We've just had our first wave of within-the-minors promotions for the season, with the much-anticipated assignment of top prospect Trevor Bauer to Triple-A Reno and the corresponding ripples throughout the system caused by Bauer's promotion. Despite Bauer not being in action on Thursday night, there was plenty of impressive work done on the farm by Arizona, with a good six candidates to be the player of the day in the system. The honor ultimately went to someone who is probably being discussed in the meetings underway with Kevin Towers & Co. as I write, a big bopper at Triple-A who continued to swing a big stick.
Snakelet of the Day:
Randy Ruiz (Triple-A): 2-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB, K
Triple-A: Reno 11, Oklahoma City 16. (20-21) For those who have voiced their concerns about sending a top prospect like Trevor Bauer to Reno, this game epitomizes the reasoning behind those concerns. Starter Barry Enright struck out six with no walks, but allowed ten hits, three home runs, and six runs overall, leading to an unsightly 5.2-inning appearance. The bullpen didn't do its job, either, with Mike DeMark allowing hits to all five batters he faced - all of whom came around to score - and Bryan Woodall allowing giving up five more runs (four earned) in his two innings on the hill. The offense certainly did its job, though, with Adam Eaton posting a three-hit game with a double and a stolen base, Randy Ruiz hitting his ninth and tenth home runs on the year to go with a walk, and Josh Bell hitting three doubles. Konrad Schmidt chipped in a double and Taylor Harbin added a two-hit game.
Double-A: Mobile 2, Jackson 4. (24-17) What was supposed to be a pitcher's duel between Bauer and Danny Hultzen still proved to be a solid match-up, although significantly less star-studded. Hultzen was dominant, with eight strikeouts and just one walk through seven innings on the hill, hitting a batter and allowing just a solo home run to Ed Easley, a double to Matt Davidson, and a single to Wladimir Sutil. For Mobile, though, right-hander Michael Bolsinger was on the bump, taking Bauer's spot in the Double-A rotation. Bolsinger struck out seven of the 29 batters he faced over 6.2 innings, but allowed seven hits and walked three, bringing across four Jackson runs. However, three of Bolsinger's runs were partially the result of errors behind him, so just one of the runs charged to Bolsinger on the evening was earned. Yonata Ortega finished things off by striking out four of the six batters he faced, allowing two hits.
Hi-A: Visalia 8, San Jose 3. (21-20) The Rawhide offense showed plenty of sock despite leaving the environment of High Desert, hitting the San Jose bullpen for six runs in just two innings after starter Taylor Rogers departed. For the Rawhide, though, things began on the mound with a solid outing from right-hander Anthony Meo. Meo worked seven innings - his longest outing of the season - and struck out seven with just two walks and four hits allowed, giving up two runs on a pair of solo home runs. At the dish, Visalia was led by Chris Owings once again, who continues to hit just about everything he sees. Owings had a three-hit night and fell a home run short of the cycle, lifting his line on the season to .339/.371/.589 with 13 doubles, a triple, and nine home runs. For a 5'10", 20-year-old shortstop, that's some awfully impressive power. Michael Freeman also had both a double and a triple, while Keon Broxton doubled and Ryan LaPensee had a three-hit game.
Low-A: South Bend 2, Lake County 1. (22-19) The star performer in this contest was the man on the mound, right-hander Tyler Green, who appears to be taking what should be a vacant rotation slot with the Silver Hawks once someone is promoted to take Bolsinger's spot at Hi-A. Green had by far the best outing of his season, striking out six with no walks or homers in 5.2 innings on the bump, allowing just five hits and one run. The bullpen then came on and shut down the Captains lineup, with 2.1 scoreless innings from Taylor Siemens and a scoreless ninth from Matt Sample. Offensively, the Silver Hawks scratched across their runs via an RBI double from Matt Helm and a solo home run from Marc Bourgeois, giving them just enough sock to topple Lake County.