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SF Giants Minor Lines 5/4

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Dang it, maybe there is a Minor Lines curse after all!

Christian Arroyo's been scuffling a bit lately as he adjusts to AA pitching, but he had a milestone last night, hitting his first AA HR and it wasn't a cheapie. So let's celebrate Christian having a swing of success to top things off.

HIGHLIGHTS: Andrew Suarez threw 7 one-run innings.

Sacramento lost at Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies), 9-4

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

Other

1b

Ryan Lollis

4

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

.330

.457 SLG

RF

Jarrett Parker

3

1

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

.212

.494 SLG

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Chris Heston L 0-1

5.0

7

7

6

2

4

0

3

1

5.54

74

44

Jarrett Parker hit his 5th HR in the last four games, and perhaps more amazingly, it was also the third time in the last four games that he hasn't recorded a strikeout in a game. With 33 Ks now in 97 PA his K rate has dropped over the last week or so from it's obscene position of around 50% through most of April, down closer to 33%.  Still not great, and quite probably not sustainable for success in the majors, but at least a little closer to the bell curve. Anyway here he is mashing his 7th HR of the season a long long way.

Parker and Ryan Lollis were the only two RiverCats to reach base twice. Though Sacramento recorded 10 hits including 4 XBH, Parker's walk was the only one for the team. Lollis has followed up his breakout 2015 by continuing to pile up the batting average, though he hasn't provided a lot of secondary average with either walks or extra base hits.

Chris Heston was clearly out of sync in this one, throwing just 44 of his 74 pitches for strikes, hitting three batters, uncorking a WP and walking two. And he also gave up lots and lots o' runs. Heston's 2016 is clearly headed in the wrong direction so far, as he's now surrendered (between the NL and PCL) 14 ER in 18 innings pitched with 24 Hits and 12 walks allowed. My quick math skills tells me that that is an average of more than 2 baserunners per inning pitched for Chris this year. That's a tough way to pitch. The 12 BBs to 11 Ks on the year isn't looking good either.  Just a rough rough start for a good guy whose future looked so so good this time last year.

Sacramento hopes to go for the split this afternoon before flying back home for the weekend. And if you're in the Sacramento area on Sunday and looking for Mothers' Day plans, the Rivercats have got you covered (yes, yes, it's pink):

* * *

Richmond beat the Bowie BaySox (Orioles), 4-3 in 10 inn

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

Other

SS

Christian Arroyo

5

1

2

1

0

0

1

0

0

.269

E (5)

1b

Ricky Oropesa

5

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

.216

E (1)

RF

Hunter Cole

4

1

3

0

0

1

0

0

0

.244

DH

Carlos Moncrief

3

0

2

1

1

0

0

2

0

.268

Walkoff 1b

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Adalberto Mejia

6.0

3

3

1

2

3

1

0

1

3.63

90

58

Tyler Mizenko

2.0

2

0

0

1

2

0

0

1

1.23

30

19

Dan Slania W 3-1

1.0

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1.93

17

13

For the second game in a row, a late error by Bowie brought in the tying run and sent the game to extra innings, and this time Richmond took advantage of the mistake and cashed in the win. With two outs in the 9th, 1b Joey Terdoslavich failed to catch a throw in the dirt from 2b on a grounder that should have ended the game and instead let in Rando Moreno (who had doubled) to tie it. An inning later, minor league vet Carlos Moncrief put an end to it with a clean single to bring home Ricky Oropesa.

The comeback began courtesy of Hunter Cole who is really starting to recover from his April doldrums. Cole's 8th inning triple sparked the team back to life and set up the late inning heroics. Richmond scored solo runs in each of the 8th, 9th, and 10th innings for the win.

Dan Slania, who's quietly having an excellent season in relief for the Squirrels, picked up the win though he danced around trouble in the 10th. Big Dan (and he is) now has 17 Ks to just 2 BB in 14 innings of work and he's sporting a 0.79 WHIP for the year to go along with his low 1.93 ERA.

I noted at the top that Christian Arroyo's learning a few lessons in adjusting to AA pitching.  The cause of his struggles isn't too hard to put a finger on. EL pitchers are taking advantage of Arroyo's aggressiveness and letting him get himself into pitcher's counts. A lot. For the season, when Arroyo is ahead in a count (27 PA) he's hitting .476/.593/.810 with six walks and just 1 K. But when Arroyo gets behind in the count (41 PA) he's hitting just .100/.122/.125 with 14 Ks and 0 walks. That's why they have levels in the minors, Christian. More things to learn. By the way, for BP subscribers Arroyo has a scouting report in today's "Eyewitness Accounts."

And the guy who will be helping him learn from now on is going to be manager Miguel Ojeda. You can learn about that change to the team's coaching staff here:

Lastly, if you want to get to know currently DL'd Austin Slater, check out Play by Play man Jay Burnham having a morning coffee with Austin.

* * *

San Jose won at Stockton Ports (A's), 4-1

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

Other

CF

Ronnie Jebavy

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

2

0

.195

2 HBP

SS

CJ Hinojosa

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

2

0

.384

.480 OBP

DH

Chris Shaw

5

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

4

.352

C

Aramis Garcia

5

0

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

.286

.722 OPS

RF

Steven Duggar

5

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

1

.279

OF Assist

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Andrew Suarez W 2-1

7.0

5

1

1

2

4

1

0

0

2.43

91

61

Reyes Moronta

1.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4.91

15

9

Rodolfo Martinez S 7

1.0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0.79

18

13

Four 1st inning singles spurred a 3-run rally that would be all the support Andrew Suarez and the late inning crew needed to secure San Jose's third consecutive win on the road against the Stockton Ports.

Suarez didn't run up the big K totals in this game but he did smother the Ports bats and tie a career high with 7 IP. His one error was an opportunity for a lesson learned as rehabbing major leaguer Danny Valencia took Suarez deep for Stockton's lone run. Valencia is a noted lefty killer with a career .860 OPS vs. LHP in the major leagues, so giving up the HR to him was certainly no shame, and also gives Suarez a snapshot idea of how his stuff plays against the top level hitters. Otherwise, he was his usual excellent self.  Suarez has now surrendered 11 runs in his 8 Cal league starts (dating back to last year), and I more or less have him on my mental "promotions clock" at this point, ticking away. He's not going to last a whole lot longer at this level. I'll be looking for him sometime in June out here on the East Coast.

Suarez was followed by the usual 8th and 9th inning tandem of Moronta and Martinez who ran through a perfect six outs. Martinez struck out two of the three batters he saved for an easy and dominant 7th save of the year.

The offensive star of the night was Aramis Garcia, who's been slow to warm up to the Cal League so far. That has clearly not been true of CJ Hinojosa, who reached base three more times last night to push his OBP dangerously close to .500 for the season. Hinojosa was Joe Ritzo's guest on the pre-game show last night and you can hear him talk about his year here:

Ok, yes. Fine. I cursed Chris Shaw. I'M SORRY! Now let's forget it ever happend and look at this nice picture of Hinojosa (please don't sombrero again, Chris).

* * *

Augusta lost at the Greenville Drive (Red Sox), 6-3

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

Other

SS

Lucius Fox

5

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.222

E (8)

2b

Jalen Miller

5

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

1

.244

E (2)

DH

Miguel Gomez

4

1

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

.316

3b

Kelvin Beltre

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

.205

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Phil Bickford, L 1-3

5.0

8

3

3

1

2

1

0

0

3.86

86

61

Caleb Smith

1.0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3.68

20

11

Phil Bickford had an atypical start last night, as the swing and misses didn't seem to come out to the mound with him for the first time this year. He opened the game by allowing a double and a HR to the first two batters he faced. And then he struck out the next two (one called, one swinging). But in an extreme reversal of fortune from his other pro appearances, the next 19 batters all made contact against him (and there weren't many swing throughs on non-2 strike counts either). But even with his, apparently, diminished stuff on the night he was decently effective following the first-two-batter uprising. He surrendered only one more run the rest of the outing and he continued to pound the strike zone with his pitches all night. There definitely doesn't seem to be any control questions with Bickford. I will say that watching him his body language he looked just a little pinched last night, as if he was a bit perplexed about his stuff.  Some nights that happens. Especially with this cold and rainy front we've had sitting on the East Coast this week.

Another guy who had some negative body language on display last night was Kelvin Beltre who struck out three times and showed gestures of extreme displeasure after the last two. There was some stomping and some arm gesticulating coming from Kelvin and if he was Jeff Samardzija's size I do believe we would have seen some bats broken over knees. Learning to fail with equanimity is a really really difficult part of this process.

Lucius Fox has been piling up the errors this year as he continues to learn his position and refine his footwork, but like most things with Lucius, it's what he can be that matters, not what he is. So with that in mind, let's forget about his 8th error on the year and watch him do this instead:

For more on Fox, here's one enthusiast's eye-witness view of him last night:

Miguel Gomez just continues to hit and hit. Whatever he found last year in the NWL didn't seem to abandon him over the winter. The newest Greenjacket is now 6 for 19 since joining Augusta, and last night he got his first Sally league homer, which, hey you can almost sort of see in this replay!

And heck, since MiLBtv is offering it up as a highlight, let's watch Jalen Miller hit, too. Miller's been on a mini-hot streak of late with 6 hits over his last four games. He even has a walk in that stretch (his 3rd of the year). Go Jalen!

* * *

We've already lost one game for today's slate, as the morning Education Day finale of the Richmond-Bowie series was lost to rain.That's their third rain out in the last 5 days and as they head to Altoona, a quick look at my Weather Channel app is telling me things aren't likely looking so good there either. But Sacramento's having some day baseball as well, so we should have something to watch soon.

But the big game to watch tonight is coming from Greenville where Logan Webb, coming off his best start of the year, goes up against one of the most hyped and exciting pitching prospects in all the minor leagues, the Red Sox' 18-year old wunderkind Anderson Espinoza. It's on MiLBtv, so no excuse not to watch the young Greenjacket hitters go to battle vs. Baseball America's #19 prospect in baseball.

Pitching Matchups:
Sacramento: Ty Blach vs. Jordan Lyles
San Jose: Sam Coonrod vs Brett Graves
Augusta: Logan Webb vs. Anderson Espinosa.

Remember, it's always fun at the ballyard!