You can say there's a lot of things Chris Owings can't do. He can't play elite defense at SS. He doesn't have a cannon arm. He doesn't know how to take a walk. Etc., etc. But one thing you can't say about Chris Owings is he can't hit. He can hit. And when you can hit, they find a place for you in the game. Owings is proving there's a place for him in the game as he picked up 3 more hits last night including a 2-run homer, giving him 89 hits on the season, the most in all of professional baseball. Questions remain about exactly what his place is in the game. It's not likely as Arizona's starting shortstop with that job being monopolized by Didi Gregorius. It's not likely as Arizona's starting second baseman, with that job being monopolized by Aaron Hill. It's not likely as Arizona's starting third baseman because he doesn't really play third base and there are other attractive options there. So how long does he have to sit in the minors piling up hits? Good question. It's been suggested more than once that what Owings is actually doing is making himself into a valuable trade chip so he can be moved to somebody who does need a starting middle infielder and the Dbacks could extract a commodity they have a greater need for. I don't see this playing out much beyond the end of this season or at worst through the next off-season. Stay tuned.
3 Stars: Chris Owings, Reno 3 for 5, 1 R, 1 HR (4), 1 RBI
2 Stars: Jesse Darrah, South Bend 6 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 3 K, 0 ER, W (6-3)
1 Star: Michael Lang, South Bend 3 for 3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 DBL, 3 RBI
0 Stars: Andrew Barbosa, Visalia 4 IP, 9 H, 5 BB, 7 K, 10 R, 5 ER, L (3-3)
Triple A: Reno 2 Tucson 4. It just isn't happening for the Aces this year. Zeke Spruill pitched a decent game going 8 innings allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks. But the offense had another off-night except for Chris Owings who went 3 for 5 and hit his 4th home run of the season. Tony Campana, Taylor Harbin and Matt Davidson each added 2 hits, all singles. Campana also stole his 17th base.
Double A: Mobile 5 @ Jacksonville 2. Archie Bradley won again even though his pitching line looked like one of his lines from last year. He went 6 innings allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 5 walks while striking out 4. It inched his AA ERA up to 1.14. Through Monday he leads all minor league pitchers in strikeouts with 84. Four relievers combined for three shutout innings to close the game out with the save going to Chaz Coe, a recent minor league signing and a former first round pick of the Colorado Rockies. The offense was led by Justin Greene who went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and is hitting .336. Ryan Stovall went 2 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI and Dustin Martin went 2 for 4 with a triple and an RBI.
High A: Visalia 3 @ Lake Elsinore 10. The Rawhide got waxed yet again as Andrew Barbosa got roughed up in 4 innings of work. He allowed 10 runs though only 5 of those were earned. He did strike out 7 though. But that was all more than the offense could overcome in spite of 10 hits. David Nick had 3 hits including 2 doubles. Raul Navarro went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI, and Matt Helm went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI.
Low A: South Bend 5 @ Bowling Green 0. Jesse Darrah continues to impress as he tossed 6 more shutout innings on just 2 hits and 4 walks. Relievers Thomas Brendel, Will Locante and Enrique Burgos combined for 3 shutout innings of relief with no hits allowed. Michael Lang and Pedro Ruiz (the 8 and 9 hitters) were the offensive stars. Lang went 3 for 3 with a walk, a double and 3 RBI. Ruiz went 2 for 2 with 2 walks, a double and 2 runs scored.