Some interesting action on the farm today, mostly at Triple-A Reno, where the team's starting pitching was a point of excitement for the first time this season. For the first time this year, Reno actually had a top prospect on the mound to start the game, with Wade Miley toeing the rubber in Tucson against the Padres. After dominating Double-A a year ago, Miley went through some control struggles at the beginning of this season with the BayBears, so moving the lefty to the extreme hitter's environment of the PCL was slightly concerning, but Miley turned in a solid debut, and is doing his best to throw his name into the ring for a 2012 rotation slot.
Snakelet of the Day:
Brandon Allen (Triple-A): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K
Triple-A: Reno 6, Tucson 5. (50-34) As mentioned above, Miley's Triple-A debut went well, as the lefty allowed just five hits and two runs in seven innings of work, though he only sported a 3:3 K:BB ratio. His 13:4 GO:AO ratio came very much in handy for neutralizing the Padres offense, and Miley allowed just one extra-base hit in his start, a double to newly-promoted James Darnell, a top prospect in the Pads' system making his first Triple-A appearance after posting an OPS over 1.000 in the extreme pitcher's park at San Antonio in the Texas League (in other words, Darnell is good). You want to see a better K:BB ratio, but you like the results and love the ground balls. Offensively, Reno's offense exploded with the long ball. Tony Abreu and David Winfree combined for seven hits and two home runs, but each were one-upped by Brandon Allen's pair of home runs, although both of Allen's homers were solo shots. Konrad Schmidt also doubled for the Aces. Geoff Blum, now rehabbing with the Aces, went 0-3 while playing third base.
Double-A: Mobile 5, Birmingham 2. (46-36) Left-hander Tom Layne, demoted from Reno to make room for Miley's promotion, vented his frustrations on the Birmingham line-up by striking out eight in 5.2 innings of work, walking three, giving up four hits, and allowing just one run. The offense was uncharacteristically light-swinging, mustering just a single extra-base hit - a double from Jacob Elmore. However, eight well-timed hits led to five runs, all of which came in the third and fourth innings. Elmore and Ryan Wheeler each had a pair of hits for the BayBears. Your Daily Goldschmidt: Paul struggled on the fourth, going 0-3 with two strikeouts and a HBP.
Hi-A: Visalia 1, Inland Empire 7. (37-44) Mobile may have managed just one extra-base hit, but that was one better than Visalia's lineup mustered in their losing effort. Alfredo Marte was the only Rawhide batter to collect two hits, while Keon Broxton reached base three times on a hit and two walks. Diogenes Rosario was mediocre on the mound, giving up four runs - three earned - in 5.1 innings before giving way to Brian Budrow, who was even worse. Budrow allowed three more runs, all earned, to cross the plate in his 1.2 innings of work before handing the ball to Yonata Ortega, who had a dominant eighth inning, striking out the side.
Low-A: South Bend 4, Dayton 5. (39-41) The Silver Hawks took a three-run lead into the ninth inning, but Blake Cooper had a meltdown and retired just one Dragons batter and finished the evening charged with four runs, a blown save, and the loss. It's a shame, too, because Jeff Shields had a great start, throwing 6.1 innings of one-run (unearned) ball, striking out six and walking one. Best of all, though, may have been Shields' impeccable 12:1 GO:AO ratio. Burning worms, missing bats, and hitting the strike zone - that's a heck of a combo. At the plate, Chris Jarrett and Ender Inciarte doubled, while Zach Walters whacked a first-inning solo home run. Yazy Arbelo went 0-0... with four walks.
Short-Season-A: Yakima 4, Boise 5. (6-12) Starter Adam Kudryk was solid, surrendering just one run in his six innings of work, but the bullpen had a meltdown, allowing four runs in three-plus innings, allowing the Hawks to tie the game in the eighth, then walk it off with nobody out in the tenth. Henry Zabala went 2-3 at the plate with a triple and a homer, while Westley Moss doubled and Justin Hilt chipped in a homer of his own.
Advanced-Rookie: Missoula 9, Billings 7. (7-8) The Osprey bats came alive in this one, amassing seven extra-base hits and scoring in six of nine innings. Those extra-base hits were produced by Josh Parr (double, home run), Eric Groff (two doubles), Roidany Aguila (double), Ryan Court (triple), and Tom Belza (home run). This offensive outburst allowed the Osprey to overcome a mediocre outing from starter Dexter Price, who gave up seven runs in just four innings of work. Thankfully, Raymond Hernandez, younger brother of David, came on for four innings of stellar work, striking out four, walking one, and giving up just one hit and no runs with a 6:2 GO:AO ratio. The younger Hernandez, 22 years old, has now posted a 12:2 K:BB ratio and 2.57 ERA in his first professional action between the AZL and Missoula.
Low-Rookie: D-backs 4, Reds 5. (6-6) Infielder Jesus Abreu continued his domination of the Arizona League, hitting his first homer of the year and raising his season line to .286/.500/.536. Starter Cesse De Jesus wasn't very good, allowing three runs in five innings of work (with a 3:0 K:BB ratio), though reliever Berling Cruz took the loss by allowing an unearned run in his 2 innings of work.
DSL: DSL action was postponed today due to rain.