I don’t care if it wasn’t a minor league game, pitchers who rake get top billing in this establishment!
Dude’s an athlete.
HIGHLIGHTS: Slade Heathcott had two hits, a walk, and an OF assist; Matt Krook K’d 3 in first appearance in relief; Sandro Fabian had three hits including double;
The RiverCats laid an egg on the first day of their midwest road trip. On a day of excitement when two and possibly three of their teammates got calls to the big leagues there wasn’t much exciting about the performance on the field. Like his former teammate Dan Slania, Matt Gage hasn’t been able to translate his AA success into the PCL. Gage was knocked around by the Storm Chasers for 7 runs in less than 5 innings, running his PCL ERA up to near 7.00 in his 33 innings with Sacramento. Gage can’t use typical PCL apologias much either: of his seven PCL starts six of them have come in pitcher friendly environments, with four starts in Sacramento and road starts in Tacoma and Omaha.
Gage’s troubles in this game with some uncharacteristic wildness. He walked 5, after having walked just 10 in his previous six starts combined. He had two WP which doubled his season total in the PCL. And he also allowed his first HR of the year in AAA (albeit he had allowed 5 in Richmond).
Gage’s relief, however, calmed the Storm down nicely. Dusten Knight K’d 4 in his 2.1 inning stint while DJ Snelten allowed just one baserunner in his inning. Knight did allow an inherited runner to score, so they weren’t quite perfect.
On the offensive side of things, Sacramento was throttled by Omaha starter Bryan Flynn and three relievers. The RiverCats managed just five hits in all with no walks while striking out 10 times. Indeed, their only run of the game came from a runner who reached base via a strikeout. Probably not a sustainable offensive model.
The only bright spot was Slade Heathcott’s Sacramento debut. Playing RF, Heathcott picked up two of the Cats five hits and knocked in their lone run. He also showed off his defense, turning a double play to help Gage out of the 3rd inning.
It sounds like Chris Stratton is going to be taking Matt Cain’s spot in the rotation the rest of the way, so the pitcher strapped RiverCats are going to have to find yet another arm to help soak up the innings the remainder of the way.
Richmond lost at Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox), 11-10
losing their three game series, 1-2
Admittedly, I haven’t done much research on this, but I’m guessing that teams that have 8-run innings win a large percentage of the time. Not so, the Richmond Flying Squirrels on this day. Despite an 8-run 4th inning they would go down to defeat in a Coors Field special.
Richmond starter Nate Reed nearly accomplished another rarity in this game: through four innings he had allowed six batters to reach base and all six scored. He wouldn’t quite keep up the pace. When he left the game he’d allowed 12 batters to reach base, 10 of them had scored and the other two he left for reliever Vic Black to take care of, and Black did manage to leave them stranded. Actually, Stephen Johnson originally came in to relieve Reed, but Johnson couldn’t make it through his warm up pitches and had to leave the game.
Seth Rosin gave up Portland’s third homer of the game from Jeremy Barfield brought home the winning run in the bottom of the 8th.
Gindl clears bases with triple— Roger Munter (@rog61) August 4, 2017
Sent with MiLB First Pitch https://t.co/uuZsn9FO0p
The Squirrels banged out 10 hits and five walks. Every member of the lineup other than Brandon Bednar had at least one hit. Hunter Cole picked up another two hits including his 17th double. Jeff Arnold hit his 4th HR of the year.
San Jose Bats
The Giants broke their season high four game win streak with a clunker in the series opener vs. the 66ers. Jack McCasland couldn’t keep the shutout roll going and the offense continued to sputter along.
One guy who isn’t sputtering however is Bryan Reynolds. Reynolds doubled to extend his hit streak out to 10 games, but that doesn’t encapsulate the extended run he’s been on. Reynolds has hits in 20 of his last 22 games with 10 of those being multi-hit efforts. He’s gone 34 for 87 over that period (stretching back to July 10) for a tidy .391/.459/.529 line. He also had a 17 game hitting streak in June.
That, folks, is a quick bat! As our color man says, he’s been the complete package. And that means defense too. Who loves OF assists? Minor Lines loves OF assists!
On the other hand, Heath Quinn is absolutely scuffling and scuffling might be a euphemism there. Since his DL stint for shoulder discomfort, Quinn is batting a woeful .147/.192/.162 with 29 Ks in 73 PA and just one XBH (a double). It’s pretty difficult to believe Quinn’s healthy at this point.
Another guy who’s season is going the wrong way is Gio Brusa. After a decent June that started trending his season numbers in the right direction, Brusa hit the skids again in the second half. Since July 1st, Brusa has hit just .202/.284/.303 with no HRs. FIghting through the first full season is always a test for kids, even the older ones like Brusa.
Matt Krook will be coming out of the bullpen for the rest of the season, and his first appearance in that role was a good one. Krook went two hitless innings, striking out three. His command was still a little shaky. Krook went to several three ball counts as he threw 16 strikes and 12 balls in his outing.
San Jose announced a few roster moves yesterday, including a big one as Rodolfo Martinez makes his way back out of Scottsdale.
#SJGiants roster moves: Rodolfo Martinez and Heath Slatton added. Mike Connolly and Carlos Diaz to the DL. Connor Kaden sent to Augusta.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 4, 2017
I suspect folks will start loudly wondering when Bryan Reynolds gets a promotion as well. My guess is the Giants will keep him in San Jose as long as there’s a chance San Jose can compete in the Cal League post-season. With just four weeks left in the season, Reynolds is surely ticketed for an extended stay in AA in 2018 regardless, so if they can get him some stretch run baseball experience in the Cal League, I can see the Giants considering that the more important factor.
|Shawon Dunston Jr.||DH||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.227|
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.243|
Because Sandro Fabian employs something of a “swing hard, swing often” approach it can be really hard to tell whether he’s struggling or not. Just yesterday I noted that he’d struck out in 5 of 7 at bats over two days and then yesterday he picked up three hits including an RBI double to help lead the Greenjackets to the win. A refined approach is definitely going to be needed at some point in Fabian’s future (and I think we have evidence from Ryder Jones that that is something that can happen fairly late in the development arc). For now he’s holding up to the rigors of full season ball. After a dismal May (.216/.247/.239) he’s brought his number up to .251/.271/.373 line for the year. Not sensational certainly, but getting better the longer he gets into the season is something the Giants like to see.
Speaking of the long season, friend of the show GiantsProspectTalk had a couple interesting observations yesterday on Kelvin Beltre:
Kelvin Beltre is nearing his entire career's worth of PA, just this season.— GPT (@giantsprospects) August 4, 2017
July '17: 99PA .216/.289/.250
It’s important that Beltre finally stay on the field for a full, healthy season and he’s accomplished that so far. Perhaps it’s not surprising that staying on the field has also come with fatigue issues for the 20 year old. Beltre has shown improvement in his control of the strikezone, but his power has all but vanished the second half of the season and it seems pretty likely his bat is slowing down due to fatigue.
After a rare tough outing on Wednesday, Patrick Ruotolo came back with a perfect inning and two Ks yesterday. Ruotolo’s three hit, one walk, two run inning in Wednesday’s game was, rather remarkably, the first time this year he’s allowed two ER in an appearance — and just the second time in his career. In his 33 appearances in 2017, Ruotolo has allowed a run just seven times. Meanwhile, he’s piled up 50 Ks to just 7 unintentional walks over his 36.1 innings. He’ll definitely be an arm to watch in San Jose’s pen next year. At just 5’10” he’s definitely going to be a “prove it level by level” type of guy, but sometimes those guys keeping proving it.
|a- Frandy De La Rosa||PH-3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|b- Gustavo Cabrera||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.294|
Oof, second 11-10 loss of the day. Where’s the pitching? Julio Benitez, Luis Pino, and Andy Roloff teamed up to let Everett explode for six runs in the 6th inning to give the Sox the lead for good. Logan Webb had a rare rough inning in the 7th allowing two more runs that proved to be decisive.
But the Volanoes kept fighting. In the bottom of the 7th, Malique Ziegler came up with the bases loaded and two outs and Ziegler unloaded a three-run double to bring Salem-Keizer within one. They couldn’t cash Ziegler in from 3b unfortunately as Kevin Rivera struck out to end the Volcanoes last best chance to tie it up.
Ziegler doubled and tripled in the game, one of five Volcanoes with two hits. The double led off the bottom of the 1st and kick started a four-run rally. We’ve noted before Ziegler’s penchant for picking up hits in his first at bat.
Let’s update the ticker:
in the 1st inning Ziegler is now hitting .425/.465/.825. That’s a wow!
Here, enjoy this recent feature story on Ziegler in which his Mom gives him excellent advice!
Frandy Alert! Frandy De La Rosa, the player obtained in return for Clayton Blackburn earlier this year re-surfaced on the Volcanoes roster last night. De La Rosa had twice been listed on Augusta’s suspended list, one of several players who were apparently suspended in Augusta in 2017 (including the since released Anthony Marks and the never-to-be-seen-again Cameron Avila-Leeper).
AZL Giants had an off night
|a- Nishell Gutierrez||PH-C||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||.207|
Norwith Gudino’s fine third DSL season continues. With 6 Ks and 1 BB the 21 year old RHP raised his K/BB ratio to an tremendous 60:8 (with two of those being intentional). He regained a tie with his teammate Marco Gonzalez for 2nd in the DSL in strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 2.06. That ERA is only good for 25th best in this crazy league, by the way. There’s actually three different starting pitchers with ERAs at 1.00 or better with just three weeks left in the season.
The Canario, Labour, Jorge middle of the order is suddenly something of a force. Just two games after the trio combined for nine hits, they teamed up for six hits in this game and reached base nine times. All the hits were singles yesterday, but they were in the middle of several of the Giants’ scoring rallies. Jorge has raised his batting average by .047 points in the last four games.
The Giants activated Luigi Pichardo from the 60 day DL prior to this game and he made his pro debut with two hits including a double. The Giants signed Pichardo for $125,000 last year as a bat first corner OF.
The Giants needed a lot of help in scoring yesterday. They had 12 hits but went 2 for 15 with RISP. Fortunately for them one of the Orioles’ five errors was often there to pick up the slack. DSL gonna DSL.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Casey Kelly vs TBD
Richmond: Cory Taylor vs. Jon Harris
San Jose: Shaun Anderson vs. TBD
Augusta: Dom Mazza vs. TBD
Salem-Keizer: Jason Bahr vs. Michael Suarez
I don’t know how many of you listen to Alex Pavlovic’s podcast regularly, but his most recent edition with Ahmed Fareed has some very interesting nuggets in it. The two doppelgangers talk about trends of the trade deadline, potential routes forward for the Giants, and they get into some fascinating statistical analysis. I particularly found my interest piqued by talk of trying to change some of the prospects launch angles. Christian Arroyo and Austin Slater with more flyball tendencies? Yes, I’ll take that thank you!