With Chris Young's recent demotion to Reno, fans are curious to see how he responds in the minors, and if he is in fact able to find his swing and gain some much-needed confidence at the dish. Well, he's played his first series in AAA against the Round Rock Express, so it's time for an update on how things have fared for CY.
Game 1, 8/14/09: @ Reno, vs. Round Rock. Won 17-6. Batted second in the order, behind Brandon Watson and ahead of Brandon Allen. 4-5, 4 1B, 1 BB, 2 RBI.
Game 2, 8/15/09: @ Reno, vs. Round Rock. Lost 10-7. Batted leadoff, ahead of Ruben Gotay and Brandon Allen. 1-5, 1 2B, 1 R.
Game 3, 8/16/09: @ Reno, vs. Round Rock. Won 5-2. Batted second in the order, behind Eric Byrnes, and ahead of Ruben Gotay. 1-4, 1 1B, 1 R.
Game 4, 8/17/09: @ Reno, vs. Round Rock. Won 8-0. Batted third in the order, behind Eric Byrnes, and ahead of John Hester. 1-3, HR, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 3 R.
Overall: 7-17, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3:3 K/BB, 4 RBI, 9 R. Line of .412/.500/.647, OPS of 1.147. A good series for CY, very nice to see him get a hit in every game, show some pop, and have as many walks as strikeouts.
Hatchling Bites 8/14/09
AAA-Reno - Crushed Round Rock 17-6. Butchered Express' starter Erick Abreu, who began the season in Hi-A Lancaster (an old affiliate of ours) in the California League, for 12 earned runs in 2.2 IP, covering up Hector Ambriz's mediocre 5 IP, 6 R (5 ER) start. Aside from CY's aforementioned great debut, John Hester and Ruben Gotay each had 5 RBI, Brandon Allen went 3-4 with a HR, 2 BB, and 2 RBI, and Cole Gillespie is starting to seriously heat up, going 2-4 with a HR, a BB, and 2 RBI (more on Gillespie in 8/15/09 Reno section).
AA-Mobile - Matt Torra threw a dazzling 7 innings, allowing just 1 ER and putting his ERA below 4 at 3.93, and begging the organization to fricking cut Seth Etherton already. Evan Frey had a 2 RBI, a 3B, and a run scored. Ricardo Sosa was the only BayBear to accumulate a multi-hit game, going 2-3 with 2 1B, a BB, and an RBI. Leyson Septimo K'd all three batters he faced, and his Mobile ERA is now at a golden 2.31 in eleven appearances.
Hi-A Visalia - Bryan Henry went six strong innings, giving up two runs (zero earned), and Visalia beat Modesto in the tenth off of James Skelton's pinch-hit three-run blast in the top of the inning. He went on to play second base in the bottom of that inning, after I've seen him play both catcher and left field recently. The team appears to be trying to turn Skelton into an on-base machine utility man - pretty valuable commodity if it can work out. I'd personally like to see them put him back at Mobile for the rest of the season to see if he can improve upon his numbers from the first half of the season there. Other Rawhide players to have good games include Ryne White, who was 4-5 with a run scored, Konrad Schimdt, who was 3-5 with 2 RBI, Kyle Greene, who was 2-4 with 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 RBI, and 1 R, and Ollie Linton, who also went 2-4, including a double and a walk.
Mid-A South Bend - Wade Miley put in a 5 IP, 1 ER effort (pulled after 5 due to organizational innings limit), Jordan Meaker put in three scorless innings of relief, and Reynaldo Navarro and Rossmel Perez each had three-hit games as the SilverHawks beat Lansing 7-2.
Low-A Yakima - Ryan Wheeler had three of the Bears' seven hits, but nonetheless Yakima was shut out, 7-0, by Eugene. The Bears wasted a brilliant 7 IP, 1 ER start from Christopher Odegaard, as Brad Gemberling followed Odegaard with a 0.1 IP, 6 ER relief outing of suck (Gemberling's ERA for the day - 162.0).
Rookie-level Missoula - A solid start by Charles Brewer (5 IP, 2 ER), and a good offensive output hilighted by three first-inning home runs by David Nick, Keon Broxton, and David Narodowski helped Missoula put away the Odgen Raptors by a final of 6-4.
Hatchling Bites 8/15/09
AAA-Reno - Travis Blackley went 5 IP, giving up 5 ER, continuing to show that he provides the Diamondbacks with no "veteran value" whatsoever, and didn't have Ambriz's luck in avoiding a loss. Cole Gillespie was really the only Reno offensive player who put up a good game, going 2-3 with 1 2B, 2 BB, and 2 RBI. Over his last ten games (as of 8/15/09), Gillespie is hitting 14-34 (.412) with 3 2B, 1 3B, and 1 HR, 9:6 K/BB, 10 RBI, and 4 runs scored and a ten-day line of .412/.500/.620. Since joining the team in the Felipe Lopez trade, and despite an immensely slow start, Gillespie's line is .307/.443/.480 for an OPS of .923. Don't be shocked if we see this guy in September. Another good (25-year-old... with the same birthday as me!) OF. We know what this means... Eight OF, Three Cups!
AA-Mobile - Cody Evans, Abe Woody, and Roque Mercedes combined to throw a shutout, and Chris Rahl's fourth-inning RBI single proved to be the difference. No great offensive nights, although Pedro Ciriaco and Orlando Mercado each had two hits.
Hi-A Visalia - James Skelton was 2-2 with 2 BB hitting third, Konrad Schmidt was 3-4 hitting cleanup, and Kyle Greene was 2-3 hitting sixth, but yet the Rawhide only managed to score Skelton once, losing 6-1 to Modesto. Trevor Harden went five innings, giving up five runs (four earned) for the loss, and is 0-5 in his last ten starts, despite having 7 IP / 1 ER (L), 5 IP / 1 ER (ND), 5 IP / 2 ER (ND), and 5 IP / 1 ER (ND) starts in that span. On the season, he is 1-9 with a 4.69 ERA. If you thought that Doug Davis was getting some rough offensive-support luck, just look at what Harden's going through.
Mid-A South Bend - Ryan Cook had a decent start, giving up 2 ER in 5.2 IP, and Daniel Vasquez put in 3.1 innings of one-run (earned) relief, getting a save and giving Cook the win as South Bend beat West Michigan 12-3. Clayton Conner hit a grand slam in the fifth inning, Reynaldo Navarro went 2-5 with 1 2B, 2 RBI, and 1 R, and Victor Estevez went 2-3 with 1 BB, 1 2B, 2 RBI, and 1 R.
Low-A Yakima - Daniel Taylor put forth a strong 6 IP, allowing 1 ER, and Yakima beat Eugene 8-5. Matt Davidson and Tyson Van Winkle each reached base three times, Ryan Wheeler went 3-5 with 2 2B and a run scored, and Astolfo Inciarte went 3-5 with a solo HR, 1 RBI, and 2 runs scored.
Rookie-level Missoula - Behind Bobby Stone's grand slam, Paul Goldschmidt's three-hits, including a double and an RBI, and a three-walk, four times on-base night from Alan Santiago, the Osprety rallied from being down 6-0 to beat the Odgen Raptors. Starter Eric Smith recorded just one out before being pulled, having given up four earned runs on three hits and two walks. Keith Cantwell then gave up two more runs in the next 2.2 innings, but Kevin Eichhorn, Bradin Hagens, and Scott Allen threw two scoreless innings apiece to allow for the offense to make their comeback.
Hatchling Bites 8/16/09
AAA-Reno - Billy Buckner had yet another dazzling start, giving up just 2 ER in 8 IP, lowering his AAA ERA to 3.20, helped his own cause by going 2-3 with a double and an RBI, and put himself in line to replace Yusmeiro Petit ASAP (very convenient that the two of them are pitching on the same nights). Both Chris Young and Eric Byrnes were on rehab assignments, with CY's numbers above, and Byrnes going 1-4 with a single. Brendan Watson went 2-3 with 2 RBI and a run scored, and Brandon Allen went 2-3 with a 3B, 1 BB, 2 RBI, and 2 R. A hilarious side and blast from the past, 28-year-old Round Rock AAAA-reliever Casey Daigle pitched a scoreless inning, lowering his ERA to 2.22 in 48.2 IP this year with the Express.
AA-Mobile - Barry Enright had a solid start, going 5 innings and giving up just 1 earned run, but Jordan Norberto came in in relief and gave up 2 earned runs in as many innings, and Mobile lost 3-2 to Huntsville. Pedro Ciriaco had yet another 2-hit game, stole a base, and scored a run. Bryan Byrne went 3-4. However, all of the BayBears' 9 hits were singles, and only when Wes Littleton came back out for eighth inning after a scoreless seventh did a BayBear cross the plate, and only one of the two runs Mobile scored was earned.
Hi-A Visalia - Christian Beltre's seven-inning one-run start was wasted, as Ramon Sanchez allowed two runs while getting just one out, and Jorge Perez allowed another pair of runs in 1.1 innings, blowing a save and then losing the game, as Modesto won in walk-off fashion despite not having an extra-base hit all game. Offensively, James Skelton was 1-2 with 2 BB and an RBI, Ollie Linton was 2-4 with 1 BB and a run scored, David Cooper was 1-2 with 3 BB, and Ryne White was 2-5 with 1 2B.
Mid-A South Bend - Justin Parker and Clayton Conner each went 2-4 with 1 2B, with Parker accumulating 3 RBI and 1 R, and Conner gathering 2 RBI, but none of the three South Bend pitchers used had scoreless outings, and the SilverHawks lost to West Michigan 7-5 in a day game.
Low-A Yakima - Three-hit games from 2-hitter Astolfo Inciarte, 3-hitter Brent Greer, cleanup-hitter Ryan Wheeler, and sixth-hitter Tyson Van Winkle resulted in seven RBI, and Yakima edged Eugene 7-6. Rafael Quezada allowed three earned runs through a five-inning start, and Randy Hamrick gave up two runs in the ninth before notching the save. Wheeler's season (through 8/16) has been absolutely remarkable, and I can imagine he'll be sent to Visalia next season, as South Bend seems to be pointless for him. His line is now .342/.449/.523 for an OPS of .972.
Rookie-level Missoula - Miles Reagan gave up three runs in one inning of work on a two-out, three-run homer by Nick Akins to rob Enrique Burgos' 6 IP, 2 ER effort of a win, and Missoula lost to Odgen 6-4. Bobby Stone, who had a tremendous night, went 3-5 with a 2B, a HR, 3 RBI, and a run scored, and Paul Goldschmidt drew four walks, but batters 5-9 for Missoula were one-hit by the five pitchers used by Odgen.
Hachling Bites 8/17/09
AAA-Reno - Tony Barnette threw six shutout innings, lowering his ERA to a lovely 6.01, and three Reno relievers each put up a scoreless frame in order to secure an 8-0 shutout. The runs were mostly produced by Chris Young, John Hester, and Cole Gillespie. CY's night is found at the top of this write-up, Hester hit a 2 RBI double, and Gillespie went 3-4 with 2 2B, 3 RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base.
AA-Mobile - Bryan Augenstein pitched for the first time since July, going three scoreless innings against the Mississippi Braves and lowering his Mobile ERA to 0.72. A good sign that he was able to complete the three innings, as he pulled himself after one inning the last time he tried to return from his elbow issues. Mobile won 4-1 behind a good game from 1B Bryan Byrne, who was 2-3 with a BB, 1 2B, 1 RBI, and 2 R. Leyson Septimo also continued his amazing performance at Mobile, throwing 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Hi-A Visalia - Day off.
Mid-A South Bend - Only one SilverHawk, Rossmel Perez, managed more than one hit, no SilverHawk drew a walk, and Brian Moorhouse gave up six runs (five earned) through just two innings as South Bend lost to West Michigan 8-3.
Low-A Yakima - The Bears were destroyed 11-1 behind the god-awful performances of three of four Yakima pitchers, and the Bears mustered just one extra-base hit. The player with that hit, Matt Davidson, went 2-3 with the double, a walk, and a run scored for a good day at the dish, but none of the three batters behind him in the order recorded a hit, and only Tyson Van Winkle got on base once with a walk.
Rookie-level Missoula - Michael Belfiore had his first bad outing since July 2, giving up eight runs (six earned) through 5.2 IP, as Orem beat Missoula 9-3. Paul Goldschmidt went 2-4 with a double, continuing to prove he belongs in A-ball, Raywilly Gomez went 3-4 with an RBI, and Ender Inciarte also collected two hits.
Hatchlings of Note
Brandon Allen has refused to take his foot off the accelerator, even after 34 games and 132 ABs. His total Reno line is .348/.427/.697. That's an OPS of 1.124. And that's unheard of. In his last ten games, he's 14-40 with 2 2B, a 3B, 3 HR, 8:4 K/BB, 10 RBI, 13 R, and 2 SB (0 CS). Not too shabby, eh? That makes for a .350/.410/.680 for a 1.090 OPS in that span.
Cole Gillespie has been pretty darned good himself in the last ten games as well, going 17-36 with 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7:5 K/BB, 13 RBI, 5 R, and 1 SB (0 CS). The line is a rather respectable .472/.537/.750 and an OPS of 1.287. Methinks Gillespie may have earned himself a September callup. It's probably a good thing for Trent Oeltjen that Justin Upton got hurt before this breakout by Gillespie, as it may have been Gillespie who was called up had it taken place much later. Gillespie's Reno line now stands at .307/.443/.480 for an OPS of .923. GM Josh Byrnes traded three years of Tony Pena and three months of Felipe Lopez for a 25-year-old 1B slugger and a 25-year-old OF who appears to have regained the level of production he had when he was a top prospect for Milwaukee. It's not far-fetched to think that both of them may be prominent members of the 2010 roster. Allen appears to be the everyday starter at 1B and Gillespie would at least be a better option in the OF than, say, Eric Byrnes.
It's not everyday that a pitcher at Reno (or anywhere in the PCL) is worthy of special mention due to exceptional performance, but Billy Buckner has been just that. In his last seven starts, Buckner has thrown 50.2 innings and given up just 11 earned runs, for an ERA of 1.97 in that span. Given the hitter's-league nature of the PCL, it's hard to take that kind of production for granted. Look for him to take Yusmeiro Petit's place in the rotation as soon as Petit's next scheduled start.
Leyson Septimo has destroyed the competition in Mobile after making what is supposed to be the most difficult jump in the minors from Hi-A to AA, his ERA has fallen from 3.52 at Visalia to 2.08 through 13 IP at Mobile. Granted, not everything is totally sustainable amongst what he has done, like the 3.20 GO/AO ratio, but the 19 K in 13 IP is a sign of what kind of stuff this kid possesses, and how effective he can be. I don't think he'll be in Reno before next season, but he'll start there in 2010 and be ready for a promotion to the majors if he performs well and a spot opens up for him in the bullpen.
James Skelton has been on a tear as of late, and appears to be trying to earn himself a promotion back to AA before the end of the season to make up for his dismal first-half at Mobile. In his last ten games, he's hitting 10-27 with a double, a HR, 7:9 K/BB ratio, 7 RBI, and 4 R. That gives the on-base machine a line of .370/.500/.519 for an OPS of 1.019 over that span. I imagine that the organization would like to see him back at Mobile ASAP to try to get him back on track to get to the majors sometime soon, and with his age climbing, time is of the essence with Skelton.
Konrad Schmidt and Ryne White are both playing well over their last ten games as well. Schmidt is 14-40 with 3 2B, 6:3 K/BB, 2 RBI, and 1 R for a line of .350/.395/.425 and an OPS of .820, and White is 14-39 with 4 2B, 6:5 K/BB, 2 RBI, 6 R, and 1 SB (2 CS) for a line of .359/.432/.462 andan OPS of .894. White is a legitimate prospect at 23-years-old, but Schmidt has probably lost any chances at having major-league value he had, at 26-years-old. The organization is probably keeping him around because catchers are valuable commodities to have around the organization.
Three Visalia starters, Josh Collmenter, Pat McAnaney, and Christian Beltre, all had very good last outings. Collmenter went seven shutout innings on August 12, McAnaney went seven more shutout innings the next day, and on the 16th, Beltre went seven innings, giving up one earned run.
Mid-A South Bend:
19-year-old shortstop phenom Reynaldo Navarro has been on a huge hot-streak, going 17-43 with 3 2B, 5:0 K/BB, 7 RBI, 8 R, and 3 SB (0 CS) in his last ten, a line of .395/.395/.465 and an .860 OPS. If he can keep this up for the rest of the season, he could start of next season as a 20-year-old in Hi-A as one of the D-Backs' top prospects.
Wade Miley has put together a good stretch, with four good starts amongst his last five (with the one exception being a 5 IP 4 ER performance two starts ago), pitching 25 innings (due to organiational innings limits) and allowing 6 ER (including the bad start) for a 2.16 ERA.
It's taken Clayton Conner very little time to get himself acclamated to the Midwest League. In his six games with South Bend, Conner has hit 8-26 with 2 2B, a HR, 7 RBI, 4 R, and a line of .308/.333/.500 and an OPS of .833.
Left Fielder Astolfo Inciarte has had one of the best ten-day stretches in the organization, going 11-28 with 2 2B, 1 HR, 3:4 K/BB, 3 RBI, and 5 R. His line is .393/.469/.571, giving him an OPS of 1.040.
Bobby Borchering is set to join the Osprey sometime on their current road swing.
Borchering will be joining Paul Goldschmidt, who just continues to be a man amongst boys in the Pioneer League, hitting .514 (18-35) over his last ten games, with six doubles and five home runs. His OPS in this span is a RIDICULOUS 1.710 in that span. Goldschmidt has been almost single-handedly carrying this team, or at the very least making a darn good effort to do so.