Dating back to last year, one of the oft-found twitter hashtags among D-backs pitchers' twitter accounts - with well-known Tweetaholics Barry Enright, Jarrod Parker, and Daniel Hudson among the perpetrators - was "#PitchersWhoRake." We've seen it plenty at the big-league level with these three young arms, as Hudson's career batting with Arizona stands at .242/.279/.323, Enright's at .222/.250/.311, and Parker doubling in his MLB debut in 2011. It's not a particularly new phenomenon, either, as those who remember Dan Haren's .265/.285/.382 line during his time with the D-backs would attest. Arizona has somehow managed a particular proclivity for either targeting or developing pitchers with the ability to hit at above-average levels in the big leagues for the position.
Where am I going with this? Well, it seems that Arizona might have a new young hitter on their hands in one Tyler Skaggs. Skaggs was not just spectacular on the bump (hurling seven one-run innings) on Monday, but also collected his first extra-base hit of the season, doubling on a fly ball to left field in the third inning. Skaggs would also draw a walk in the game, and his impressive day at the dish rose his season line (if my calculations and B-R's data are correct) to .444/.545/.556 with the BayBears, with three singles, a double, two walks, and a sac bunt in 12 trips to the plate. Looks like we might have another pitcher who rakes on our hands, folks.
Snakelet of the Day:
Tyler Skaggs (Double-A): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 7:1 K:BB, 12:2 GO:FO; 1-2, 2B, BB
Triple-A: Reno 13, Tacoma 10. (15-17) I believe this is the kind of game that Mark Grace and Daron Sutton would refer to as "a wild and woolly affair." This game featured nine pitchers, 337 pitches, 30 hits, four home runs, two triples, and nine doubles. To put it simply: it wasn't a good day to be a pitcher for either of these clubs with just one exception, as even one of the two relievers to put up "scoreless" relief appearances allowed a pair of inherited runners to score. That exception was Sam Demel, who struck out three in his two innings on the mound and stranded an inherited runner of Jason Lane's in the seventh.
On offense... it would be best if I just made this into a list.
Adam Eaton - 2-5, 2B, BB, R
Jake Elmore - 1-3, 3B, BB, 3 R, 3 RBI, SB
Ryan Wheeler - 2-3, BB, R, 2 RBI
Randy Ruiz - 1-3, 2 BB, R, RBI, SB
Mike Jacobs (yes, that Mike Jacobs - he returned from an HGH suspension today) - 2-5, K
Rusty Ryal - 1-5, HR, R, RBI, 2 K
Cole Gillespie - 2-4, 3B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB
Konrad Schmidt - 3-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI
Evan Frey - 3-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB
I'll go ahead and let that list speak for itself. The only hitter to not reach base multiple times homered the one time he reached base. That tells you just how absurd this game was.
Double-A: Mobile 2, Jacksonville 1. (19-13) It was all about Skaggs in this contest, as the young southpaw scored more earned runs than he allowed. He came around to score on his double after Archie Gilbert hit a ground-rule two-bagger, then went out and allowed just one unearned run over seven dominant innings, with a staggering 12 groundouts and seven whiffs. Needless to say, Skaggs was certainly fresh for this outing after rain limited his previous appearance to just two innings. On the year, Skaggs' ERA sits at an impressive 3.06 in 32.1 innings of work with a 43:7 K:BB ratio. Let us not forget: Skaggs is still too young to drink (he turns 21 in July).
Skaggs was helped out by just enough offensive output from the BayBears lineup. Aside from Skaggs and Gilbert, the BayBears received doubles from Matt Davidson (of course) and Yazy Arbelo, with a sacrifice fly from Brent Clevlen account for the other RBI in the BayBears lineup. Gilbert reached base four times, also singling and drawing a pair of walks, while Davidson added a walk to his effective day at the dish. Relievers Kevin Munson and Evan Marshall finished what Skaggs started, each throwing scoreless innings for Mobile.
Hi-A: Visalia 5, Stockton 3. (15-17) This game featured solid starting pitching and very timely power hitting, with ten hits, including a solo home run from Eric Groff and doubles from Raywilly Gomez, Mike Freeman, and Keon Broxton, accounting for five runs. On the bump, right-hander Michael Bolsinger was impressive, striking out seven in 6.2 innings with five hits, two walks, and two earned runs allowed. Bolsinger has been quietly effective in the Cal League, as the 24-year-old right-hander has posted a 39:12 K:BB ratio and 2.81 ERA across 32 innings for the Rawhide. While his age probably suggests that he belongs in the Southern League sooner rather than later in order to prove himself against more age-appropriate competition, at least he's producing at the level he's been assigned.
Low-A: South Bend 2, Great Lakes 1. (18-13) The Silver Hawks received plenty of good pitching in this game, beginning with starter Tyler Green, who got the nod as part of an effort to balance the innings worked by him and fellow piggyback partner J.R. Braldey, I presume.Green worked five shutout innings, generating 10 groundouts with just one flyout, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out two. Bradley took over for the following three innings, allowing just a solo home run among two hits while striking out two and generating five groundouts, limiting the Loons to one run across his outing. An inning of work from Seth Simmons ended things for the Silver Hawks.
On the offensive end, one wouldn't have expected the Silver Hawks to out-score the Loons in this one, considering the four extra-base hits notched by Great Lakes compared to just one from South Bend - a double by Chris Ellison. However, South Bend collected seven hits to Great Lakes' four (yep, all of Great Lakes' hits were for extra bases), and managed to scratch across just enough offense to snatch the win from the Loons. Marc Bourgeois led the way for South Bend with three hits.