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D-backs to the Future: week ending May 27th

They say that which doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. Well in that case our bullpen must be stronger than ever right now. I don’t know how you survived the last two games, but overall it’s been a great week for the big league club, and as you’re about to see, a good week for our minor league affiliates. Since I’ll be out of town tomorrow, I’m writing this on Wednesday and I’ll ask Jim to post it tomorrow. So, on to another minor league report! Leave a comment if you like it, I hate to think I’m wasting my time writing these if no one’s reading.
                     -- Paqs

Reno Aces

The Aces have been ace-like this week, losing on Thursday before winning five straight behind strong pitching and the return of Josh Whitesell. Their record is 20-25 and they are out of the cellar in their division, 7.5 games back of Sacramento.

At the plate:

  • Whitesell picked up where he left off, hitting 9-22 with 4 walks and only three strikeouts since he got back. His line for the year now is .367/.478/.523 (wOBA+ 127) and he’s on a four game multi hit streak.
  • Alex Romero has put together a 7 game hitting streak, improving his line to .324/.393/.459 with 19 walks and only 17 strikeouts.

On the mound:

  • Bryan Augenstein got his first career AAA start and allowed four runs in six innings, striking out five and walking just one.
  • Cesar Valdez worked his third consecutive great start, allowing two runs in six innings with five strikeouts and two walks. He allowed four runs in his last three starts combined (17.1 IP). His ERA is now down to 5.08 after being in double digits a few weeks ago.
  • After a rocky start to his AAA career, Hector Ambriz had his second consecutive great start, going seven innings, allowing two runs with seven strikeouts and a walk. His ERA is down to 4.84.
  • Travis Blackley continues to impress out of the bullpen, tossing five scoreless innings with six strikeouts and no walks this week. Observe this split: 5 starts, 21.2 innings, 20 runs, 8.31 ERA versus 6 relief appearances, 17 innings, 4 runs, 18:2 strikeout to walk ratio! I think Blackley found his niche.

Mobile Baybears

The Bears (I can’t even type this without thinking of the SNL skit :) are rolling as well, losing two games before going on a four game winning streak to up their record to 26-20, 5.5 games out of the division lead. They did it mostly with pitching, allowing only four runs total in their four wins.

At the plate:

  • Cyle Hankerd is showing no signs of slowing down, with two three-hit games last week to improve his line to .360/.419/.525. Ideally, you’d want more than 10 walks from him, but I guess there’s nothing wrong with his eye if his OPS is .944
  • Orlando Mercado keeps hitting well, slugging his first homer of the year last night and going 6-14 on the week to improve his line to .312/.389/.462
  • James Skelton is steadily turning his season around, going 6-14 with five walks and two doubles to improve to .225/.384/.283. His batting average isn’t much, but it will rise with his BABIP which is currently some 100 points below his career line. On the plus side, he leads the system with 31 walks and he cut his strikeout rate by half this season. I like the guy!

On the mound:

  • The good news about Jarrod Parker is that he allowed 1 run in each of his last three starts to lower his ERA to 2.52. The bad news is he walked 11 batters in 14.2 innings and couldn’t go past the fifth inning in any of the games. Still, if he’s struggling by allowing one run in games, I’ll take that.
  • Barry Enright has been remarkably consistent this year, not allowing more than three earned runs in any of his nine starts. He had his best start of the year on Monday, throwing 5.1 shutout innings to lower his ERA to 3.49.
  • Dan Schlereth showed improved control this week, throwing 2.2 innings while walking just one and striking out three. He has 19 strikeouts and 11 walks in 18 innings, with an ERA of 1.50

Visalia Rawhide

Visalia went 2-3 this week, keeping their division lead at 2 games with a 28-17 record. They had a slow week at the plate, scoring just two runs in their three losses.

At the plate:

  • Kyle Greene belted two homers last week, and he leads the team with 6 on the season. His line is .272/.339/.450

On the mound:

  • Josh Collmenter threw 7 shutout innings on Thursday to lower his ERA to 3.86 on the season, after allowing three or more runs in five straight starts.
  • Trevor Harden had his best start since getting promoted to Visalia, throwing 7 innings of one run ball, with three strikeouts and one walk. His ERA is 3.26 in 19.1 innings.

South Bend Silver Hawks

The Hawks also went 2-3 for the week, playing a number of rain shortened games. Their record is 21-22, good for fourth place in the division, 7.5 games back of the lead.

At the plate:

  • Brendan Duffy hit 6-17 with 2 triples and 2 walks last week and he leads the team in all the triple slash stats with .333/.427/.440. At 24 he is way too old for this level though.
  • After a very slow start to the season, Alfredo Marte is starting to turn his season around. He is on a 6 game hitting streaking, hitting 7-22 with a homer and four walks on the week to improve his line to .275/.326/.413. He is very athletic but needs to become more selective at the plate.

On the mound:

  • Wade Miley had a good start last night, allowing one run in six innings with seven strikeouts and a walk. He has a 3.61 ERA on the year, with 38 strikeouts and only 8 walks in 47.1 innings pitched.
  • Brett Moorehouse has been quietly impressive this year, not allowing more than three earned runs in a start. He had his best start on Friday, allowing 2 runs in a career-high eight innings, with four strikeouts and a walk. His ERA on the year is 3.46

That’s all for this week!