 last year in Jackson. This year, he busted a hamate and has only played in sixty games so far. Pre-injury, he was actually all right, hitting .277/.348/.446 in April and carrying it over to a few games in May. As he came back in July, he batted .123/.296/.211 in nineteen games. Someone looking just at the season lines would probably miss it, because it would look like he’s just been bad and undeserving of his 40-man roster spot, but the reality is that he’s been all right when healthy and has clipped his K-rate from 24.3% to 20.7% and increased his walks from 9.6% to 12.5%. Next year, perhaps we’ll see some more interesting things from him, but I expect him to be undersold on prospect lists this winter.

His Fourth Career Triple Mention:
1B Rich Poythress, R/R, 8/11/1987
5 G, 19 AB, R, 8 H, 3 2B, 3B, 6 RBI, 2/2 K/BB, .421/.476/.684

What He Does with Playing Time Mention:
3B/1B Nate Tenbrink, L/R, 12/21/1986
5 G, 22 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, 7/0 K/BB, HBP, .318/.348/.545

Still Hitting, Still Walking Mention:
2B Stefen Romero, R/R, 10/17/1988
6 G, 24 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 3B, RBI, 2 SB, 4/3 K/BB, .292/.370/.458

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Jonathan Arias, 2/8/1988
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.1 IP, 4/0 K/BB, 3/3 G/F

All the starters got in five or more innings in the shortened week, but only one of them managed to strike out more than three and he gave up four unearned runs along the way. Reliever? Reliever. Arias had a rough time in the Cal League and had an average against approaching .300, which meant that the 36/13 K/BB he had in 35.0 innings was troublesome in certain respects (namely, the walks). Since arriving in Jackson, the walks have gotten worse. Excluding this week’s run, he’s had a 14/14 K/BB in 19.2 innings. Emphatically not good. But he’s also stopped allowing hits for whatever reason. In June, he had a .350 average against, but in July it was .139 and now it’s .091 to start August. Since he’s a converted catcher/outfielder, he’s probably going to have different plateau leaps from a guy who has been pitching his whole life. This could be one, but it could also be a sampling issue. It’s probably a sampling issue.

That Particular Starter (Who Made Two Errors) Mention:
LHP James Paxton, 11/6/1988
0-1, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (0 ER), 4/2 K/BB, 7/3 G/F

Lack of Baserunners? Mention:
RHP Brandon Maurer, 7/3/1990
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2/2 K/BB, 9/6 G/F

Extra Pitching Notes:
Taijuan Walker, who had been on a more strict pitch count, I think, got 103 pitches on Saturday with which to go eight innings and allowed two runs on six hits (HR), three walks, and three Ks. Anthony Fernandez had two runs allowed in five innings, with five hits (HR) and three Ks.

From the Training Room:
C Mike Zunino was called into Jackson on their off-day. Something had to happen, and rather than try to hold on to three catchers to see what happened, the Generals released C Ralph Henriquez, who wasn’t much with the bat and had been catching about a third of the team’s games. I get the impression that he was pretty popular on the team, but these moves aren’t usually about that. Zunino hit .417/.500/.750 through four games as the team tried to take it slow with him. That’s the only reason he didn’t end up taking top honors. He also had a passed ball šŸ™

Strange Happenings:
It’s probably relevant to talk about Mississippi’s season since they were the only team we played. They’re batting .247/.324/.345 for the year, which is the worst line in the league, thanks to the fact that they’ve only hit forty-six home runs as a team and second place as seventy. But their pitching staff is average to slightly-above, so weight things appropriatelyā€¦ While waiting for the Zunino move to show up on the wire, I saw where Mobile released Gaby Hernandez to make way forā€¦ Brett Tomko! Brett Tomko will be pitching against the Generals! Quoi?… Logan Bawcom had a 24/6 K/BB in the Cal League. He had a 36/16 K/BB with Chattanooga. He has a 11/13 K/BB with Jacksonā€¦ In Maurer’s start, he made his first error of the year. Perhaps that’s not so interesting. Walker has made an error two, but Hultzen’s made three and Paxton has made five. Capps made two as well. You’ve seen him throw, right?… John Sickels talked a bit about RHP Brandon Maurer at his site this weekā€¦ Denny Almonte walked three times this week. That’s good! He struck out seven times. that’s badā€¦ In positive news, Romero has as many walks in forty-eight games with Jackson as he did in sixty games in High Desert.

High Desert Mavericks (4-2 this week, 38-17 in the second half, 75-50 overall, 1st in CAL South)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 13th 2012
Off day

Tuesday, August 14th 2012
High Desert 8, Lancaster 4 (HOU -1)
W: Burgoon (7-2, 3.60) L: Robinson (4-3, 4.39)

Wednesday, August 15th 2012
High Desert 1, Lancaster 2 (HOU 0)
W: Perez (8-4, 5.22) L: Miller (0-1, 2.70) S: De Leon (5)

Thursday, August 16th 2012
High Desert 4, Lancaster 3 (HOU – 1)
W: Alsup (1-0, 4.22) L: Robinson (4-4, 4.47) S: Smith (14)

Friday, August 17th 2012
High Desert 11, Bakersfield 10 (CIN – 11)
W: Hobson (8-3, 5.04) L: Renken (4-9, 5.87) S: Smith (15)

Saturday, August 18th 2012
High Desert 10, Bakersfield 2 (CIN – 12)
W: Shankin (6-2, 7.89) L: Gerson (0-1, 11.25)

Sunday, August 19th 2012
High Desert 5, Bakersfield 6 (CIN – 11)
W: Crabbe (4-0, 3.38) L: Stanton (5-4, 5.67) S: Contreras (2)

Hitter of the Week:
1B Mickey Wiswall, L/R, 11/25/1988
6 G, 24 AB, 4 R, 11 H, 3 2B, HR, 8 RBI, SB, 2 CS, 4/0 K/BB, HBP, .458/.480/.708

The guys who get to show up here one week to the next often get more scrutiny from me as I try to come up with more to say about them or figure out if they’re as good as their numbers indicate. Naturally, this would be the case, and other prospects might endured less critical scrutiny. Wiswall has hit .391/.400/.563 so far this month. He hasn’t walked at all. His last walk came on the final day of July. For the season, he only has one more walk than Stefen Romero, but he has almost forty more Ks, a lower average (by about seventy points) and a lower ISO by about fifty while playing a position lower on the defensive spectrum. He doesn’t have splits to speak of for home and road (left/right is a slightly different matter), but the flaws seem evident. Wiswall has been better in the second half. That’s something to build on. But we wouldn’t really be interested in Romero if he was at first, even if he could hit left-handed.

Continuing to Slug his Way through August Mention:
1B/DH Dennis Raben, L/L, 7/31/1987
5 G, 19 AB, 6 R, 6 H, 3 2B, HR, RBI, 6/4 K/BB, .316/.435/.631

It’s Still the Second Half Mention:
RF/CF James Jones, L/L 9/24/1988
6 G, 27 AB, 7 R, 9 H, 3 2B, HR, 3 RBI, CS, 4/1 K/BB, .333/.357/.556

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Roenis Elias, 8/1/1988
0-0, GS, 4.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 6 H (HR), 3 R, 8/1 K/BB, 4/2 G/F

More Elias, right? I keep expecting him to come back to earth, but he hasn’t, so I’ll keep rummaging and see if I can come up with something. There’s that matter of the July start I keep mentioning where he ran a 9/5 K/BB. It sticks out because it’s the closest he’s been to double-digit Ks other than the 11/1 start that followed it, but it’s also the only time in the last ten outings that he’s exceeded two walks in any given outing. We haven’t seen a zero from him, but there are six ones lined up in the columns right now, and those five walks represent one start of twenty-four and one-eighth of his season walk totals. Having said all that, I’m probably setting myself up for Elias to have a clumsy outing right coming up here, but as I said, there is some analytical basis to think that he’s been improving over the course of the season.

Strong Outing, Lacking Ks Mention:
RHP Trevor Miller, 6/13/1991
0-1, GS, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R (ER), 3/1 K/BB, 2/4 G/F, WP. PO

Another Relief Arm Primed to Move Mention:
RHP Carson Smith, 10/19/1989
0-0, 3 G, 2 SV, 0.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, 2 H, R, 5/0 K/BB, 3/0 G/F

From the Training Room:
2B/LF Jack Marder hit the DL again, and as far as the corresponding move, well, the log says that 2B Carlos Ramirez was sent to Clinton the day before, but he hasn’t played there and showed up in two games over the past three days so something in the reporting process must be funky.

Strange Happenings:
For a long time, we’ve been noticing how, for whatever reason, there are a number of players coming out of the Caribbean that have first names with Russian or Slavic-sounding origins. Yuniesky Betancourt, as a familiar example. The Blaze, on Saturday, sent out a pitcher with the first name of Stalin. Yeahā€¦ Tyler Blandford gave up a hit and two walks while striking out three, twice, this week. On Wednesday he did it in two innings. On Saturday, he did it in oneā€¦ Hicks hit .363/.363/.500 this week. Mostly singles, but soooo closeā€¦. Speaking of close, Landy came close too. But among the last ten games, he had more hits in the first four than the last six. More extra-base hits and walks too.

Clinton Lumberkings (4-2 this week, 34-21 in the second half, 57-66 overall, 1st in MWL Western)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 13th 2012
Clinton 4, Wisconsin 7 (MIL 0)
W: Semmelhack (2-1, 4.91) L: Kim (3-4, 5.08) S: Lasker (1)

Tuesday, August 14th 2012
Off day

Wednesday, August 15th 2012
Clinton 10, Kane County 4 (KC + 1)
W: Pries (2-0, 3.27) L: Baez (6-5, 3.18)

Thursday, August 16th 2012
Clinton 3, Kane County 5 (KC + 2)
W: Zimmer (2-2, 3.04) L: Shore (3-3, 1.62) S: Brown (1)

Friday, August 17th 2012
Clinton 2, Kane County 1 (KC + 1) (ten innings)
W: Brazis (1-0, 1.42) L: Moen (3-10, 5.32)

Saturday, August 18th 2012
Cedar Rapids 2 (ANA – 22), Clinton 4
W: Kim (4-4, 4.65) L: Crowley (1-5, 4.08) S: Shackleford (8)

Sunday, August 19th 2012
Cedar Rapids 3 (ANA – 23), Clinton 6
W: Shellhorn (1-0, 2.57) L: Jimenez (7-5, 3.51) S: Shackleford (9)

Hitter of the Week:
LF/RF Kevin Rivers, L/R, 8/24/1988
5 G, 15 AB, R, 6 H, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 3/5 K/BB, HBP, .400/.571/.733

Two other guys hit .400 or above this week? I don’t know how to weight this. In August, Rivers is hitting .317/.411/.633. He has four home runs this month and in his entire tenure with the Mavericks, he hit six home runs. He had seven doubles this month and had eight in the Cal League. One quirk I’m noticing right now, which is affected by sampling, is that Rivers is hitting left-handers better by about eighty points of OPS, most of which is in slugging. For his career, he’s closer to even for the batting line with worse plate discipline, I just figured I’d mention it because I need something to fill this out.

Other .400 Hitter #1 Mention:
CF/RF Jabari Blash, R/R, 7/4/1989
6 G, 22 AB, 7 R, 9 H, 4 2B, 2 RBI, SB, CS, 5/2 K/BB, HBP, .409/.480/.591

Other .400 Hitter #2 Mention:
C Mike Dowd, R/R, 4/10/1990
5 G, 20 AB, R, 8 H, 2B, 2 RBI, 0/1 K/BB, .400/.429/.450

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Matt Brazis, 9/6/1989
1-0, G, 2.45 ERA in 3.2 IP, H (HR), 7/0 K/BB, 2/0 G/F

I couldn’t really contain this any longer. I just think Brazis is so neat. In Pulaski he allowed one hit in 8.1 innings, good for a .036 average, and struck out nineteen. For the Lumberkings, he’s run a 24/2 K/BB in 12.2 innings and allowed a .119 average. That’s not significantly worse. This week, he gave up his first career home run, but then most of his outs came on Ks. The book on Brazis coming into this year was that his results never backed up what his stuff said he should be doing, but right now he has, for his young career, twenty-one-and-a-half strikeouts for every walk and more than seven times as many Ks as hits allowed. He had a streak of twenty-nine batters retired earlier in the year, which is more than perfect game (sorry Felix). Maybe he’s the fast-moving reliever from the 2012 draft.

MWL Debut Mention:
LHP Rusty Shellhorn, 2/25/1990
1-0, GS, 2.57 ERA in 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3/1 K/BB, 6/8 G/F

Some Wildness Mention:
RHP Bobby Shore, 1/27/1989
0-1, GS, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R (2 ER), 5/3 K/BB, 7/5 G/F, 3 WP

From the Training Room:
Late Sunday, SS Chris Taylor went on the DL. I don’t know if I’m surprised considering that he’s been DHing almost exclusively lately. This was what prompted the Carlos Ramirez move. But then Ramirez hasn’t played for the L-Kings, he’s played for the Mavs. I’m so confusedā€¦ Sunday, LHP Jordan Shipers hit the temporarily inactive list and LHP Rusty Shellhorn came in from Everett for the spot start. I don’t know if this is an actual “Shipers has things to do” matter or he’s just been effectively shut down without a DL stint.

Strange Happenings:
I’m used to seeing late-innings ejections. Frustration builds, certain decisions become more crucial. On Monday, the manager for Wisconsin got ejected in the second inning. While the Lumberkings were batting. As his team was leading 2-0 in a game that they won 7-4. In the game log, I see that Blash struck out, and then Rivers was hit by a pitch, and then the Timber Rattlers’ manager was ejected. There were three other hits by pitch in the game and no one else was ejected. I want narrative here, people… Dan Paolini hit two home runs this week, which means he’s up to eleven!

Everett Aquasox (4-3 this week, 12-14 in the second half, 40-24 overall, 4 GB in NWL West)

Monday, August 13th 2012
Everett 5, Spokane 1 (TEX – 4)
W: Shellhorn (3-2, 2.76) L: Valdespina (1-6, 7.17)

Tuesday, August 14th 2012
Everett 5, Spokane 6 (TEX – 3)
W: McElwee (1-1, 2.63) L: Reyna (0-3, 4.30)

Wednesday, August 15th 2012
Everett 8, Spokane 3 (TEX – 4)
W: Ewing (3-1, 5.09) L: Brooks (2-3, 3.52)

Thursday, August 16th 2012
Everett 0, Vancouver 5 (TOR + 6)
W: Avendano (6-1, 1.41) L: Unsworth (6-1, 3.91)

Friday, August 17th 2012
Everett 3, Vancouver 14 (TOR + 7)
W: Donahue (3-2, 5.40) L: DeCecco (1-3, 5.64)

Saturday, August 18th 2012
Everett 2, Vancouver 0 (TOR + 6)
W: Wood (2-0, 2.27) L: White (4-5, 4.42) S: Vedo (3)

Sunday, August 19th 2012
Eugene 1 (SD + 3), Everett 7
W: Sanchez (6-2, 3.52) L: Guerrero (0-1, 6.75)

Hitter of the Week:
C Marcus Littlewood, S/R, 3/18/1992
6 G, 23 AB, 2 R, 7 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 9/1 K/BB, HBP, .304/.360/.696

After watching Littlewood for a few games in June, I thought that he was a viable hitting prospect. The numbers seemed to support it, .267/.411/.511, a not-great average, but solid peripheral components. In July, he wasn’t playing that much less, but his K’s spiked a bit to twenty-three in sixty-eight at-bats and he batted .221/.361/.338. Now we’re in the midst of an August rebound that has him hitting .279/.405/.475. And he’s second in the league in walks! Did you know that? Probably not if you were just looking at this week’s line. The only downside is that his K-rate hasn’t really improved any and he’s still at 26.8% of his PAs, right in line with the career averages. I don’t exactly have a great explanation for why he doesn’t regularly hit for a better average, but that could be a component of it.

Continuing a Torrid August Mention:
CF Janelfry Zorilla, R/R, 9/2/1990
5 G, 16 AB, R, 5 H, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 5/2 K/BB, .313/.389/.563

Peripherals, But Also Ks Mention:
RF Alfredo Morales, L/R, 11/6/1992
7 G, 24 AB, 3 R, 7 H, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 9/5 K/BB, .292/.413/.500

Still Productive Mention:
1B Taylor Ard, R/R, 1/31/1990
6 G, 22 AB, 3 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 5/2 K/BB, HBP, .318/.400/.409

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Rusty Shellhorn, 2/25/1990
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 5 H, 7/0 K/BB, 2/5 G/F, 2 HB

I haven’t yet had a pitcher make PotW in two different leagues, which is probably good for my sanity. So, after shaming the Arizona League and at the very least making the Northwest League uncomfortable, Shellhorn is off to his third stop in Clinton where he won his first outing. The Spokane Southpaw actually took a little bit of time to get settled into the NWL though, not that he didn’t also win his first outing there. His first two outings, you see a 1/2 K/BB in six innings and a 4/1 K/BB through five. Not really in line with what you expect, and sure enough, over his last four before leaving, he had a 27/4 K/BB in 21.2 frames, though he did end up plunking more batters towards the end there. Right now, I would guess that Shellhorn begins 2013 as part of the Lumberkings rotation, but there’s an outside chance at him ending up in High Desert.

Still Really Good For his Age Mention:
RHP Victor Sanchez, 1/30/1995
1-0, 2 GS, 0.81 ERA in 11.0 IP, 8 H, 8/3 K/BB, 10/9 G/F

Sometimes Intriguing Relief Mention:
RHP Matt Vedo, 1/12/1990
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, 2 H, 5/2 K/BB, 4/0 G/F, WP

From the Training Room:
So, on Monday, Zunino left and, as some guessed, he was replaced by C Christian Carmichael, who had been hitting .319/.416/.483 for Peoria, which positioned him as the team’s bester hitter by OPS. Carmichael has been in the system since 2010, when he was drafted in the sixth round. He played sixteen games in 2010 and 2011 combined and was suspended for fifty games in spring training for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Now you knowā€¦ RHP Jose Valdivia hasn’t pitched since July 17th, and yet is not listed on the DL because at the lower minor league levels people that aren’t me don’t seem to care about this stuff.

Strange Happenings:
Further news from watching the transaction wire: Coby Cowgill got reassigned from the Hickory Crawdads to the Spokane Indians. BASEBALLā€¦. You can bid on game-worn “aquaflage” jerseys starting today because you never know when you might be a baseball player needing to hide underwaterā€¦ There were a couple of interesting pitching performances that just weren’t making it in. One was RHP Marcos Reyna getting a spot start and going four frames with a hit and two walks allowed as he struck out six. The one other outing in the week for him was not so good. The other was Unsworth striking out seven while allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings for his first loss of the yearā€¦ Littlewood is back at first every now and then to get around any possible issues of having two and only two catchers on the roster.

Pulaski Mariners: (5-3 this week, 24-34 overall, 12.5 GB in APL East)

Monday, August 13th 2012
Danville 7 (ATL + 6), Pulaski 8
W: Kaalekahi (4-3, 2.86) L: Hashem (2-1, 3.06) S: Holman (7)

Tuesday, August 14th 2012
Danville 8 (ATL + 7), Pulaski 7
W: Perez (4-1, 3.65) L: Garcia (3-4, 6.02) S: Simmons (2)

Wednesday, August 15th 2012
Danville 4 (ATL + 8), Pulaski 0
W: Sims (2-3, 2.95) L: Marte (1-6, 4.94) S: Scoggin (1)

Thursday, August 16th 2012
Off day

Friday, August 17th 2012
Bristol 3 (CHW – 21), Pulaski 4 (seven innings)
W: Pereira (1-2, 4.75) L: Hudelson (1-3, 6.20)

Pulaski 6, Bristol 5 (CHW – 22) (seven innings)
W: Diaz (1-0, 3.18) L: Brito (0-3, 7.04) S: Koneski (2)

Saturday, August 18th 2012
Pulaski 2, Bristol 5 (CHW – 21) (seven innings)
W: Kibby (4-4, 3.14) L: Kaalekahi (4-4, 3.21) S: Hansen (1)

Pulaski 6, Bristol 3 (CHW – 22) (seven innings)
W: Gonzalez (4-4, 2.41) L: Boydston (0-2, 6.23)

Sunday, August 19th 2012
Pulaski 7, Bristol 6 (CHW – 23)
W: Garcia (4-4, 5.80) L: Sanchez (0-4, 5.33) S: Brazoban (1)

Hitter of the Week:
RF/DH Dario Pizzano, L/R, 4/25/1991
8 G, 30 AB, 7 R, 16 H, 4 2B, 3B, 8 RBI, SB, 4/1 K/BB, .533/.531/.733

This week, Pizzano had a sacrifice fly and a walk in addition to all those hits as a factor in calculating his on-base percentage. It went down, relative to his average. I think that’s a first for my writing of this. Right now, Pizzano is batting .359 for the season, and if you were wondering as you were looking at that, yes, it does lead the league (the top two lines, Pizzano and Bristol second baseman Eric Grabe, are eerily similar). Pizzano is tied for fourth in the league in hits with sixty and is tied for tenth in walks. He’s a full two hundred+ OPS points ahead of Marlette, who is second on the team among qualifiers. We’re two-thirds of the way through August and Pizzano is closer to batting .500 for the month than he is to batting .400. I don’t think he’s learning in this league anymore.

Nearly Half His Home Runs for the Year, This Week Mention:
3B Jordy Lara, R/R, 5/21/1991
7 G, 25 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 7/2 K/BB, HBP, .280/.345/.720

All The Games, None of the Walks Mention:
CF Jabari Henry, R/R, 11/11/1990
8 G, 30 AB, R, 9 H, 4 2B, 2 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 6/0 K/BB, .300/.300/.667

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Isliexel Gonzalez, 5/10/1991
1-0, G, 0.00 ERA in 5.1 IP, 2 H, 5/1 K/BB, 9/2 G/F

Gonzalez has won the last three appearances he’s made. None of those were starts. This week, he showed up after Ogando only lasted an inning and two-thirds in the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday, and ended up scoring one of the runs against Ogando. That’s not great, but Isliexel ended up having to pitch around two errors behind him later, not that they came to anything. I can’t talk about his starting/relief splits because he’s only made two starts, but I will note that he’s been down to nine Ks in 14.1 innings in August whereas before he had fifteen Ks in 18.0 innings in July. This isn’t entirely bad though: the walks have gone down from nine to two, the average against has dropped a hundred points, and he’s getting two grounders for every air out right now, whereas before, he was at 1.24 grounders for every air out.

One Dominant Appearance, One Blah One Mention:
RHP Nolan Diaz, 3/28/1991
1-0, 2 G (GS), 0.00 ERA in 4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (0 ER), 6/2 K/BB, 7/1 G/F

From the Training Room:
Something probably happened. I don’t see why it wouldn’t have.

Strange Happenings:
When Pulaski plays Bristol, it’s pretty common that the home team will change at some point during the series, and in this case, it switched during the doubleheader on Friday. I had thought that this might be because Pulaski and Bristol were close in proximity, but they’re an hour and a half apart. By contrast, Bluefield, which is an hour away, never splits up series. Someone explain this to me. I don’t understandā€¦ Issues with scheduling and missed days have resulted in the Pulaski M’s playing seven games in four days. If the team were near the playoffs, I’d be upset perhapsā€¦ On Saturday, the Bristol White Sox in the second game of the doubleheader sent Storm Throne to the mound, who is living proof that Moniker Madness at MiLB.com is stupidā€¦ Kaalekahi struck out seven in both his starts this week. He gave up five runs in six innings in one of the starts and four in five innings in the otherā€¦ On Sunday, the M’s made four errors and turned four double plays. Yup.

Dispatches from the Land of Rehabbers and Teens:
RHP Matt Anderson: 0-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, H, 7/0 K/BB
1B Kristian Brito: 22 G, 88 AB, 12 R, 19 H, 2B, 2 3B, HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 31/2 K/BB, .216/.239/.307
CF Daniel Carroll: 3 G, 7 AB, R, H, 3B, 2/1 K/BB, .143/.250/.429
3B Joe DeCarlo: 44 G, 158 AB, 25 R, 38 H, 10 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 25 RBI, 2 CS, 40/21 K/BB, .241/.348/.386
RHP Dylan De Meyer: 3-2, 11 G (8 GS), 3.96 ERA in 50.0 IP, 63 H (3 HR), 27 R (22 ER), 34/14 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: 40 G, 157 AB, 32 R, 43 H, 12 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 15 SB, 3 CS, 31/23 K/BB, .274/.374/.414
C Luke Guarnaccia: 25 G, 96 AB, 14 R, 24 H, 3 2B, 3 3B, HR, 12 RBI, 3 SB, 21/3 K/BB, .250/.273/.375
OF Gabriel Guerrero: 9 G, 40 AB, 8 R, 12 H, 3 2B, 5 RBI, 8/1 K/BB, .300/.310/.375
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: 23 G, 65 AB, 5 R, 4 H, 3 RBI, SB, CS, 38/8 K/BB, .062/.197/.062
SS/2B Timmy Lopes: 44 G, 179 AB, 36 R, 58 H, 9 2B, 11 3B, 28 RBI, 6 SB, 3 CS, 27/22 K/BB, .324/.393/.497
IF Nathan Melendres: 2 G, 7 AB, R, 3 H, 3B, RBI, 1/0 K/BB, .429/.500/.714
LHP Tyler Pike: 2-0, 9 GS, 1.32 ERA in 41.0 IP, 24 H, 9 R (6 ER), 42/15 K/BB, 2 HB
RHP Gabe Saquilon: 3-1, 10 G (4 GS), 2.79 ERA in 38.2 IP, 35 H (HR), 14 R (12 ER), 28/12 K/BB
RHP Daniel Thieben: 3-1, 13 G (GS), 3.77 ERA in 28.2 IP, 32 H, 17 R (12 ER), 16/18 K/BB
RHP Richard White: 2-1, 12 G, 6.27 ERA in 18.2 IP, 18 H (HR), 21 R (13 ER), 18/12 K/BB


24 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (8/12-19/12)”

  1. Mariners35 on August 20th, 2012 6:51 am

    So who gets the call when rosters expand in a couple weeks? Guti is coming back from injury, so is Carp… who gets their cup o coffee?

  2. Arron on August 20th, 2012 7:35 am

    Was at the Clinton game yesterday…Blash was 4 x 4 and smoked it 3 of the four times…hit a double off the wall at 400 feet.

    Jamie Burke was the managing for visiting Cedar Rapids. We talked for a second before the game and after he signed a baseball for me.

    He was one of the best players (mgr) that I’ve talked with and you could tell he was happy to take a moment to make a fan happy.

  3. Klatz on August 20th, 2012 8:21 am

    Any thoughts on Ji-Man Choi? Not enough power if he has to play first from what little I’ve heard but he appears to be improving in that department now that he’s healthy.

  4. LKFan on August 20th, 2012 9:21 am

    I was told that Shipers is done for the year due to an innings restriction. Same thing last year with Walker from what I understand. Oh yeah, and some guy named Strasburg is facing the same issue.

    As far as Choi is concerned, I love watching him hit. I don’t see any issue with his power. He has pounded the ball when I’ve seen him. I do recall that many of his hard-hit balls turned into outs unfortunately. I’m encouraged to see how his bat performs next year.

  5. Greeff on August 20th, 2012 10:09 am

    I would really like to see a Stefen Romero september call up. And some more Erasmo!

  6. maqman on August 20th, 2012 10:14 am

    Storm Throne! You got to be kidding. Poor guy.

  7. marc w on August 20th, 2012 10:31 am

    Yes, the Storm Throne vs. Isliexel Gonzalez match-up was one of my favorite of the year, possibly all-time.

    But let’s not forget that Everett played Boise recently, whose LF is named Rock Shoulders. Thus, on 8/7/2012, we had a match-up between pitcher Rusty Shellhorn and batter Rock Shoulders. That’s not too shabby.

  8. marc w on August 20th, 2012 10:35 am

    Cups of coffee: the disappointing bit is that the M’s will have so many guys rehabbing or who we’ve seen, but have been sent down for seasoning. So Erasmo and Hector Noesi are likely to return, along with Shawn Kelley, Alex Liddi, Carlos Peguero, Chance Ruffin etc.

    New guys would include Truinfel and Francisco Martinez.

    I don’t think they’d make a big 40-man move right now. It’s possible, of course, that they’d drop someone like Yoervis Medina to add Romero for September, but I don’t there’s a whole lot of point to it.

  9. Jay Yencich on August 20th, 2012 11:38 am

    Any thoughts on Ji-Man Choi? Not enough power if he has to play first from what little Iā€™ve heard but he appears to be improving in that department now that heā€™s healthy.

    My main thought on him right now is “oh no, he’s injured again šŸ™ ” but beyond that, he was starting to hit to the point where I was at least somewhat interested.

    I would really like to see a Stefen Romero september call up.

    Don’t see it happening. This organization seems fairly committed to getting their guys time in triple-A before any kind of call up. If anyone on the Generals gets it, it might be Medina, who has been throwing well lately. It’s hard to justify bringing in Francisco Martinez when he’s been injured or awful much of the season.

  10. Westside guy on August 20th, 2012 12:52 pm

    I noticed you mentioned “3B Alex Liddi”. Has the attempt to remake him into a left fielder met a merciful end?

    Any chance he starts next year taking all his reps at 1B?

  11. Jay Yencich on August 20th, 2012 1:26 pm

    No, he’s been mostly in left and has supposedly looked all right. He’s probably getting some time at first as well now that there’s neither Carp nor Smoak. Referring to him as a third baseman was a habitual thing.

  12. Westside guy on August 20th, 2012 1:33 pm

    Got it – thanks Jay.

  13. marc w on August 20th, 2012 1:53 pm

    Actually, the guy that’s been getting more LF time recently has been Vinnie Catricala. Whether it’s Liddi moving to accomodate Catricala, or maintaining his skills on the corners, Alex has been playing on the IF a lot more recently.

    Since 8/8/12, Liddi’s played 3B 4 times, 1B 5 times and LF twice, on 8/10 and 8/11.

  14. bookbook on August 20th, 2012 1:54 pm

    So long as Liddi’s not hitting, it doesn’t much matter where he stands on defense.

  15. Rainiers_fan on August 20th, 2012 2:19 pm

    Thanks Jay for a great writeup!

    Westy, Liddi was at first Saturday night and Vinnie and Triunfel had errors throwing to him. He didn’t look at all comfortable there but the throws weren’t good either. He also misplayed some between innings balls. He was back at third on Sunday and hit the winning HR while Jimenez played first.

    By the way, Hulten allowed no hits through 5 on Sunday which was nice to see. The ump had a peculiar strike zone in the first inning so Hultzen walked the bases loaded and a SF scored a run, but after that he was great. He is now at 116 innings, about 2 innings shy of his career high at Virginia. They pulled him after about 80 pitches before the sixth inning started even though he looked fine.

  16. marc w on August 20th, 2012 2:31 pm

    His hitting’s gotten a bit better as well. Curto reports that, after his HR yesterday, he’s hitting 26-77 with 10Ks over his last 20 games. He’s still waaay down from where most people (incl. me) thought he’d be, but hey, signs of life.

    Still, the overall point stands – he needs to hit, and hit a lot, because whatever position he plays isn’t going to help his value all that much. That’s still why I think he profiles best at 3B, because he’s at least not getting slammed by his positional adjustment.

  17. Westside guy on August 20th, 2012 2:46 pm

    Thanks to all of you. It’s very nice having feedback from the eyes in the stands, as well as all the minor-league tracking work being done!

    I really should make a point of attending some Rainiers games. As a teenager we used to go to Cheney a few times every summer – I recall it being a lot of fun! I don’t really have a good explanation of why I stopped…

  18. Rainiers_fan on August 20th, 2012 2:54 pm

    Yep Marc, Liddi won’t be any kind of defensive wizard so he has to hit well to be useful and third looks to be his spot. Vinnie has to make it with his bat as well.

    FYI, Guti played Saturday and Sunday at Tacoma and hit well. He got his bat splintered on Saturday but looked pretty good at the plate.

  19. Jay Yencich on August 20th, 2012 3:39 pm

    A few bookkeeping notes: like Shipers, Brandon Maurer has been migrated to the temporarily inactive list in an effort to get a cap on his innings. Hat tip to Chris Harris’ twitter account there. I’m not really surprised given his injury history. OF Kalian Sams has gone active again as a result.

    We also have news of Poythress hitting his fourth dinger of the year during the doubleheader in progress. Hooray.

  20. just a fan on August 20th, 2012 3:47 pm

    Do you expect Victor Sanchez to be in a full-season league next year?

  21. Jay Yencich on August 20th, 2012 4:02 pm

    Unless he’s injured (knocking on wood over here) there’s no reason to not put Sanchez in a full-season league. Everett is the highest short-season league we have and returning him there would be pointless.

  22. SonOfZavaras on August 20th, 2012 11:20 pm

    Stellar work as you always do, Jay. Thank you.

    I am one of those wondering about Victor Sanchez, to be honest. I worry about a 6′ frame that has 255 pounds on it already at his age. It reminds me a lot of a younger Bartolo Colon, when he seemed to gain twice the size in one minor league year.

    But even in the minors, Colon’s stamina was legendary. Does Sanchez have the same? Or is this going to be an issue, you think, as he gets older?

  23. msfanmike on August 21st, 2012 10:56 am

    “We also have news of Poythress hitting his fourth dinger of the year during the doubleheader in progress. Hooray.”

    Followed by his 5th homer, yesterday. Hopefully a sign of things to come. The team needs him to be good enough to make a charge and be worthy of a promotion (next year) out of what has seemingly been a perpetual AA assignment.

    His BB/K ratio is outstanding! The guy gets on base. If that means he might only be a 15-20 homer guy – during a full, healthy season, so be it … but he is going to need to hit more than a handful of HR’s to advance.

    Does the team need to make a 40 man roster decision on Poythress this offseason? It will be a lot easier to trade Smoak if Poythress has a legitimate chance of making it someday soon. He was the draft selection between Franklin and Seager. They did/do have expectations for him.

  24. Jay Yencich on August 21st, 2012 12:46 pm

    But even in the minors, Colonā€™s stamina was legendary. Does Sanchez have the same? Or is this going to be an issue, you think, as he gets older?

    Sanchez, the youngest guy in the league, is leading it in innings pitched by five and a third. He’s averaging nearly six every time out. His stamina for pitching doesn’t worry me. His conditioning? If he works on that as much as he seems to work on fielding grounders and covering first, we’re in trouble.

    Does the team need to make a 40 man roster decision on Poythress this offseason?

    Yeah, we’re looking at ’08 high school draftees and ’09 college draftees. There aren’t a whole lot of sure-fire guys vying for a spot this year, which means that we should learn something about the org’s priorities. The only guy I’d say is a near-lock is Brandon Maurer. Julio Morban might be eligible too.

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