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6/14 Minor League Wrap-Up

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I am beat after a long weekend.  But duty calls.

An unlikely man has a big night to power his team to victory... an inconsistent hurler strings together another solid outing to try and turn the corner... the T-Rats got shut down by a 20 year old Dominican and a guy from the Golden Baseball League, spoiling a great start from an effective mop-up pitcher... a converted reliever returns to the bullpen and fares well after an iffy go as a starter... and the Dominican squad sees something unusual for the DSL in victory.

On to the wrap-up!

BREAKING NEWS EDIT:  According to Herr Churchill:

The M's are at it again, rushing a raw prospect to a higher level before he's ready, forcing outfielder Greg Halman to Double-A West Tennessee.

Halman was leading the California League in homers and ranked fourth in steals.

Danny Carroll was activated off the disabled list and sent to High Desert to take Halman's spot on the roster.

VENEZUEL... uh.  The VSLMs and VSL Mets game got rained out.

Dominican:  DSL Mariners 6, DSL Phillies 1
(League:  228/335/323... 3.72 ERA)

Miguel Celestino:  5 IP, 4 H, 6 K
Bruno Mercedes:  2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, walk, K
Ambioris Hidalgo:  1 IP, walk
Nelson Germocen:  1 IP, 2 walks, 2 K
Angel Zapata:  2-5, R, K
Hector Mercedes:  2-4, solo HR, K
Axel Wel:  1-3, 2 RBI, walk, K
Ameilis Carvajal:  1-3, R, RBI, walk, 2 K
Efrain Nuñez:  1-4, 2 run HR

There is maybe 1 home run for every 99 at bats in the Dominican Summer League, compared to one every ~37 ABs in MLB's American League.  They just don't happen that often.  So when a team in the DSL hits two in one game, it ought to be noted and commended.  Granted, the DSLMs had the bats working today, DSL Phillies pitchers had control problems anyway, Miguel Celestino was pitching well, the bullpen looked fine and a win was only a matter of time... but for #9 hitter Efrain Nuñez to go deep for the 3rd time this season in a dead-ball league bodes well for the young man, and Hector Mercedes, who is starting this season well, to crank a suck pitch over the fence in the 7th was quite a feat itself.

A:  Clinton 2, Wisconsin 1, 10 innings
WIS:  30-35... CLI:  41-25
(League:  249/312/368... 3.59 ERA)

Jake Wild:  7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, walk, 6 K, wild pitch (SEE WHAT HE DID THERE)
Ryan Moorer:  2.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, walk, 2 K, wild pitch
T-Rats lineup:  3-34, R, 3 walks, 13 K

With 20 year old Dominican prospect Neftali Perez dealing, and Keisuke Ueno, a former member of the Golden Baseball League's Japan Samurai Bears, holding the fort in over 4 innings of relief, the T-Rats had a whole lot of nothing going, and the Lumberkings finally got their winning run in the 10th off Jonathan Greene's two out line drive single to right.  Lost in this was a rare, fine start by Jake Wild, whose continued role as a mop-up man despite his repeated effectiveness remains a partial mystery.

Groundballs:  8 (plus 2 bunts)
Flyballs:  6
Line Drives:  4
Pop Ups:  2
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  6

And since I'm sure the question will arise, the Lumberkings are an affiliate of the Rangers.

EDIT: Oops, forgot about game two: this was a day-night doubleheader and this was the nightcap, a 10-0 T-Rats revenge win. Here's a quick box score.

A+:  High Desert 4, Lake Elsinore 2
Mavs:  31-38... Lake:  32-37
(League:  267/338/399... 4.41 ERA)

Keith Renaud:  5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 walks, 4 K (13 GS +1, 6.95 ERA, 68.2 IP, 9 HR, 47/36 BB/K)
Nick Hill:  2.2 IP, 1 H, 3 K (16 app, 10 GS, 4.39 ERA, 65.2 IP, 8 HR, 22/50 BB/K)
David Asher:  no outs recorded, walk (28 app, 6.75 ERA, 22.2 IP, 1 HR, 10/19 BB/K)
Austin Bibens-Dirkx:  one out (21 app, 4.91 ERA, 29.1 IP, 5 HR, 9/19 BB/K)
Aaron Cotter:  1 IP, 2 H, K (28 app, 3.06 ERA, 35.1 IP, 3 HR, 8/29 BB/K)
Carlos Triunfel:  1-4, R, K, SBs #10 and 11 (239/290/318)
Carlos Peguero:  1-4, 2 run HR, 2 K (296/320/477)
Travis Scott:  1-4, solo HR, K (260/305/393)
Jamie McOwen:  2-2, double, RBI, walk (250/311/335)

Keith Renaud was somehow able to start with 4 scoreless innings before his mild meltdown in the 5th (which ironically was the first inning in which he got groundballs instead of getting tagged), and the Mavs responded with all four of their runs before said 5th.  In moving back to the bullpen, Military Man Nick Hill regained effectiveness and pitching into the 8th without allowing more than a hit.  Renaud:

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

David Asher is still taking the gas pipe and Austin Bibens-Dirkx continues his rebound.  Also, in light of the Cal League's park factors, Carlos Peguero and Travis Scott appear to have cooled off.

AA:  West Tenn 8, Chattanooga 2
WTN:  41-28... CHA:  36-33
(League:  261/340/395... 4.19 ERA)

Justin Thomas:  7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 walks, 5 K (12 GS +1, 4.32 ERA, 77 IP, 7 HR, 34/73 BB/K)
Marwin Vega:  1 IP, 1 H, walk, K, hit batter (22 app, 5.11 ERA, 37 IP, 2 HR, 29/22 BB/K)
Mumba Rivera:  1 IP, walk, 2 K (25 app, 2.60 ERA, 27.2 IP, 1 HR, 9/29 BB/K)
Michael Saunders:  2-4, 2 doubles, 2 R, walk, K (295/378/490)
Mark Kiger:  1-5, R, RBI, K (213/342/289)
Mike Wilson:  3-4, triple, 2 run HR, 4 RBI (270/356/545)
Jon Nelson:  2-4, triple, R (316/377/421)
Matt Mangini:  2-4, RBI, K
Luis Valbuena:  1-4, solo HR (296/369/477)

Yet another good outing for Justin Thomas comes on the heels of a 4 run 1st inning for the DIAMOND JAXX, en route to an easy win.

Groundballs:  11 (plus 2 bunts)
Flyballs:  4
Line Drives:  3
Pop Ups:  3
Walks:  3
Strikeouts:  5

Given his inconsistency, I'm not going to get excited until we see this repeatedly, the solid groundball rate, the controlled number of walks, the few hard hit flyballs and line drives, 6+ inning outings, etc.

AAA:  Tacoma 7, Sacramento 5

TAC:  34-34... SAC:  41-28
(League:  274/346/434... 4.73 ERA)

Andrew Baldwin:  6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER (2 HR), 8 K (9 GS +5, 6.62 ERA, 53 IP, 4 HR, 19/33 BB/K)
Jake Woods:  1.1 IP (21 app, 4.30 ERA, 37.2 IP, 6 HR, 13/28 BB/K)
Jon Huber:  1.2 IP, 2 H, K (23 app, 6.59 ERA, 28.2 IP, 1 HR, 9/22 BB/K)
Yung Chi Chen:  2-4, 2 R, walk, 2 K (250/313/326)
Matt Tuiasosopo:  2-5, double, 3 run HR, 5 RBI, K (260/345/398)
Jeff Clement:  0-5, K (337/457/680)
Bryan LaHair:  1-3, solo HR, walk, K (261/351/483)
Rob Johnson (LF):  2-4, double, R, K (249/318/323)
Oswaldo Navarro:  2-4, R, K (274/359/351)

PHAT ANDY 22 had a start reminiscent of the sorts of starts he had in AA last year: several runs, a home run or two, few or no walks, many K's.

A lot of the damage came in the 2nd.  Jeff Baisley led off with a solo homer.  Joe Gaetti's one out lined single was followed by Danny Putnam's 9th HR of the year.  Richie Robnett doubled with two outs before a flyout from Donnie Murphy ended the frame.  In all, 6 of the 7 batters PHAT ANDY faced hit flyballs, and the other BIP was a line drive.

PHATman did not get a groundball until the 4th inning, and was tagged again and again, indicating he was just hanging a lot of stuff up in the zone.  It could have been far worse.  You need a sinking out pitch, white boy.

Groundballs:  3
Flyballs:  9 (2 HR)
Line Drives:  5
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  0
Strikeouts:  8

Fortunately, Bryan LaHair led off the 7th with a solo shot, his 11th HR, and Tui punctuated the frame with a two out 3 run shot that TIED THE BALLGAME at 5.  Jon Huber finished the 8th for Mystic Tan, then Tui continued what was ultimately a big night, as he doubled to cash in two go-ahead runs in the 9th before getting thrown out at 3rd on an 8-4-5 relay.  Huber came back home and finished the job for a much needed win.