It was a rare Sunday off for half the system thanks to Easter holiday. But the real Easter celebration came down in Augusta, where the Greenjackets resurrected their offense.
|a- Carlos Moncrief||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|b- Kyle Blanks||PH||1||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||.241|
Ricky Romero opened his second start of the season allowing a single, a double, a WP, and a walk. That set up a 3 run bottom of the 1st for Las Vegas which had the RiverCats in comeback mode all day. They made it a game at 4-3 in the 5th when Orlando Calixte hit his 1st HR of the year, but the 51s offense went immediately back to work on Romero, with three of the first four batters in the bottom of the 5th reaching base and ending his day. Two errors in the game from 3b Jae-Hyun Hwang didn’t help Romero’s cause greatly.
In the good news department, the game marked the return of Ryder Jones from the DL (for concussion). Playing 1b, Jones singled in each of his first two ABs of the year, ending the game 2 for 4.
And in more good news, Josh Osich bounced back from his disaster outing in his previous game with a perfect inning of work.
The RiverCats matched up against a LHP in the 51s Adam Wilk, so it’s worth noting that the two veteran platoon OFs in the lineup, Drew Stubbs and Justin Ruggiano both had two hits including a double off of Wilk. Of course, with Jarrett Parker now gone for a considerable amount of time, it’s less clear what purpose RH platoon OF will serve on the Giants roster. Melvin Upton and Mac Williamson are all eagerly awaited in a RiverCats lineup.
And, of course, there is the big man, Kyle Blanks, who made a short appearance in yesterday’s game. As usual, the Las Vegas video feed is pretty worthless, but just watch the LF respond to this shot.
Holy Koudelka as the great @JDoskow would say, that one was BLASTED! Kyle Blanks with his second homer of the year, now a 6-4 ballgame— River Cats (@RiverCats) April 16, 2017
Richmond had their first off day of the year
They travel to Bowie to begin a four game series with the BaySox tonight.
San Jose had their first off day of the year
They begin a home series vs. arch rival Visalia Rawhide tonight. And there are deals to be had!
And speaking of LF possibilities, the game will feature the return of another big man.
Oh and Bryan Morris is returning too. Good for you Bryan! More relief arms are always a good thing.
Augusta beat Columbia Fireflies (Mets) 7-6
Splitting their four game series, 2-2
|Brandon Van Horn||SS||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||.171|
We're here today. A win, and it's another series win against Augusta. pic.twitter.com/xOerdv5zW2— Columbia Fireflies (@ColaFireflies) April 16, 2017
Saturday night, Columbia shutout Augusta 1-0, the Greenjackets’ fourth shutout loss in 10 games this year. In the 3rd inning of this game, Augusta broke a streak of 13 straight scoreless innings thanks to two HB, a WP and a Sac Fly. The team is currently last in the Sally in HRs, last in SLG, OBP, and AVG (.199!), next to last in hits, third from the last in runs.
They are not a particularly good offensive club, is my point. So when they went to the bottom of the 8th in Sunday’s game trailing 6-1 (mostly a conglomeration of walks and sloppy defense), there probably weren’t many hearts among the faithful thinking a stirring comeback was in the offing. Even after Sandro Fabian doubled and came round to score on Skyler Ewing’s Sac Fly it seemed to be just playing out the string. But with two outs in the 9th, down 6-2, the Jackets went on an improbable, nay incredible!, tear of run scoring singles.
Anthony Marks loaded the bases with an infield hit (the second infield hit of the inning). Fabian grounded one through the 5.5 hole to bring in two. Kelvin Beltre grounded one the opposite way into the big hole left by the 1b holding the runner on. Skyler Ewing tied it up with a fourth consecutive single, a solid shot to CF. After an IBB, Manuel Geraldo, who had had a rough game with the glove, found the 5.5 hole again to bring home the winner in what has to be the early season leader for Least Likely Victory of the Year.
Augusta had 10 hits and 3 walks on the game and they managed to crowd six of those hits and two of those walks into the final frame. Unbelievable! Ok, there were plenty of dinks and doinks in that group of hits, but still... unbelievable!
As for the Pitchers, well not that I’m all hopped up on walk-off victory jujus I won’t make a big deal out of it but still: 6 BB against 3 Ks is no way to go through life, guys! Let’s shore that up! The Greenjackets pitching staff so far has the dubious achievement of leading the Sally in walks by a good measure (58 in 11 games, Hickory’s 51 is second worst) while being one of the worst strikeout teams in the league. Their 79 is currently just one off the worst pace in the league. Lexington has 78 and nobody else in the league is less than 88.
Combining an offense that can barely register a pulse with a pitching staff that delights in free passes and can’t strike anybody out (along with your basic A ball defense) is as good a recipe for a last place team as anybody could hope to devise.
Finally farewell to an old friend and hello to a new acquaintance.
Clayton Blackburn heads to a Rangers team that has some incredible issues at the back end of their rotation and could be just the next Andrew Cashner injury away from a major league debut. In the meantime he moves much closer to his Oklahoma home as he joins the Round Rock Express. The 16th round pick in the Giants 2011 draft, Blackburn put himself onto the prospect lists with an advanced feel for pitching, strong command and an exceptional curve. Clayton was a top 10 prospect in the Giants’ system every year from 2012-2015. Good luck in your new home, Clayton!
Frandy de la Rosa is a speedy MI with some potential SS tools but he has mostly played 2b in his minor league career.
From Giants, on Frandy De La Rosa, a 21-year-old middle infielder: pic.twitter.com/pvJD7pwuiB— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) April 16, 2017
The switch hitter was originally signed by the Cubs for $700,000 in 2012. At the time of his signing, Ben Badler wrote this about de la Rosa in Baseball America:
De la Rosa, who is from Santo Domingo and turned 17 in January, is 6-foot-1, 170 pounds with a short, simple swing from both sides of the plate. He has quick hands, good bat control and a knack for putting the barrel to the ball, with more line drives than power right now. He stood out among Cubs position players at the team's Dominican instructional league, even with more advanced players like Marco Hernandez in attendance.
The career .253/.317/.352 hitter will likely join the San Jose roster, although adding to the Augusta MI options isn’t out of the question either. Probably everybody wants to see some four-year old scouting video of a 17 year old Frandy.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: TBD vs. Ricky Knapp
Richmond: Matt Gage vs. Chris Tillman
San Jose: Matt Krook vs. Justin Donatella
Augusta: Stephen Woods, Jr. vs TBD
Chris Shaw gets to test his hot streak against rehabbing former All Star pitcher Chris Tillman, which will be fun to watch. In the A ball teams, Matt Krook hopes to bounce back on his disastrous debut while Stephen Woods hopes to build on his excellent one.