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5/31 Minor League Wrap-Up

Okay, I was going to go into a preface about how this recap was going to be brief... and then it turns out the recap was pretty normal in length after all.  HERE WE GO....

Rk:  VSL Mariners 3, VSL Phillies 1

Leonardo Rodriguez:  6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, walk, 3 K, wild pitch, hit batter
Rhonny Acosta:  2 IP, 2 H, walk, K, wild pitch
Jose Jimenez:  1 IP, 1 H, K, wild pitch
Humberto Espinoza:  1-4, RBI, K
Alejandro Garcia:  2-3

Fun fact:  It was a nice, brisk 100 degrees at this game.  Keep this in mind as we track the Venezuelan rookies this season.

Also, reports that half of the VSL Phillies roster are former VSL Mariners aren't confirmed.

A:  Rancho Cucamonga 8, High Desert 7

Cibney Bello:  5 IP, 8 H, (3 R) 2 ER (HR), 4 walks, 6 K, 2 wild pitches
David Asher:  1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, K
Juan Zapata:  1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 walks, wild pitch
Paul Fagan:  0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, walk
Aaron Cotter:  1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, wild pitch
Casey Craig:  4-5, double, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB (.330)
Michael Saunders:  0-2, sac fly RBI, walk, K, SB #16 (.275)
Jesus Guzman:  1-4, double, RBI (.286)
Johan Limonta:  2-4, double, walk (.320)
Travis Scott:  1-5, solo HR, K (.333)

For Cibney Bello, this wasn't that bad of a start (despite himself), though the Mavs took no chances, piling on 4 runs in the 4th to break a 2-2 tie.  When Cibney finally took his exit, the Mavs held a 6-3 lead, but David Asher would give up another run in the bottom 6th to make it 6-4.  Then Juan Zapata walked 2 batters, uncorked a wild pitch and surrendered a run himself to make it 6-5.  Clearly, Cibney is rubbing off onto the bullpen.  Casey Craig did drive in a run in the 8th to make it 7-5 but got thrown out trying for 2nd to end the inning.

Paul Fagan started the 8th and the leadoff walk he surrendered eventually turned into another run on a groundout, making it 7-6, before he ceded to Aaron Cotter.  With a runner on 2nd, Cotter uncorked a wild pitch, and the runner took 3rd, then eventually scored on a sac fly to tie the ballgame.

Cotter came back out for the 9th and surrendered a leadoff triple to Tadd Brewer.  Two batters later, Bradley Coon singled him in for the walkoff win.  Bad effort from the bullpen, after a passably bad effort from Cibney Bello.

NEXT:  Jose Escalona goes against Rancho Cucamonga at 7:05 pm PDT.

A:  Burlington 5, Wisconsin 4

Robert Harmon:  3.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 walks, K
Justin Souza:  4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 K
Brian Kappel:  1 IP, 2 K
Kuo Hui Lo:  1-4, double, R, walk, K (.273)
Leury Bonilla:  3-5, double, triple, 3 R, RBI (.246)
Carlos Peguero:  2-3, double, 2 RBI, K, 2 HBP (.267)
Alex Liddi:  3-4, double, RBI (.224)

Depleted by back to back doubleheaders, the T-Rats pitching staff went ahead and sent out a reliever relay to pitch this ballgame.  Robert Harmon went as long as he could, giving up 3 runs in the 2nd inning but suffering no damage otherwise before handing Justin Souza the ball with 2 outs in the top 4th and a 3-2 deficit.  Souza got out of the 4th, but got touched up for 2 runs in the 5th, making it 5-2, yet made it through the 8th without incident.  The T-Rats scored one in the 6th when Leury Bonilla, who fell off the planet for a couple weeks, led off with a triple, and eventually scored when Alex Liddi, who had a pretty good day, knocked him in to cut the deficit to 5-3.  Gerardo Avila drew a walk to load the bases with one out, but new pitcher Chris Hayes put down Jair Fernandez and Ogui Diaz to escape the inning.

The T-Rats did not get anything going, and looked like they were going down easily in the 9th, when Leury Bonilla smoked a grounder into center with two outs to get on.  Bonilla took 2nd on indifference, then Carlos Peguero lined a single to center to score Bonilla and make it 5-4.  But Kalian Sams flew to right to end the ballgame.

NEXT:  Kyle Parker, once of the better T-Rats starters this season, goes today at 5:05 pm PDT in Appleton.

AA:  Tennessee 5, West Tenn 1

Joe Woerman:  7 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 walks, 3 K, wild pitch, 3 hit batters
The Aircraft Carrier:  2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 walks, K
Prentice Redman:  2-4 (.298)
Matt Tuiasosopo:  0-4, K (.284)
Luis Oliveros:  1-3, RBI, K (.354)

Interesting moment in the 1st, as the Smokies had the bases loaded and two out in the top 1st, no score.  Casey McGehee doubled to center, scoring Sam Fuld, but Charlton Jimerson gunned down Josh Kroeger at home on a very close play.  Kroeger did not agree and advised the umpire of this... and got tossed.  Smokies manager Pat Listach (HEY, speaking of where are they now) came out to call the umpire a carpetbagger and he got tossed too.  Not sure if he was tossed for arguing or for being a disappointing big leaguer.

The DIAMOND JAXX only managed four hits, and while Joe Woerman did what he could to keep them in the game, the Smokies blew it open with two outs in the 8th and the bases loaded for Casey McGehee AGAIN.  And Casey doubled AGAIN, and the bases cleared, with the last runner, Jake Fox, scoring on a close play similar in scope to the Kroeger play.  DIAMOND JAXX manager Eddie Rodriguez came out to argue the call and quite possibly asked the umpire to commit an anatomically impossible act, because he got tossed as well.

NEXT:  Doug FISTER will once again try and turn it around today in Jackson at 5:05 pm PDT.

AAA:  Omaha 4, Tacoma 1

Juan Done... BUHHHH?:  6.1 IP, 10 H, (4 R) 2 ER, walk
Jason Mackintosh:  1.2 IP, 1 H, K
Byron Embry:  1 IP, 1 H
Adam Jones:  0-4, K (.296)
Jeremy Reed:  1-4, K (.279)
WLAD:  2-4, double, solo HR, K (.327)
Bryan LaHair:  2-4, double, K (.262)

Okay, so Feierabend's stopgap rotation replacement apparently is Juan Done, a capable AA arm that likely will get a couple turns in the rotation before Feierabend comes back.  Given that Jason Mackintosh and Ronnie Prettyman were brought in to stay despite dubious qualifications, it's quite likely Juan Done stays up for good and works out of the bullpen.  He definitely has work to do after pitching to contact and watching his AA stuff get hit by the AAA Royals... but there is hope given he threw strikes over 87 pitches and only allowed 4 runs, 2 earned, while pitching into the 7th.

I NEED TO READ MARINER MINORS MORE BEFORE POSTING EDIT: Apparently, Jim Parque would've gotten the start today, had he not been RELEASED. Given how miserable he had performed this season, one would figure that this was only a matter of time, so here you go.

Meanwhile,. the Rainiers bats had no answers against Matt Wright, who also pitched into the 7th, but is clearly more AAA polished, allowing only five hits and a solo HR to WLAD, struck out 6 with only one walk.  He's no strikeout machine, but 6 walks in 47+ IP shows that he pounds it in there and makes you beat him.  Neil Musser, who spent a couple weeks getting pounded with the KC Royals, is a shutdown AAA reliever and finished the ballgame for Omaha.  He has not allowed an earned run in 24.2 IP this season.

NEXT:  Jake Woods goes in the rubber match with Omaha at 7:05 pm PDT tonight.