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5/13 Minor League Wrap-Up

ARGH WORK.  I assure you this is a full recap, but it'll be light on the pertinent details.  Due to events going on tomorrow, training at work during the day and the blogosphere meetup at Safeco later that night, the next recap will also be a bit light, but we'll hopefully be back to normal Wednesday.

A:  Stockton 7, High Desert 3

Ruben Flores:  5 IP, 9 H, 6 ER (HR), 4 walks, 4 K, wild pitch
Jason Snyder:  1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 walks
Paul Fagan:  2.1 IP, 2 H, K
Josh Womack:  2-4, double, RBI (.223)
Michael Saunders:  2-4, RBI, SB #11 (.282)
Jesus Guzman:  0-4 (.303)
Johan Limonta:  0-4 (.320)
Chris Colton:  1-3, 2 R, walk (.276)
Travis Scott:  2-4
Edilio Colina:  1-3, RBI, R, walk

The Ports got to Ruben Flores early, and often, scoring a run in the 2nd, another in the 3rd, and blowing it open with 4 in the 4th.  The Ports had all seven of their runs on the board before the Mavs finally scored 2 in the 8th and a token rally run in the 9th, as the Mavs just couldn't get going against a tough Ryan Webb, who only struck out 3 in his 7 innings and sported an unimpressive 8/12 GB:FB...  but only allowed 6 baserunners and 2 runs.  Webb, repeating High A after an unimpressive 23 starts in Stockton last year (5.28 ERA in 117.2 IP thanks in large part to a .370 BABIP) where he threw more strikes, and watched them get hit.  He certainly threw strikes yesterday, and watched them not get hit.  You have to wonder if the kid just lost a year to bad variance.

Ruben Flores won't get as much analysis, because he's basically not that good right now, and only got promoted to A+ out of seniority advancement.  His high K rates are done in by a horrible walk rate (6.4 per 9 last year, and 7 already in 8.2 IP this year).  He misses bats because he misses the plate too.

Josh Womack's hot bat got moved into the leadoff spot and he continued to respond with a couple hits, and Michael Saunders also added hits, but the 3-4-5 hitters went a combined 0 for 12.  Meanwhile, Edilio Colina knocked in a run yesterday, after knocking in a run in his debut on Saturday.  I think we're gonna like this guy, but yes, I know, sample size, sample size.

NEXT:  If I had to guess, I think we'll see the surprise unretirement of RYAN ANDERSON!!!  Okay, seriously, if Paul Fagan hadn't come out of the pen yesterday, I would've picked him.  I'm gonna go with Jose Escalona, who came in as a reliever against Lancaster on May 10th, four days after his start in Modesto, and got rocked in 1.2 IP... so he'll want to come back strong.  6:30 pm PDT.

The T-Rats PLAYED TWO in Appleton!
Game 1:  Peoria 8, Wisconsin 5, 7 inning doubleheader special

Tony Butler:  3 IP, 1 H, (1 R) 0 ER, 3 walks, 3 K
Steve Uhlmansiek:  4 IP, 8 H, 7 ER (HR), walk, 3 K
Greg Halman:  0-3, 2 K (.211)
Carlos Triunfel:  0-3, K (.273)
Leury Bonilla:  0-2, R, walk, K (.277)
Carlos Peguero:  2-3, 2 R, K (.282)
Kalian Sams:  1-2, R, K (.260)
Alex Liddi:  1-2, double, R, RBI, walk (.221)
Kuo Hui Lo:  2-3, 2 RBI (.208)
Juan Beltran:  0-2, sac fly RBI (.177)

Speaking of guys who miss bats and the plate, Tony Butler came back from a brief injury hiatus and gave the first 3 innings of this game his best shot.  Despite 3 walks, he also struck out three while only allowing one hit and an unearned run.

However, Steve Uhlmansiek, who impressed Jim Horner with his long relief in the rain delay game a few days back, got the call again to finish this shortened front-ender with the game tied at 1 in the top 4th, and took a big step backward in his comeback, getting hammered for 4 runs in the 5th and 3 more in the 7th, putting the game well out of reach before the T-Rats rallied for 4 runs in the 7th and final inning to make the score respectable.  Jacob Renshaw had gone the first 6 innings, mowing down the young T-Rats and was left in to try and finish this game without using the bullpen, but the Ventura College grad, an effective 5-6 innings type, just didn't have enough gas in the tank, and Renshaw got yanked once the T-Rats got within reach with one out in the 6th.  For what it's worth, because of this poor management of the Peoria starter, the T-Rats scored 5 runs off a guy that had previously allowed 3 in all of 2007.  Jayson Ruhlman, a pretty solid lefthander coming up in the Cubs system, came in and got the last two outs to put away the T-Rats in Game One.

Game 2:  Wisconsin 5, Peoria 3, 8 innings

Steven Richard:  4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER (HR), walk, 7 K, 2 wild pitches
Joe Kantakevich:  2.2 IP, 5 K
Andrew Barb:  1 IP, 2 K
Alex Meneses:  1-2, R, 2 walks
Carlos Triunfel:  2-4, triple, R, RBI (.282)
Alex Liddi:  1-4, K (.222)
Carlos Peguero:  0-3, RBI groundout, walk, K (.270)
Leury Bonilla:  0-3, K (.268)
Hargrove's kid:  2-4, solo HR (!), 2 run HR (!!) (.245)
Kuo Hui Lo:  1-2, walk, K (.215)

Not a bad effort by rotation fireman Steven Richard, striking out 7 in under 5 innings, though to Peoria's credit, they had to be swinging at everything given they struck out a total of 14 times.  Joe Kantakevich got 5 of the 8 batters he faced on K's.  Andrew Barb was Andrew Barb in the 8th, and with word that this would be the final inning (how rec-league softball-like), the T-Rats responded off Jeremy Papelbon, Jonathan's little brother (Little Pap?).  And Jeremy... well, let's just say he's not having a good year so far in the MWL, sporting a 5.75 ERA despite good peripherals, thanks to a slightly high BABIP and inherited runners coming in.

In the bottom 8th, Little Pap got Peguero and Leury Bonilla (who has gone ice cold) on strikes, but Danny Santin hit a flyball to left that got down for left, and Andy Hargrove, the Little Rain Delay, who had already hit a solo shot earlier in the nightcap, took Little Pap walkoff yard in a classic clash of nepotism to seal the 5-3 victory.  Hargrove had a good feeling after the home run... but that could have been gas.

NEXT:  Chris Tillman!!  Can he rebound?  Can he cover the lane?  Can he post up and hit that hook over Ben Wallace in the paint?  ... Can't he just pitch instead?  A new series begins in Kane County at 4:05 pm PDT today.

AA:  Montgomery 11, West Tenn 8

Andrew Baldwin:  5 IP, 12 H, 4 ER, 2 walks, 2 K
Juan Done:  2.2 IP, 3 H, (3 R) 2 ER, 2 walks, 2 K
Michael Wagner:  1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, walk, K
Mumba Rivera:  0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER (HR), K
Jeff Frazier:  2-3, R, 2 walks (.230)
Prentice Redman:  0-4, 2 K (.300)
Marshall Hubbard:  1-5, 2 run HR (.244)
Matt Tuiasosopo:  4-5, 3 doubles (!), 3 R (.341)
Charlton Jimerson:  1-4, R, RBI
Rene Rivera:  2-4 (!), R, RBI, walk (.206)
Luis Valbuena:  2-5, 2 run HR, 3 RBI (.189)
Chris Minaker:  1-3, RBI, walk (.254)

Wild game with both SPs getting beat up on.  Biscuits starter Derek Feldcamp, already an awful starting pitcher, got lit up for 3 runs in the 1st and 3 more in the 3rd, getting pulled one out into the 3rd after Luis Valbuena took him deep for a 2 run shot that made it 6-3 DIAMOND JAXX.  Reliever and MiLB lifer to be Jeremy Flanagan came in and despite walking Chris Minaker and loading the bases after plunking Prentice Redman, got out of the jam without allowing any more runs.

The Biscuits did sneak in a run in the top 4th when Reid Brignac hit a two out double and Greg Norton... yes, THAT Greg Norton, lined a single to right to score him and make it 6-4.  Evan Longoria grounded out to end that threat, but Andrew Baldwin was allowing a lot of hits and he was fortunate that the damage wasn't far worse.

Both teams went quietly until the top 6th, as John Asanovich led off the 6th with a grounder into right against the tiring Baldwin, and Jason Pridie lined a single to 2nd.  That was it for Andrew Baldwin, and he ceded to Juan Done, who apparently is done with starting, as here he is in relief after a reasonably successful stint in the rotation.  As always, the rotation situation changes quickly and it's never certain to anyone other than those who run the team what the current rotation is.

Brooks Bedeaux bunted the runners ahead for one out... except he beat the throw to 1st, so the abses were loaded with NO outs.  Reid Brignac flew to left for one out.  Greg Norton, YTGN, swung and missed strike three for two outs, and Evan Longoria flew to right to end the threat.  It'd be easy to give Juan Done credit for ending the threat there, except if either of those two flies were just a shade to the left or right, you're looking at extra bases and several RBI instead of outs... and if they were a bit deeper, they probably sac home a run, which lends credit to the 10 mph wind coming in from left (and even more credit to Marshall Hubbard and Valbuena for hitting home runs despite that).

Richard De Los Santos relieved Flanagan as the Biscuits went with the old bullpen relay.  De Los Santos can throw strikes consistently and keep the ball down, not impressive but giving the defense easier opportunities to make outs.  He put down Frazier, Redman and Hubbard without incident.

Juan Done went out for the top 7th and hung pitches.  John Jaso led off with a double to center.  Chris Nowak smoked a double to right to score Jaso, cutting the lead to 6-5.  Done walked Patrick Breen, and John Asanovich bunted them ahead for one out.  Jason Pridie grounded to Hubbard at 1B, who didn't have a real shot at the DP so he stepped on the bag for two outs as the runners advanced and Nowak scored to tie the ballgame.  Brooks Badeaux put a charge in one, but right at Charlton Jimerson in CF for the 3rd out.

Tui led off the bottom 7th with a double to center, and Tui's having another massive day at the plate.  Jimerson flew to center for one out.  Rene Rivera took off the welding mask long enough to smoke a grounder right off the hands of Reid Brignac at short for a base hit, Asanovich at 2B catching the deflection, hurling to Evan Longoria at 3rd to try and get Tui, but Tui had already turned for home, so Longoria caught the long throw, gunned for home and got Tui for two outs.  AGGRESSIVE BASERUNNING!  To its credit, Rivera did take 2nd in the melee.

De Los Santos made his exit, ceding to Brian Henderson, a southpaw who like De Los Santos doesn't strike out batters but pounds the zone low for strikes and gives his defense a chance to make outs.  Valbuena grounded to 2nd to end the inning.

Reig Brignac grounded to 1st to lead off the 8th, and Hubbard misplayed the ball to put Brignac on.  Remember that.  Greg Norton YTGN (seriously, dude, Double A ball?) drew a walk, and Evan Longoria smoked a grounder into right to score Brignac, who reached via Hubbard's error, making it 7-6 Biscuits as Norton took 3rd.  John Jaso flew to center for one out, and Juan Done got Chris Nowak on strikes before leaving the ballgame, relieved by the anonymous Michael Wagner, who got Patrick Breen on strikes to end the frame.

After walking Sebastien Boucher with one out in the bottom 8th, Brian Henderson ceded to Biscuits closer Dale Thayer, who saved 27 games for Mobile last year and has stepped up in the early going, cutting his walks down (only 4 in 17 IP so far) while K'ing even more batters per 9 (11.6 per 9, up from 7.9 last year).  Thayer came in to get the dreaded 5 out save.  Frazier lined a single to center to put runners at 1st and 3rd... but Thayer got Prentice Redman to swing and miss strike three for two outs, then got Marshall Hubbard to ground to 1st for the 3rd out.

With one out in the 9th, Jason Pridie tripled to right, then Brooks Badeaux lined a single to right to score Pridie and make it 8-6 Biscuits.  Reid Brignac popped up for two outs, but with Greg Norton up, Brooks Badeaux stole his 1st base of the season.  Wagner wetn ahead and walked Norton, and took a seat, as the overworked Mumba Rivera came in to stop this madness.  Evan Longoria came up, and blasted a laser over the right field fence, a 3 run bomb that made it 11-6 Biscuits.  John Jaso struck out to end the inning, but Mumba Rivera needs a vacation.

With three outs left, Tui doubled to left to lead off the bottom 9th.  Charlton Jimerson got plunked.  Rene Rivera... guess what Rene Rivera did:

a) hit a 3 run blast over the left field wall
b) popped up
c) struck out
d) lined into an unassisted triple play

Okay, okay, he just popped up.  But that's Rene Rivera for you.

Luis Valbuena, a good old choker 80-85% of the time, smoked a grounder into center to score Tui and move Jimerson to 2nd, making it 11-7 with one out.  Jimerson actually took off for 3rd with Chris Minaker batting, and MADE IT safely, putting runners at the corners.  It paid off, as Minaker flew to right for two outs, but Jimerson tagged up and scored to make it 11-8.  Sebastien Boucher, who hasn't done anything in weeks, watched Valbuena take off for 2nd, and the catcher watched with him, letting Valbuena have 2nd on defensive indifference.  And Boucher... grounded to short to end the ballgame.  He clearly didn't get the memo.

NEXT:  Robert Rohrbaugh.  Are we seeing his last start for the DIAMOND JAXX?  (Okay, you could say that for just about any org pitcher at this point)  5:05 pm PDT.

Tacoma 19, Albuquerque 9

Jorge Campillo:  4.2 IP, 9 H, 9 ER (2 HR), 5 walks, 5 K, hit batter
Jason Mackintosh:  4.1 IP, 4 H, 4 K
Adam Jones:  3-6, 2 run HR, 3 run HR, 3 R, walk (.306)
Jeremy Reed:  2-5, R, RBI, K (.279)
WLAD:  1-4, solo HR, 2 R, walk (.317)
Bryan LaHair:  3-6, 2 R, 2 RBI, K (.231)
Mike Morse:  3-6, 2 doubles, 2 R, 4 RBI (.326)
Jeff Clement (DH):  1-4, R, walk (.223)
Rob Johnson:  3-6, 2 doubles, 2 R, 2 RBI (.254)
Ron Prettyman:  2-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, walk
Oswaldo Navarro (playing 2B):  3-6, 2 doubles, 3 R, 2 RBI (.217)

Ain't I just a big piece of misinformation?  I was under the mistaken impression that Jason Mackintosh had started yesterday, but it was actually Jorge Campillo.

The bad news is that it might as well have been Mackintosh starting yesterday, as Campillo once again got hit around, and now you have to start having doubts about his abilities... which means ceasing any idea for now of bringing him to Seattle to pitch.  If he's not getting AAA hitters out, there's a prob- oh wait, we're in.  Nevermind.

However, Mackintosh did throw 4.1 splendid innings in relief, while the Rainiers blasted off on Ricardo Rodriguez for 6 runs in the 1st, and 3 more off Nic Ungs in the 1st.  They got 2 more off Ungs in the 3rd, and beat him into submission in the 4th with 5 more runs, leading 16-0 by this point.  However, Campillo, shutting out the Isotopes to this point, got beat up for 5 runs in the 4th, and did not make it out of the 5th.  If this wasn't Albuquerque, which is like 8000 feet above sea level with desert dry air, I'd be a lot more concerned about Campillo... though we probably should table the thought of calling him up until he can string together some solid performances, as he has struggled in general lately.

Speaking of struggling in general lately, the only guy in the lineup that didn't significantly produce was Jeff Clement, who watched as Rob Johnson picked up 3 hits, including a couple of doubles.  This brings up, in my mind at least, the touchy subject of the Jason Davis trade, which brought in the embattled Indians reliever for a PTBNL, with everyone wondering who the PTBNL will be as the Indians have until May 20th to decide who it will be.

While I am reminded of the Ron Villone trade netting a AA reliever and an inconsequential A baller, I have to wonder, given Davis' tools, and given the catcher platoon situation in Tacoma, with Johjima in the way of both of them... if Johnson won't be disappeared to a) give him a chance at an actual big league career, with the Indians wanting to move Victor Martinez to 1B in the near future, and b) open up the Rainiers catching slot to Jeff Clement full time, getting him out of this bounce-around C-DH platoon he's got with Johnson and giving him an extended chance to play the position full-time.

That said, that could well not be the case, and we'll probably see Robert Rohrbaugh or Marshall Hubbard disappeared to Cleveland in the next week.

But ANYWAY, the Rainiers take advantage of the climate and elevation, and beat the crap out of the Isotopes.

NEXT:  Justin Lehr should've made that left turn in Albuquerque.  5:35 pm PDT.