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Midshipman’s Log, August 18th: DSL Mariners are streaking, Logan Gilbert is strong, Jaycob Brugman is unstoppable

and JULIOOOOOOO is okay!

Jeff Halstead for the Tacoma Rainiers

Before we get into the scores, some news! First and foremost, if you’re reading this, we assume that you too are concerned about the fate of Julio Rodriguez after being HBP in his second game in Modesto. Well fear not, fellow prospect-likers:

Apparently the issue was he was hit on the pad, but it was an old and worn pad so it still hurt a fair amount. Phew! And also, to the crowdfund machine so we can put Julio in as much state-of-the-art protective gear as our collective pocketbooks allow.

We also have some promotion news! Following Julio Rodriguez from West Virginia to Modesto is fireballing closer Dayeison Arias. That’s triggered some more moves: Juan Then and Bernie Martinez (more on him later) were sent to the Power from Everett, and Jarod Bayless has been moved up to the AquaSox from the AZL, where he had a 36% K rate against a 1.7% BB in 15 innings in the AZL.

DSL Mariners (31-35) dethrone DSL Royals2 (28-38), 8-3 (Saturday)

Link to full box score

The baby Marineros had their usual Sunday off day, but not before adding another W on Saturday, giving them five wins in a row. CF Jonathan Clase returned to the lineup and played a full game (hooray!) and went 3-for-4 with a walk. SS Noelvi Marte had yet another huge game, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and a triple (!!!) and four RBI. 1B Julio De La Cruz had another strong game as he continues to gain steam down the stretch with two hits and two two-out RBI. 17-year-old Panamanian Abdiel Medina had his best start as a pro, going six innings and allowing just one run on one hit, striking out three and walking one. Large human Igor Januario picked up his fifth save with two no-hit, no-walk, two-strikeout innings.

And on Sunday, they rested:

(They also rested Saturday evening, going to a local “fun center” to bowl, ride some go-karts, and play some video games. Such good wholesome fun!)

AZL Mariners (21-29) continue light-hitting, fall to AZL White Sox (19-31), 5-1

Link to full box score

The shorthanded AZL Mariners struggled once again on Sunday night, falling to the AZL White Sox 5-1. Indeed the Mariners’ Peoria boys have struggled to gather much momentum this season as the team lacks much top-end talent. Most high picks from the 2019 draft class are either in Everett or West Virginia.

2019 draftees Holden Laws and Dutch Landis struggled a bit, allowing two earned runs and three earned runs respectively. Laws was able to straighten things out a bit after allowing two runs in his first inning of work, finishing his night with three consecutive scoreless frames. He’d finish with seven strikeouts over four innings of work.

The bats have been the real bugaboo for the Mariners this year. The team hasn’t slugged for much punch this season and it’s shown in the box scores. The team was no-hit through five innings on Sunday before Luis Veloz eventually broke up the bid.

Veloz was the Mariners expensive, high-profile international signee in 2016, though he’s struggled to hit much to this point in his career. A career .213/.282/.295 hitter in three seasons in the organization, Veloz, now 19-years-old, still has plenty of time to grow into his body and mature at the plate.

Everett AquaSox (29-33) wilt under Salem-Kizer Volcanoes scoring eruption (37-25), 13-4

Link to full box score

Um, yikes. Not a great outing from the pitching staff up in Snohomish County. The AquaSox ended up surrendering 13 runs to an admittedly stacked Salem-Kizer squad that features some supreme talent in guys like Hunter Bishop and Marco Luciano. Braden’s little bro hit his 4th home run of the year and added a triple for good measure. It’s been a slow start for Bishop, but the bat is coming around in recent weeks.

On the Mariners side, Cesar Izturis Jr. continued his hot hitting ways notching a pair of base hits, driving his season average to .269. 2019 draftee Tim Elliot posted a two encouraging innings of work, allowing just one hit and striking out a batter.

In some exciting news, two of the Mariners top pitching prospects are on their way up to West Virginia after proving too advanced for the short season circuit.

Juan Then posted a 3.59 ERA in just over 30 innings of work with the AquaSox, though his 2.79 FIT and 1.08 WHIP would suggest he’s actually been far more dominant than his numbers indicate. Then wasn’t walking many batters and posted a healthy 9.49 K/9 during his short Low-A career.

Bernie Martinez has largely flown under the radar this season, but the 22-year-old has a minuscule 0.59 ERA across the AZL and NWL this year in 30 innings of work. His 39 Ks and 2(!!!) walks are both elite. The Incarnate Word product went undrafted this summer but signed with Seattle shortly thereafter.

West Virginia Power (63-63) block out Hagerstown Suns (57-69), 4-2

Link to full box score

The Power, disappointingly, struggled against Hagerstown, but managed to avoid the sweep thanks to a new import from the AZL/Everett in Bernie Martinez, who you just read about. Martinez put together a very strong first South Atlantic League outing, allowing just one run over six innings and striking out five while walking none. Austin Shenton followed up his home run on Saturday with a double on Sunday, C Dean Nevarez had a clutch two-out two-RBI hit, and LF Ryan Ramiz continued to be very productive out of the leadoff spot, with a two-hit day of his own.

Modesto Nuts (56-70) go mostly Julio-less, fall to Lancaster JetHawks (63-61), 6-3

Link to full box score

When the Nuts lost super-prospect Jarred Kelenic to AA Arkansas, the team’s offense really disappeared. That is, until super-prospect 2.0 Julio Rodriguez arrived on Thursday. Modesto had a pretty fun weekend at the plate, scoring 17 runs with Rodriguez contributing six at-bats.

Unfortunately, with JULIOOOOOO sitting this one out (mostly, we’ll get to that), the team couldn’t quite score enough runs to prevail. The good guys mustered four runs on nine hits. Three of those came from RF Keegan McGovern. Jack Larsen added a two-run triple in the 8th inning. Braden Bishop went 1 for 3 in his third rehab game. He’s batting .217 in limited action.

Now, that’s not to say Rodriguez didn’t try his damndest to contribute where possible.

Indeed, Rodriguez and Bishop appear to have taken a liking to each other. According to Nuts play-by-play man Keaton Gillogly, Bishop was reportedly asking Rodriguez for swing tips after last night’s game. Quite the compliment to the mammoth 18-year-old.

After coaching a little first base, Rodriguez decided his elbow was fine and pinch hit with two outs in the 9th with a runner on.

He’d ground out on a very close play at first base to end the game. His love and fire for the game was on full display once again.

Oh, and also, Bishop got hit by a pitch. Again. He got hit on Saturday too. PLEASE STOP HITTING BRADEN, GUYZ.

On the bump, Penn Murfee allowed two earned runs on five hits and two free passes in five innings of work. Matt Wildrodtt would come in and allow two more earned runs (three runs total) on four hits and two walks in 1.2 innings of work. Finally, Dayeison Arias made his A+ debut, striking out one batter in one inning of work. He’s a good one. Modesto has some real fireballers in Arias and southpaw Ray Kerr.

Arkansas Travelers (74-50) remember they are the GD Arkansas Travelers, defeat Springfield Cardinals (56-70), 7-1

Link to full box score

After playing two games of uninspiring baseball to open this series, the Travs’ streak of not being swept this season was in serious jeopardy. The Travs sent Logan Gilbert to the mound to defend their honor, and Gilbert—who has had exactly one (1) bad outing in his professional career so far—applied all six feet six inches of himself to the task. It was a short start for Gilbert, either by design to get him some extra rest, or to get the bullpen some extra run before an off-day, or maybe to get him some extra care after he got struck on the foot by a comebacker in the second—whatever it was, Gilbert threw only 72 pitches in his five innings of work. His command did seem to slip some after being hit by the comebacker, including a rough third inning where he issued back-to-back walks, and he wound up throwing just 42 of his pitches for strikes and walking three, which aren’t typical Gilbert numbers. Even with all of that, he still struck out eight and gave up no runs.

Meanwhile, his offense gave him a lift as the sleepy Trav bats finally woke up. Donnie “Barrel Monkey” Walton had two hits on the day including a double, and Luis Liberato had a three-hit day with a double of his own. The Travs also decided to take advantage of the friendly confines of Hammons Field for the first time during this trip, as Logan Taylor, Cal Raleigh, and Kyle Lewis all left the yard. Lewis’s blast in the third inning put the Travs up 3-0 and they never looked back:

One bummer note from this game: Art Warren had to leave the game after 1.2 innings of work in relief, seemingly grabbing at his hamstring. He was able to walk off the field under his own power, though, and it was extremely hot in Springfield (the home plate umpire was habitually late coming out during half-innings after getting water and cool towels in the dugout), so hopefully it was just a cramp.

Tacoma Rainiers (57-68) and juiced balls take flight, beat Fresno Grizzlies (55-70) 9-7

Link to full box score

Boy oh boy, the Triple-A baseball was in full effect Sunday night at Cheney. 24 hits and 16 runs later, the game finally ended and the fireworks ceased across the south Puget Sound skies.

Two home runs by Jaycob Brugman, one from John Andreoli, one from Jake Fraley, and one from Ryan Court accounted for five dingers on the night. The Grizzlies would add two of their own, including one from old friend Chuck Taylor.

Fraley’s in-particular was quite a devastating shot.

While the inflated ball undoubtedly has a lot to do with it, it’s hard not to take notice of what Brugman is accomplishing this season. His .286 average and .981 OPS are both much higher than what would be expected given his early-career statistical trends. His 20 home runs are approaching his career high of 21 from A-ball in 2014. Of course, that was in 120 games. He’s played just 67 games this season.

On the bump, Andrew Moore continued to struggle allowing three earned runs on four hits and three walks in just two frames. Matt Festa would end up coming in and earning the extended save, allowing two hits and striking out a batter in two innings of work.

Today’s games:

Tomorrow is a quiet day in the system with three of the big-cheese affiliates off. Williamson is listed as the starter for Everett, but after he departed a game on the 14th with a trainer, that might change. If you happen to be able to get to Tacoma, do it! Felix Hernandez is set to make a rehab start (if you do go, go early—Félix Days in the South Sound are crowded!) Plus, the Mariners are out of town and there is only so much precious baseball left to be enjoyed, and Casey Catherwood & Co. always put on a good show in T-town.

DSL Giants at DSL Mariners, 10:30 AM PT

West Virginia: OFF

Arkansas: OFF

AZL Mariners at AZL Athletics Gold, 6:00 PT

Everett at Salem-Kizer, 6:35 PT (LHP Brandon Williamson)

Modesto: OFF

Salt Lake at Tacoma, 7:05 PT (TV) (RHP Mike Wright Jr.)