Minor League Wrap (8/27-9/3/12)

Jay Yencich · September 4, 2012 at 6:30 am · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

This is the final wrap of the year and also the last wrap I intend to do. As others before me, I have discovered that sports blogging as a hobby and grad school aren’t really reconcilable. I could conceivably stagger it out to another couple of years, but from my own standpoint, I’d rather bail before the extent of my half-assery becomes apparent and instead devote my five months of writing energy to, I don’t know, writing. I regard this largely as typing. Lots of typing. Anyway, I’ll still be around the Mariners internet scene and presumably will throw out an article every now and then, but my contributions will be without set timetable or specific definition.

Let’s have a links run, shall we? You didn’t hear about the Arizona Fall League rosters here because I posted that at Lookout Landing and don’t have anything additional to add. John Sickels decided to add to his Mariners focus by determining that IF Dan Paolini was worth writing about. The Baseball America notebook that focuses on the Mariners spotlighted something new to me, in that it talked about RHRP Matt Brazis who retired twenty-nine in a row at some point during this season. Usually they only talk about things I’ve long since been familiar with, so this is fun! Also at BA, Victor Sanchez made the last Prospect Hot Sheet of the year , with Hultzen as not-so hot, and RF Gabriel Guerrero as a helium watch, and there’s news that we’ve signed left-handed hitting Dominican third baseman Leurys Vargas for $400k. They talk about his bat speed and power as being selling points. This may or may not be the last you hear of him.

There are also league honors being announced. For example, the Southern League Postseason All-Star Team gives us a lot to think about, like Jesus Sucre being the catcher pick and Brandon Maurer being the right-handed starter selection, which can only mean that they don’t accept partial seasons oh wait Carter Capps is the reliever. Welp. The equivalent California League Post-Season All-Star Roster not only has Hicks at catcher, Landry in the outfield, Proscia as utility (whaaaat), and Elias as one of the pitchers, but has Grifol as Manager of the Year and Roy Howell as coach of the year. And they offer a Rookie of the Year Award? How many good players repeat the Cal League? The Northwest League roster featured a number of Aquasox, like Kivlehan at third AND as the league’s MVP, Zunino at catcher, and Ard as both first baseman and designated hitter which means he’s twice the prospect he once was, or two identical halves of the same prospect, or nothing has changed but it’s a nice honor. Boise has a player who is hitting .356/.435/.490, but as it turns out, no one likes him. On the Appalachian League roster, the picks were obviously C Tyler Marlette and OF Dario Pizzano. I also heard that CF Jesus Ugueto was the MVP of the VSL, but it’s only four teams now and he’s been around for four years, so any excitement you have is probably unwarranted.

And playoffs? Jackson starts a series against Chattanooga on Thursday, High Desert gets a bye until the wild cards resolve, which is Saturday I think, Clinton gets to start their series against Beloit on Wednesday, and Everett lost on Monday against Vancouver after they got one-hit. It continues, in Everett, tonight and hopefully tomorrow.

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (4-4 this week, 63-81 overall, 16 GB in PCL Pacific Northern)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 27th 2012
Tacoma 7, Las Vegas 5 (TOR + 14)
W: Moran (3-3, 3.97) L: O’Sullivan (14-7, 4.18) S: Farquhar (4)

Tuesday, August 28th 2012
Tacoma 5, Las Vegas 6 (TOR + 15)
W: Everts (3-2, 2.95) L: Noesi (1-6, 6.12) S: Beck (16)

Wednesday, August 29th 2012
Tacoma 1, Las Vegas 6 (TOR + 16)
W: Murphy (7-5, 4.42) L: Hultzen (1-4, 6.09)

Thursday, August 30th 2012
Tacoma 8, Las Vegas 4 (TOR + 15)
W: Ramirez (6-3, 3.72) L: Robertson (0-3, 8.26)

Friday, August 31st 2012
Tacoma 19, Fresno 3 (SF + 3)
W: Mitchell (3-2, 2.96) L: Petit (7-7, 3.46)

Saturday, September 1st 2012
Tacoma 3, Fresno 4 (SF + 4)
W: Stevenson (6-7, 6.21) L: Ruffin (0-5, 5.99)

Sunday, September 2nd 2012
Tacoma 10, Fresno 2 (SF + 3)
W: Noesi (2-6, 5.74) L: Bonser (0-3, 4.50) S: Moran (2)

Monday, September 3rd 2012
Tacoma 4, Fresno 6 (SF + 4)
W: Lively (8-4, 2.99) L: Sweeney (6-4, 4.63) S: Hembree (15)

Hitter of the Week:
3B/LF Alex Liddi, R/R, 8/14/1988
8 G, 35 AB, 7 R, 13 H, 4 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, CS, 8/1 K/BB, .371/.378/.743

I am a fan of Liddi, and have felt rather bad about how there was no real reason for me to talk about him for a long time there. In half of June, he hit .276/.373/.466, which is competent, but then in July he fell down and went boom, resulting in a .198/.271/.311 line. August has seen some rebound to a .328/.347/.563 line, but the walks should jump out as a poor spot since his rate went from 13.4% in June, to 9.3% in July, and then 3.1% in August. But then again, something else might be up: note the Ks, going from 26.9% in June, to 30.5% in the awful July, and now down to 15.6% in August/September. Liddi struck out fewer times over thirty games in August than he did in fifteen games in June. Thus, the continued weird and morphing career trajectory of one Alex Liddi has him suddenly turning into a hitter who walks less, but makes better and more frequent contact. Good to know.

Otherwise Cold the Last Month Mention:
CF Darren Ford, R/R, 10/1/1985
8 G, 37 AB, 8 R, 14 H, 4 2B, 3 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 11/5 K/BB, .378/.452/.486

We Miss You Mention:
OF Casper Wells, R/R, 11/23/1984
6 G, 22 AB, 7 R, 6 H, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, SB, 4/5 K/BB, 2 HBP, .273/.448/.500

Some Hitting, Yes Mention:
1B/DH Mike Carp, L/R, 6/30/1986
7 G, 29 AB, 4 R, 11 H, 2B, HR, 5 RBI, CS, 6/1 K/BB, .379/.400/.519

Hitting But Not Walking At the Right Time Mention:
SS Carlos Triunfel, R/R, 2/27/1990
7 G, 32 AB, 6 R, 11 H, 4 2B, 6 RBI, 7/0 K/BB, .344/.344/.469

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP D.J. Mitchell, 5/13/1987
1-0, GS, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 7/4 K/BB, 3/5 G/F, 2 WP

Yeah, why not? Well, the walks kind of gross me out for one thing, and he’s yet to have a start free of them, not that we should expect that from pitchers with great regularity. Mitchell spent all of 2011 in triple-A and had a K% of 16.4% and a walk% of 9.2%. Revisiting the International League to start the year, he was at 19.7% Ks and 7.9% walks with Scranton and seems to have fallen back a bit to 14.6% Ks and 8.4% in Tacoma, with fewer groundballs, which makes him less interesting. FIP isn’t so hot on the shift, and tRA likes it considerably less. So that two run drop in ERA is probably a lie! Strange to think that there was a time that people paid considerably less attention to components. Anyway, blah blah blah get him back to doing what he was doing in the Yankees system.

Welcome Back Mention:
RHP Erasmo Ramirez, 5/2/1990
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (0 ER), 3/2 K/BB, 8/3 G/F

Trying for 40-man Consideration Mention:
RHP Danny Farquhar, 2/17/1987
0-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.1 IP, 2 H, 5/1 K/BB, 6/1 G/F

From The Training Room:
OF Casper Wells got optioned when CF Franklin Gutierrez came back… RHP Andrew Carraway was inactive and then he wasn’t… RF Carlos Peguero and RHP Erasmo Ramirez were both called up. I hear other things are in the works but this is finished at a time when I don’t have confirmation.

Strange Happenings:
Someone in the Pacific Coast League offices was paid to draft a schedule in which Tacoma played Las Vegas for nine consecutive days… On Friday, the Rainiers scored nine runs in the ninth and seventeen in the last four innings… Franklin batted .290/.343/.451 in the last week, just missing, because he had a sac fly in there and they are nasty, terrible things to have… Hultzen’s last two starts: August 29th, 2.1 IP, 6 R, 6 H, 3/5 K/BB, Sept. 3rd, 4.1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 3/5 K/BB. I think he’s tired, you guys. Carraway might be too since he had a 7/8 K/BB in the last ten and a third he pitched, and seven runs allowed… Good start, bad start? Noesi? He got a win, that was seven frames of two-run ball with nine hits allowed and a 4/1 K/BB. Then there was the loss that was in his hands for five and a third innings with six runs scoring on twelve hits with a 5/1 K/BB. Noesi had a K% of 14.7% in Seattle and it’s 18.6% in Tacoma. His walk% was 8.4% in Seattle and is now 7.5% in Tacoma. He strikes me as a pitcher destined to be frustrating… Speaking of frustration, Ruffin’s two halves. First half: 7.77 ERA in 46.1 IP, 53 H (5 HR), 46 R (40 ER), 36/27 K/BB. Second half: 2.59 ERA in 24.1 IP, 22 H (3 HR), 9 R (7 ER), 18/8 K/BB… Fresno has Dan Runzler, who was drafted in the 17th round by us in ’06, didn’t sign, re-entered, and went to Giants the next year in the 9th round. He’s seen time in the majors, but hasn’t been good. These are the things I notice.

Jackson Generals (3-4 this week, 37-33 in the second half, 79-61 overall, 4 GB in SL North)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 27th 2012
Jackson 1, Chattanooga 6 (LA + 10)
W: Lee (3-3, 4.68) L: Fernandez (4-3, 3.25)

Tuesday, August 28th 2012
Jackson 1, Chattanooga 4 (LA + 11)
W: Santiago (1-1, 3.38) L: Walker (7-9, 4.31) S: Ames (17)

Wednesday, August 29th 2012
Off day

Thursday, August 30th 2012
Jacksonville 3 (MIA + 4), Jackson 7
W: Paxton (9-4, 3.05) L: Alvarez (6-9, 4.26) S: Bawcom (19)

Friday, August 31st 2012
Jacksonville 6 (MIA + 3), Jackson 8 (twelve innings)
W: Robles (2-2, 4.17) L: Ramos (3-3, 1.44)

Saturday, September 1st 2012
Jacksonville 2 (MIA + 2), Jackson 3 (seven innings)
W: Hernandez (5-2, 6.66) L: Taylor (9-11, 3.97)

Sunday, September 2nd 2012
Jacksonville 10 (MIA + 3), Jackson 9
W: Evans (7-8, 4.66) L: Walker (7-10, 4.69) S: Caminero (2)

Monday, September 3rd 2012
Jacksonville 3 (MIA + 4), Jackson 1
W: Flynn (3-0, 3.80) L: Garrison (5-5, 4.74) S: Rosario (1)

Hitter of the Week:
2B Stefen Romero, R/R, 10/17/1988
6 G, 24 AB, 3 R, 11 H, 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, SB, 6/1 K/BB, .458/.462/.750

Inventory time again? Romero lost some average (- .010) and gained some OBP (+ .001), and some slugging (.039) in the transition to double-A, in a sample that’s forty-two ABs shy of being equal. One can’t really make the argument for home park being a factor because the RHB home run factor is only 102, compared to High Desert, which is something like a billion, and doubles are similarly inflated, 115, but again, not more than they would be in High Desert. We’ve gone down this path before with Catricala, and to repeat the same mistakes again despite contrary evidence is symptomatic of insanity, but hey, there could be other factors. Intangible, difficult to quantify factors. Everyone loves those, right? I hope this works out this time.

Also, Few Issues with the Promotion Mention:
SS Brad Miller, L/R, 10/18/1989
7 G, 26 AB, 7 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, HR, RBI, 4/1 K/BB, .308/.333/.654

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP James Paxton, 11/6/1988
1-0, GS, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 6/2 K/BB, 2 WP, 6/4 G/F

The results perhaps are below what we come to expect from these mentionables, but the results across the board were not especially good this week and I take the word of broadcasters on twitter pretty seriously. Quote: “Just my opinion but I thought James Paxton was at the top of his game tonight. Velocity was 94-97 on an accurate gun.Pitched care free.” I make note of Paxton’s post-injury numbers, but the reality is that his July and August have been somewhat different, going from a 7.5% walk percentage to one of 9.7%. There was also an increase of Ks too, from 13.2% to 16.7%, so some positives there. It isn’t the best environment to be sending a pitcher, but I am glad that we’re going to see some additional work from him in the Arizona Fall League. If he’s good, we can make a deal of it. If he’s not good, we can blow it off as circumstantial. Win/win.

This Was an Outing Mention:
LHP James Gillheeney, 11/8/1987
0-0, GS, 4.76 ERA in 5.2 IP, 4 H (2 HR), 3 R, 10/3 K/BB, 3/3 G/F

Extra Pitching Notes:
Fernandez got a couple of starts in, went eight total innings, scored six runs, allowed ten hits (two dingers), struck out six, walked six. Tired? Walker was a similar story. Nine and a third total innings, twelve runs (eleven earned), ten hits (three dingers), two walks, thirteen Ks. The mysterious thing? The latest outing saw 3.1 innings and the bulk of the run scoring, but through the first three innings he had struck out seven and the only man to reach was plunked. Mysteries abound.

From the Training Room:
RHP George Mieses, who had made a few one-inning appearances in Peoria in late July and then late August, was assigned to the Generals after previously logging 38.0 innings in the Cal League. I just report what’s happening.

Strange Happenings:
The Jackson players were pulling for 80 wins. No dice… Francisco Martinez hit .253/.329/.335 in the first-half, following an offseason in which a lot of people ranked in the top ten overall prospects of the system [I did not feel the urge]. He needed a bounce-back second half. He hit .183/.291./229 and was injured part of the time and ultimately tested out in center. Oh… Miller ended August with his strikeout total exceeding his walk total by one. Phooey… Sucre became the first qualifying catcher to go a whole Southern League season without an error. Exclamation marks!!!… Medina’s second half: 4-1, 25 G, 1.36 ERA in 33.0 IP, 26 H, 5 R, 43/17 K/BB.

High Desert Mavericks (3-5 this week, 46-24 in the second half, 83-57 overall, 1st in CAL South)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 27th 2012
High Desert 1, Inland Empire 2 (ANA + 1)
W: Smith (4-2, 4.88) L: Hidalgo (0-1, 4.35) S: Cendejas (5)

Tuesday, August 28th 2012
High Desert 2, Rancho Cucamonga 4 (LA – 4)
W: Gould (5-9, 5.44) L: Shankin (7-3, 6.75) S: Eadington (21)

Wednesday, August 29th 2012
High Desert 14, Rancho Cucamonga 0 (LA – 5)
W: Stanton (6-4, 4.93) L: Sanchez (6-11, 6.52)

Thursday, August 30th 2012
High Desert 7, Rancho Cucamonga 1 (LA – 6)
W: Miller (1-2, 2.73) L: Martinez (4-5, 7.24)

Friday, August 31st 2012
Lancaster 11 (HOU + 3), High Desert 1
W: Tropeano (6-3, 3.31) L: Elias (11-6, 3.76)

Saturday, September 1st 2012
Lancaster 23 (HOU + 4), High Desert 12
W: Cain (2-2, 5.55) L: Hobson (9-4, 5.63)

Sunday, September 2nd 2012
Lancaster 2 (HOU + 3), High Desert 3
W: Burgoon (8-2, 3.25) L: Trinidad (8-4, 3.79)

Monday, September 3rd 2012
Lancaster 11 (HOU + 4), High Desert 5
W: Walters (3-3, 7.62) L: Stanton (6-5, 5.17)

Hitter of the Week:
C John Hicks, R/R, 8/31/1989
7 G, 31 AB, 8 R, 13 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, CS, 4/1 K/BB, .419/.438/.677

Hicks was the regarded as the league’s best catcher with reason, even if I wasn’t mentioning him all the time here. His home/road splits aren’t terrible, .916 OPS vs. .725 OPS, with one clear concern of only four of his fifteen home runs coming on the road. Otherwise, he did well for himself. The second half had almost identical counting stats for him in less time, save for the fact that he halved his home runs while increasing his average a bit, and he went from striking out in 15.7% of his at-bats to striking out in 13%. His power projections might be inflated by what he did to un-savvy viewers, but he’s still a decent catching prospect who is and will be overshadowed by the presence of Zunino. To speak of the catching a little, well, comparing him to Adam Moore’s Cal League stint, the passed balls are comparable (oops), but Moore only caught 32% and Hicks caught 54%, so there’s that.

Mostly Power Mention:
1B/LF Mickey Wiswall, L/R, 11/25/1988
8 G, 36 AB, 8 R, 9 H, 3 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 7/1 K/BB, HBP, .250/.289/.694

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Trevor Miller, 6/13/1991
1-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP,4 H, R, 9/1 K/BB, 6/1 G/F

For a while, I was looking at each individual pitcher, hoping only to find a scaled back version of catastrophe, but Miller, bless his little heart, he pulled through for me. It would be easy to call this outing the best since he got to the league, best ratio, best average against, most Ks, fewest runs allowed, not most innings pitched, but within reason there. Looking at the transition from the Midwest to California, we’ve seen his Ks actually go up from 16.7% to 24.8%, which is good and probably in part driven by necessity, but the walks have also come up from 3.4%, very low indeed, to 6%. I’m not complaining exactly, his command seems quite good, but walks can be a potential hazard in the league and despite being more flyball-oriented since moving up, he’s somehow managed to go nearly thirty innings without giving up a dinger. I fear that streak won’t survive the playoffs.

One Okay, One Good Mention:
RHP Brett Shankin, 10/30/1989
0-1, 2 GS, 2.70 ERA in 13.1 IP, 11 H (HR), 4 R, 12/3 K/BB, 17/5 G/F, 3 HB

One Good, One Bad Mention:
RHP Taylor Stanton, 1/15/1988
1-1, 2 GS, 3.95 ERA in 13.2 IP, 15 H (3 HR), 6 R, 11/1 K/BB, 17/8 G/F, 3 HB

From the Training Room:
Oh, plenty of things happened. RHP Angel Raga came off the DL, which put the guy who replaced him, RHP Ambioris Hidalgo, on the DL… Later, both CF Leon Landry and LF Julio Morban went on the DL, and the team said, “you know, we probably have enough outfielders between Jones, McGee, Melendres, and Wiswall, I guess” (Raben is still listed as an OF, pfft), and so their solution was to call in teenaged shortstops from Peoria in SS Gabrial Franca and SS Timmy Lopes. Have fun, kids…. Also Mieses left. And Franca went inactive when SS Gabriel Noriega came off the DL, so we’re exchanging Gabrial with an a for Gabriel with an e.

Strange Happenings:
Monday’s game finished in under two hours. Unusual, for the Cal League, maybe not unusual for Inland Empire… Saturday’s game was won by a greater margin than Friday’s game though it may or may not feel like it… Mar Mar was 8-for-24 with a dinger in the final week, all those hits accounting for three games of five. Qualifications, and such.

Clinton Lumberkings (9-0 this week, 48-22 in the second half, 71-67 overall, 1st in MWL Western)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 27th 2012
Quad Cities 6 (STL – 4), Clinton 7 (seven innings)
W: Guaipe (5-0, 3.15) L: Hernandez (7-7, 4.43) S: Shackleford (10)

Quad Cities 1 (STL – 5), Clinton 10 (seven innings)
W: Dobbs (4-2, 5.35) L: Watson (3-4, 6.81)

Tuesday, August 28th 2012
Quad Cities 5 (STL – 6), Clinton 6 (thirteen innings)
W: Corrales (4-4, 4.25) L: Stock (5-2, 4.63)

Wednesday, August 29th 2012
Burlington 3 (OAK + 5), Clinton 6
W: Shellhorn (2-1, 3.50) L: Mye (4-1, 3.92) S: Shackleford (11)

Thursday, August 30th 2012
Burlington 1 (OAK + 4), Clinton 3
W: Hunter (4-5, 3.05) L: Peters (2-6, 3.16) S: Corrales (1)

Friday, August 31st 2012
Burlington 3 (OAK + 3), Clinton 5
W: Dobbs (5-2, 5.13) L: Lamb (3-3, 5.03) S: Brazis (5)

Saturday, September 1st 2012
Clinton 5, Cedar Rapids 4 (ANA – 25)
W: Colvin (5-3, 3.15) L: De Jiulio (4-7, 6.65)

Sunday, September 2nd 2012
Clinton 7, Cedar Rapids 5 (ANA – 26)
W: Shackleford (6-2, 1.47) L: Tromblee (4-4, 4.01) S: Corrales (2)

Monday, September 3rd 2012
Clinton 10, Cedar Rapids 3 (ANA – 27)
W: Shellhorn (3-1, 3.60) L: Johnson (5-7, 5.28)

Hitter of the Week:
1B/2B Dan Paolini, R/R, 10/11/1989
8 G, 32 AB, 9 R, 16 H, 3 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 3/4 K/BB, .500/.556/.969

There’s some talk in baseball of “getting hot at the right time,” particularly right now, which seems to be the right time for some, particularly in minor league ball. I’ve always been secretly jealous of those second-half teams because they seem to be able to blow away poor performances as though they were bad dreams, whereas teams that fade have to live with the damning reality of their actions. The Lumberkings have scored six and a half runs a game over the past week. Paolini is a big part of why, and he has fifteen dingers since the break. Why, that was the whole reason we brought him in, wasn’t it? It helped improve his second half OPS by nearly three-hundred points, and said improvement places him in the fine company of Catricala and Romero, who preceded him in getting hot in the second half of their Clinton tenures. I want to be as rationally stoked as I can about what he might be able to do in High Desert next year, presumably only for half a season, but then I consider that he ended with only one more home run than Cat had in Clinton and two more than Romero. Eleven of his eighteen home runs came in August. This is a filler sentence designed to give your brain a little more breathing room to process that. What’s happening here is great, if you’re sold on one month being representative going forward. If not, the fact that he might be limited to first going forward becomes harder to digest.

A Brush with Relevance Mention:
1B Jharmidy de Jesus, R/R, 8/30/1989
8 G, 26 AB, 4 R, 12 H, 3 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4/2 K/BB, .462/.500/.808

Causing and Receiving Pain Mention:
3B Ramon Morla, R/R, 11/20/1989
8 G, 29 AB, 8 R, 11 H, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 6/1 K/BB, 4 HBP, .379/.457/.829

Power Numbers? Mention:
2B/LF Dillon Hazlett, R/R, 1/22/1989
7 G, 24 AB, 7 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4/0 K/BB, HBP, .333/.360/.750

Super Utility Mention:
UT Patrick Brady, R/R, 2/5/1988
7 G, 22 AB, 4 R, 6 H, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 3/4 K/BB, .273/.385/.500

We Need Even More Names Mention:
RF Jabari Blash, R/R, 7/4/1989
7 G, 25 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 8/5 K/BB, HBP, .280/.419/.480

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Jordan Pries, 1/27/1990
0-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, H, R, 6/2 K/BB, 9/1 G/F, HB

It’s taken a while. Pries was dealing in Peoria during his rehab stint, 18/3 K/BB, five hits in 12.0 innings, three grounders for every fly out. The only start he had that aligned with that since joining Clinton was on the 9th of August when there were two hits and six Ks in five innings. Then there was this outing, which saw the extreme groundball tendencies come back along with the Ks. However, Burlington, though they were good in the second half, had their share of offensive issues and their overall season numbers are not really good. It looks like some of the good contributors have been second half additions though. You know what would be awesome? More of this in greater sample sizes. I think we can agree, that would be dandy.

Relief Contributions Mention:
LHP Jeremy Dobbs, 10/12/1989
2-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 8.0 IP, 5 H, 6/1 K/BB, 10/5 G/F

Spokane Southpaw Mention:
LHP Rusty Shellhorn, 2/25/1990
2-0, 2 GS, 3.46 ERA in 13.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R (5 ER), 12/5 K/BB, 9/11 G/F, WP

From the Training Room:
The Lumberkings poached SS Bryan Brito from the Pulaski Mariners, who weren’t really doing anything with him anyway… Later in the week, RHP Mario de Jesus went inactive and RHP Stephen Landazuri came off the DL, where he’s been most of the year.

Strange Happenings:
The Lumberkings won ten in a row going into the playoffs and 17 of 18. PLAYOFFS! They also have 100+ dingers as a team which is presumably something. Well above-average for the league. And their second half was so good that they now have a winning record for the season despite an awful first-half… Hazlett has seven dingers on the year and two in the past week, which means he had two in September, which is as many as he had in April, May, July, and August combined and one shy of what he had in all of June… Jamal Austin had one hit in each of his last nine games. Heeeey.

Everett Aquasox (2-3 this week, 18-20 in the second half, 46-30 overall, 5.5 GB in NWL West)

Monday, August 27th 2012
Off day

Tuesday, August 28th 2012
Everett 3, Boise 7 (CHC + 10)
W: Smith (1-0, 0.00) L: DeCecco (2-4, 5.50) S: Diplan (1)

Wednesday, August 29th 2012
Everett 5, Boise 9 (CHC + 11)
W: Heesch (3-1, 2.66) L: Bordonaro (3-3, 5.46)

Thursday, August 30th 2012
Everett 4, Boise 3 (CHC + 10)
W: Wood (4-0, 2.17) L: Amlung (0-1, 6.00) S: Holman (1)

Friday, August 31st 2012
Everett 6, Boise 4 (CHC + 9)
W: Ewing (4-2, 4.53) L: Simpson (2-4, 6.18)

Saturday, September 1st 2012
Everett 11, Boise 12 (CHC + 10)
W: Diplan (3-3, 4.37) L: Bordonaro (3-4, 5.76)

Sunday, September 2nd 2012
Day off, playoffs

Hitter of the Week:
3B Patrick Kivlehan, R/R, 12/22/1989
5 G, 22 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBI, SB, 8/1 K/BB, .318/.348/.618

This week was last week with more Ks and fewer walks. And here’s a consideration: last week, five of six hits for Kivlehan went for extras. This week, five of seven for extras. Kivlehan had 43.8% of his hits go for more than one base in August, after having 35.1% in July and only 28.6% in June. Suffice to say, he’s ending the season on something of a tear, which probably contributed to him being named the league’s MVP. To review a little more, he was four in the league in doubles (Ard was first with twenty-one), third in hits, tied for second in RBI, and tied for first in home runs. His OPS also ranked second in the league. Not all that bad for a guy who wasn’t playing baseball for a while, but because he led the league in Ks, by five over Alfredo Morales, I think that we still have some reason to look at him with some caution going into next season. But hey, he had that one playoff hit thus far.

Probably An Equally Deserving Candidate Mention:
1B Taylor Ard, R/R, 1/31/1990
5 G, 20 AB, 3 R, 7 H, HR, 2 RBI, SB, 5/4 K/BB, .350/.458/.500

Hits and Walks Mention:
2B/SS Brock Hebert, R/R, 5/11/1991
4 G, 14 AB, 3 R, 6 H, 2 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 3/4 K/BB, .429/.526/.429

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Steve Ewing, 8/8/1991
1-0, GS, 2.45 ERA in 7.1 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 4/0 K/BB, 9/6 G/F

This week in pitching, only two guys threw more than three innings in a single outing. The other one had three and two-thirds and gave up five runs in that stint, so naturally, Ewing. I haven’t had much to contribute regarding his outings because it hasn’t seemed as though there’s much to say. Seven starters have faced more than a hundred batters for the Aquasox and four of them have tRAs under five (only one has a tRA under four, and it’s not who you think). Ewing isn’t among those five. In July, he had a 14/15 K/BB in 21.0 innings and in August he’s been at 22/15 K/BB in 32.1 innings, which is improved command, even if the strikeout rate dropped by 0.6%. As I said before, the rotation is going to be leaning heavily on Sanchez and Unsworth to get anything done in the playoffs.

Probably the Team’s Best Reliever Mention:
RHP Dominic Leone, 10/26/1991
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 2.2 IP, 2 H, 3/1 K/BB, 4/0 G/F

From the Training Room:
REINFORCEMENTS. So, since Pulaski’s not going to the playoffs, like I said, the Aquasox got to pick up RHP David Holman, LHP Blake Holovach, CF Jabari Henry, and C Tyler Marlette. Suddenly, I like their chances a lot more. CF James Zamarripa and RHP Jose Valdivia got re-assigned to Peoria as a result.

Strange Happenings:
For the sake of talking about someone I didn’t mention that much, Jamodrick McGruder. Led the league in stolen bases, by nine. He had thirty. Also had two more walks than Ks and ranked fourth in the league with thirty-nine, five behind second-place Marcus Littlewood. His hitting for average was terrible and his power was what was expected, but the walks and speed make him still somewhat intriguing… The Aquasox have five pitchers with more than twenty-walks on the season, only two of which have been starters more than 60% of the time. The Aquasox lead the league in pitcher walks by one and just barely missed hitting 300. Concerns… DeCecco’s Monday outing: pop out, fly out, walk, walk, two-RBI double, ejection. The next time he pitched, there were two ejections, though not while he was on the mound, but while the ‘Sox were batting. Basically, there were five runs scored in an inning and that was bolstered by three Boise errors. Their third baseman didn’t make one of those, but was nonetheless ejected for arguing about one of them, along with the manager… That one sub-4.00 tRA starter? Marcos Reyna.

Pulaski Mariners: (3-4 this week, 27-38 overall, 12.5 GB in APL East)

Monday, August 27th 2012
Pulaski 5, Kingsport 4 (NYM – 19)
W: Holman (3-3, 3.27) L: Arias (2-2, 2.76)

Tuesday, August 28th 2012
Pulaski 5, Kingsport 2 (NYM – 20)
W: Gonzalez (5-4, 2.32) L: Chivilli (1-3, 6.48) S: Huijer (2)

Wednesday, August 29th 2012

Dispatches from the Land of Rehabbers and Teens:
RHP Matt Anderson: 2-0, 6 G, 0.00 ERA in 8.2 IP, 2 H, 12/1 K/BB
1B Kristian Brito: 29 G, 109 AB, 13 R, 21 H, 2B, 2 3B, HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 37/4 K/BB, .193/.226/.266
CF Daniel Carroll: 3 G, 7 AB, R, H, 3B, 2/1 K/BB, .143/.250/.429
3B Joe DeCarlo: 53 G, 182 AB, 29 R, 43 H, 12 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 31 RBI, 2 CS, 47/31 K/BB, .236/.368/.401
RHP Dylan De Meyer: 3-2, 12 G (9 GS), 4.12 ERA in 54.2 IP, 71 H (3 HR), 31 R (25 ER), 39/14 K/BB, 5 HB
RHP Edwin Diaz: 2-1, 9 G (GS), 5.21 ERA in 19.0 IP, 12 H (2 HR), 13 R (11 ER), 20/17 K/BB, 5 HB
SS Gabrial Franca: 48 G, 185 AB, 37 R, 47 H, 13 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 19 SB, 3 CS, 37/27 K/BB, .254/.356/.378
C Luke Guarnaccia: 29 G, 109 AB, 16 R, 28 H, 3 2B, 5 3B, HR, 14 RBI, 3 SB, 25/3 K/BB, .257/.277/.404
OF Gabriel Guerrero: 18 G, 75 AB, 17 R, 25 H, 5 2B, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 13/3 K/BB, .333/.350/.560
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: 27 G, 77 AB, 5 R, 6 H, 4 RBI, SB, CS, 44/8 K/BB, .078/.193/.078
SS/2B Timmy Lopes: 53 G, 215 AB, 42 R, 68 H, 11 2B, 12 3B, 32 RBI, 7 SB, 3 CS, 29/24 K/BB, .316/.381/.479
LHP Tyler Pike: 2-1, 11 GS, 1.78 ERA in 50.2 IP, 34 H, 13 R (10 ER), 57/21 K/BB, 5 HB
RHP Gabe Saquilon: 3-2, 12 G (5 GS), 4.06 ERA in 44.1 IP, 45 H (HR), 23 R (20 ER), 34/17 K/BB
RHP Luke Taylor: 1-1, 9 G (GS), 2.70 ERA in 23.1 IP, 16 H (HR), 13 R (7 ER), 20/6 K/BB
RHP Daniel Thieben: 3-1, 15 G (GS), 4.02 ERA in 31.1 IP, 36 H, 20 R (14 ER), 18/21 K/BB
RHP Richard White: 2-1, 16 G, 5.40 ERA in 23.1 IP, 19 H (HR), 22 R (14 ER), 22/15 K/BB
OF Isaiah Yates: 48 G, 171 AB, 37 R, 41 H, 10 2B, 6 3B, 2 HR, 23 RBI, 6 SB, 2 CS, 49/30 K/BB, .240/.364/.404


19 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (8/27-9/3/12)”

  1. Nate on September 4th, 2012 7:34 am

    Thanks Jay, you’re awesome!
    Good luck in all your endeavors!

  2. Greeff on September 4th, 2012 7:50 am

    Thanks Jay! we’re gonna mis the reports from the minor leagues!

  3. ivan on September 4th, 2012 9:59 am

    Thanks for everything, Jay. You’re the best. I hope that once grad school is done with you can resume doing this. Few if any have been better at it. Best wishes.

  4. tdillon on September 4th, 2012 10:16 am

    I’ll miss these, Jay. Been the best source of M’s Minor League news for me.

  5. HighBrie on September 4th, 2012 10:49 am

    Thanks Jay! I’ve always loved these, and I will dearly miss being able to ask you repetitive questions about the progress of James Jones and Ji-Man Choi. Good luck with the your other writings and professional endeavors. And concerning this your last Minor League Wrap: will you be awarding your own minor league POY awards (either in total or by level) at some point? If not, would you care to hold forth on who impressed you most this year (and least)?

  6. Rainiers_fan on September 4th, 2012 10:53 am

    Thanks for consistently awesome reports Jay. I have never seen better. I totally understand you needing to stop, it must take ages to compile all this stuff.

  7. maqman on September 4th, 2012 11:19 am

    I too shall miss you incisive input, a lot. You’re a good communicator Jay and impressively knowledgeable. Thanks much for sharing. Go well.

  8. Westside guy on September 4th, 2012 11:24 am

    I’m really going to miss these things. Thank you for all the effort you’ve put into them, and all the enjoyable reading you’ve produced.

  9. MissouriMariner on September 4th, 2012 12:30 pm

    Appreciate your work here and I will miss it. This has been my main source of minor league news. Good luck in your studies and your future and thanks again.

  10. Jordan on September 4th, 2012 12:50 pm

    Thanks Jay, I look forward to your work in the future. Enjoy (!?) grad school.

  11. hailcom on September 4th, 2012 12:56 pm

    I rarely comment here, but I have read your weekly reports every week and learned an incredible amount from them. It has made it more fun to be a Mariners fan. You have a great future as a writer and I’ll look forward to your periodic articles. I will miss these wraps though. A lot!

  12. dnc on September 4th, 2012 1:32 pm

    I have long stood in amazement at your dedication to this toil. I am a better, more informed fan thanks to you, and I know I’m not alone. Thank you for your time and effort. This segment will be missed, but I certainly can’t blame you for moving on.

    Good luck in all your future endeavors.

  13. msfanmike on September 4th, 2012 2:09 pm

    Thanks for all your efforts, Jay. Your weekly postings will be missed

  14. Breadbaker on September 4th, 2012 2:32 pm

    Jay, I have nothing to add to what the others have said, other to say that I agree with all the plaudits entirely and wish you well. Some weeks I’d look at them in detail, some weeks I’d just scroll down to the funny stuff, but every week it more more than repaid the time I spent on it. Godspeed.

  15. SonOfZavaras on September 4th, 2012 2:46 pm

    Jay…thanks for everything over the years. Your reasons for leaving are entirely understandable, but you will be missed. This was absolutely my favorite part of USSMariner during the season, I am wondering if anyone has been tabbed to do something similar in your stead.

  16. dchappelle on September 4th, 2012 6:19 pm

    Jay, thank you again for all your efforts. I know we never said it enough but we really appreciate the time you spent on our behalf.

    Hopefully we still see you around often.

  17. just a fan on September 4th, 2012 9:39 pm

    Thank you, Jay. These posts were my reason for getting up in the morning. God speed, sir.

  18. msfanmike on September 5th, 2012 8:54 am

    “I am wondering if anyone has been tabbed to do something similar in your stead.”

    I am wondering how many guys it would take to cover all the minor league teams – post JY. It would be a more manageable workload of impassioned fanhood blogging pursuit if there were a couple guys doing it.

    Jay, you left a big footprint. Did you ever consider “just” covering two teams?

  19. Jay Yencich on September 5th, 2012 5:08 pm

    Thanks for understanding, everyone, and for your words of encouragement.

    I hope that once grad school is done with you can resume doing this

    It’s hard for me to imagine having more time after grad school, but I suppose there’s always the lottery?

    I am wondering if anyone has been tabbed to do something similar in your stead.

    I have never made an attempt to seek out a replacement for either the dailies or the weeklies. As a somewhat sane and rational person, it would be difficult for me to pass it on to someone else in good conscience, knowing how much time I had to spend doing it.

    Jay, you left a big footprint. Did you ever consider “just” covering two teams?

    Not really. At the outset, I think there was only a desire for Tacoma and then-San Antonio, being the two highest levels, but then I was hunting down Venezuelan Summer League box scores and trying to learn the rudiments of Baseball Spanish in order to make sense of them. I seem to take the “all or nothing” attitude a lot?

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