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SF Giants Minor Lines, 8/1

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Lucius and Phil, we hardly knew ye.

A remembrance:

Some of you may know that when I'm not writing Minor Lines, I can often be found Stage Managing plays for my community theater, so perhaps you'll appreciate that my mind often turns to the stage to help make sense of the world. This morning I woke up thinking about a scene from Tom Stoppard's extraordinary play Arcadia. The heroine, Thomasina, a precocious, teenage mathematical genius from the 18th century, is bemoaning the destruction of the great library of Alexandria, and all of the texts from the ancient world which passed out of human knowledge in the disaster. Turning to her tutor Thomasina cries "how do we bear it?" To which Septimus, her tutor wisely replies: "By counting our stores" and naming all of the great texts from the ancient world which still remained known to us.

So. Let us count our stores. Who still remains? Surprisingly, all of Christian Arroyo, Chris Shaw, and Tyler Beede are still here, the obvious top three of the system, and at the very least three of the top four prior to this week. Mac Williamson is still here, as well as Jarrett Parker. Andrew Suarez and Sam Coonrod remain, as do all of the depth pitchers in AAA: Joan Gregorio, Ty Blach, and Clayton Blackburn (and Dan Slania!). Steven Duggar is still here, as well as Austin Slater, Hunter Cole, CJ Hinojosa. The stock of relievers remains untouched: Steven Okert, Josh Osich, Ray Black, Rodolfo Martinez, Chase Johnson are here. Kyle Crick and Jordan Johnson, still with great potential, remain. And of the talented teenaged group Jalen Miller, Kelvin Beltre, Manuel Geraldo, Gustavo Cabrera, Kevin Rivera remain, along with Sandro Fabian down in Scottsdale. So in some ways, the system remains what is was, light (well probably absent) in elite guys but with a decent amount of depth and some players who will contribute over the next couple of years.  The upper levels, other than Mejia, went mostly untouched, as the Giants chose to sacrifice the longer-term over the guys who could contribute soon. Shall we offer up a new top 10? How about this:

Chris Shaw
Christian Arroyo
Tyler Beede
Sam Coonrod
Andrew Suarez
Steven Duggar
Joan Gregorio
Bryan Reynolds
Aramis Garcia
Heath Quinn with CJ Hinojosa or Matt Krook possibly not far off from here as well. 

HIGHLIGHTS: Travis Ishikawa hit two HRs; Clayton Blackburn threw 7 shutout innings; Ronnie Jebavy had 3 hits, a HR, and 2 SB.

* * *

Sacramento beat Salt Lake City Bees (Angels), 7-0

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SS

Kelby Tomlinson

4

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

.318

.381

.386

C

Miguel Olivo

4

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.257

.289

.437

1b

Travis Ishikawa

4

2

3

5

1

0

2

0

0

.263

.351

.456

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Clayton Blackburn W 6-7

7.0

3

0

0

1

5

0

0

0

4.53

Cory Gearrin

1.0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

Steven Okert

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

3.28

Well, there, see, once you get the hang of beating the Bees it's not all that hard, is it? First some important background information on this game:

Indeed, he certainly pitched like a man with no blister issues, as he hit a season high 105 pitches in a masterful shutout effort. This was only the third time this year that Blackburn allowed no runs in a start, with the other two coming within a three start stretch in late May that was his best extended pitching of the year. Blackburn faced just four batters over the minimum and never had two runners on in an inning. The closest he came to giving up a run came in the 3rd inning when a lead off walk, followed by an errant pickoff throw from Miguel Olivo put, a runner on 3b with no outs. But Clayton picked up one of his 5 Ks in the game, and then a fly ball to the strong armed Gorkys Hernandez failed to score the run, and Blackburn got out of the threat with yet another K on a called third strike. After that mini-threat, Blackburn pretty well mowed through Salt Lake City for the rest of his start.

The shutout was, in fact, the combined effort of an all "back from the DL" group as Cory Gearrin made his second rehab appearance, and Steven Okert also had his first game back off the DL (ankle). It couldn't have gone much smoother for any of them.

The game was actually a scoreless tie heading into the bottom of the 5th, when Chris Denorfia got the scoring going with a leadoff HR (his 2nd in as many days). After that, it was the Travis Ishikawa show. Ishikawa who had hit a double in the 4th inning, gave Blackburn breathing room when he hit a two-run HR in the 6th inning. And then in the 8th he put the exclamation mark on the game.

One result of yesterday's deals as well as the many infield machinations the Giants have had to make lately is that the 40 man suddenly has openings. It's at 38 now and the Adrianza/Gillaspie situation almost has to result in another opening, as well as, possibly, Matt Reynolds' situation. That means, depending on any waiver wire acquisitions in August, the Giants will be able to make some additions in September if they want to add some support. Will we see the return of Ishi to the vanilla and black come September? The guess here is yes!

* * *

Richmond had a scheduled off day
They start a series in Altoona tonight

* * *

San Jose lost at the Bakersfield Blaze (Mariners), 12-4

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

CF

Ronnie Jebavy

5

1

3

1

0

0

1

0

0

.263

.320

.411

3b

Miguel Gomez

3

1

2

0

0

0

0

1

0

.267

.297

.450

SS

TJ Bennett

3

1

1

2

0

0

1

1

1

.263

.328

.373

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Jason Forjet

2.0

4

4

4

0

1

1

1

0

4.84

Carlos Diaz L 0-2

1.2

3

3

3

4

0

0

1

0

14.54

Pat Young

1.1

5

4

2

0

0

0

0

3

3.83

DJ Snelten

2.0

2

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

4.47

Reyes Moronta

1.0

1

1

1

0

3

1

0

0

2.23

Ah, Sam Lynn Balpark, where you have to wait for the sun to go down behind the batter's eye to start games, and every year they have to get a waiver from Minor League Baseball to play games there because the OF fence isn't a regulation distance away, how we haven't missed you. As Joe notes, the Giants will play 10 games in this decrepit old pit over the next month, facing the Cal League's best team, and they will now be doing it without their best pitcher. This is going to be a difficult race for the playoffs.

Game one was a depressing reminder of the team's last southern trip, with yet another pitching blow up in a hitting friendly environment. Jason Forjet, who was a real stabilizer for the 2015 rotation, couldn't make it past two innings and none of his relief did any better. The total damage: 15 Hits, 2 HRs, 4 BBs, 2 HBP, 3 WP. Just an ugly day all around.

The offense just couldn't keep up, despite a tremendous game from Ronnie Jebavy, who hit his 10th HR of the season among his three hits, and also stole his 22nd and 23rd SB of the year. Miguel Gomez reached base three times and TJ Bennett pitched in with his 2nd HR. But that was all the offense they could muster. They other six starters managed one hit between them, and two walks.

Yesterday's trades necessitated a whole bunch of roster moves, and by and San Jose was involved in most of them.

And there was also this:

The Connor Menez announcement was a surprise, but given that Augusta's rotation is being held together with spit and chewing gum at the moment they certainly didn't have any arms to spare. As the losses, both on and off the field, continue to pile up for SJ, it's going to be a tremendous challenge for them to compete down the stretch. At 55-53 they're dangerously close to being the first losing SJ team in 13 years.

* * *

Augusta's game vs. Columbia was rained out
They'll play a makeup Double Header tonight

* * *

Salem-Keizer is on their All Star Break
The NWL All Star game is tonight, featuring Volcanoes John Riley, Kevin Rivera, Ashford Fulmer, and Gio Brusa. And, the Volcanoes had another honor announced yesterday:

* * *

AZL Giants lost to the AZL Royals, 9-3

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SS

Brandon Van Horn

4

2

3

0

1

0

0

1

0

.250

.348

.333

C

Aramis Garcia

4

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

.182

.182

.273

LF

Jacob Heyward

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

.391

.540

.734

RF

Sandro Fabian

5

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

.321

.360

.519

2b

Michael bernal

2

0

2

0

0

0

0

2

0

.253

.309

.482

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Caleb Baragar

1.2

2

1

1

3

0

0

0

0

2.90

Julio Benitez L 1-2

2.1

6

4

4

1

6

0

0

0

4.50

Sandro Cabrera

3.2

4

4

0

2

2

0

0

2

2.88

Jacob Heyward had just his second hitless game as a pro and the first in which he didn't reach base at all. In fact, he took a hat trick for his first really rough pro outing. Brandon Van Horn had three hits but he also contributed two errors (9) which made Sandro Cabrera's line look a little rougher than necessary. Julio Benitez had a rough run prevention day, but a huge K day. In fact, he had more Ks in this 2.1 IP outing than in his previous five appearances put together over 12.2 IP. Sandro Fabian picked up his 10th XBH of the year. For a skinny 18 year old who hasn't really come into his strength yet, the .200 Iso is a very nice sign.

Slightly off topic, but long time AZL observer had this to say about yesterday's deals:

* * *

DSL Giants beat the DSL Dodgers, 5-0

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

DH

Ismael Munguia

3

0

1

3

0

1

0

1

1

.299

.376

.401

2b

Nishell Gutierrez

4

2

2

0

0

1

0

0

0

.234

.309

.266

CF

Jose Patino

4

2

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

.285

.339

.335

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Miguel Figueroa W 5-0

5.2

3

0

0

4

4

0

0

0

2.58

Camilo Doval

1.1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

3.60

Alejandro De La Rosa S 3

2.0

0

0

0

1

2

0

0

0

1.23

Seventeen year old Nicaraguan Ismael Munguia hit a three-run triple and Miguel Figueroa and two relievers threw a 3-hit shutout to spur the Giants to their 12th consecutive victory. The win enabled the Giants to tie the Dodgers for 2nd place in their division, 1.5 games out of first place.  The 21 year old Alejandro De La Rosa has had a fairly dominant season out of the DSL Giants bullpen, with 22 Ks against 6 BB (3 of which were IBB) in 22 IP. He has an 0.95 WHIP and batters are hitting just .195 against him this year. Last year he K'd 38 batters in 31.1 IP.

It was a tough day for several of the Giants better hitters as Diego Rincones, Ricardo Genoves, and Jose Rivero all had hat tricks, contributing greatly to the team's 13 strikeouts in the game.

* * *

We're into the final month of the season now and coming down the stretch of another minor league year. Where has it gone? Sacramento and Richmond are just trying for respectability as teams, and continued individual development, while San Jose, Augusta, Salem-Keizer, and the rookie league clubs all have some chance for post-season play.

Today's Matchups:
Sacramento: Chris Stratton vs. Nate Smith
Richmond: Kyle Crick vs. Cody Dickson
San Jose: Conner Menez vs. TBD
Augusta: Michael Connolly vs. Chase Ingram; TBD vs. Kevin Canelon

A sad farewell to friends, and exciting look ahead to chase. It's August in baseball.