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4/27 Minor League Wrap-Up

The org had a mostly bleh day, with only the DIAMOND JAXX picking up a win, though it was a shutout.  And R.A. Dickey did return to the Rainiers, along with WLAD!

I also take the chance to answer as many of a reader's questions about Ryan Moorer as I feasibly can.

On to the wrap-up.

A:  Beloit 5, Wisconsin 3

Michael Pineda:  5 IP, 4 H, walk, 2 K
Robert Harmon:  no outs recorded, 2 H, 5 ER (HR), walk, K, wild pitch, hit batter
Ryan Moorer:  3 IP, 1 H, K
Shawn Kelley:  1 IP, 3 H, 2 K
Calvin Beamon:  2-5, 2 K
Alex Liddi:  1-2, double, 2 walks, SB
Eddy Hernandez:  1-3, double, R, walk, K
Korey Feiner:  0-2, sac fly RBI
Ronald Garth:  1-4, double, RBI, K

Speaking of Sunday Cockpunches, the T-Rats got a pleasant surprise in 5 shutout innings from new starter Michael Pineda, making his first start since his stint in the DSL last year.  It wasn't pretty, with a lot of flyballs and line drives, but it gave them far more than the T-Rats were hoping for out of the DSL grad.

Groundballs:  2
Flyballs:  7
Line Drives:  3
Pop Ups:  3
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  2

Robert Harmon, who has spent the last couple years crashing and burning, came in for the 6th with a 2-0 lead, and promptly loaded the bases before coughing up a grand slam to make it 4-2.  He walked the next batter and got the hook for Ryan Moorer after that.

So, with this game in the toilet, let me try and cough up more info on Ryan Moorer, who I remember someone asking about a few days back.  The Maryland alum left school after his junior year (so much for that letters and sciences degree) after getting drafted in the 12th round of the 2007 draft by the M's, likely interested in his low 90's fastball, lead-force breaking ball and work-in-progress splitter.  Then again, he was only in school because, as a grad of Peabody Veterans Memorial HS in the Boston area, he wasn't too thrilled with his draft stock in 2004.  He got picked in the 13th round that year by the Cubs, but the Cubs wouldn't budge with him on bonus demands, and so he went to school for 3 years, which obviously was good for a whopping one round of difference in draft position.

Moorer, as I mentioned, struggled with a 4.96 ERA in Everett last year, but still had good peripherals (2 HR, 13 BB, 32 K in 32.2 IP).  After 7 appearances out of the pen this year and 9.1 IP, so far he's had better fortune with his ERA (3.86) but that's the only noticeable performance difference, with only 1 HR, 2 walks and 8 K and hitters batting .294 compared to .278 last season.  He has shown success against lefthanders, though, which is a huge plus with scouts.  As we see with Sean Green, a righthanded reliever is only as reliable as his ability to pitch to lefthanders, so if Moorer, who improved his location in college, can show he can consistently get batters out from either side of the plate, he's gonna retain some sort of future in this org.

And BTW, Moorer did allow Harmon's 5th run to score, but did not allow any more, and in fact pitched through the 8th without further damage, an impressive 3 innings of relief with only 1 hit.  The T-Rats had no answer at the plate, though.

Robert Harmon, meanwhile, may not have much of a future if he keeps pitching like this.

A+:  Bakersfield 5, High Desert 2

Keith Renaud:  5 IP, 4 H, (4 R) 3 ER, 5 walks, K, wild pitch, balk, hit batter
Jose Escalona:  2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, walk, K, wild pitch
Michael Wagner:  2 IP, 2 K
Jamie McOwen:  1-4, double, R
Carlos Triunfel:  0-3, walk, 2 K
Carlos Peguero:  1-4, RBI
Greg Halman:  1-4, double, R, K
Leury Bonilla:  2-4, double, RBI

Keith Renaud's 5 innings did not go as well as Michael Pineda's, as this loss was definitely his fault.  Yeah, he got plenty of groundballs (he did not allow a ball-in-play in the air until the 4th) and many of them did get through the defense, but he allowed a lot of walks, let guys steal bases on him, and even committed a balk in the 1st inning (though the runner didn't score).  Once the flyballs started coming in the 4th, so did the runs.

Groundballs:  13
Flyballs:  4
Line Drives:  2
Walks:  5 (plus 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts:  1

The Mavs couldn't get much going against Jared Hyatt, making only his 2nd start of the season.  The Georgia Tech grad has his share of strikeouts (14), but has also walked 9 in 17 IP... after walking 10 all of last season (in 23.1 IP of relief).  But the Mavs couldn't get much going against him, and the 5-2 loss felt too much like a 2005-Mariners-style foregone conclusion.

Leury "Latin Campaneris" Bonilla Watch:  Started today at 3B to give Matt Mangini the day off, and had 2 hits, one his 1st double of the season.

AA:  West Tenn 4, Tennessee 0

Chris Jakubauskas:  7 IP, 4 H, 2 walks, 2 K
Brodie Downs:  1 IP, 1 H, walk, K
Mumba Rivera:  1 IP, walk, 2 K
Luis Valbuena:  2-5, double, RBI, K
Marshall Hubbard:  2-4, R, K
Adam Moore:  3-4, double, solo HR, 2 R
Jon Nelson:  1-3, R, RBI, K
Ronnie Prettyman:  0-3, sac fly RBI, K

Chris Jakubauskas didn't give the Smokies much to work with, so the 4 runs scored before the 7th were more than enough to get the job done.

Groundballs:  10 (plus 1 bunt)
Flyballs:  3
Line Drives:  2
Pop Ups:  3 (plus 1 laughable bunt)
Walks:  2
Strikeouts:  2

AAA:  Tucson 4, Tacoma 0

R.A. Dickey:  7 IP, 11 H, (4 R) 2 ER, 2 walks, 2 K
Cesar Jimenez:  1 IP, 1 H, 2 K
Jeremy Reed:  0-2, 2 walks
Matt Tuiasosopo:  0-3, walk, K
Jeff Clement:  1-2, 2 walks
WLAD IS BACK:  0-4... oh
Bryan LaHair:  1-4
Charlton Jimerson:  1-3, K

R.A. Dickey returned from his brief stay in the bigs and gave this game a lengthy go.  If not for a lengthy and painful meltdown 7th inning, he likely goes into the 8th, but the 7th was ultimately his only blemish of the game.  And really, considering the fireworks we often see in Tucson, he still did a pretty decent job of minimizing the damage.

But when your hitters get three hit by four different pitchers and a 17 mph wind is blowing in from RF, there's not much else you can do.

Groundballs:  16 (plus 1 bunt)
Flyballs:  6
Line Drives:  5
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  2
Strikeouts:  2

The good news, of course, is that WLAD was back in the lineup, and given the stiff wind blowing in from the fences, I think we can forgive his 0-fer.