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SF Giants Minor Lines, 5/8

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Not exactly the most competitive day of baseball ever.

Hoping everybody had a warm and lovely Mothers' Day weekend. I think we'll eschew all of the typical pink bats and giveaway prizes and celebrate a little differently on Minor Lines. Since I happen to know that Jalen Miller's Mom likes to drop in to keep tabs on how her boy's doing, how about we give her a first professional HR as a gift to all the baseball Moms out there.

Against the wind and all.

HIGHLIGHTS: Huh. Uh?

Sacramento lost to the Las Vegas 51s, 9-1

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

CF

Gorkys Hernandez

4

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

1

.276

SS

Ramiro Pena

3

1

2

0

1

0

0

0

0

.337

3b

Grant Green

4

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

.297

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Clayton Blackburn L 1-3

4.0

10

5

5

2

4

3

0

0

5.68

92

59

George Kontos

1.0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

0.00

21

14

Jake Dunning

1.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

8.59

12

8

Mike Broadway

1.0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

5.40

25

13

That's right. Even mascots have Moms. Apparently.

I hate to start the week out on a bummer, but there's no way around it: Clayton Blackburn is missing out on an opportunity right now. He is simply not making any argument that he's a viable solution to the Giants' rotation woes this spring. Getting knocked around in Salt Lake City and Albuquerque can be explained away. Getting knocked around in Sacramento is harder to swallow. Blackburn allowed 10 hits, including 6 for extra bases, and 2 walks in just four innings of work. He mostly minimized the damage until he got to the 4th inning, when he allowed back to back HRs to the #7 and #8 place hitters, and after retiring the pitcher, a third HR to the leadoff man Dilson Herrera. He made it through the 4th but didn't come back out for the 5th. Phil McCormick allowed another 4-run inning in the 5th and the rout was on.

The rest of the day was notable, however, for help of a different kind coming soon to the Giants' pitching staff as "Every Day George" got in his first inning of work since going on the DL. Can't wait to see you back, George!

The offense was pretty somnambulant as Gorkys, Pena, and Green provided all but 1 of the Sacramento base runners on the day. Pena's double was their only XBH, and the team didn't have a walk. Apparently they were all in a hurry to go visit their Mom's.

* * *

Richmond lost at Altoona Curve (Pirates), 6-2
getting swept in their 3 game series, 0-3

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

SS

Christian Arroyo

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.267

CF

Austin Slater

3

1

1

0

1

0

0

1

1

.229

RF

Hunter Cole

3

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

0

.245

LF

Tyler Horan

3

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

0

.333

2b

Ali Castillo

4

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.280

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Matt Gage L 0-4

5.1

7

3

3

1

3

0

0

2

5.40

93

57

Tyler Rogers

0.2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

16

11

Dan Slania

1.0

3

2

2

0

0

2

0

1

3.00

29

17

Austin Slater made his return to the lineup on Sunday and he made it a successful one with a double, a run scored and a walk. Richmond hitters actually spent a good amount of time on the bases in this game. With 9 hits and and 2 walks they had three more baserunners than the Curve, but a woebegotten 1 for 12 with RISP doomed their efforts. Christian Arroyo continues to learn some hard lessons as he's now hitting just .208 (with a .208 OBP) in the month of May and just 7 for 36 over his last 10 games.

The one guy who is hot in the lineup is Tyler Horan who inserted himself into the lineup with Slater gone and if he keeps hitting like this he's going to be staying there. Here he is "looping  a ball into LF."

One might argue that the point of that clip is that Horan got a gift double on a misplay, but I'd argue that the point of it is the surprising amount of pop he generates to the off field with a fairly easy swing.

At that point, Richmond had a chance to tie the game at 2-2 in the 6th, but it was another missed opportunity and the Richmond bullpen soon put the game out of reach. Dan Slania had his first really rough game of the year, giving up back to back HRs to Jose Osuna and Stetson Allie in his inning of work.

Richmond sits firmly in last place in their division now, and at 10-19 are within a half game of the worst record in the Eastern League (Portland's 10-20).  This is not an encouraging trend, and I'll have more to say on it later.

Yes, yes, ok. Cute Mother's Day Mascoting here, too.

* * *

San Jose lost to Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres), 7-0
winning their three game series, 2-1

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

C

Aramis Garcia

2

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.264

1b

Jonah Arenado

4

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

.239

2b

Brandon Bednar

3

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.226

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Mark Reyes, L 2-1

6.1

10

5

3

2

1

0

1

0

4.73

97

72

Jose Reyes

1.2

2

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

6.75

25

15

Jeff Soptic

1.0

2

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

14.63

21

13

Ok, so that's a combined score of 22-3 for the top three affiliates! This is so far shaping up to be one of the least competitive days of baseball we've seen out of the system in quite some time. San Jose gets a pass on the opprobrium, since a) they had a six game winning streak coming into the day; b) they won their weekend series, and c) they're the only team in the system with a winning record.

Still, there were a couple of trends on display today that the SJ staff might be keeping an eye on as the season progresses. Mark Reyes has thus far looked more or less the weak link in a very strong rotation with an ERA nearing 5. And they really haven't found anybody they can trust much coming out of the bullpen other than the 8th/9th inning tandem of Moronta and Martinez and sometimes Dusten Knight. I wouldn't be too surprised to see them make a few adjustments to the staff in the coming weeks as they try to sort those roles out.

The offense took Mothers' Day off, with just four hits on the day (all singles) and no walks. So let's highlight some defense! The Giants OF hasn't always hit the way we'd hope so far this spring, but it features a tremendous amount of athleticism and defensive skills. Here they were on display on back to back plays, helping Mark Reyes avoid more trouble. I'll apologize in advance for the camera work on this first play, which skips most of the essential action (oh A ball video teams), but you sort of get the idea!

And then the play to end the inning: Another highlight reel catch from CF extraordinaire Ronnie Jebavy. Just picking up their pitcher.

Aramis Garcia was removed in this game following a play in which he tried to break up a DP at 2b. Not quite sure what the injury was, but we'll keep an eye on the situation.

* * *

Augusta won at Rome Braves, 7-6

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

Other

SS

Lucius Fox

4

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.234

E (11)

2b

Jalen Miller

4

1

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

.227

RF

Dylan Davis

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

1

.316

E (3)

3b

Kelvin Beltre

2

1

0

1

0

0

0

2

2

.209

CS (3)

DH

Miguel Gomez

3

1

1

1

0

0

0

1

0

.314

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Michael Connolly

4.2

7

3

3

3

3

0

1

0

4.57

83

51

Connor Kaden W 3-1

3.1

3

1

1

0

1

0

0

1

3.42

31

24

Ryan Halstead S 3

1.0

4

2

2

0

1

0

0

0

5.25

32

20

A victory! Super! Augusta put up a big 6-run inning in the 4th, added another in the 5th on Miller's HR, and then clung on to the win for dear life while their bullpen was up to its usual arson squad hijinx. The Greenjackets had just 7 hits on the day, but supplemented them with 5 walks, and sequenced well, bunching five of the hits and two of the walks all together into one happy inning.

Augusta's young hitters are battling away, as we expected they would, given the many challenging assignment leaps in this lineup. There are some ugly numbers piling up as the kids try to slow the game down, from Lucius Fox' 11 Errors, to Jalen Miller's .248 OBP to Kelvin Beltre's 32% K rate.  This makes today a particularly good time for this article from Baseball Prospectus on the challenges of developing plate discipline and pitch recognition (and I believe it's free to all as well).

The challenge is living through the emotional toll that failure can have on a player, while trying to learn the development lessons that will allow the tools to play. Comes with the territory of having a young A ball team and hopefully will lead to better days in the future.

Michael Connolly stepped in for the injured Mac Marshall and though he got touched up for 3 runs in the 1st, he gave the team enough innings to see them take the lead as they stretch him out. Not sure at this point how long we can expect Marshall to be gone for or if they have any candidates for promotion. Might be Connolly in the rotation for awhile.  This of course could impact promotion decisions as well, both in Augusta (e.g. Bickford) and San Jose (e.g. Suarez) as they seek to fill innings at all the levels.

* * *

Now having noted that playing through failure is a big part of the development process, I have to say, I've got a little bit of a frowny face going on about this particular note, as I suspect the Giants do too:

That was a lot of losing today, guys, and a lot of bad, non-competitive losing. It's time to do better! San Jose gets the off day today, so we have an abbreviated schedule. But it's not abbreviated in impact as Richmond will be the site of the minor's marquee pitching matchup of the night. This is MiLBtv Must See Viewing.

Pitching Matchups:
Sacramento: TBD vs. Rafael Montero
Richmond: Tyler Beede vs. Lucas Giolito
Augusta: Michael Santos vs. Oriel Caicedo

Ok, I'll admit to being a wee bit cranky in today's Minor Lines, so I'll leave this adorable pic here, to make us all feel better. "Baseball love." D'ahhhh.