I can just hear Bobby Evans thinking: four hits again? You’re killing me, Smalls! As much as the Giants don’t want to address the subject of an Arroyo promotion, their collision course seems as irrevocable as the barrel of Arroyo’s bat seeking out a fastball (in this metaphor the Giants’ 2017 season is the fastball, and Arroyo’s bat is, of course, Arroyo’s bat. Which I suppose makes that part of it not a metaphor at all... Anyway, the point of all this is that if somebody threw Arroyo a metaphor-ball right now, he’d likely blister it somewhere). Yesterday, Arroyo not only had his second 4-hit game of the week but he knocked in the game winning run in the bottom of the 10th to break the team’s 8-game losing streak. Kismet guys?
Of course, the whole discussion is likely rendered moot by Arroyo’s inability to pitch, but that’s a discussion for a different day.
HIGHLIGHTS: duh... Christian Arroyo! Also, Jalen Miller’s three hits included his first HR of the year and Bryan Reynolds tripled and HR among three hits.
|c- Wynton Bernard||PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.214|
|a- Kyle Blanks||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.200|
|b- Austin Slater||PH-LF||1||0||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||.273|
This was the rare minor league game that turned out to be a real Prospect Mano a Mano in the late innings. Trailing by a run with two outs in the 9th, the 51s sent the game to extra innings when the Mets #1 prospect (and probably a top 5 prospect in all of baseball currently left in minors) Ahmed Rosario tripled in the tying run off Josh Osich. That was Rosario’s third hit of the game.
But then in the bottom of the 10th Giants #1 prospect hitter Christian Arroyo sent everybody home with yet another bullet — this one over the head of LF Philip Evans and to the base of the wall for a walk off single. That hit was Arroyo’s fourth of the game and in other circumstances would have been his second double of the game. Arroyo has seven doubles and three HRs already among his 29 hits on the year. And if that’s not enough, Arroyo also had his 2nd SB of the season in the game. Let’s enjoy his actual double in this game, an 0-2 slider from recently demoted Rafael Montero that Arroyo laces past the 1b down the RF line.
And since doubles were the flavor of the day, let’s get two more with a couple of guys we might see in SF sooner than Arroyo: Mike Morse doubling to RF to knock in Ryder Jones and Orland Calixte (who reportedly has a decent chance of being Brandon Crawford’s fill in this week) playing a big role in the 7th inning comeback. Calixte’s bat has been slow to come around this year but he’s been playing a dazzling middle infield.
Dan Slania’s AAA career hasn’t gotten off to quite the start he’d hoped for. For the third consecutive outing, Slania surrendered 4 ER and failed to make it past 5 innings. He’s getting plenty of strikeouts (16 in 14.2 IP) but allowing far too many baserunners both free (9 BB+HB) and earned (19 hits). A 1.84 WHIP will get you killed in the PCL.
But the bats sent the crowd home happy in the end. All in all a beautiful day at the ballyard.
Richmond lost to Reading Fightin’ Phils, 8-0
getting swept in their two game series, 0-2
Though it doesn’t show from the final, this was a tight game throughout. It went to the 9th inning a 2-0 pitchers’ duel. But Reyes Moronta decided this was the perfect time for the ol’ “closers can’t pitch in non-save situations” cliché. Moronta had allowed just two baserunners over his first 6 IP on the season, but in this game he retired just one of the four he faced and threw just half his pitches for strikes, opening up a huge “put away” 5-run 9th for Reading. That inning also included Luis Pino’s first apparance above A ball, which.... didn’t go overly well.
All of which obscured a terrific start from Cory Taylor, who had his first taste of AA success, going a season high 5 strong innings, K’ing 8. Taylor’s only demerit was a solo HR to Phils #9 prospect Scott Kingery (in Taylor’s final inning of work), but he was otherwise strong and in charge throughout. Here he is getting the better of Kingery earlier in the game.
Taylor ended up the hard-luck loser, however, as the Squirrels offense was once again unable to get much going, ending up with just four hits. They did have eight walks, including two from LF (!) Chris Shaw and one each from Miguel Gomez and Slade Heathcott, but they weren’t able to cash in any of those base runners, going 0 for 8 with RISP. Heathcott’s double was their only XBH. All while facing a starter (Shane Watson) who came into the game having allowed 8 runs in his 9.1 IP on the year.
The star-crossed Hunter Cole’s day was a perfect embodiment of the Squirrels frustration. In the 1st he came up with the bases loaded and 1 out and hit into a DP. His next two times to the plate he produced a single and a walk, but the bases were empty in front of him. And in his final AB he came up with runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out and struck out. Cole’s been locked in a brutal slump all year and the 5th place hitter is currently slashing a horrid .148/.200/.241. Sadly, the veteran OF is a primary reason why the Squirrels 3-4 potent combination of Gomez (.379 OBP) and Shaw (.409 OBP) isn’t leading to more run production. This lineup is running on 4 cogs at the top of the order and when you reach the 5-9 spots, “here be monsters.”
But before leaving here, let’s note just one more time that Chris Shaw once again played LF, the fifth time he has done so this year. So long as we’re in full rumor-mongering panik mode about a season on the brink of a nervous breakdown:
@Giants55 Baggs said the other day to keep an eye on Chris Shaw— Kissthemgiantrings (@rxmeister28) April 23, 2017
San Jose won at Stockton Ports (A’s), 12-8
winning their three game series, 2-1
San Jose Bats
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.143|
Bryan Reynolds broke an 0 for 15 slump with a 2-run HR in the 1st inning (his 1st) and went on to have a career high 5 RBIs in a three-hit night that also included a two-run triple in the 6th. That triple started the Giants comeback from a 7-3 deficit as they scored nine runs over their final four at bats. Reynolds night had just about everything going good:
Power from both sides of the plate; squaring up elite level velocity. Yup that’s a good way to break a slump.
Reynolds career high in RBIs was balanced with perfect symmetry by Jalen Miller’s career high in runs scored (4). Miller reached base four times and scored four times, walking, singling twice, and hitting his 2nd HR of the year. From Friend of Minor Lines’ Conner Penfold’s description, I guess it was a wall scraper, but out is out!
Jalen Miller goes yard to lead off 3rd. Ports LF B.Siddall made incredible effort. Looked like it hit off glove. Miller thought he caught it— Giant Potential (@giant_potential) April 23, 2017
Conner told me he has video of both HRs so check his site today (which, honestly, you should be doing every day anyway!). ED NOTE: HERE’S ONE:
The Giants big bounceback came a night after the lineup was totally shut down by a rehabbing Sonny Gray. Though it’s produced some great numbers to start the year, like Richmond, San Jose’s lineup has been pretty asymmetrical as the second half of the order plunges into some ugly depths. And like Richmond, it’s some of the returnees who have been the biggest non-producers. Daniel Carbonell in his third Cal league campaign is getting along ok, but Jonah Arenado has had a really rough go of it, hitting just .228/.297/.298. This was the team MVP last year, so getting his bat going would really help the overall lineup.
And it appears they’re going to need to score runs because the pitching staff has been very much not good so far this year. Heath Slatton now sports a 16.20 ERA and can’t be too much longer for the rotation, though it’s an open question of how exactly the team can replace him. Their staff ERA is 6th in the 8 team league (and one of the team’s behind them is Lancaster, which is more or less a gimme). They are 7th in team strikeouts, but have walked the most batters as a staff in the league. They’ve been decent at avoiding HRs, but they put a lot of runners on base; their 1.60 team WHIP is tied with Lancaster for worst in the league.
Note to team: never be tied with Lancaster for any pitching category.
They did however, get one nice performance on the mound in closing the game out:
Dusten Knight continues impressive start to season with an eight-out save. Knight in 13 2/3 IP this season: 2 R, 0 BB, 17 SO. 0.45 WHIP.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) April 24, 2017
And before we go, the great folks at Baseball Census have a fascinating interview posted with recently DL’d Dillon Dobson.
Augusta’s game in Greensboro was postponed (rain)
they lost their three game series, 1-2
Augusta begins a series in Lexington tonight.
Tonight’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Tyler Beede vs. Tyler Pill
Richmond: Matt Gage vs. John Means
San Jose: Matt Krook vs. Caleb Ferguson
Augusta: Steven Woods Jr. vs. Travis Eckert
Hopefully tomorrow we’ll have as much to gush over regarding the arms of the system as we’ve had today with the bats. Will Tyler Beede, Matt Krook, and Steven Woods Jr. be the stars of tomorrow’s Minor Lines? Same bat time!
In the meantime, let’s gush a little more about Christian Arroyo:
And what the heck, how about another angle of that game winning hit? We all need a little lift today: