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SF Giants Minor Lines, 6/12

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Sam Coonrod bounces back from his toughest start of the year to pitch his best.

Spotlight on Defense! Minor league FA Ali Castillo, a long-time veteran of the Yankees' system, has been a huge boost for the Richmond team this year. Once he qualifies (which he should within a week or so) he'll be leading the EL with his .331 average (nearly 20 points above the next highest), and he's no slouch with the glove either. Watch him start a tremendous, nearly Panik-esque DP in yesterday's loss to Portland.

HIGHLIGHTS: Sam Coonrod allowed 1 unearned run in 8 innings with 8 Ks.

Sacramento lost at El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres), 11-3
splitting their four game series, 2-2

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

LF

Angel Pagan

4

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

1

.429

.429

.429

CF-LF

Austin Slater

4

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

.243

.317

.378

PH

Andrew Susac

1

0

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

.259

.330

.358

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Ty Blach L 6-4

5.2

10

7

5

1

1

2

0

0

4.28

After winning the first two games of this series, Sacramento had hopes for their first road series win since early April, but alas, it wasn't to be, as they put forth a pretty poor effort on Sunday. A five-run 5th inning that opened with three errors in the first four batters (courtesy of Miguel Olivo, Austin Slater, and Grant Green) put this game out of reach. The exclamation mark in that inning came, once again, from the Pads #3 prospect Hunter Renfroe who has simply worn Sacramento pitching out in these last two series in El Paso. Over the course of 8 games within two weeks, Renfroe went 13 for 40 against the RiverCats with four doubles, a triple and three HRs. He hit his 14th of the season in that 5th inning, a titanic blast off of starter Ty Blach, effectively ending the competitive portion of this game.

The biggest news on the offensive side was Angel Pagan's rehab. Pagan is once again looking frisky and fresh. He singled from both sides of the plate, including legging out an infield hit from the right side. And he stole a base. He's now 3 for 7 in his two games with Sacramento, and is likely within a week of rejoining the Giants.

Andrew Susac's season certainly hasn't gone the way he expected or hoped, as he's struggled to stay on the field or to perform particularly well when there. He has just 92 At Bats on the year and has thus far produced an OPS in the PCL below .700. But, he got a nice swing in yesterday and showed there's still some juice in the hands, so  let's give him a highlight:

The RiverCats return home for a series with the Fresno Grizzlies starting tonight.

* * *

Richmond lost at Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox), 7-1
losing their three game series, 1-2

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SS

Christian Arroyo

4

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

.286

.314

.396

Rest of team

25

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

8

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Andrew Suarez L 2-3

6.0

8

4

4

1

4

1

0

0

5.45

Preston Caliborne

0.1

1

3

2

1

0

0

0

0

13.50

The Squirrels hopes for taking back to back road series (and a tremendous 5-1 road trip) were crushed into the dust by 30 year old minor league journeyman Mitch Atkins who completely throttled the Richmond lineup yesterday. Atkins and two relievers (one of whom was good friend Luis Ysla! who I keep forgetting is in the Red Sox system now) allowed just two hits in the game. In fact, Atkins had a no-hitter going into the 7th, but Christian Arroyo broke it up with a shot deep into the RF corner.

Ricky Oropesa would single Arroyo home later in the inning and that was it for the Richmond offense, which had just one other base runner the entire day.

At that point, it was still a fairly competitive 3-1 game, but Preston Claiborne's second appearance since joining Richmond put a quick end to that as he proceeded to allow 4 runs in the bottom of that inning. Claiborne, who saw some time with the Yankees in 2013-14, hasn't pitched since August of 2014 due to injuries, though he was the property of the Marlins last year.

Andrew Suarez has shown himself in AA to be something akin to a slightly less developed version of Adalberto Mejia; his strength is in mixing up speeds and looks, adding and subtracting, and keeping hitters off-balance. With the exception of one hitter in the Portland lineup he did that quite well yesterday. The one exception was Portland RF Aneury Tavarez who was a #tripleshyofacycle off of Suarez yesterday. Suarez only allowed two balls that were really hard hit on the afternoon: a solo HR from Tavarez and a triple that keyed a two-run 4th. But even in that two-run rally, Suarez was a victim of sloppy defense. Ryder Jones badly misplayed a fairly routine grounder to open the inning (which was extremely generously ruled a single) and then Ali Castillo couldn't handle a wind-blown pop-up that could have ended the inning but instead was an RBI double (more generosity from the official scorer). Suarez ended his day by surrendering a lead-off single in the 7th (again to Tavarez) which Claiborne would cash in for him.

* * *

San Jose won at Modesto Nuts (Rockies), 2-1 in 11 innings
splitting their four game series, 2-2

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

CF

Ronnie Jebavy

5

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

.243

.304

.374

2b

Brandon Bednar

5

1

2

1

0

0

1

0

1

.286

.324

.372

SS

CJ Hinojosa

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

.322

.409

.464

1b

Chris Shaw

4

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

.288

.357

.545

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Sam Coonrod

8.0

5

1

0

0

8

0

0

1

1.98

Rodolfo Martinez S 17

1.0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0.70

Sam Coonrod locked up with the Rockies #24 prospect Yency Almonte in what proved to be a tremendous pitchers' duel yesterday. While Almonte was striking out 8 and allowing just one run on a bloop single that the 2b couldn't quite corral, Coonrod was matching him pitch for pitch. Coonrod, who had the longest outing of his pro career, allowed just one unearned run on an infield hit, a groundout, and a steal of 3b on which C Ty Ross' throw went into LF. That was the only stain on a truly brilliant day's work for Coonrod who was pitching off a lively fastball that was consistently 93-95 throughout the day. According to Joe Ritzo, Coonrod had been using a lot of two-seamers early in the year and worked more on getting groundballs (the same development process Tyler Beede went through in San Jose), but yesterday he was aggressive with the four-seamer going right after hitters. He had a season high 8 Ks vs. 0 BB. That was a season high in Ks and only the second time this year he's not walked a batter in a start.

Our good friend Conner Penfold was at the game yesterday, and he's got great HD footage of Coonrod's outing up close so you can really see the action on his pitches, so make sure you check that out at his site. Conner has a very modest subscription fee that is well worthwhile.

DISCUSSION TOPIC: Now that we're nearly half way into the 2016 season, how do you re-rank the pitching prospects in the system? Personally, I'm a big Coonrod fan, and might boost him up to the top of the list. So rank away: Beede, Bickford, Blackburn, Coonrod, Gregorio, Johnson, Mejia, Santos, Suarez. What's your order?

As most of the San Jose bats have ground to a halt the last couple of weeks, one guy who's stepped up is veteran Brandon Bednar. Since the beginning of May Bednar's posted a .299/.324/.416 line and in June he's got an 8 game hitting streak going. Yesterday, he provided the winning blow with an 11th inning HR that made the difference.

It got a little bit scary in the bottom of the inning when Rodolfo Martinez allowed the tying and winning run to move into scoring position with 2 outs, but as he's done all year, Rodolfo escaped harm. And he did it in radar revving style!

* * *

Augusta Greenjackets lost at Greenville Drive (Red Sox), 11-8
losing their three game series, 1-2

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

2b

Jalen Miller

5

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.257

.288

.357

RF

Seth Harrison

4

1

3

0

1

0

0

1

0

.267

.342

.395

CF

Johneshwy Fargas

4

1

2

4

0

0

1

0

0

.227

.346

.341

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Luis Pino

2.1

6

5

5

3

3

1

0

1

9.00

Ryan Halstead L 0-3

2.2

5

5

4

1

2

0

0

0

7.99

Heath Slatton

2.0

2

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

3.09

As the 8th batter of the top of the 1st, Johneshwy Fargas came to the plate with the bases loaded and did this:

Pretty cool, huh? The Greenjackets had won 9 of their previous 12 games, they were on their way to another laugher, and their improbable late 1st half rush towards the top of their division was continuing! And then.... things happened.  Terrible, woeful things that need not be elaborated here overmuch.

But while watching this game I did reflect on the astonishing transformation that has taken place with the Greenjackets over the first half of the season. They began as probably the youngest roster the Giants have fielded in full-season ball in recent memory, chalked full of teenagers and 20 year olds both on the position player side and on the mound.  But yesterday, they fielded a lineup that included four 23 year olds and two 25 year olds. Five members of yesterday's startling lineup have had experience in A+ or higher leagues, mostly from years past.

How did we get here? Nearly all the young ones gone. Tyler Brown played sparingly and then was off to XST back in early April. Mac Marshall couldn't throw strikes. DL'd and later re-assigned. Manuel Geraldo couldn't hit strikes and after a long long leash was finally re-assigned to XST. Gustavo Cabrera, still trying to overcome his accident bounced back and forth between the DL and active roster, before he too went back to XST. Logan Webb pitched ineffectively and now finds himself on the DL.  Lucius Fox hit the DL last week for fairly mysterious reasons (though he appears to still be with the club and perhaps will be back shortly). And this weekend, Kelvin Beltre exited after being hit in the helmet with a pitch. Hopefully, this is just a precaution and we'll see Beltre again soon, as he's been heating up lately and playing his best ball as a pro.

Jalen Miller is the only one of the teenagers that remains as of yesterday, with Phil Bickford and Michael Santos the lone remaining youth on the pitching staff that has had to bring in arms from everywhere to absorb innings lately. Of course, the re-assigned players will show up on short-season squads within the next week, but it's a little sad thinking of the excitement that has lately vanished from the Augusta roster.

Keep swinging it, Jalen! Hopefully you'll get a couple of your running mates back soon.

* * *

DSL Giants had their weekly Sunday day of rest.

Salem-Keizer's season begins this week. They open Friday night at home against last year's champs, the Hillsboro Hops. In the meantime, here they are! Recognize anyboyd?

The AZL opens a week from today.

* * *

Despite yesterday's rough loss, Augusta still has an outside chance of capturing a 1st half title, but it will likely take a sweep of their four game series starting today with Charleston to do it. San Jose isn't mathematically eliminated, but they went from tied for 1st place to 6 games out with 7 to play in a space of 8 days.

Today's Pitching Matchups:
Sacramento: TBD vs. Mike Hauschild
San Jose: Jordan Johnson vs TBD
Augusta: Jake McCasland vs. Christian Morris, Phil Bickford vs. Daris Vargas

Poor Augusta. A day after Luis Pino helped chew up their already ravaged staff (by failing to make it out of the 3rd inning in his start) they get a DH. Jake McCasland makes his second pro start as a result.