I remember Buster Posey saying in a Fanfest interview a couple of years ago that one of the most disappointing things about the minors to him was that players tend to be so concerned about themselves (their stats, their development, their promotions) and not concerned enough about the success of the team (sidebar: sometimes this happens in the majors too, Buster, in the horse latitudes of dead seasons).
Well this was the minor league day of Buster’s dreams. Without anybody having particularly notable days or stat lines, the system as a whole had one of the most stunning days in memory. Not only did they win every game, but they won in dramatic and even shocking ways.
So let’s take it away!
HIGHLIGHTS: Orlando Calixte hit two HRs; Carlos Moncrief HRd and doubled twice; Jacob Heyward doubled and HRd; Kevin Riveria doubled and HRd
Sacramento won at Salt Lake Bees (Angels), 14-11
winning their four game series, 3-1
There was some serious PCL’ing going on in Utah yesterday as the two sides combined for 34 hits and 25 runs, scoring in at least one half of every inning in the game.
Wynton Bernard and Chris Shaw each reached base four times and every member of the lineup other than Ali Castillo (who had just one hit) reached multiple times.
Orlando Calixte had hit his team leading 11th HR Saturday night, and was rewarded yesterday with a move down the order to the 3-spot on Sunday. He responded with his third multi-HR game of the season including a critical blast in the 9th.
Carlos Moncrief, who’s been getting some regular playing time this weekend, had his biggest game of the year, whacking a HR and two doubles while driving in three.
All the offense led to a lot of back and forth in this game. Down 7-3 in the 6th inning, Sacramento scored 11 runs in their final four at bats. They were chasing a moving target though. They grabbed an 8-7 lead in the 7th, only to see Colin Balester give up the lead. They scored three more in the top of the 8th, and this time DJ Snelten handed the lead back with three in the bottom of the inning (all unearned thanks to his own throwing error). It was a bizarre half inning that included four SBs off Snelten (one of them so large that Trevor Brown didn’t even bother to make a throw) and a very botched rundown that allowed the tying run to score.
Ladies and gentlemen, that is NOT how you do that!
Three in the top of the 9th, thanks in large part to Calixte’s HR, finally put them over the top and Derek Law managed to close it out in the bottom of the inning. Law was the only one of the nine pitchers appearing in the game in the game who didn’t yield any runs. Dusten Knight had a particularly rough afternoon of it, issuing four walks in his two innings of work.
Calixte leads the RiverCats in just about every category possible. I suspect we’ll be seeing him again before long. It’ll be interesting to see if he and Kelby go mano á mano for the super utility job next spring.
Richmond beat Harrisburg Senators (Nationals), 6-2
splitting their four game series, 2-2
If the minor leagues utilized “relegation,” it’s quite possible the Squirrels would have been relegated to the independent Atlantic League by now. Yesterday they added yet another member of the Lancaster Barnstormers to the lineup, former Milwaukee Brewer Caleb Gindl. That’s the fourth member of the Barnstormers signed by the Giants’ this year and the third assigned to Richmond. That’s in addition to minor league FA Cody Hall, Seth Rosin, Jerry Sands, and Nate Reed. Goodness!
The various veteran acquisitions teamed up to hand Richmond a victory here with Jerry Sands’ two-run triple and KC Hobson’s sac fly keying a 4-run 4th inning that provided the former Mexican Leaguer Reed with his first victory as a Squirrel.
From a prospect perspective it’s pretty hard to figure out what to make of our AA team at this point, outside of CJ Hinojosa. Which isn’t to say that none of these MiLBFA are without the possibility of providing future help. Jarret Martin and Seth Rosin (as well as former Squirrel Jose Flores) appear healthy and throwing hard and that’s sometimes all it takes for a relief arm to pop up.
But it sure is getting more and more tempting to hang a “Nothing to See Here” sign over the Richmond section of these daily lines as the roster fills up with more and more detritus of the unaffiliated.
There was some interesting off field news yesterday:
Looks like I have some All Star activity in my future!
San Jose Bats
|a- Gio Brusa||PH-DH||1||1||1||1||0||0||2||0||0||.242|
Down 4-1 going into the 9th, Gio Brusa hit a PH double to drive in two runs. After a WP then put the tieing and go-ahead runs in scoring position, a two-out throwing error from the Storm’s 3b on what should have been the final out of the game gave San Jose a shocking come from behind win (told you there’d be shocks!).
Brusa was PH for Steven Duggar, making his second appearance since coming back off the DL for a second rehab stint. Duggar DH’d in this game, going 1 for 4 with a strikeout. In Saturday night’s game, Duggar played RF and went 0 for 3 with a walk. Duggar has only played CF one time this year in his rehab work: his first game back in the AZL complex.
The Giants actually had 13 hits in this game, and most of the evening leading up to the 9th had been a tale of frustration. All but two of their hits were singles and they went an almost unfathomable 3 for 16 w RISP on the day. An amazingly, two of those hits didn’t score any runs! Ryan Howard, Heath Quinn, Ronnie Jebavy, and John Polonius all picked up two hits in the game, while C Matt Winn reached base three times on a single and two walks.
|1- Shawon Dunston Jr.||PR||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.212|
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.214|
|Brandon Van Horn||SS||4||0||2||1||0||0||1||0||1||.263|
Stephen Woods, Jr. had just about as bad a Sunday afternoon as one can imagine. In the space of just 11 batters he managed to issue three walks, hit a batter, surrender two doubles, and commit a throwing error while fielding a bunt. Add it all up and that’s gonna leave a mark on the old stat line. Fight another day, Stephen!
Interesting dimensions here at McCormick Field. 326 to left, 370 LC, 373 to center 320 to right center and 297 to right with a big wall pic.twitter.com/fKQba7jgrk— Jason Barfield (@jasonbarfield) July 16, 2017
But, true to day’s theme, given a favorable environment in which to score (for a change), the Greenjackets’ offense kept fighting back to keep within striking distance. And down 8-6 in the top of the 9th, strike they did!
Just like their A ball colleagues in San Jose, Augusta too launched a four-run rally in the 9th to win it. And like San Jose, they got some help. With two outs and one on, the bases were loaded when Skyler Ewing walked and Sandro Fabian was HBP. Cristian Paulino grounded a single into RF to tie the game and then backup C Will Albertson drilled a bases clearing double to put the ‘Jackets up 10-8.
Though Patrick Ruotolo would uncharacteristically allow a run in the bottom of the inning (on a solo HR), he nailed down his 11th save of the year.
Six members of the starting lineup had two hits, while Kelvin Beltre reached three times thanks to two walks. Jacob Heyward had a monster game driving in five runs on a double and his team-leading 10th HR of the year. Heyward is still having a nearly comically Three True Outcomes season, with 43% of his PA on the year ending in either a K, BB, or HR. His BABIP is actually hovering around .290 which is frankly a lot higher than I would expect, given the .223 average, but those 81 Ks do take up a hefty chunk of the ABs. I just have no idea what to say about a major college player striking out 30% of the time vs. Sally league hitters.
It’ll be interesting to see how the new stadium plays next year. Could be a whole new world for Heliot and friends finally getting away from the Mistake by the Lake, and we can see some real offensive numbers coming out of the Sally affiliate (who likely will no longer be Greenjackets) for a change.
|Alejandro De La Rosa||2||4||5||5||2||1||0||6.00|
|Connor Kaden (W, 1-0)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
|Garrett Cave (S, 2)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||1.29|
Variations on a theme! Salem-Keizer DID NOT score four runs in the 9th to comeback and win their game. Instead, they scored four runs in the 8th to tie the game at 8 apiece. And then in the 9th, Gustavo Cabrera, playing his first game in a week, went deep to provide the winning run in yet another late inning comeback. That was Gustavo’s 3rd HR in just 39 ABs this year and he’s posting a very healthy .333 ISO! If only, if only, if only he could play regularly. Sigh.
Five different Volcanoes had two hits and everybody in the lineup had at least one as Salem-Keizer banged out 14 hits. That included the first HRs of the year from Robinson Madrano (a three run shot) and Kevin Rivera (well, his first NWL homer; he also had one in the Sally). Rivera also doubled to kick start the big 8th inning rally in his best performance of the year with the Volcanoes.
Malique Ziegler collected two hits including a double and stole his 13th base of the year, to catch Manuel Geraldo with the team lead. He’s now tied for the league lead in batting average, though top 10 pick Pavin Smith is hot on his tail.
As was true nearly everywhere in the system, a poor start led to a parade of relief pitchers. After Alejandro de la Rosa was knocked out of the game after 2 innings, the Volcanoes used six relievers to get through the game. That ominously did but also didn’t include Alex Bostic, who came into the game to start the 4th inning but departed after his warm up pitches without throwing a pitch in the game. Obviously a medical issue (or else he would have had to face a batter). Poor Alex’s season just doesn’t get any better.
Garrett Cave’s is going swimmingly, however. The big 4th rounder finished off the win with a perfect 1-2-3 9th inning with two Ks. The big armed RHP now has 10 Ks against 1 BB in 7 innings of work as a pro.
The AZL Giants decided to skip the drama and go straight for the win. 3rd round pick Seth Corry made his first professional start, but it didn’t last two long as he departed after facing just five batters, two of whom he walked.
The best sight on the pitchers’ mound was the return of Reyes Moronta. In his first appearance since June 2nd, Moronta threw a perfect inning with 2 Ks. A week in the desert and at least we should have him back in Richmond to provide some interest. Good to see that whatever ailed the big guy was relatively minor and he can get back to blowing away hitters.
Heliot Ramos had a minor key game: just a single and his 5th SB. That was sadly followed directly by his 2nd CS however. Jacob Gonzalez went hitless. After opening up with 15 hits in his first five games he’s had just four hits in the last eight. Ramos and Gonzalez are still 4th and 5th in the league in OPS, however.
Ramos’ OF mates picked up the slack, however. Aaron Bond hit his 3rd HR and scored three runs (he also picked up an OF assist), while Jose Layer, playing RF singled and walked twice with a run scored. Nathaniel Javier, now in his 4th AZL campaign (not a great sign for the one-time bonus baby) picked up two hits with a double, while Beicker Mendoza (in his second shot at the AZL) had a three-run double in the 1st.
DSL Giants were off
The Dominican Summer League held its All Star game yesterday (I always find it comical that the All Star game is the only time all year the DSL is in action on a Sunday). The Giants had two representatives. LHP Marco Gonzalez didn’t appear. However, Alexander Canario played a crucial role. As a PH in the 7th, he singled, stole 2b and came around to score the eventual game winning run.
Canario won Most Valuable Player for scoring the deciding run in the NL's 3-2 victory. pic.twitter.com/XgrKo9dGdy— GPT (@giantsprospects) July 17, 2017
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: TBD vs. Bryan Rodriguez
Richmond: Cory Taylor vs. Beau Burrows (Tigers #3 prospect)
San Jose: Mark Reyes vs. TBD
Augusta: Raffi Vizcaino vs. Antonio Santos
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. Cole Ragans
AZL: Miguel FIgueroa
DSL: Luis Moreno? (they altered their rotation for the first time this year on Friday so we’ll see)
So there you have it. Six wins, including four amazing comebacks. This Sunday deserved a high five!