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Diamondbacks Minor League Round-Up 9/1: Holmberg Cruises Into Playoff Mode

David Holmberg's 2012 season is now in the books and it was certainly a success. In his final start of the regular season he threw 6 shutout innings on 4 hits and a walk with 2 strikeouts. Holmberg is on schedule to pitch Game 1 of their opening playoff series against Montgomery at home in that best-of-five set. Holmberg will likely get just the one start although a rain-out would put him in line to pitch a Game 5 if necessary. On the year for Holmberg, split between Visalia and Mobile, he finished 11-8 with a 3.32 ERA in 173 innings. He posted a K/9 of 7.9, and a BB/9 of 1.9 for a very fine K/BB of 4.15. That's borderline elite. One caveat is his numbers were much better in High A than they were in AA, but he's gotten progressively better at AA as he's made his adjustments. I expect Holmberg to start 2013 back in AA and he may even stay there for most of the year as it's hard to see the point of moving him to Reno in preparation for the majors when there's really no room at the inn for him. He just turned 22 this summer and for some organizations he might be headed to the big leagues, but a more realistic timetable for Holmberg is 2014 or as a possible trade chip for a Major-League-ready piece.

Snake Stars
3 Stars: David Holmberg, Mobile 6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 ER, W (5-5)
2 Stars: Alex Glenn, Missoula 3 for 4, 2 R, 2 HR (8), 4 RBI
1 Star: Raymond Hernandez, Visalia 7 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 10 K, 1 ER, W (6-9)
0 Stars: Michael Blake, Missoula 2/3 IP, 1 H, 4 BB, 1 H, 1 HR, 4 ER

Game summaries after the jump.

Triple A: Reno 4 Tucson 3. Former ASU star Josh Spence was dominating the Aces through 6 innings and it wasn't looking good as the team headed into the bottom of the 9th trailing by 3 runs. But then the magic happened, perhaps brought on by Adam Eaton who has been the heart and soul of this team all year and was playing in his first game since August 23. Josh Bell doubled, Taylor Harbin singled, and Brent Clevlen homered to tie the game at 3 with nobody out. With one out Ryan Budde reached on an error and Tuscon reliever Jason Ray allowed him to score the winning run on 2 wild pitches and 3 walks. Eaton went 2 for 3 with 2 walks and a double. Starter Zach Kroenke actually pitched pretty well giving up just 2 unearned runs in 5 innings.

Double A, Game 1. Mobile 1 Mississippi 0. David Holmberg held the Braves in check all night and Eury De La Rosa pitched the 7th getting 3 strikeouts for his 8th save. The lone Mobile run was scored on a bases-loaded double-play ball from Matt Davidson. Jonathan Griffin went 2 for 2 with a walk and when added to his pinch-hit RBI double in the late game is now 6 for 8 with a double and a homer to start his AA career. Chris Owings added 2 hits.

Double A, game 2. Mobile 1 Mississippi 5. The second game of the double-header didn't go as well as the first as Derek Eitel wasn't as sharp as Holmberg. He allowed 4 runs over 5 innings on 5 hits and 4 walks. The offense did the same as in Game 1 scoring just a single run. That came off the bat of new call-up Jonathan Griffin on a pinch-hit RBI double.

High A: Visalia 8 @ Stockton 1. Following a really rough second half, Raymond Hernandez decided he better give management something good to remember him by before the off-season. So he proceeded to pitch 7 strong innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits and a walk with a whopping 10 strikeouts. That will get you noticed. The offense made sure he got the win piling up 15 hits and 7 walks, though 14 of the 15 hits were singles. The extra-base hit was a solo home run from Gerson Montilla, his 14th of the year. Michael Freeman went 3 for 5 and is finishing off his season very strongly, hitting .415 in his last 10 games.

Low A: South Bend 0 @ Great Lakes 3. The Silver Hawks managed just one hit on the night, and in spite of a very nice outing by Keith Hessler that spells L-O-S-S. Hessler allowed an unearned run through 6 inning on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5. J.R. Bradley came on and made sure any comeback was more difficult by yielding 2 runs in the 8th. The lone hit came from Ryan Court.

Short Season A: Yakima 1 Vancouver 4. Alexander Carreras had a terrific start and the always reliable Yakima bullpen took over to keep the game close. But the lack of any offense sent the game to the 11th inning where not-so-reliable reliever Blake Forslund surrendered 3 runs to earn the loss. Carreras gave up 1 run in 5 innings on 4 hits and a walk. The Bears had their chances as they out-hit Vancouver 9-6. But they went 0 for 12 with RISP and left 11 on base. Jacob House had a good night going 3 for 5 with 2 double and an RBI, and Yogey Perez-Ramos added 3 hits including a double.

Rookie: Missoula 5 @ Billings 12. The Mustangs got their revenge on Saturday for Missoula stealing Games 1 and 2 of this 4-game set and are once again tied for the division lead. I was nervous about Ross Gerdeman starting such a big game and I was right. He got hit around pretty good though the game was still in much doubt heading into the 6th. That's when Billings blew it open scoring 4 runs with 2 outs, the capper coming when Michael Blake relieved Gerdeman and surrendered a 2-run homer. Alex Glenn was the big stick for Missoula going 3 for 4 with a pair of 2-run homers. Missoula has one more game with Billings today, then 2 more on the road at Great Falls, before finishing at home with 2 against Billings that will likely determine who makes the playoffs.