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SF Giants Minor Lines, 5/26

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Two big beefy righthanded pitchers had big beefy performances.

In one of the more surprising developments of the year, the Giants yesterday removed Chase Johnson from the rotation in Richmond. And in his place? They gave Dan Slania his first start. Not just his first start in Richmond either. Slania's never started a game in the pros and he never started a game in college. So how did the one-inning late reliever do, when stretched out to 65 pitches?

He did just fine!

HIGHLIGHTS: Dan Slania strikes out 8 over 5 scoreless innings;  Cory Taylor strikes out 8 over 7.3 IP.

Sacramento defeated Colorado Sky Sox (Brewers), 6-1
winning their four game series, 3-1

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

CF

Darren Ford

4

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

.258

.331

.331

3b

Mitch Delfino

4

1

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

.296

.387

.420

1b

Grant Green

3

1

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

.289

.316

.470

RF

Ryan Lollis

4

0

2

1

1

0

0

0

1

.265

.310

.368

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Chris Heston W 1-4

6.0

3

0

0

4

6

0

0

0

3.72

Mike Broadway

1.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3.60

Steven Okert

1.0

2

1

1

1

2

0

0

0

4.96

Chris Heston followed up Clayton Blackburn's best start of the year with his own.  He allowed a season low 3 hits, and for just the second time this year, surrendered no runs. Heston has been ramping up the swing and miss in his game lately. In each of his last four starts he's had 5+ Ks, a total of 22 Ks in 23.1 IP.  Though with the increase in strikeouts he's also been having command issues. He's had 4 BBs in each of his last three starts, albeit one of the walks in last night's game was intentional.

Steven Okert continues to have some issues solving AAA. Okert's appeared in twelve games this year and has allowed a run in half of them. However, his problems are easily identifiable as he's showing a huge, Javy Lopez-esque, platoon split this year.  He's been absolutely death on LHH, holding them to a .222 BA while striking out 13 of 28 faced. But RHH have torched him to the tune of a .333 BA and a 1.93 WHIP. He's struck out 13 of 46 RHH he's faced this year while walking 4 (out of his 5 walks on the year).  That platoon advantage carried to the majors this year as well, where he struck out half of the LHH he faced (4 of 8) but surrendered six hits to the 17 RHH batters he faced and struck out just 2. Looks like a LOOGY future for Steven.

Heston's been the victim of some poor run support this year, but a solid offensive effort throughout the lineup got him his first win of the year (yes, LOL, but I'm using it segue to talking about the hitters).  The RiverCats used 11 hits and 2 walks to keep the offensive pressure on, scoring one in the 5th, three in the 6th, and two more in the 7th. Five different members of the starting lineup reached base multiple times, led by Mitch Delfino with his three hits. Grant Green continues to give Sacramento solid production from multiple infield spots, here hitting his 6th HR.

All in all a lovely night at the park. Speaking of which:

Final note: Local ABC10 grabbed Sergio Romo yesterday for an interview on how his rehab is going. Sergio's looking a little shaggy, but he's charming as ever.

* * *

Richmond won at Binghamton Mets, 4-1
winning their four game series, 3-1

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

3b

Christian Arroyo

4

0

2

0

1

0

0

0

1

.279

.313

.394

2b

Ali Castillo

4

2

3

0

0

1

0

0

0

.297

.347

.352

C

Jeff Arnold

3

1

1

1

1

0

0

1

0

.212

.278

.364

PH

Ricky Oropesa

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

.221

.316

.419

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Dan Slania

5.0

2

0

0

0

8

0

0

0

4.33

Ray Black W 1-4

1.0

1

0

0

0

2

1

0

0

7.02

Chase Johnson

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

3.58

Tyler Rogers S 3

1.0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0.00

Dan Slania was coming off something of a rough stretch as a reliever. Despite running his fastball up into the high 90s, he had surrendered 11 Runs in his previous 8 IP (over 7 games). But in his first pro start, he couldn't have been better. Slania absolutely lived on the black all game long, spotting his hard fastball at the edges of the zone. He picked up 8 Ks, and 6 of them were called, but it didn't look to me like he was the beneficiary of a particularly large zone. He was just picking it apart. Occasionally he pulled out the splitter as well (which gave him both of his swinging Ks). The B-Mets really got almost no good swings off against him as he pounded them with hard strikes for 5 full innings.  Really just couldn't ask for more out of a bullpen start.

No way of knowing how long either Slania's move into the rotation of Chase Johnson's move to the bullpen will last. Pulling suppositions out of my nether regions, I'd guess the Giants wanted to work with Chase on the side on some mechanical issues. As I noted before, it's seemed to me like he's been out of sync with his upper and lower halves when I've seen him pitch, and an inconsistent arm speed as well. So some time on the side, some more regular work and he might well find his way back to the rotation. But Slania certainly didn't miss a beat stepping in for him.

Richmond made an interesting switch in their bullpen usage in this one, bringing Ray Black in early (he got into and out of a bases loaded mess) and saving side-winder Tyler Rogers for the 9th to close the door. Rogers, in his second shot at AA has been sensational this year, still without an ER surrendered 22 games (and 22.1 innings) into the year, resurrecting dreams of having our very own Brad Ziegler.

Christian Arroyo wasted no time extending his modest hitting streak to 9 games, doubling to the opposite gap in the top of the first. Arroyo's going at his best when he stops being pull conscious and makes hard contact to the opposite field, so it's been good to see him get doubles to RF several times in this series. Arroyo is 15 for 41 in this streak with 4 doubles and a HR (and a walk!).  Here's a nice side-angle view of his double yesterday, which gives the best view of his swing mechanics. Arroyo has a tendency to drift forward in his swing, but when he's in rhythm he really barrels it up.

The Squirrels took control of the game with a 3 run rally in the 7th inning that included three consecutive run scoring doubles, including this one from Jeff Arnold. I always find myself rooting for Jeff because he's such a difficult time coming back from his knee injury. So here's to you, Jeff, a small reward for all your work.

So THAT's three in a row. As we remember from yesterday, THAT'S CALLED A WINNING STREAK!

Keep it up Squirrels, you got a long way to go. They continue their 8 game road trip in Erie tonight.  The 18-28 SeaWolves are the first team Richmond needs to pass if they're going to escape the cellar and make some noise.

* * *

San Jose lost at Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks), 16-0
losing their three game series 1-2

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SS

Brandon Bednar

4

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

.292

.325

.382

3B

Jose Vizcaino, Jr

2

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.245

.320

.297

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Jordan Johnson L 5-3

1.0

4

7

6

3

1

0

1

0

4.07

Dusten Knight

1.0

4

5

5

1

2

2

0

0

6.55

Jeff Soptic

2.0

2

2

2

2

1

1

0

0

9.17

Rodolfo Martinez

1.0

1

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0.93

So this series really went from the sublime to the ridiculous pretty quickly. The Giants were hoping for a big performance from Jordan Johnson to move them into a first place tie with Visalia and take their first series victory in Recreational Park in three years. Instead, Johnson never recorded an out in the 2nd inning.

The meltdown was shocking for Johnson, who normally demonstrates excellent command of his pitches. After having already allowed a run in the first (a leadoff walk who came around to score), he opened the 2nd with a double and single. He then walked two and hit a batter which (surrounded by a rough error from SS Bednar) ended his night. Jose Morel entered with the bases loaded and three runs in. Morel would allow all three inherited runners to come in and added a couple of his own on top.

The rubber match was two innings old and it was 9-0. Things would go downhill from there. Let us never speak of it again.

Well, at least Rodolfo did well providing some sanity at the nd. Let's look at picture of him.

San Jose moves finally to the end of this mammoth 14 game road trip (the longest that anybody seems to remember being scheduled in the Cal league in recent memory) with two games in Modesto. They've done well so far, going 7-5 and ensuring at least a .500 trip. But topping it off with a win or two in Modesto would be nice.

* * *

Augusta lost to Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees), 3-1

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

2b

Jalen Miller

4

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.274

.296

.395

3b

Kelvin Beltre

4

0

1

1

1

0

0

0

2

.231

.308

.346

DH

Gustavo Cabrera

3

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

1

.237

.297

.339

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Cory Taylor L 3-1

7.1

6

2

2

0

8

0

0

0

2.03

Caleb Smith

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

3.95

Cory Taylor, the strong armed man mountain from tiny Dallas Baptist College, continued what's been a break-out campaign with this fantastic effort. Taylor, with his hard sinking low-90s fastball and wicked slider has been pretty much an unending string of strikeouts and groundballs in the Sally this year. He now has 44 Ks against 10 BBs in 40 IP on the season to go with his 2.03 ERA which is fifth best in the Sally.  Along with his 8 Ks yesterday, he also had 10 more groundball outs.  Taylor's really been one of the highlights of the spring from my perspective and should zoom up our lists next winter.

Sadly, Taylor's fine effort was undermined by an offense that has too many strikeouts and not enough hits. They did get one run on Kelbin Beltre's double, but they failed to cash in on a Gustavo Cabrera triple that could have given them the lead, and managed no other threat. They had just five hits in the game, no walks and 10 Ks.

We knew this young team would struggle to hit and they surely have. Their .299 team OBP is next to last in the league (by just .003 points).  They're third worst in BA, fourth worst in SLG and lead the league in strikeouts by a whopping 34 Ks over the second most whiffy team. They have 442 Ks in 47 games which is entirely to close to a 10K/game average for anybody's liking. What's somewhat astonishing given all that, is that they are actually the 5th BEST team in the league in Runs scored (out of a 16 team league).  They bunch those hits together well!

Hopefully the second half of the year at least a little of that swing and miss starts to dissipate.

* * *

Sadly, the pitching matchups today have a touch of bleh about them, and that's not a shot at Ty Blach who's probably the most exciting starter on tap! Ironically, tonight would have been the night the RiverCats got their first look at Julio Urias. But that matchup will have to wait for another day. BEAT L-A! I mean O-K-C! (in both sports)

Today's Matchups:
Sacramento: Ty Blach vs. Carlos Frias
Richmond: TBD vs. Cory Riodan
San Jose: Mark Reyes vs. Parker French
Augusta: Michael Connolly vs. Daris Vargas