Day three of the minor-league season, and we've seen the excitement of the Opening Day starting pitching group of Barry Enright, Trevor Bauer, David Holmberg, and Archie Bradley fade into Joe Martinez, Derek Eitel, Anthony Meo, and John Pedrotty. That said, despite the relative drop-off in hype, Saturday's starters performed solidly, Martinez and Eitel in particular. Still, none of those performances matched this stellar outing from one of Hi-A Visalia's big boppers.
Snakelet of the Day:
Yazy Arbelo (Hi-A): 1-2, HR, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 RBI
Triple-A: Reno 2, Colorado Springs 5. (2-1) Taking the mound for the Aces was right-hander Joe Martinez, given a 40-man roster spot in the off-season as part of his minor-league contract with the D-backs. Martinez delivered an impressive performance, giving up just two runs in seven innings on five hits and two walks while striking out two. Most impressively, Martinez induced thirteen ground ball outs. Unfortunately, reliever Sam Demel came on and had a disastrous outing, allowing four hits - including a homer - and three runs in his inning of work. Jason Lane pitched a scoreless ninth for Reno. Offensively, Cody Ransom contributed a two-run double and A.J. Pollock had a pair of hits, but the Aces offense was otherwise lackluster.
Double-A: Mobile 1, Mississippi 0. (3-0) This game was a big-time pitcher's duel, as Mobile starter Derek Eitel and reliever Bryan Henry combined to go pitch-for-pitch for six innings with Mississippi lefty Sean Gilmartin, one of Atlanta's top young arms. Eitel, one of Arizona's less-heralded arms despite a solid minor-league statistical track record, worked four scoreless innings, throwing 63 pitches and striking out three, allowing four hits and a pair of walks. Where Eitel shined was his ability to keep the ball on the ground, producing eight ground ball outs in his short stint. After two scoreless innings from Henry, Kevin Munson worked two more scoreless frames. Then, after the BayBears bats had finally come alive in the top of the ninth to scratch across a run on three singles, Matt Gorgen worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning that included a pair of strikeouts.
Hi-A: Visalia 5, Bakersfield 4. (2-1) Taking the mound for Visalia was 2011 second-round pick Anthony Meo, who had some serious issues with his control. Meo walked five and hit a batter in four innings of work, giving up three runs. Meo did strike out three, though, for those looking for a bright spot. Thankfully, Raymond Hernandez - brother of David - came on in long relief and gave up just one run across three innings, striking out five with no walks and giving up just a solo home run. Hernandez's work allowed the Rawhide to claw back in the game, led by Yazy Arbelo, who homered and walked twice. Also chipping in were Jonathan Griffin and Michael Freeman, who each doubled, and Bobby Borchering, who tripled.
Low-A (13 innings): South Bend 6, Bowling Green 4. (1-2) The South Bend offense came alive after a dormant first couple of games, supporting starting pitcher John Pedrotty. Pedrotty worked 5.1 innings and gave up four runs and three runs (two earned) with five strikeouts and four walks, while posting a sparkling 7:0 GO:AO ratio. The bullpen did phenomenal work after Pedrotty departed, allowing just one run in 7.2 innings, striking out 12 and walking just two. That gave the lineup enough time to break the 4-4 tie after nine innings, with Niko Gallego's triple and Ender Inciarte's subsequent sacrifice fly plating a pair of runs in the top of the 13th inning. Matt Helm also had a solid day at the plate, doubling and tripling.