Trevor Bauer: Our Savior?
With Arizona's rotation approaching - but don't start panicking yet, folks - the "turmoil" state, the D-backs top pitching prospect on the farm made his case on Saturday to join the big-league club sooner rather than later. He certainly won't be available for Monday's start that Daniel Hudson will miss after throwing yesterday, but if someone in the rotation struggles this time through - be it Josh Collmenter, Wade Miley, or perhaps Joe Martinez - a D-backs club with NL West pennant aspirations may not be able to keep performances like this one down in the minors too much longer.
Also, for those wanting a glimpse at another of our top pitching phenoms, follow us after the break for a five-minute video clip of the seventh pick of last year's draft taking his pre-start bullpen session!
Snakelet of the Day:
Trevor Bauer (Double-A): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 8:2 K:BB, 5:4 GO:FO
Triple-A: Reno 0, Sacramento 6. (5-12) In my couple years of writing these reports, I haven't seen a whole lot of shutouts in the PCL. The RiverCats pitching quintet of Jarrod Parker (2.2 IP), Neil Wagner (2.1 IP), Eric Threets (2 IP), Jim Miller (1 IP), and Merkin Valdez (1 IP) managed to do just that to the Aces bats, though, holding the Aces to just two hits and three walks across nine innings, facing the minimum across the final four innings. Further, starter Chris Jakubauskas had a rough day, allowing five earned runs in 5.2 innings on the mound, giving up ten hits, four walks, and a home run while striking out just one batter. Reliever Jason Lane finished things off with 3.1 innings of admirable one-run relief, allowing just one solo home run while striking out four and saving the rest of the bullpen.
Double-A: Mobile 8, Jacksonville 1. (10-7) I don't know if Trevor Bauer is still dealing with his groin issue, but if so, it sure didn't look like it on Saturday. Bauer mowed through the Suns lineup, throwing 99 pitches in 7 innings of dominance, striking out eight and scattering four hits and two walks over his scoreless effort. Bauer's line on the year after last night's outing: 22.2 IP, 12 H, 28:14 K:BB, 1 ER, 0.40 ERA. Not too shabby. The offense did its part, too, with Matt Davidson and Marc Krauss each hitting two-run homers to lead the way.
Hi-A: Visalia 6, Rancho Cucamonga 13. (7-9) Cuban left-hander Alexander Carreras had an off-day (yes, that's an understatement), lasting just 1.1 innings while surrendering six hits and nine runs (five earned) while walking one, striking out one, and surrendering a pair of home runs. Relievers Mike Belfiore and Patrick Schuster each surrendered a pair of earned runs in their long relief efforts, putting the game well out of reach. Give credit to the offense, though, for not rolling over in this one, as they still managed to generate some excitement at the plate, mostly off of Dodgers top right-handed pitching prospect Zach Lee. Despite Lee collecting nine strikeouts in 6.1 innings, he allowed two home runs to the Rawhide bats, a solo shot from Jonathan Griffin in the top of the second and a three-run blast from Eric Groff in the third. Raywilly Gomez, Chris Owings, and Chris Valencia each doubled off of Lee, and seven Rawhide bats had two-hit days.
Low-A: South Bend 8, Beloit 5. (8-8) I think this is what a game of Archie Bradley "struggling" in the Midwest League is going to look like. Bradley didn't so much struggle with the opposing hitters as he struggled with his control, walking five in five innings of work. Still, Bradley's stuff is simply un-hittable for the hitters at this level, and his 91-94 mph fastball and 80-82 mph hammer curveball mowed through the Snappers lineup. Bradley even showed himself fully capable of handling Beloit star prospect Miguel Sano, inducing a weak broken-bat fly ball in the first that happened to drop in for a Texas-Leaguer and a swinging strikeout on a dirty curveball low and inside. I shot some video of Bradley's pre-game bullpen session, which is below this report. The Hawks were led at the plate by Bobby Stone and Marc Bourgeois, with Stone homering and doubling and Bourgeois hitting a grand slam. Stone's homer was the club's first of the season, so, naturally, it was followed by Bourgeois later that same inning. Oh, baseball.
Archie Bradley Bullpen 042112.MP4 (via DStritt2012)