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6/9 Minor League Wrap-Up

Those of you asking about Tony Butler's struggles are in luck! Well... sorta: the Appleton Post Crescent just wrote a feature on this very subject. Take from it what you will.

Basically, he's still working on being focused, he needs to play more catch on off days to keep his arm fresh, and he's young (he's only 19). No indications that he's hurt: he's just having some serious growing pains. It goes to show how spoiled we were with Triunfel and how good he was doing as a 17 year old.

Speaking of which, I've mentioned it in comments here and there but I'll state in here: Phenom has a sprained thumb sustained during an at-bat, either having tweaked it or he was hit on the thumb with a pitch, and he'll remain out the next couple of weeks.

On to the recap! You're not gonna like most of it, not for any brevity or lack of effort on my part, but because a lot of prospects blew yesterday.

Rk: VSL Devil Rays/Reds 10, VSL Mariners 8

Well, OF COURSE the VSLM's lost! How can you realistically expect to beat two teams at once? VSL RIMSHOT

Danny Ayala: 2.1 IP, 5 H, (7 R) 6 ER, 3 walks, 3 K, balk
Kelvin Montbrum: 3.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 walks, 2 K, wild pitch, 2 hit batters
Mayckol Guaipe: 3 IP, 2 H, K
Terry Serrano: 0-2, R, RBI, 3 walks, K (.242)
Jorge Agudelo: 1-3, R, RBI, walk, K (.212)
Jose Rivero: 0-4, RBI, walk (.256)
Rigoberto Rangel: 1-4, triple, R, walk, K (.215)
Jose Hernandez: 1-5, double, R, RBI (.244)
Eduardo Garcia: 1-4, triple, R, RBI, walk (.209)
Alejandro Garcia: 2-4, double, R, RBI

Poor pitching from the VSLM's turned this into a 10-2 blowout, until the VSLM's turned into MARINERS IN THE MAKING '07 EDITION and battled back in the later innings, with 5 runs in the 8th to cut it to 10-7, but could only manage a run before going down for good in the bottom 9th.

A: They played two in Appleton!

Game 1: Kane County 7, Wisconsin 0, 7 innings

Nathan Adcock: 4.1 IP, 7 H, (6 R) 5 ER (2 HR), 4 walks, 4 K, wild pitch
Justin Souza: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, walk, K, hit batter
Michael Wagner: 0.2 IP
Alex Liddi: 1-3, double (.222)
rest of T-Rats lineup: 3-21, 6 K

The T-Rats just don't like the front end of doubleheaders, do they?

Kane County's James Heuser went all 7 innings and allowed 4 hits for the 'shutout.' He's a lefthander averaging about a K per inning and having a pretty solid year in the MWL.

Game 2: Kane County 6, Wisconsin 2, 7 innings

Robert Harmon: 3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 walks, 3 K
Joe Kantakevich: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, K
Brian Kappel: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 K
Andrew Barb: 1 IP, K
Juan Diaz: 1-1, double, 2 RBI, walk
rest of T-Rats lineup: 1-22, 2 R, 2 walks, 7 K

They loved phoning in the first game so much that they mailed in this one too.

Okay, maybe not, but the T-Rats showed little to nothing in both ends of this doubleheader. The nightcap saw them get two-hit and their only runs came off a 2 run double by Juan Diaz in the 5th that made the score look marginally more competitive than the game actually was.

Other than the 2 run double in the 5th, Henry Alberto Rodriguez dominated the T-Rats, allowing only one other hit and 2 walks. He has a walk problem (5.7 per 9 so far, an improvement from an astonishing 10 walks per 9 in the Arizona Fall League last year), but also misses bats when his pitches hit the zone and probably has some hope of a future as a striekout reliever if he can't find himself some control. He's also only allowed 2 HRs in the last 15 months over 69.1 IP. If Jason Neighborgall could actually throw pitches over the plate, he'd be Henry Alberto Rodriguez.

A: Stockton 10, High Desert 7

Ruben Flores: 3 IP, 9 H, 7 ER (HR), walk, 5 K, wild pitch, hit batter
Juan Zapata: 2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER (2 HR), 3 walks, 2 K
Steve Uhlmansiek: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 walks, K
David Asher: 1 IP, walk, K
Casey Craig: 2-5, double, 2 K, SB #10 (.328)
Michael Saunders: 2-4, solo HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, walk, K (.302)
Jesus Guzman: 0-4, walk, 4 K: The Golden Sombrero (.280)
Johan Limonta: 1-3, sac fly RBI, K (.307)
Reed Eastley: 2-4, R, RBI (.256)
Jeff Flaig: 2-4, 2 run HR, 2 R (.217)

A 15 mph wind out to left basically turned Stockton into a launchpad last night and the hitters did not relent, as they hit 5 HRs off both staffs last night. The Ruben Flores bandwagon has cleared after a terrible 3 inning, 7 run outing that has now sent his ERA past 7 (7.02 to be exact), and the 2nd inning was the key. Javier Herrera singled on a wind aided flyball, then after Raul Padron got plunked with one out, Steve Kleen hit a flyball that got down in left to score Herrera, 1-0. Frank Martinez took advantage of the wind and singled to left on a flyball to load the bases... for Cliff Pennington... who struck out, two outs. But Justin Sellers smoked a grounder to short that Jeff Dominguez couldn't play, and another run scored while the bases stayed loaded.

And then Jose Pineda doubled in two runs on a liner that certainly had some help from the wind, 4-0 Stockton.

The Mavs came back with smallball and help from errors. Jeff Flaig led off with a single, then took 2nd on a Bobby Cramer wild pitch. Jeff Dominguez smoked a ground to 2nd that Justin Seller couldn't play, and everyone was safe. Michael Saunders smoked a grounder up the middle to score Flaig and put the Mavs on the board, 4-1. Jesus Guzman drew a walk and loaded the bases... for Adam Moore. But Moore grounded to short and Cliff Pennington MISPLAYED the ball, allowing Dominguez to score, 4-2, as the bases stayed loaded... for Johan Limonta.

And Limonta put a charge in one, but got too far underneath it, as it found Javier Herrera in center for two outs, though Michael Saunders scored to make it 4-3. No more there.

Flores came back out for the 3rd and promptly got blasted by Tommy Everidge for TE's 10th HR of the season, 5-3. Raul Padron lined a single to right, and then Steve Kleen lined a triple to center to score Padron, 6-3. Cliff Pennington flew to left for the second out, but Kleen tagged up and scored to make it 7-3.

Juan Zapata came in to pitch the 4th. Jose Pineda crapped all over a strike and took it over the right center field wall to make it 8-3. Anthony Recker destroyed a Zapata pitch and sent it over the wall in straightaway center to make it 9-3. Zapata walked two batters, and Steve Kleen smoked a double down the LF line to plate one of them and make it 10-3.

The rest of the way, the rest of the bullpen held the fort, and the Mavs tiptoed back with a run here, two runs there, to get within 10-7, but could not mount a rally after a leadoff Casey Craig single in the top 9th.

AA: West Tenn 10, Huntsville 2

Robert Rohrbaugh: 6 IP, 2 H, (1 R) 0 ER, 2 walks, 6 K
Kam Mickolio: 2 IP, 1 H, walk
Craig James: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER
Sebastien Boucher: 1-4, double, 2 R, walk, 2 K (.207)
Charlton Jimerson: 2-5, double, 2 RBI, K (.256)
Prentice Redman: 2-3, RBI, 2 walks (.288)
Marshall Hubbard: 1-3, solo HR, 2 R, 2 walks, K (.238)
Matt Tuiasosopo: 0-4, R, walk, 2 K (.292)
Brent Johnson: 1-2, double, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 walks, SB (.292)
Luis Valbuena: 1-4, triple, R, RBI, walk (.222)
Luis Oliveros: 3-5, R, 2 RBI, 2 K (.328)

Rohrbaugh absolutely dominated, scoring all but 3 of his 18 outs either via groundout or strikeout, and allowing only 4 baserunners and an unearned run. Meanwhile, the DIAMOND JAXX rallied for 5 runs in the 2nd, which was more than enough for Rohrbaugh and company but did not stop the bats from adding a run in the 3rd, 3 more in the 6th and another in the 7th, just because.

Also, the win means the minor league org avoided getting swept on Saturday.

AAA: Colorado Springs 11, Tacoma 8

Ryan Feierabend: 6 IP, 11 H, (8 R) 5 ER, walk, 4 K, 2 wild pitches, 2 hit batters
Juan Doñe: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 walks, K
Wife Vulture: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER (HR), K
Jeremy Reed: 3-5, triple, 2 R, RBI (.296)
Adam Jones: 1-5, 2 run HR, 3 RBI (.308)
WLAD: 0-2, 2 R, 2 walks (.310)
Jeff Clement (DH): 3-4, double, solo HR, 2 run HR (ATTABOY), 4 RBI, K (.254)
Rob Johnson: 0-4, 2 K (.249)

Don't be deceived by the final score: once again, the Sky Sox exploded to a huge lead with 4 runs in the 3rd to take a 5-2 lead, then 3 more in the 5th to make it 8-2. The Rainiers did pop in 3 in the top 6th to cut the lead to 8-5, but the Sky Sox added 2 more in the 7th to make it 10-5, and when the Rainiers responded with 2 in the 8th, the Sky Sox added another run in the bottom 8th to make it 11-7. WIth two runners on in the 9th and one out against Mike Gallo, Jeremy Reed lined a single to score one and make it 11-8, but the Sky Sox said enough, went and got closer Ryan Speier and he got two quick flyouts to end the ballgame.

And poor Ryan Feierabend. If yesterday was a pitching contest between he and Weaver, it was the most biased, rigged contest ever: Weaver got to pitch in a pitcher's cavern against a bad AAA lineup, while Fear had to pitch in the Colorado Springs launchpad against a pretty stacked Sky Sox lineup.