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7/4 Minor League Wrap-Up

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Via John Morgan's astute suggestion from yesterday, line scores will now list AVG/OBP/SLG for hitters rather than just the average.  We know better than to trust AVG exclusively, so I agree with him that it's silly to just continue listing the AVG.  It also doesn't take me all that much more effort to do so.

On to the recap!  It's amazing that you can spend an hour writing, look up and realize you're still on the Single A ballclubs.  The Mariners farm system is a deep latticework of hackers and nibblers in training.

VENEZUELA~!  VSL Mariners 2, VSL Phillies 1

Leonardo Rodriguez:  6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 walks, 3 K
Reynaldo Sabala:  2.2 IP, 1 H, 2 K
Jose Rivero:  1-3, solo HR, walk, K (.290/391/448)
Cesar Fuentes:  2-4, R, 2 K (.316/394/421)
Larry Gonzalez:  pinch hit RBI double

Who the hell is Larry Gonzalez?  The guy had sat at the end of the VSLM's bench for however long, and then came off the bench in the bottom 9th, game tied at 1, with two outs and a man on 1st, and did his Edgar impression with a walkoff double.  Good for Larry, who brought his numbers up to a sparkling 147/256/176 in 34 ABs, and here's hoping this is the beginning of better things.... yes, I'm being ridiculously optimistic.  WORK WITH ME.

Also, Leonardo Rodriguez likes the role of staff ace, working into the 7th and holding the VSL Phils to 5 hits.  Reynaldo Sabala held down the fort until Leisure Suit Larry finished the Phils off.

Dominican Rookies:  Mariners 1, AthleticsDos 0

Michael Pineda:  5 IP, 5 H, walk, 3 K
Bruno Mercedes:  4 IP, 2 H, K, hit batter
Luis Peguero:  1-3, triple, R (263/354/368)
rest of DSLM's lineup:  4-29, 4 K

See, there are so many Dominican teams in the DSL that some teams, like the A's, have TWO DSL teams, and name them creatively:  Athletics1 and Athletics2.  The White Sox, Yankees, Nats and Blue Jays also do this.  So, to reduce the confusion the numerals can cause, I'll call them AthleticsUno and AthleticsDos.

Meanwhile, the offense did little but that's better than the A-2's did, because they did about nothing.  Michael Pineda got 5 shutout innings in, and I hope Bruno Mercedes makes it, only because Bruno Mercedes is an awesome baseball name.

AZL:  Rangers 9, Mariners 2

Robbie Dominguez:  4 IP, 4 H, (2 R) 1 ER, 3 K
Richard Ortiz:  2 IP, 3 K
Michael Renfree:  1 IP, 3 H, (6 R) 0 ER (HR), walk, K (even with all those runs unearned, his ERA still sits at 8.44)
Jacob Wild:  2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER (HR), 4 K
Maximo Mendez:  1-2, RBI, 2 walks, K
Carlos Triunfel:  0-3, sac fly RBI, K
rest of AZLM's lineup:  2-23, 2 R, 2 walks, 12 K.

This is only the AZLM's 2 loss of the young AZL season, leaving them at 9-2, so they're looking pretty good so far despite the loss.  That said, an amusing stat: 12 different AZLM batters struck out in this game.  The only hitter who appeared, had at least one AB and did not K was Guy Welsh, who spelled Alfredo Mateo at 3B late in the game.

a:  Boise 9, Everett 7

Edward Paredes:  2 IP, 3 H, (5 R) 2 ER, 4 walks, 2 K
Aaron Brown:  3 IP, 2 H, walk, 4 K, wild pitch
Craig Deaver:  1.1 IP, 2 H, (2 R) 1 ER, 2 walks, 2 K, wild pitch
Nick Hill:  1.2 IP, 4 H, (2 R) 1 ER, 3 K
Ogui Diaz:  3-4, solo HR, walk, K, SB
Matt Mangini:  3-5, R, 2 RBI, K
Joe Dunigan:  1-5, 2 RBI, K
Manny Pimentel:  1-4, RBI, walk, K

What a coincidental bummer that the goat for this game, on the 4th of July, was military man Nick Hill.  With the game tied at 7 in the bottom 8th, Hill surrendered the go-ahead runs, and the Aquasox could not respond in the top 9th.

Granted, it was a 7-7 ballgame because of a poor pitching performance from Edward Paredes, badly timed since the tone of discussion went from Paredes the Also-Ran to Paredes An Actual Prospect.  It's one start and that's hardly gonna shift the perspective: it's gonna take several bad starts to raise eyebrows in negative fashion.  That said, Paredes struggled with his control and only lasted two innings.

Fortunately for Everett, the opposing starter, hilariously named Al Albuquerque, wasn't much better and awaaaaaay they went.  Boise had taken a 5-0 lead in the 2nd, but the Aquasox responded with singles galore to make it 5-3, then tied it in the 6th when MATT MANGINI lined a single to cash in two runs and TIE THE BALLGAME.

But the Aquasox infield went Keystone Kops in the bottom 6th.  With two outs, Boise's Marquez Smith got caught in a pickoff rundown, but Kris Sanchez's throw to the 2nd baseman went YIKES AND AWAY to give Marquez Smith 2nd.  Then Craig Deaver, who didn't have a good game himself, uncorked a wild pitch to give Marquez Smith 3rd.  Matt Mangini went to field the ensuing grounder and fell on his face like Ken Harvey, run scores, 6-5 Boise.

Sanchez got on in the top 7th and redeemed himself- or, actually, karma redeemed him, as two wild pitches allowed him to come around and score to TIE THE BALLGAME.  Hey, this Error guy has knocked in a couple runs: maybe we should sign him!

Again the Hawks struck back.  Drew Rundle cashed in a run on a single in the bottom 7th to make it 7-6.  And AGAIN the Aquasox struck back, when of all people, Ogui Diaz went YARD to TIE THE BALLGAME at 7!... and then Nick Hill.

Also, the strikeout parade continues!  Every batter who appeared in this game for the Aquasox struck out at least once.  The only exception was Jermaine Brock... who struck out twice.

My golden rule with batting lines is that the player must have 15 games played at that current level and then must have at least 45 ABs to get a line, due to wanting some sort of a useful sample size.  Right now, most of the Aquasox have about 11-13 games played.  Expect to see initial lines for the Aquasox starting this weekend.

After 3 starts, the best looking starter besides Paredes has been Nolan Gallagher, the lost Oasis brother.  In 15 innings, he's allowed 8 hits, struck out 13 and walked 4.  The worst has ironically been the starter with the most current experience: Robert Harmon.  Harmon, in 13.2 IP, has allowed 13 hits, but 3 have been HRs, and he has 11 K's to 13 walks.

A:  They played two in Appleton!

Game 1:  Wisconsin 9, Cedar Rapids 6, 7 innings

Steven Richard:  5 IP, 6 H, 6 ER (2 HR), 3 walks, 6 K, wild pitch, hit batter
Brian Kappel:  1 IP, 1 H, 2 K
Justin Souza:  1 IP, K
Kuo Hui Lo:  2-4, 2 R (.275/328/362)
Joseph White:  3-4, 2 R, RBI
Trevor Lawhorn:  2-4, double, 2 R, 2 RBI (.247/324/355)
Carlos Peguero:  2-3, double, 3 RBI (.263/321/455)
Leury Bonilla:  1-2, RBI (.234/261/333)

Steven Richard has had better games.  This one looked like his car.  In the 4th, right after the T-Rats had taken a 5-1 lead, Richard unraveled.  A walk and a grounder through the hole put two men on, and after a pop out and K, Wilberto Ortiz knocked a single into right to cash in a run.  Then Tadd Brewer walked to load the bases... for Matthew Sweeney.

And Sweeney took Richard deep over the RF wall for the GRAND SLAM.  6-5 Kernels.

But the T-Rats responded.  Calvin Beamon got plunked and Kuo Hui Lo's grounder got candyarsed with two outs by the shortstop PJ Phillips and the floodgates just opened.  Joseph White (who is on fire to start the year) and Trevor Lawhorn lined singles to cash in runs, and Carlos Peguero doubled... then got thrown out for the 3rd out trying for 3rd... but still, 4 runs later it was 9-6, and Richard was able to get through the 5th and net a most undeserved win.

Flyballs:  4
Groundballs:  6
Line Drives:  1
Pop Ups:  4
Walks:  3 (plus 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts:  6

Game 2:  Wisconsin 7, Cedar Rapids 0, 7 innings

Ricky Orta:  7 IP ('CG'!), 4 H, 0 ER, 2 walks, 9 K
Juan Diaz:  2-4, 2 run HR, 2 R, K (.352/406/477)
Carlos Peguero:  2-3, 2 run HR
James McOwen:  1-3, R, 2 RBI, 2 K

Needless to say, this was a huge step forward for Ricky Orta.  The embattled rookie from Miami went the distance (though, granted, the distance in this doubleheader contest was only 7 innings) in a shortened shutout, striking out 9 while only allowing 4 hits.  The early flyballs turned into late groundballs and pop ups, especially after the T-Rats deflated the Kernels with 5 runs in the 4th to make it 7-0.

Flyballs:  5
Groundballs:  6
Line Drives:  2
Pop Ups:  2
Walks:  2
Strikeouts:  9

A+:  High Desert 4, Rancho Cucamonga 3, 10 innings

Cibney Bello:  8 IP, 7 H, (3 R) 1 ER, 7 K
Ivan Blanco:  1.2 IP, 1 H, K
Paul Fagan:  0.1 IP
Jeff Dominguez:  2-5, double, 2 RBI (.257/.313/.355)
Jeff Frazier:  2-4, double, K
Johan Limonta:  2-3, walk (.289/.356/.463)
Jeff Flaig:  2-4, double, 2 R, RBI (.211/.260/.298)
Kevin Reynolds:  2-4, double, R, RBI, K

Like J at Mariner Minors, I expected Cibney Bello to crap away all hope of a 2 game winning streak.  Instead, Cibney makes like Gil Meche and Puts It All Together over 8 surprisingly solid innings.  It didn't look good after the 1st batter he faced tripled, then scored on a subsequent sac fly.  But then, despite allowing another run in the 1st, he rang up groundballs with 8 of the next 9 batters.  Then he struck out the side in the 4th.  Then he struck out the first batter of the 5th, then got the next two with groundouts.  He gave up a one-out line drive single in the 6th, but then got a double play ball.

Up 3-2 in the 8th, Cibney showed us a little of the old Cibney.  After a one-out ground rule double, Cibney went for the pickoff throw at 2nd, always a troublesome play, and threw it YIKES AND AWAY into the outfield, runner ironically scores, tie ballgame.  He got the next two batters and that was that, still an impressive performance from a guy who had made being a talented assclown into an art.  Wonder why the organization keeps Cibney Bello around?  Performances like last night's are why.  As Stanley Roberts would do in the NBA (well, when he wasn't eating and toking himself out of the league), every now and then, Cibney shows you an extended glimpse of his vast potential.

Flyballs:  5
Groundballs:  14
Line Drives:  3
Walks:  0
Strikeouts:  7

The Mavs tried to retake the lead in the bottom 8th.  Kevin Reynolds led off with a lined single and Michael Saunders bunted him over (!) for one out.  Jeff Dominguez grounded out for two outs while moving Reynolds to 3rd, but Jeff Frazier, speaking of assclowns, struck out.

Cibney was done and we saw the 2007 High A debut of Ivan Blanco, having successfully tuned up in the AZL.  He put the side down quietly in the top 9th.

Johan Limonta started off the 9th like Reynolds, with a base hit.  Adam Moore flew out, then Omar Peña did his duty and killed the rally dead with a 6-4-3 DP, sending this game to extras.

Blanco got the next two batters he faced, but after a Josh Leblanc single, Scott Steinmann went ahead and pulled him for Paul Fagan, likely keeping strict limits on the rehabbed reliever's workload.  Fagan got a groundout to end the top 10th.

The bottom 10th almost went without incident against new reliever Brad Beck.  Eddy Hernandez grounded out.  Jeff Flaig grounded out.  Kevin Reynolds swung and missed strike three for the 3rd out... except strike three was about a yard outside, sailing past the Quakes catcher.  Reynolds took off for 1st and made it in time to keep the bottom 10th alive!

Michael Saunders got plunked by a now wild Brad Beck, putting the winning run at 2nd for Jeff Dominguez.  And Dominguez smoked a grounder up the middle, into CF!  Reynolds made the turn and hustled in ahead of the throw for the walkoff win!

AA:  Birmingham 5, West Tenn 2

Chris Jakubauskas:  8 IP (CG!), 10 H, (5 R) 4 ER (HR), walk, 6 K
Marshall Hubbard:  1-4, solo HR, 2 K (.244/.338/.395)
Charlton Jimerson:  2-4, double, R, K (.268/.329/.541)
Matt Tuiasosopo:  1-3, walk, K (.280/.394/.433)
Prentice Redman:  1-4, double, RBI, 2 K (.255/.356/.433)
Luis Oliveros:  1-3 (.295/.315/.371)

The Barons... all I can ever think of when I see the Barons is, 'Michael Jordan played for these guys once.'  Fun fact: despite being a horrible hitter who stole 30 bases, Jordan was named the 1994 Southern League MVP.  Good lord, Jordan even got all the calls in AA.

Meanwhile, Jakubauskas the Indy Leaguer got hit around a bit but, to his credit, went the distance, facing all 33 batters in the 5-2 loss to rest the DIAMOND JAXX's substandard bullpen, because he's a Professional Pitcher.  He was consistent with the groundballs, but enough of them snuck through for base hits.  The 3 run 2nd for Birmingham pretty much was the game: groundball single, line drive single, Tui error, groundball single, pop out, sac fly, runner caught stealing.  And with the DIAMOND JAXX bats still flat, there just wasn't a chance of coming back.

Flyballs:  5
Groundballs:  14
Line Drives:  4
Pop Ups:  3
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  6

Fun facts:  Marshall Hubbard leads the team with 91 strikeouts... in 291 ABs.  Yep.  2nd, however, is Charlton Jimerson with 79, despite not joining the team until the 2nd month of the season, and 82 fewer ABs.  Yep again.

AAA:  Portland 2, Tacoma 1

Brad Thomas:  6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 walks, 7 K
Juan Doñe:  2.1 IP, 3 H, (1 R) 0 ER, walk, K
Jeremy Reed:  1-3, R, K (.290/.348/.431)
Adam Jones:  0-3, 2 K (.314/.383/.584)
WLAD:  1-3, RBI, walk (.323/.395/.589)
Jeff Clement:  0-4, K (.273/.360/.518)

Fans of Oswaldo Navarro's gold glove caliber defense will love how this game ended.  Tied at 1 in the bottom of the 9th with a runner on, Frank Menechino grounded to short, where Gookie Dawkins was playing.  Gookie fielded it cleanly and threw to Oswaldo at 2nd, except Oswaldo candyarsed the throw and it flew through his glove into the outfield.  Winning run scores for Portland.

After over a dozen errors in the middle infield, Oswaldo can now claim that one of his errors cost his team the game.  Congratulations, Oswaldo Navarro.

The Rainiers bats just weren't there today, with only 5 hits and 1 run.  The run came in the 1st, then Portland followed with a run in the bottom half, and then no scoring until that fateful run.

Also, you'll notice than Juan Doñe was pitching in relief, rather than starting.  Between HoRam rehabbing and Robert Rohrbaugh getting called up, it looks like Doñe's been commissioned to help out Tacoma's depleted, struggling bullpen.

Meanwhile, Brad Thomas!  Had he not led off the game with two walks and a double down the LF line, he'd have thrown a shutout.  In fact, he was lucky the 2nd batter he walked didn't score on that double.

Flyballs:  6
Groundballs:  7
Line Drives:  1
Pop Ups:  3
Walks:  4
Strikeouts:  7

That is all.