That's what I am right about now. It's been a long week with all of the All-Star festivities and baseball writing to be finished in time to be fit into the break (a self-imposed deadline). Just two more reports to power through before I can become temporarily comatose... On Thursday, the D-backs saw a surprising offensive outputs from clubs that typically don't produce as well as the organization likely hopes, with two levels - Advanced-Rookie Missoula and Low-Rookie AZL - stood out from the rest. I elected to go with a pair of top performances - one from each club:
Snakelets of the Day:
Tom Belza (Advanced-Rookie): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Joseph Weik (Low-Rookie): 4-5, 3B, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB
Triple-A: Reno 7, Colorado Springs 6. (54-36) Starter Barry Enright had a bit of a rough day, allowing two home runs in his six innings on the mound, walking two, giving up 10 hits, and allowing five runs. Enright's ERA rose to 4.29 with the outing - solid for the PCL, but not the numbers of a big-league rotation savior. I'd love to see Enright back in the major leagues, but I'm not completely sure that he'd be a dramatic upgrade over Josh Collmenter, though Collmenter would probably be more valuable as a reliever than Enright would be. At the plate, Reno did just fine without Brandon Allen and Geoff Blum in the lineup, as Robby Hammock and Mark Hallberg each doubled twice, and Cody Ransom and Konrad Schmidt homered to lead the way for the Reno offense.
Double-A: Lefty Tyler Skaggs' first Double-A start was delayed due to rain. Weather permitting, Skaggs will debut tomorrow.
Hi-A: Visalia 1, San Jose 12. (41-49) The Visalia offense lacked power in this one, recording no extra-base hits in this one. Matt Davidson and Rossmel Perez each had a pair of singles, while David Nick and Bobby Borchering each had a hit and a walk. Starter Diogenes Rosario had a strange outing, allowing just one earned run in 3.1 innings, but three more unearned runs while posting a 3:3 K:BB ratio. The bullpen, particularly Christian Beltre, really struggled, allowing eight earned runs over the remaining 4.2 innings.
Low-A: South Bend 3, Beloit 6. (40-49) First baseman Yazy Arbelo hit his 22nd home run of the season for the Silver Hawks, but only Matt Helm reached base twice by singling and getting hit by a pitch. Starter Michael Bolsinger had a shaky start, allowing five runs - four earned - in just four innings on the mound. To be fair to the Silver Hawks offense, they at least were shut down by a darn good pitching prospect, Minnesota's Adrian Salcedo.
Short Season-A: Yakima 6, Salem-Keizer 2. (9-18) The Yakima offense collected six walks and ten hits to lead a balanced attack against the Volcanoes' offense. Marc Bourgeois' triple was the only extra-base hit notched, and he also drew a walk to lead the Bears' offense. The offense came in support of Teo Gutierrez, who has established himself as the best starting pitcher in the Yakima rotation. Gutierrez was solid again on Thursday, striking out four in seven innings with no walks and three hits, posting a 12:4 GO:AO ratio and allowing only two runs. With the outing, Gutierrez lowered his ERA to 2.92 on the year, and he looked primed to be given a shot in South Bend's rotation in 2012.
Advanced-Rookie: Missoula 13, Casper 0. (14-10) An all-around dominant game for the Osprey, as starter Taylor Siemens struck out seven with one walk and three hits allowed in his five innings of scoreless pitching, only to be followed by three shutout innings from Conrad Flynn (four strikeouts, no walks), and a single scoreless inning from Frank Santana (struck out the side, one walk). Offensively, Tom Belza stole the show by cranking two home runs, while Bryan Henry doubled and homered, Chris Ellison tripled, and Eric Groff hit two doubles and a triple. The Osprey offense drew just one walk, but that proved to be of little importance on Thursday night.
Low-Rookie: D-backs 14, Royals 10. (7-12) In a classic slugfest, the AZL D-backs came out on top due to some solid pitching in the last few innings, particularly from Elroy Urbina, who struck out three in 1.2 scoreless innings. Offensively, the D-backs bats were finding the triples gaps repeatedly, as Pat Donahue, Derek Luciano, Socrates Brito, and Joseph Weik all tripled, while Tyson Van Winkle added a double. Weik reached base five times on four hits and a walk, while Wagner Mateo and Donahue each reached base four times.
DSL: D-backs 1, Reds 3. (14-25) The DSL D-backs managed a surprising power output in this contest, with Yorman Garcia and Ronny Mejias each doubling and drawing a walk to try to spark the offense. Unfortunately, it proved to be to little avail, as the D-backs bats were unable to scratch off more than just a single run. On the mound, Mauricio Soto, David Cardenas, and Geordy Parra combined to allow just one unearned run through the first eight innings of the game, but Willy Paredes gave up two runs in his lone inning of work to give the DSL Reds the victory.