minor lines, 8/20/06

AAA: Fresno lost to Sacramento 3-2

Fresno: LF Fred Lewis: 0 for 3, BB, 2 SO, CS
Fresno: 1B Lance Niekro: 1 for 4, HR, SO
Fresno: 2B Mike Cervenak: 1 for 3, BB
Fresno: SS Juan Melo: 0 for 1, SO
Fresno: 3B Justin Knoedler: 1 for 3
Fresno: DH Adam Shabala: 2 for 4, 2B
Fresno: SS Jed Hansen: 1 for 4, HR, SO

Fresno: RHP Nick Pereira: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR--1 WP
Fresno: LHP Erick Threets: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Fresno: RHP Brian Wilson: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 0 HR--1 HB
Fresno: RHP Brandon Villafuerte: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Sacramento: RHP Brandon Puffer: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR

An interesting night for the Grizzlies lineup.  Juan Melo was ejected in the top of the 2nd inning for arguing a called third strike.  He was as demonstrative as I have ever seen a player considering how little was on the line in that AB and how little buildup of any kind there seemed to that point of the game.  I am not sure what the umpire said, but then manager Shane Turner got pretty animated, both before and after he was also ejected.  With Kevin Frandsen and Tomas De La Rosa in the majors, Fresno is short of middle infielders.  The team is further short of position players because Chad Santos can't play until he clears waivers (after he was designated for assignment).  As a result, Hansen moved to SS, Cervenak to 2B and Knoedler came in the game to play 3B.  I don't recall Cervenak or Knoedler ever playing those positions before in their minor league careers.  This does underscore how athletic Knoedler is, as I recall him playing RF for Norwich a couple years ago when they were short of outfielders (possibly in that game where Dan Ortmeier and Jay Pecci suffered season-ending injuries in their collision).  I thought they might have brought in Shabala to play 3B, but he was already in the lineup as a DH.  Shabala had a nice game to raise his AVG to .274.  I was wondering what it meant a few days ago when the Fresno Bee reported that Shabala had been designated for assignment.  Apparently nothing.  The ripple effects of the defensive realignment were interesting.  I found it a bit interesting that Jonathan Sanchez accompanied Melo out to the clubhouse after his ejection.  It was a little less surprising when at the end of the inning I saw Sanchez bringing back from the clubhouse an infielder's glove for Knoedler.  When Melo and Turner were headed to the clubhouse, Knoedler was coming in from the bullpen with his bag of catcher's gear.  At the end of the next half inning, Brian Cooper was headed back out to the bullpen with the bag of catcher's gear.  Apparently he got to warm up the pitchers in the bullpen.  Once when Guillermo Rodriguez made the last out of an inning, Shabala came out to warm up the pitcher.  It was kinda humorous because it looked like he didn't really want to do it, and the catcher's mask barely fit him and hung sort of loosely (Shabala's head being relatively small compared to G-Rod's).  

As for a few other notes about the game itself.  Niekro seemed to be swinging for the fences, and he did manage to hit a 3-2 pitch for a line drive down the LF line just over the fence.  Hansen's HR was a little bit more impressive, although it didn't clear the fence by much.  As a baserunner, Lewis was having trouble reading Rivercats pitcher Puffer.  He ended up going on pretty much first movement and was picked off.  A couple pitches early he had started to leave that early and then halted when he wasn't sure if the pitcher was going home.  It appeared like he was trying to walk into his lead for the 8th inning steal attempt.

I think I have a little bit better impression of Pereira now, although maybe I am off-base since I was not taking systematic notes of every pitch.  He threw 60 of 101 pitches for strikes in 5.0 IP--not very efficient.  I don't think it is that he is nibbling with his fastball.  He seems to have pretty good command of that.  It seemed that most of his strikeouts came on fastballs for called strike three.  The pitches that were not strikes as often were his offspeed pitches.  He did have one period of the game, where he threw a high proportion of his pitches for strikes, namely about the second and third inning; in the rest of the game, perhaps less than half his pitches were strikes.  On the stadium scoreboard, Pereira's fastball was typically 88-89 mph, and he did touch 90 mph a few times (not that I watched the scoreboard for every pitch).  His 100th pitch of the night was one of the 90 mph pitches.  Threets retired the first two batters, never topping 93 mph.  He then cranked it up to 94-95 mph, and lost command, as I think he walked the next two batters on nine pitches.  The next batter then grounded out on the first pitch.  Oh, that would have driven crazy my A's fan friend who almost always complains when an A's hitter swings at the first pitch.  Wilson's fastball was 94-96 mph.  Wilson struggled with his command, with just 22 of 43 pitches for strikes.  Villafuerte struck out his only batter (swinging), with the final pitch being an 89 mph fastball.  Giants fans may remember Puffer, who gave up the solo HR to Hansen and the walk to Lewis.  

AA: Connecticut lost to Erie 1-0

Connecticut: C Andy Busch: 2 for 3, PO

Connecticut: RHP James Garcia: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR--1 HB
Connecticut: RHP RD Spiehs: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Connecticut: RHP Joe Bateman: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Erie: RHP Jair Jurrjens: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Busch, who is the worst hitter among the Defenders' position players, led the offense, which managed just 5 singles.  Busch's AVG is now .120.

A nice start for Garcia brings his ERA below 4.00.  Spiehs ERA is just 3.23.  Bateman suffered the loss when the second batter he faced reached on an error with one out, and then he didn't retire either hitter after that.  Jurrjens is a pretty solid prospect for the Tigers.  In 11 starts since his mid-June promotion to double-A, he now has 65 H, 19 BB and 48 K in 62.0 IP with a 3.34 ERA.  

A+: San Jose defeated Modesto 5-4 (13 innings)

San Jose: CF Alex Requena: 2 for 5, 2 BB, 3 SO, SB
San Jose: SS Tim Hutting: 4 for 6, 2B
San Jose: LF Carlos Sosa: 0 for 5, BB, 4 SO
San Jose: 1B William Thompson: 2 for 5, 2B, SH, 2 SO
Modesto: 2B Corey Wimberly: 2 for 6, 3 SO, SB

San Jose: RHP Brooks McNivan: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR
San Jose: RHP Anthony Moreno: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
San Jose: RHP Alfredo Simon: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
San Jose: RHP Justin Hedrick: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 HR
San Jose: RHP Thomas King: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

After a solid OBP game, Requena now leads the team in AVG at .324, just ahead of Sosa, whose AVG fell to .320 after he had a silver sombrero.  A big game for Hutting may be making his case for another temporary promotion to Fresno.  Thompson raised his AVG to .259.  The Rockies' very speedy Wimberly has a .328 AVG and a low strikeout rate (12% SO/AB), but he did have a hat trick tonight.  He also has 44 steals.

McNivan lowered his ERA to 4.22.  It appears that both Moreno and Simon are out of the rotation now.  More strikeouts for Hedrick.  With 2 scoreless IP, King lowered his ERA to 3.25, although his BB/IP is on the rise recently.

A-: Augusta at Greenville was suspended because of rain
(in the middle of the 3rd inning with Augusta leading 1-0)

Augusta: LF Benj Copeland: 2 for 2
Augusta: RHP Joseph Martinez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Copeland and Martinez were both off to strong starts, although Martinez was not as dominant yet as in his previous start.

ssA: Salem-Keizer defeated Tri-City 5-0

Salem-Keizer: 3B Ryan Rohlinger: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
Salem-Keizer: RF Matthew Weston: 2 for 4, 2 2B
Salem-Keizer: C Adam Witter: 1 for 4, HR, PB

Salem-Keizer: RHP Kevin Pucetas: 5.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 0 HR--1 WP
Salem-Keizer: LHP Ryan Paul: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Salem-Keizer: LHP Jared Cranston: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Rohlinger showed some nice secondary average to go along with his .280 AVG.  He has 11 doubles, while Weston has 12.  Weston leads the team in AVG at .294.  Witter's 3-run HR in the 1st inning tied him for the organization lead with 13 taters.  His bat has been impressive; his glove has been less impressive with 6 passed balls.

Pucetas had probably his best pro start.  The 16th round pick lowered his ERA to 2.68.  Paul, the 10th round pick, stranded both of his inherited runners to preserve shutout.  He lowered his own ERA to 6.35.  A typical game for Cranston with both a high K/IP and high BB/IP.

R: Scottsdale had a scheduled off-day

This FanPost is reader-generated, and it does not necessarily reflect the views of McCovey Chronicles. If the author uses filler to achieve the minimum word requirement, a moderator may edit the FanPost for his or her own amusement.

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