The big news today, as already FanShotted by Jim, is that the D-backs have added Geoff Blum (today's Snakelet of the Day, which got kicked until after the jump due to an atypically-long intro), Alberto Castillo, Ryan Cook, and Sam Demel to the active roster when rosters expanded today. These names getting the call aren't in the least bit surprising to me, but what is a bit odd is seeing who wasn't brought up, although, as a disclaimer, the lack of these additions is almost certain to make no difference in the D-backs' record over the remainder of the season.
First, seeing Kam Mickolio remain at Reno is a surprise. Sure, Mickolio doesn't have pretty overall numbers for the Aces, with a 5.07 ERA in 55 innings of work, but he also has a 61:24 K:BB ratio in that span, and his 57 hits allowed isn't an exorbitant figure. It really just seems that Mickolio has had rough luck with strand rate, something I believe would normalize over a larger sample in a more neutral league. You never know when you'll need someone to soak up garbage innings to preserve the rest of the 'pen, and an extra appearance of two in the PCL playoffs from Mickolio isn't going to serve any material purpose for Mickolio or the D-backs.
Additionally, I'm a bit surprised to see that no catcher was brought up to the majors, as September seems to be the time of the year where every team rushes to add a third backstop. With Robby Hammock at Reno to serve as an extra backup, the D-backs could have easily afforded to bring up one of Konrad Schmidt or Lucas May to serve as the D-backs' third catcher. Perhaps they don't have any plans to use an extra catcher from now until the PCL playoffs end - heck, we barely play Henry Blanco, how are we going to find PT for another backstop? - but you're at least giving yourself an extra bat off the bench. However, with both catchers sporting sub-.800 OPS figures on the year (for May, split between Reno and Omaha in Kansas City's system), the value of either of those guys as bench bats is probably less than the options we already have in the big leagues, particularly with Blum re-joining the club. Yes, that even includes the empty batting average of Sean Burroughs...
Then, of course, there's the fact that Trevor Bauer was not brought up, but I don't find this one surprising. I think, at this point, he'll remain in Mobile through the BayBears' playoff run. If the BayBears last deep enough into the postseason that Bauer hits his innings limit, he'll probably be shut down and not see the big leagues this year. If, on the other hand, he is still below his limit by the time the BayBears are finished with their playoff run, I do think that he'll see a relief appearance or two this year, although he almost certainly will not be on the D-backs' postseason roster.
Okay... time for the regularly-scheduled recapping:
Snakelet of the Day:
Geoff Blum (Hi-A, combined double-header): 3-5, 2 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI
Triple-A: Reno 4, Fresno 3. (75-64) The Aces offense struck early, putting up a four-run first inning behind a three-run home run from Cole Gillespie. Reno also received doubles from Mark Hallberg and Lucas May - who reached base three times on two hits and a walk - as well as a three-hit day from Tony Abreu. That early 4-0 lead held up for nine innings, as Zach Kroenke gave up just two runs in six innings with a 3:2 K:BB ratio and the bullpen had a solid day. The three newest members of the D-backs bullpen - Castillo, Demel, and Cook - all worked yesterday, each throwing an inning with a strikeout and no walks. Castillo gave up a run, but Demel and Cook worked scoreless innings to close out the victory.
Double-A: The BayBears had the day off yesterday, with Patrick Corbin making his last start of the regular season tonight.
Hi-A (game one, seven innings): Visalia 2, Lancaster 3. Left-hander David Holmberg started the first half of the doubleheader, and had a bit of a rough day. Holmberg worked 5.2 innings, giving up seven hits and three runs with a 4:2 K:BB ratio, although he did post an 8:3 K:BB ratio. The outing brought Holmberg's ERA at Visalia up to 4.66 in 65.2 innings, with a 70:31 K:BB ratio - plenty of swings and misses for the 20-year-old southpaw, but more walks than he'll be able to get away in the hitter-friendly Cal League. Offensively, the Rawhide were led by the rehabbing Geoff Blum, who took full advantage of the super-hitter-friendly ballpark at Lancaster by whacking a pair of doubles, as well as doubles by Bobby Borchering and Jon Mark Owings, but couldn't quite scratch enough runs across the board.
Hi-A (game two, seven innings): Visalia 12, Lancaster 3. (62-73) Blum was good in the second half of the double-header as well, blasting a solo home run in the first inning as the DH before being replaced by Matt Davidson, who later hit his 18th home run of the season in the fifth, also a solo shot. The Rawhide also received doubles from Borchering, David Nick, Chris Owings, Brent Greer, and Ryan LaPensee among their 15 total hits in the shortened game. Keon Broxton added a three-hit game, and the Visalia offense ran away with this one. The pitching was cobbled together by relievers, with Brian Budrow working the first two innings and allowing a pair of runs, Mike Belfiore giving up a run in the next two innings, Adam Worthington throwing two scoreless frames, and Evan Marshall working a scoreless seventh to close out the victory.
Low-A: South Bend 9, Fort Wayne 8. (66-68) The Silver Hawks teed off on a great starting pitching prospect, San Diego's Keyvious Sampson, tagging him for six runs in just 2.1 innings behind home runs from Roberto Rodriguez and Yazy Arbelo's 31st home run. Matt Helm added a home run against the TinCaps bullpen, and Ender Inciarte, Gerson Montilla, and Niko Gallego each doubled. South Bend starter Tyler Green struck out four with one walk in five innings, but was also very hittable, giving up 11 hits and and six runs. Patrick Schuster worked the following three innings, posting a 3:1 K:BB ratio and giving up just one unearned run to lower his ERA with the Silver Hawks to 3.41.
Short-Season-A: Yakima 6, Eugene 7. (31-42) The Bears out-hit the Emeralds 11-8, collected three extra bases to the Emeralds' one, and each team recorded four walks, but came up just short in the most important offensive category, as they were unable to overcome an early 5-2 lead. Justin Hilt tripled and wore a golden sombrero, while Carter Bell went 2-5 with a double and a pair of strikeouts of his own. Starting pitcher Yiomar Camacho posted a solid 5:1 K:BB ratio while facing 20 batters, but notched just 12 outs while giving up six hits and five runs, although just three of the runs were earned.
Advanced-Rookie: Missoula 1, Great Falls 6. (39-29) No appearances yet for any of the three big pitching prospect recently assigned to the Osprey, as Conrad Flynn, Victor Lara, and D.J. Johnson worked this game. The pitching was wobbly outside of Johnson, who struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning, but and the offense had a rough day as well, with Fidel Pena's double going down as the only extra-base hit on the day. Pena, Chris Ellison, and Jeremia Gomez had two-hit days, with Ellison adding a walk to his effort to reach base three times.