Things haven't been going the way Arizona planned at the big-league level over the last week or so, topped off by a miserable sweep at home at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals. However, should Arizona need to look for alternatives in the minor-leagues, the good news is that there might be help available on the farm. Two emerging candidates to see time in the bigs in 2012 had impressive days again yesterday, at a pair of positions that Arizona might soon seek alternatives for (though, to be fair, Ryan Roberts had looked much improved of late).
Snakelet of the Day:
Josh Bell (Triple-A): 3-4, HR, R, 5 RBI, SF
Chase Anderson (Double-A): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R (0 ER), 7:2 K:BB, 2:4 GO:FO
Triple-A: Reno 8, Memphis 3. (17-17) The Aces jumped on Memphis starter Joe Kelly, with a Josh Bell three-run home run in the top of the first giving Reno a 3-0 lead before Zach Kroenke took the mound for Reno. The aces eventually notched another two runs off of Kelly, which was all that the Aces pitching needed. Kroenke went 7.2 innings and allowed just two runs on seven hits, walking one, striking out one, and allowing a homer. Sam Demel locked things down with 1.1 innings of one-run ball, a solo home run being his only blemish. Bell ended his day with three hits and five runs batted in, while Adam Eaton doubled, was hit by a pitch, and scored three times.
Double-A: Mobile 2, Jacksonville 0. (21-13) By far the most pleasant surprise in the D-backs farm system this year, right-hander Chase Anderson shined again for the BayBears on Wednesday, with six dominant shutout innings, striking out seven with two walks and just four hits allowed. Anderson's changeup is a well-documented bat-missing pitch, and from what I gather, he has ditched his below-average curveball for a cutter this year. At this point, I wouldn't be completely surprised if Anderson was being discussed as a rotation possibility if the club decides that Patrick Corbin needs more minor-league seasoning.
The only offense of note generated in this game was a timely two-run home run from Alfredo Marte, Marte's eighth home run of the year. That mark leads the BayBears (Matt Davidson and Marc Krauss tie for second on the club with five apiece) and makes Marte responsible for over at third of the home runs hit by BayBears batters this year (23 total). Raise your hand if you saw that coming.
Hi-A: Visalia 3, Stockton 2. (17-17) Starting pitcher David Holmberg allowed a two-run home run in the first inning, but settled down to dominate from that point on. Holmberg finished with eight strikeouts in six innings on the bump, giving up just three hits and four walks to go with the homer. Holmberg's ERA now sits at a tidy 2.72 on the year, with a 41:8 K:BB ratio in 37 innings. The bullpen was also impressive, with Patrick Schuster, Eric Smith, and Bo Schultz each chipping in a scoreless inning of work to close things out for Visalia. The Rawhide's offensive attack was led by Chris Owings, who doubled and singled to chip in both the only extra-base hit and the only two-hit day from the lineup. Yet, with eight hits overall, the Rawhide were able to line enough of them up in single innings to snatch the 3-2 victory.
Low-A: South Bend 2, Fort Wayne 5. (18-15) Wildness wound up being the downfall of starter Jeffrey Shields in this one. Shields was cruising through four innings, but three walks - including one with the bases loaded - and three singles spelled the end of his outing in the fifth. Nonetheless, Shields was still getting plenty of ground balls when he was hitting the zone, even in that final inning, as shown by his final line on the day: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 K, 4 BB, 9:1 GO:FO. Meanwhile, the Silver Hawks bats were shut down by TinCaps starter Adys Portillo for seven innings, managing just a pair of runs off of reliever Luis De La Cruz. Fidel Pena was the only South Bend hitter to reach base more than once via two walks, while Matt Helm, Marc Bourgeois, Ender Inciarte, and Gerson Montilla each doubled for the Silver Hawks.