While the D-backs were busy being dominated by Miami right-hander Anibal Sanchez after the first on Saturday night, D-backs left-handed fireballer Andrew Chafin decided to do his best impression of Sanchez's outing for the Hi-A Visalia Rawhide. Chafin has been an absolute strikeout machine this year despite an aggressive assignment past Low-A ball, with his dozen whiffs giving him 45 on the season in a mere 27.2 innings of work, good for a rate of 14.64 K/9. That said, while he probably could handle a promotion and compete against Double-A hitters well enough, don't be surprised if he isn't rushed to Mobile - leaving him in the easier confines of Hi-A could give Chafin time to refine his changeup to use as a third MLB-caliber offering.
Snakelet of the Day:
Andrew Chafin (Hi-A): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 12:1 K:BB, 1 HR, 6:2 GO:FO
Triple-A: Reno 5, Salt Lake 2. (9-14) After a rough outing in his Triple-A debut in which he allowed three home runs, right-hander Charles Brewer was stellar in his follow-up performance. Brewer allowed just one extra-base hit - a double - over six innings of work, striking out six and walking none. The end result was eight hits allowed in six-plus innings of work and two earned runs, lining him up for his first Triple-A victory. The offense dd its job, too, led by a four-hit day from Josh Bell, doubles from Randy Ruiz and Ryan Budde, and a home run from Evan Frey. Lefty Joe Paterson pitched another scoreless inning of relief, striking out one and walking one.
Double-A: Mobile 7, Chattanooga 6. (14-10) Making the start for the BayBears was right-hander Chase Anderson, who continued his bat-missing ways for Mobile this year. Anderson struck out nine over six innings of work, walking one and allowing five hits and three runs (two earned). The outing upped Anderson's ERA to 1.59 on the year, and his continued success as a starter to start off the season - 24:5 K:BB and just three earned runs allowed in 17 innings - makes him one of the most interesting prospects in the system.
Anderson has significant durability questions as a 24-year-old whose largest single-season workload is 108 innings, which he worked between Low-A and Hi-A in 2010. After missing most of 2011 with a serious elbow injury, is it worth the risk to keep stretching him out as a starter towards the 200 inning level and chance another injury with the high number of starters Arizona already has on the farm, or should he be moved to relief and fast-tracked to the show? It's certainly a debate worth having.
There were solid offensive performances throughout the lineup for the BayBears, headlined by Brent Clevlen's double and triple on the night. Daniel Kaczrowski doubled, singled, and walked, Matt Davidson doubled and walked, Raoul Torrez doubled and walked, Marc Krauss tripled, and Alfredo Marte contributed the team's only homer on the night, a solo shot in the sixth. Davidson's dominance (at just 21 years old!) has been well-documented, as the slugger is now hitting .333/.458/.529 with an 18:18 K:BB ratio in 24 games after yesterday's contest. Similarly encouraging, though, is how Krauss has hit, particularly as of late. Krauss is now hitting .269/.422/.551 on the season, and 12-30 (.400) with nine walks, five doubles, two triples, and two home runs in his last ten games (.535 OBP, .900 SLG in that span).
Hi-A: Visalia 3, San Jose 2. (9-14) As already detailed in the introduction, Andrew Chafin had one of the most dominant lines you'll see in a minor-league game this year on Saturday. What was especially encouraging was how deep into the game Chafin went, with the southpaw getting through six innings for the second time in his five outings, and getting through seven innings for the first time of the year. The fact that we got this kid in the supplemental round of the draft is both mind-blowing and incredible. The offense chipped in just enough in support of Chafin to give the team the win, collecting eight hits - all singles - and two walks on the night. The Rawhide bats mounted a comeback from one run down in the bottom of the eighth, scoring two runs on a walk and three hits, before Bo Schultz shut things down in the ninth.
Low-A: South Bend 3, Cedar Rapids 10. (13-9) South Bend right-hander Jeffrey Shields had a rough outing for the Silver Hawks in this one, allowing 12 hits and eight runs (seven earned) in four innings of work. Shields' biggest issue was striking out just one of the 23 batters he faced, although he did induce eight groundouts and may have been the victim of some unfortunate dinking-and-dunking. The Silver Hawks bats managed just four hits on the night, though they included doubles from Gerson Montilla, Fidel Pena, and Matt Helm.