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Minor League Wrap-Up: 4/6/06

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It's April, thank God. Seven months without minor league baseball can begin to get at you. Luckily, it's back and you all know what that means; another season of wrap-ups and Rainier interviews.

This season we were hoping to get in a few more interviews than we did last year, however, you won't begin to see any until I get back into Tacoma in mid-May. Last season, Jeff and I wrote most of the questions and chose just who we were going to ask them to. This year, we'd like to be a bit more democratic with things and would love to hear suggestions on who we should sit down with and just what we should ask. If you have some ideas, don't hesitate to shoot me over an email. And no, I won't be talking with Greg Dobbs, so don't even think about it, you jokesters.

And with that, on with the young season's first wrap-up.

Tacoma shutdown Colorado Springs, 3-1. There was a time when just about all of us had lost any and all faith in one-time phenom Clint Nageotte. He was wild, he didn't miss bats when he was actually working within the strikezone and he perspired so profusely that he was hard to watch without feeling extremely queasy. I'm not sure if he's done anything about the fluid loss, but he's on the right track in making us believe again that he's something more than just another talented arm that flamed out. Nageotte went five exceptional innings (pitch limit) without giving up a hit while walking two and striking out four. It's just one game, but that's a gigantic stride for someone like Nageotte who's had some pretty rough times since 2004. On the offensive side, Shin-soo Choo took no time proving he can still hit in Cheney as he knocked one out hitting from the #1 spot for the first time in Tacoma. T.J. Bohn added in a pair of baseknocks in what was otherwise a pretty quiet night for the Rainier bats.

Notables:

Clint Nageotte: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.
Scott Atchison: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.
Shin-soo Choo: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 RBI.
T.J. Bohn: 2-4, 1 2B.
Mike Morse: 1-4, 1 RBI.
Adam Jones: 0-3, 2 K.
Asdrubal Cabrera: 0-2, 1 BB.
Rob Johnson: 1-2.

San Antonio edged Corpus Christi, 4-3. Another pitcher we began to distrust, another solid performance. This time it was the Wonder from Down Under, Travis Blackley. Blackley went six strong innings giving up just one earned run on three hits and a homer. He struck out three and walked a couple. Coming off labrum surgery, I couldn't ask for much more from the Aussie. On the offensive side, Jeff Clement had a nice night at the dish as he doubled and drove in a run. Clement, Sebastien Boucher, Bryan LaHair and Jon Nelson all went multi-hit for the Missions.

Notables:

Travis Blackley: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR.
Sebastien Boucher: 2-5.
Jeff Clement: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 RBI.
Bryan LaHair: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI.
Jon Nelson: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI.
Little Garciaparra: 0-4, 3 K. (Back at it!)
Wladimir Balentien: 1-4, 1 BB.

Inland Empire dropped their opener to High Desert, 6-2. Last season I railed on and on about Julio Santiago and his frustrating consistency. Tonight was one of those bad nights. Santiago lasted only 3.1 innings and was lit up for four runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out three. Mark Lowe, another guy who irritated the hell out of me last year, followed and while he wasn't spectacular, he did not get smacked around as badly as Santiago. The bats were pretty lame for the 66'ers as they managed just one XBH on the night, a double off the bat of last year's 10th round pick, Ron Prettyman.

Notables:

Julio Santiago: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.
Mark Lowe: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.
Brent Johnson: 1-3, 1 BB.
Ron Prettyman: 2-4, 1 2B.
Matt Tuiasosopo: 1-4, 1 RBI.
Erick Monzon: 1-3, 2 BB.
Thomas Hubbard: 1-4.

Wisconsin handled Peoria, 4-2. Jason Snyder got knocked around pretty well (eight hits in five innings) but somehow escaped giving up just two runs and one was unearned. Striking out seven probably had quite a bit to do with that. Ruben Flores, while about as effective as Snyder, also managed to get away with quite a bit without much damage as he gave up three hits, a walk and a wild pitch without any runs scoring. At the plate, the T-Rats were pretty flat and mustered just three hits on the night total. Casey Craig did most the damage with a three-run shot in the 2nd inning.

Notables:

Jason Snyder: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K.
Ruben Flores: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.
J.B. Tucker: 0-2, 2 BB.
Michael Saunders: 0-2, 2 BB.
Luis Valbuena: 1-4.
Alex Gary: 1-1, 1 BB, 1 RBI.
Casey Craig: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 RBI.

On the docket:

Tacoma: Bobby Livingston vs. Colorado Springs. Game time is 6:05pm PDT.
San Antonio: Yorman Bazardo at Corpus Christi. Game time is 5:05pm PDT.
Inland Empire: Robert Rohrbaugh vs. High Desert. Game time is 7:11pm PDT.
Wisconsin: Justin Thomas vs. Peoria. Game time is 4:35pm PDT.