As recently as 2012 we were calling Jonathan (now Jon) Griffin Goldy Light as he was mashing in HIgh A Visalia. But after brutal struggles at AA starting out in 2013 all the shine came off as he was demoted back to Visalia. He was given another crack at AA this year, and while he didn't set the world on fire in April, he is really heating up in May. All he did last night for Mobile was hit four home runs and drive in 7, after singling in the first. He started out with solo shots in both the 4th and 6th innings. He hit a 3-run bomb in the 7th and finished with a 2-run shot in the 9th. Griffin's a big guy at 6-6 and 230, and before his struggles last year there were slight murmurings that maybe he could go all the way. I'm not sure this changes anything as a somewhat forgotten prospect but it is the kind of feat that will get you noticed. We noticed.
On a transaction side note, Andrew Chafin was promoted to Reno and Charles Brewer was demoted to Mobile. Nick Evans was not in the lineup for Reno last night. Is he in route to St. Louis or is that just wishful thinking?
3 Stars: Jon Griffin, Mobile 5 for 6, 4 R, 4 HR (9), 7 RBI
2 Stars: Mike Bolsinger, Reno 7 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 7 K, 0 ER, W (3-0)
1 Star: Braden Shipley, South Bend 6 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 ER, W (3-2)
0 Stars: Brandon Sinnery, Visalia 1.1 IP, 11 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 10 R, 9 ER
AAA: Reno 3 @ Tacoma 1. Mike Bolsinger pitched a gem allowing just 1 hit over 7 innings in a low-scoring game that the team needed to secure the victory. Will Harris pitched a shutout 8th and Matt Stites gave up an unearned run in the 9th to earn his 3rd save. The offense did just enough with RBI from Tony Campana and Roger Kischnick.
AA: Mobile 17 @ Tennessee 7. It was all about Jon Griffin as he performed one of the rarest feats in baseball by hitting 4 home runs in one game. He got plenty of offensive assistance from his teammates though especially David Peralta who went 3 for 5 with a double, a home run and 5 RBI. Bradin Hagens was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion and was solid in his own right with 7 innings pitched allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk. It might be time for me to calm down a bit on Jimmie Sherfy as he had another rough outing allowing a couple of runs on a single and a home run. In 6 innings for Mobile he has 8 walks and 8 strikeouts. I'm a little surprised because it's not usually pitchers who struggle in the jump from High A to AA, but the hitters.
A+: Visalia 2 @ Modesto 11. Brandon Sinnery got destroyed and ruined what was a shiny ERA up to last night. He allowed 10 runs in the first two innings and it was no contest after that. The bullpen was good with 6.2 shutout innings with 10 strikeouts, but that was too little too late. Raul Navarro and Ryan Court each had a pair of hits.
A: South Bend 3 @ West Michigan 1. Braden Shipley had a very nice start allowing just a solo home run over 6 innings with 6 strikeouts. Silvino Bracho picked up his 4th save and has 14 strikeouts versus 3 walks in 9 innings. At 21 he's another up-and-coming reliever working his way into the mix. The offense only produced 4 hits but it was enough as Steve McQuail hit a 2-run homer, his 5th.