Slept in until 1:30 p.m. Saturday morning, so I'm actually not writing this while falling asleep. A solid day on the farm for the full-season squads, as Reno, Mobile, Visalia, and South Bend combined to go 3-1 on the day, though the Short-Season squads that were in action were swept. I was tempted to give today's award to the Silver Hawks' starter, who turned in a great performance, but it's hard to pass over a two-homer game, and that's exactly what we saw at Hi-A Visalia Saturday night.
Snakelet of the Day:
Alfredo Marte (Hi-A): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K
Triple-A: Reno 8, Colorado Springs 6. (56-36) A typically wild and woolly affair in the PCL, as the two starters combined to give up nine runs in ten combined innings of work. On the mound for Reno was Gaby Hernandez, who was the better of the two starters by giving up just four runs in his stint, though he struck out just one batter and walked five. No idea how he pieced together an outing with fewer runs allowed than innings pitched with that kind of K:BB ratio. Offensively, Hernandez helped his own cause with a double, while David Winfree and Cody Ransom chipped in triples and Tony Abreu hit his ninth home run of the year. Bryan Shaw was given a night off from his typical closing duties, so Kam Mickolio notched his fifth save of the year for Reno with a one-run ninth.
Double-A: Mobile 2, Chattanooga 5. (55-38) Mobile's typically-potent offense had a bit of an off-day, although they managed their fair share of extra-base hits. Your Daily Goldschmidt doubled (and walked), Taylor Harbin tripled, and A.J. Pollock cranked a a solo home run, his sixth homer of the year. Pollock has been white-hot lately, posting a .953 OPS over his last ten games and showing off impressive power, with a .611 slugging over that span (.278 ISO). His season line is now up to a nice .306/.357/.444 on the year, an .801 OPS in the pitcher-friendly Southern League. Unfortunately, the BayBears didn't time their power particularly well, and Wes Roemer had yet another poor outing, allowing five runs (four earned) - all of which came in the fifth inning - in six innings, posting a 5:3 K:BB ratio and allowing a pair of long-balls to the Lookouts. Back in a relief role, Kyler Newby was impressive in his two innings, striking out five and allowing just two hits.
Hi-A: Visalia 9, Stockton 3. (42-50) Visalia jumped on the Ports early, giving Rawhide starter Derek Eitel a six-run lead before he even took the mound, thanks to first-inning home runs from Bobby Borchering and Alfredo Marte, the latter of whom would go on to crank a second home run in the fifth inning. David Nick added a pair of doubles, while Keon Broxton, Rossmel Perez, and Chris Owings each chipped in additional doubles. Broxton and Perez each had three-hit games, while Matt Davidson reached three times on a single and two walks. Eitel struggled with his control in his six-inning start, but held Stockton to three runs on a 3:4 K:BB ratio and an 11:3 GO:AO ratio.
Low-A: South Bend 5, Wisconsin 4. (42-49) The power bats were on display early in this game, as South Bend built up a 4-0 lead by the middle of the second inning. First-inning home runs from Yazy Arbelo - who reached base four times - and Raywilly Gomez built the initial cushion, while a sixth-inning solo shot from Matt Helm - his second in as many games - provided what proved to be a crucial insurance run. Roberto's Rodriguez and Ortiz each added extra-base knocks as well - a triple for the former and a double for the latter. Bradin Hagens had an excellent start, building a cushion that the bullpen couldn't blow (despite its valiant efforts to) by allowing just one run in seven solid innings, posting a fantastic 7:2 K:BB ratio and equally-remarkable 12:1 GO:AO ratio. An all-around dominant effort from Hagens.
Short Season-A: Yakima 3, Salem-Keizer 5. (10-19) Starter Alex Capaul was impressive in five innings on the mound, striking out four and posting 11 ground-ball outs with just one walk and one fly-ball out, allowing only one run. Unfortunately, John Pedrotty came on in relief and allowed four runs, though just two earned, in his three innings of work, struggling with some control issues. Offensively, Raul Navarro had a two-RBI triple for the Bears, while Carter Bell and Kerry Jenkins each chipped in doubles to try to stir up some extra offense, though it proved to not be enough.
Advanced-Rookie: Missoula 3, Idaho Falls 7. (15-11) It wasn't a good night for 2010 third-round pick Robby Rowland, who allowed five runs, all earned, in four innings of work with a 3:2 K:BB ratio and a home run allowed. For those worried about the 5.10 ERA 2010 second-rounder J.R. Bradley is putting up as an 18/19-year-old in Low-A, Rowland's 7.71 mark for the Osprey at 19 years old has to be at least slightly more concerning, though at least Rowland has posted a 20:4 overall K:BB ratio. Still, Rowland put the Osprey in a deficit they couldn't climb out of, particularly since Missoula's offense generated just a single extra-base hit on Saturday, a double from Ryan Court.
Low-Rookie: The AZL club wasn't in action on Saturday, though word has it that J.J. Putz will throw in Sunday's AZL game. Should be fun to hear the stories of what the prankster Putz does to the largely young, culture-shocked Latin American AZL roster.
DSL: D-backs 6, Padres 8. (14-27) 18-year-old Ranfy Vargas hasn't taken long to make a solid impression in the DSL since his debut on Thursday, as a 2-3 night with a double, a rare DSL home run, and a walk appears to give the DSL D-backs a legitimate power bat in their lineup to compliment table-setters like Yorman Garcia and Ronny Mejias. 19-year-old outfielder Michael Gonzalez added a double and a walk to the D-backs' efforts, though the pitching didn't quite hold up, partially thanks to four unearned runs allowed.