I'm running out of things to say about David Holmberg but he just keeps pitching better and better so he keeps getting the headlines. I think he's going to be heading to Reno soon to work out the final details of his repertoire and prepare for a big league rotation job. He's just about done all he can do in AA and now he needs to take his control game to the highest and most difficult level. It's been his M.O. for the last several years. In 2011 he started out in South Bend and finished in Visalia. In 2012 he started out in Visalia and finished in Mobile. So in 2013 he should go from Mobile to Reno. And then in 2014 he can be a mid-season call-up into a rotation spot that comes open. What I like about his recent outings is his strikeout totals are creeping upwards. He has 22 strikeouts in his last 22 innings, and after some uncharacteristic early season wildness his walks are back down to miniscule levels with 7 walks in May and 6 walks in June. On the season he has 72 strikeouts in 102 innings, which doesn't scream top-of-the-rotation kind of guy. But he turns 22 next month and I say he's right on schedule to be the team's cost-controlled number three starter from 2015 through 2020. How many teams can say they're looking set for their top three rotation spots for the next 6-7 years?
3 Stars: David Holmberg, Mobile 8 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 0 ER, 8 K
2 Stars: Alfredo Marte, Reno 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 DBL, 1 HR (2), 4 RBI
1 Star: Zach Esquerra, Hillsboro 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR (3), 3 RBI, OF Assist
0 Stars: Cody Geyer, Missoula 2/3 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 4 ER
Triple A: Reno 8 @ Sacramento 1. Under-appreciated Mike Bolsinger had another good start for Reno allowing 1 run over 6 innings with a whopping 10 strikeouts. He never gets mentioned in the list of pitching prospects we have who will own rotation spots in the next couple of years, but don't be surprised if he forces his way into some kind of big league job with the way he just keeps getting the job done. The offense showed up in force to make Bolsinger a winner led by Alfredo Marte's 2nd home run and 4 RBI. Juan Rivera helped going 3 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Kevin Munson got his anticipated promotion from Mobile and made his first appearance pitching a scoreless inning with 3 strikeouts.
Double A: Mobile 1 Jacksonville 0. David Holmberg engaged Miami Marlin starter Henderson Alvarez down on a rehab start in a hardcore pitcher's duel. Neither starter cracked putting up goose eggs through 8 innings. Mobile got the W in walk-off fashion in the 9th when Nick Ahmed walked and Mike Freeman drove him home with a double to center. Jake Barrett got his anticipated promotion to Mobile and earned the win by pitching a scoreless 9th in advance of Freeman's heroics.
High A: Visalia 0 Bakersfield 2.The Rawhide offense couldn't solve Bakersfield's assortment of 4 pitchers as they managed just 2 hits though they did collect 8 walks. The team went 0 for 10 with RISP and left 10 on base. Evan Marzilli had both hits. Robert Coe had a decent start allowing 2 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks across 6 innings.
Low A: South Bend 2 Bowling Green 4. The Silver Hawks ran into a pitching buzz saw in Tampa prospect Dylan Floro who gave up just 1 run on 3 hits. Brandon Sinnery wasn't quite as sharp allowing 4 runs on 6 hits including 2 home runs in 7 innings. Fidel Pena had a pair of hits and 2 runs scored and Socrates Brito went 2 for 4 to lead the meager offense.
Short Season A: Hillsboro 4 Salem-Keizer 10. Jose Martinez wasn't his best and his defense made things worse as he couldn't escape the 3rd inning before surrendering 5 runs on 3 hits and 5 walks, though just 2 of the runs were earned. The bullpen didn't do enough to keep it there either as the game got out of hand by the 5th inning. Zach Esquerra did his part going 2 for 4 with his 3rd home run and 3 RBI. Esquerra is playing like a serious prospect and with his size and athleticism the 24th round pick deserves continued scrutiny. He might be our sleeper pick of this year's draft.
Rookie: Missoula 9 @ Great Falls 10. The Osprey threw this one away as a 8th inning bullpen meltdown cost them a sure victory. Cody Geyer started the inning with a strikeout and a groundout. But followed that with a walk and 3 singles. Geordy Parra came on and proceeded to walk 2 more followed by a wild pitch that scored the go-ahead run. Andrew Potter wasn't too good as the starter getting knocked out in the 5th inning after allowing 6 runs. But the offense had it going at the bottom of the order with Justin Bianco getting 3 hits, scoring thrice and stealing a couple of bases. The 9th hitter Daniel Poma also had 3 hits and drove in 2. Joe Munoz went 2 for 5 and stole 3 bases. Stryker Trahan went 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI and is hitting .231 on the season.
AZL Rookie: Dbacks 1 @ Giants 5. Bad pitching and no offense led to a ho-hum 5-1 loss. Kurtis Kostuk and Dallas Newton combined to allow 5 runs over 6 innings on 9 hits and 2 walks. The offense never threatened with just 4 hits and 13 strikeouts. A few of our highly touted draft picks are still finding their way.