Chafin started out his professional career this year like a ball of fire and many of us were really excited about him early on. Then the wildness came though I don't know what to attribute that to. Perhaps he was working on some peripheral pitches to secure a future as a starter. Whatever it was it wasn't working. So on July 18 the club finally decided to put him in the bullpen, a fate many considered inevitable for him anyway. He's had a couple of so-so innings out of the pen, but he's definitely starting to settle into the role. Most importantly, the wildness is disappearing. Granted he hasn't been put into any high leverage situations yet but that will come in time. In his last 5 appearances covering 6.1 innings he's walked only 1 and struck out 6. I have no inside knowledge whether they plan to keep him in the bullpen going forward, but it would make sense. And it would probably shorten his path to the majors.
3 Stars: Brent Clevlen, Mobile 3 for 5, 2 R, 1 DBL, 1 HR (5), 2 RBI
2 Stars: Charles Brewer, Reno 6 IP, 8 H, 0 BB, 4 K, W (8-6)
1 Star: Jared Ray, Missoula 6 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 HR, 11 K, 2 ER, W (2-4)
0 Stars: J.R. Bradley, South Bend 2 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 HR, 6 ER
Game summaries after the jump.
Triple A: Reno 4 @ Omaha 2. Charles Brewer put a really good outing together allowing 1 run on 8 hits and 0 walks in 6 innings while striking out 4. Brewer's posted some real stinkers in the last month or so, so it was good to see a good one. The offense was fairly anemic but was good enough for Brewer to earn the win. Professional hitter Mike Jacobs went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI, and Cole Gillespie hit a pinch-hit 2-run homer in the top of the 9th to give the team a cushion. Bryan Shaw pitched the 9th for his 1st AAA save since being sent down, though he did allow a run.
Double A: Mobile 7 @ Birmingham 5. The Bay Bears finally scored a few runs and made a winner of Michael Bolsinger's yeoman's effort on the mound. Bolsinger wasn't great but he limited the damage against him to 3 runs in 6 innings, though he did allow 7 hits and 5 walks. Brent Clevlen had a big night with 3 hits that included a double, his 5th home run and 2 RBI. Chris Owings went 3 for 5 with a double and Ryan Strieby hit his second home run since being signed as a free agent. Matt DEavidson went 1 for 5 with an RBI, 2 strikeouts, and his 26th error of the year.
High A: Visalia 2 Stockton 11. Not a good game on any front for Visalia last night. After bumping Taylor Siemens up the prospect list he got hit hard allowing 6 runs in 4+ innings on 6 hits, 3 walks and a home run. He did strike out 8 though. Gerson Montilla did the most on offense with 2 hits including his 7th home run for Visalia (11th overall). Andrew Chafin pitched another inning of relief allowing 1 hit and striking out 3 with no walks.
Low A: South Bend 7 @ Lake County 6. A really nice come-from-behind win for South Bend as J.R. Bradley dug the team a huge hole when he allowed 6 runs in the second inning. He didn't come back out for the third. The offense battled back with a 4-spot in the 4th featuring a 3-run homer by Ryan Court. The topper was Roidany Aguila hitting a 2-run pinch-hit home run in the top of the 9th to give the Silver Hawks a satisfying 1-run victory. Seth Simmons earned the win with 2 shutout innings. Tom Belza chipped in with 2 hits including a double and an RBI.
Short Season A: Yakima 4 @ Tri-City 9. After calling Daniel Watts the Yakima ace he was anything but last night as he was hit early and often. He was eventually knocked out in the 4th after surrendering 7 runs (6 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks. The offense tried to battle back from the first inning deficit with 3 runs in the second from Mark Ginther's 2nd home run of the year. But they couldn't do much after that. Yogey Perez-Ramos had 4 hits (all singles) but nobody behind him could add much to that. Wagner Mateo went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
Rookie: Missoula 6 Helena 5. Starter Jared Ray pitched his best game in over a month as he struck out 11 Brewers over 6 innings, and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk. Reliever Michael Blake struggled behind Ray in when he have up 3 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks to make the game closer than it should have been. But Justin Thompson struck out the side in the 9th to earn his 5th save. Backup catcher Kevin Dultz hit a 2-run homer in the 1st and Evan Marzilli had another 2-hit game.
AZL Rookie: Dbacks 3 Athletics 5. Starter Jeff Gibbs had another poor outing and his professional career is off to a bumpy start. He allowed 4 runs (3 earned) in 3+ innings on 5 hits, 3 walks and a home run. A balanced offensive attack couldn't overcome that as the top seven batters each had just one hit. Brian Billigen's lone hit was a solo home run, his first as a professional. Justin Bianco went 1 for 3 with a walk and was caught stealing. John Leonard went 0 for 4 and is now 0 for 10 since being sent down.