Back from a wonderful weekend in South Bend and Toledo. Admittedly I'm not exactly thrilled to back in Phoenix, though I did miss the 'Pit from time to time... okay, not really, I was enjoying the company too much... sorry. But coming back to the 'Pit is certainly some nice consolation for having to leave the Midwest. Back comfortably indoors and hiding from the 100-degree, 11-p.m. heat, here's the latest Farm Round-Up, with a staggering nine games of minor-league action (sort of...):
Snakelet of the Day:
RHP Yiomar Camacho (Low-Rookie): 5 IP, 0 R, 8:0 K:BB, 5:1 GO:AO
Triple-A: Reno 9, Sacramento 2. (47-32) Reno continues to show why it's one of the better Triple-A clubs around, even sans Wily Mo Pena. Unfortunately, the D-backs seem reluctant to use the Triple-A club for big-league reinforcements. Brandon Allen continues to re-build his value since return to the Aces line-up, whacking his 14th home run of the season tonight. All of a sudden, Allen's line on the year is up to .295/.421/.545. He's basically replaced Pena at the plate and represents a marked improvement upon Pena in the field. Another call-up candidate, Cody Ransom (I'm looking at you, Melvin Mora), hit his 23rd double of the season, and now sports a line of .321/.398/.632 at Reno. You know your favorite team's big-league bench is struggling when you're practically praying that they bring up a career .227/.311/.391 hitter. At least Ransom's career replacement-level-ism would be better than the half-win below replacement that Mora has graced us with. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks!!! Konrad Schmidt also homered, and Collin Cowgill keeps chugging along, hitting two singles and walking twice. Seems like a perfect candidate to replace Willie Bloomquist, no? Tom Layne hurled a quality start in spite of a 0:4 K:BB ratio (not making that up), while Jordan Norberto K'd two in a scoreless inning of work.
Double-A (game one): Mobile 3, Mississippi 4. This game was actually detailed in Monday's round-up, as it was suspended on Sunday due to a power outage with one out remaining in the game. Mississippi would allow another BayBear run to cross the plate on a hit, a walk, and a wild pitch from the delightfully-named Rowdy Hardy, but couldn't finish off what would have been a truly epic comeback.
Double-A (game two): Mobile 7, Mississippi 4. (39-35) After the "first half" of the double-header, Mobile and Mississippi played a legitimate game, and the bats came out swinging. Jacob Elmore led the offensive effort with a double, a single, and a walk, Your Daily Goldschmidt doubled and walked twice (and added his seventh stolen base on the year for good measure), and Marc Krauss hit his fourth triple of the year - a shocking number for his slow-footed nature. Ed Easley singled twice and walked, A.J. Pollock had two hits and a stolen base, and starter Jarrod Parker went 2-2 at the dish, raising his season batting average to .333 (6 hits, all singles, in 18 at-bats). Parker was wobbly on the mound, though, hitting his five-inning limit and allowing three runs, all earned, on six hits and three walks, with four strikeouts. Believe in the recovery process.
Hi-A: Visalia 4, Inland Empire 3. (33-41) Tyler Skaggs was epic yet again on the mound, striking out nine and walking just two through 7.2 innings of work. Unfortunately, Skaggs left the game down 3-0 due to some timely Inland Empire hitting and a stagnant offense. The Rawhide bats eventually did wake up though, doing most of their damage off of 66ers reliever Mike Kenney in the eighth inning. Adam Eaton and Jon Mark Owings homered in that inning, driving in the four Visalia runs. Eaton added a stolen base to his night, Owings added a single, Matt Davidson went 1-3 with a double and a walk, and Bobby Borchering went 1-3 with a walk. Yonata Ortega collected his sixth save with a scoreless ninth inning, striking out one. Ortega now has a 44:14 K:BB ratio and a 3.56 ERA in 30.1 innings of work this year for the Rawhide, and still remains one of the best relief prospects in the system.
Low-A (11 innings): South Bend 4, West Michigan 2. (36-37) This was an interesting game all around, with extra-innings, the debut of a new piggyback arrangement, ninth-inning heroics, and squaring off against a former D-backs prospect. Kevin Eichhorn shut down South Bend for eight innings, but things fell apart as he went out to try to put the finishing touches on his complete game. Eichhorn pitched three batters into the ninth before being pulled, but all three reached base and two would come around to score, sending the game into extras. Yazy Arbelo hit his 19th home run of the season to give South Bend a lead it wouldn't relinquish, and the Silver Hawks added another insurance run in the inning to seal the deal. On the mound, Tyler Green threw five scoreless innings with a beautiful 8:0 GO:AO ratio, though he sported a mediocre 2:2 K:BB ratio on the evening. After Green departed, Patrick Schuster came on in relief for three innings of work. They didn't go spectacularly, as Schuster struck out one and had a 6:2 GO:AO ratio but allowed two runs to cross the plate before giving way. Interesting to see Schuster piggybacking with Green, though it's definitely understandable as to why the team would want to look after his innings - he's already surpassed his innings total from last year at Missoula (of course, this doesn't count EST work) by 4.1 after tonight, and it's still just June. I imagine he'll throw three-inning stints between the 'pen and as a starter for the remainder of the year - another 13 outings if he pitches every fifth game - and finish the year at around 120 innings.
Short-Season A: Yakima 0, Tri-City 10. (3-8) This Yakima team is bad. Five hits - all singles - and two walks were scattered across nine rather sad innings as the Bears were shut out. Particularly disappointing to see Raul Navarro hitting .118 (2-17) at Short-Season ball after being demoted from South Bend, though the sample is incredibly small. Needless to say, though, he needs to at least put up numbers for Yakima this year that are at least comparable to what he had a year ago at Missoula. At least Michael Blake and Justin Albert were good, I s'pose. They combined to strike out five in 2.2 innings of relief work... after the team was already in a 10-run hole.
Advanced-Rookie (10 innings): Missoula 5, Billings 11. (3-5) This one was closer than the score makes it look, as Missoula blew a one-run lead in the top of the ninth, then lost it in the top of the tenth by surrendering six runs. Johan Jaime's one inning of scoreless relief with two strikeouts and a walk was the only decent pitching performance of the night, although some of the Osprey bats were solid. 3B Ryan Court and 1B Jon Griffin doubled, while C Fidel Pena tripled. Pena could turn into an interesting prospect if he's able to stay behind the plate, as the new position would dramatically improve the 19-year-old former-infielder's potential value. With solid work at-bat through his first handful of games back at Missoula, he could emerge as a real sleeper in Arizona's system.
Low-Rookie: D-backs 6, A's 0. (4-2) The AZL-Diamondbacks arms came out with a vengeance against the AZL-A's, led by starter Yiomar Camacho (who is actually a prospect - i.e. I had heard of him before this year). A 21-year-old Venezuelan with an advanced curveball, Camacho is a bit behind the age curve, but is pitching the way he ought to be in the Arizona League. He utterly dominated in this game, striking out eight and posting a 5:1 GO:AO ratio in five shutout innings, allowing five hits and no walks. Camacho has now posted a 13:1 K:BB ratio in his first nine stateside innings, allowing just seven hits and a single run. He'll have to pitch well in full-season ball next year (and/or late this year) to be a serious prospect, but he could be sped up a bit through Low-A and finish next year in the Cal League if he succeeds. Relievers Berling Cruz and Mike Lebo each dominated in scoreless two-inning appearances, as Cruz struck out four and Lebo K'd a pair. Geoff Blum made a rehab appearance, going 1-2 with a walk and a run scored and playing third base. The star at the plate was Socrates Brito, who went 2-5 with a double. Unfortunately, Wagner Mateo's stateside struggles continued, as he went 0-4 with a walk and another three strikeouts. Mateo is now 3-25 with a home run and a 14:5 K:BB ratio in his first six games. It's worth being a little concerned about, though remember that he is just 18 years old.
DSL: D-backs 0, Rockies 2. (9-15) The DSL-Diamondbacks managed just two hits, both singles, in getting shutout by the DSL-Rox. Really, no inspiring performances to write up here.