clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

SF Giants Minor Lines 4/27

New, 35 comments

The strikes and strikeouts continue to mount for Phil Bickford, who blew past his career high innings pitched for a start.

Offensive highlights were not exactly flying fast and furious yesterday, but Tyler Horan certainly took advantage of a rare chance to make an impression:

HIGHLIGHTS: Phil Bickford threw 7 scoreless innings, with 9 Ks.

Sacramento had a scheduled off day
They begin a four game set in Salt Lake City tonight

* * *

Richmond lost at Bowie BaySox (Orioles), 6-3
winning their three game series, 2-1

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

Other

2b

Ali Castillo

4

1

3

1

2

0

0

0

0

.353

SB (2)

3b

Ryder Jones

4

0

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

.286

SS

Christian Arroyo

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.292

CF

Tyler Horan

3

1

2

1

0

0

1

0

0

.346

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Chase Johnson L 1-2

4.2

9

6

6

2

5

1

0

0

6.00

89

55

Christian Jones

1.1

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

7.00

14

8

Dan Slania

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0.82

7

6

Jake Smith

1.0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

7.84

23

13

It was a chilly, not drizzly but damp, night in Bowie last night.  Not a great night for throwing I wouldn't think. And Chase Johnson scuffled through it.  Not sure if he was having trouble getting a grip on the ball or just finding a rhythm, but he definitely had issues with his fastball command.  He was 91-95 most of the night, and though he only walked two on the night, he often pitched from behind and got into long protracted at bats.

His pitch count by inning does a decent job of telling his night: 1st (29), 2nd (18), 3rd (11), 4th (11), 5th (20).  He had a very long, difficult 1st, a tough second (in which he gave up a long HR to a .167 hitting utility player on a changeup that did nothing but lay over the middle of the plate), and then settled down into a nice rhythm in the 3rd and 4th, before falling apart with two outs in the 5th, possibly fatigued from the 1st couple of innings when everything, including the outs, was loud.

If I were to put on my amateur, and extremely amateurish, scouty hat, I would say that Chase was doing a couple of things last night he could work on: 1) he had an inconsistent drive that caused his arm to sometimes either get ahead of his upper body or drag behind it, rather than repeat the same rhythm from pitch to pitch; and 2) he rather noticeably changes his arm action when he throws his breaking ball. This second thing (which I saw last year as well) didn't cause him any problems last night, as most of his strikeouts actually came on that slider/curve he throws, but he'll have to clean it up before he gets to the majors as major league hitters latch onto those tells very quickly.

For the second night this week, it really looked like Jake Smith was agitated and frustrated. This week has been my first look at Jake, so it's possible this is just his normal mound demeanor and he's got more than a bit of Jake Peavy in him. But he really looked to be fighting himself last night. Eliezer Zambrano went to the mound twice in the inning for what looked clearly like motivational talks (hand on the shoulder, pat on the back, earnest expression). Once the ump went out to break them up and Zambrano turned and said "just wait a minute" and went on talking with an earnest expression while the ump stood by and let the discussion go on. Not sure what to make of it, exactly, but he didn't look like he was having fun and definitely did some swearing to himself when he came off the field.  He was definitely struggling to throw his slider, which kept just spinning, and his velo was a little down from the other night, so maybe he's nursing something, or as I say, maybe this is what he's like on the mound.

It's early on in the season, but taking a big picture POV, it's a little disappointing to note that the Richmond pitching staff, which has 5 different members of the Giants 40 man roster, plus its #1 pitching prospect has gotten off to a decidedly mediocre 2016, as the staff sits near the bottom of the Eastern League in most pitching stats as a team. Pitching should be the strength of this team, and with just a couple of days left in the opening month, it hasn't been.

Offensively, Richmond didn't have too much going on last night outside of Ali Castillo and Tyler Horan. Castillo is hitting out of his head right now, and last night everything was loud. The 26 year old IF spent three full years in the Yankees DSL camp among his 8 previous years in pro ball but has been in the EL for most of the last two years. Tyler Horan got a start in CF last night with Austin Slater still out of action, and he made it count with two hits including the bomb at the top.

I don't see anything listed on the EL transaction wire, but Richmond definitely made a move yesterday, since Angel Villalona came off the DL to make his first start of the year (4 Ks). I wouldn't be surprised if the off-setting move was Slater to the DL. He was removed late from Monday's game and hasn't played since. I can't say what prompted that. He had been playing in the OF without much action the inning before so there was no injury incident certainly.

Otherwise not too much to report. Ryder doubled down the line to the opposite field in the 2 run ninth. Arroyo had a very quiet night without much in the way of hard contact (though he did walk once). Here's some video of each!

* * *

San Jose beat the Stockton Ports (A's), 4-2

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

Other

CF

Ronnie Jebavy

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

.213

SS

CJ Hinojosa

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

2

0

.333

SB (1), E (5)

1b

Chris Shaw

4

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.328

DH

Jose Vizcaino Jr.

4

0

2

3

0

0

0

0

0

.274

CS

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Jason Forjet, W 2-1

6.1

4

2

2

2

1

1

0

0

5.02

89

63

Reyes Moronta

1.0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

4.50

15

8

Rodolfo Martinez, S 5

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1.23

5

5

CJ Hinojosa got a little sloppy with the Ks this week, but a 2 BB night puts him back on a 1:1 BB:K ratio with 10 of each on the year.  And he just keeps on hitting with hits in 14 of his 16 games on the year, and a continued streak of reaching base in every game. Hinojosa's OBP on the year is now .429, though the power he showed in the NWL hasn't translated to the Cal thus far (.417 SLG with just 5 doubles on the year for XBH).

Chris Shaw has hits in 13 of his 16 games played, including 6 multi-hit games.  He does have a lot of swing in miss in his game and always will, with his long, highly leveraged swing, but he's showing a good feel for hitting as well. Shaw's SLG for the year is at .531.

The two of them accounted for 5 of San Jose's 12 base runners last night, and three of their four runs. Most of that came courtesy of DH Jose Vizcaino, who had two run scoring singles to account for nearly all of the Giants' scoring.

Jason Forjet recovered well enough from his rough previous start, going 6 innings and getting the win, and he had some help from his defense in this one:

He also got plenty of help from his bullpen, which was nearly perfect over the final 2.2 IP of the game. Especially Rodolfo Martinez, who was ridiculously efficient in nailing down the save, using just 5 pitches to breeze through the 9th. Let's watch the stylish right-hander dispense with Seth Brown, whose homer had earlier ended Forjet's night:

And before we leave San Jose, have a listen to the latest "Inside the SJ Giants" podcast featuring a fascinating interview with the Giants' Director of Player Development Shane Turner who talks about his job, the Giants' philosophy of development, as well as some players up and down the system (that interview begins around the 12:30 mark in the podcast).

* * *

Augusta lost to the Kannapolis Intimidators (White Sox), 4-3

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

Other

SS

Lucius Fox

5

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.167

E (5)

2b

Jalen Miller

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.217

1b

Dillon Dobson

4

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.307

E (4)

DH

Dylan Davis

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

.313

C

Zack Bowers

4

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

.170

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Phil Bickford

7.0

4

0

0

0

9

0

0

0

3.48

87

73

Ryan Halstead BS, 1 L 0-1

0.1

4

4

4

1

0

0

0

0

5.14

22

12

Yeah we were! Or at least Phil Bickford was. The strikeout total is sexy, but take just a moment to appreciate that Pitches/Strikes ratio! 73 strikes in 87 pitches! Holy cats is that a ridiculous amount of pumping strikes! That pitch efficiency allowed Bickford to set a new career best in IP with ease. The 7 innings he threw was two innings more than he'd ever made it in a game. His previous best (5 IP) came in his previous outing.  In one of Bickford's starts this year, no record was kept of pitches, but in his three other starts, Bickford has thrown 176 of his 244 pitches for strikes. That's nearly a 75% strike throwing ratio.  Fastball command is job #1 to becoming a major league pitcher, and so far Bickford's showing that he can throw strikes with his fastball, which is definitely encouraging.

After 4 starts in the Sally, Bickford has a 40% K rate, 33 Ks vs 4 BBs, a .174 BAA, and an 0.87 WHIP. Pretty good start to the year.  No video from Augusta of course, but let's enjoy some video of Phil that David Lee took in his last game:

Unfortunately it took Ryan Halstead about 15 seconds to undo all of Bickford's good work, handing away a 2-0 lead without getting 2 outs.  Augusta's bullpen has thus far been quite the Arson Squad, which isn't a great help for a team that struggles offensively.

The teenagers are predictably scuffling to keep their heads above water early on, piling up lots and lots of 0 fers. To look for a positive, Lucius Fox hasn't had a K over the last two games, after seeing his K rate balloon up over 40% earlier in the week. Contact is going to be key for the plus speed SS going forward. Jalen Miller continues to see his avg plummet though he has continued to make decent contact, with a K rate in the high teens. But with just 2 walks on the season he likely isn't showing a lot of discretion on which pitches he swings at.

With the kids struggling, Augusta's offense relies mostly on the veterans in the middle, Dillon and Dylan, who yesterday accounted for 4 of the team's 9 baserunners. Seth Harrison has moved to the 6 spot to add to that veteran middle of the order, and his double yesterday put the game's first run on the board, after Augusta had been no-hit for the first six innings, leading to their ever so brief, 2-0 lead.

Of course, the natural thing to walk away from a game like this is to be over-excited about the efforts of Bickford and disappointed in the efforts of Fox and Miller, but it's worth keeping in mind that the season so far is playing out fairly expectedly for all of the above. Bickford should dominate the Sally and Fox and Miller should struggle with it.  As for the ultimate goal, they're all still in a pretty elite group at the top of the org's prospect lists.  And equally true, the pitchers in AA are having more trouble than Bickford because AA is hard. Stats are fun, but development doesn't necessarily lay there easy for all to see.

Anyway, back at it tonight, where it's... whoa! Thirsty Thursday AND Greek Toga Night? Mein Gott what fun!

* * *

Richmond gets the night off so we're still at less than full slate, as has been true most of the week.

Pitching Matchups:
Sacramento: Clayton Blackburn vs. Nate Smith
San Jose: Andrew Suarez vs. Zack Erwin
Augusta: Logan Webb vs. Luis Martinez

I'm off for the weekend, so Brute will take the rest of the way through the week. Enjoy the games everybody! Here, have some pretty pictures to get you in the mood until game time

http://www.milb.com/photos/gallery.jsp?content_id=173659846&image_id=3&sid=milb