All hail former 1st rounder Casey Kelly, who came out firing last night and ended up with a career high 11 Ks! Quite a night for a guy who was basically an emergency pick up to cover the loss of Tyler Beede. Kelly, whose once promising career has been completely derailed by injuries — in other words, a Pitcher — totally befuddled the Storm Chasers with a sharp downward breaker that had batters flailing at balls in the dirt consistently. Quite a night for the 27 year old.
HIGHLIGHTS: Kelly struck out 11 batters; Ryan Howard had 4 hits; Jonah Arenado tripled and doubled; Jacob Gonzalez reached base four times.
Kelly was on a roll to open the night, striking out 8 of the first 9 batters he faced, going heavy to the darting breaking ball as a kill pitch. The streak ended with two outs in the third when Billy Burns bunted for a hit (there must be an unwritten rule about that!) and Raul Mondesi, Jr. followed with a two-run blast. Kelly would give up another long HR to Cheslor Cuthbert two innings later and those two mistake pitches would end up spoiling his valiant effort.
With Steven Okert and Derek Law each striking out two in their innings, in all the RiverCats picked up 15 outs on the night via the K. Sacramento fielders got a lot of time to contemplate life out there on this night.
But it was all for naught as the Sacramento lineup was once again pretty toothless. They collectively picked up seven hits and three walks, but they spread them all out just about as far away from each other as they could. Mac Williamson led the effort going two for three and adding a walk. Tim Federowicz also had two hits including his 16th double of the year.
Chris Shaw also picked up his 16th double in the first inning, which was just inches from being his 12th HR.
Shaw’s power seems almost certain to play at the highest level but I can understand the Giants being resistant to moving him too quick. Since coming up to AAA Shaw’s walk rate has dropped from 11.7% in Richmond to 5.7% in Sacramento while his K rate has taken a dramatic leap from 17% to 29.4% (he K’d three times last night, all on breaking balls). This is a similar pattern to what we saw from Shaw last year when moving up from A+ to AA and took awhile to catch up to the pitching. As we saw getting to repeat the level made a dramatic difference in his ability to handle advanced pitching — particularly backwards pitching. Giving him time to master each level is probably the best long term strategy for his development. Of course, Brandon Belt’s head could end up having a say in that, but I’d let him fight it out longer in Sacramento, personally.
That didn't exactly go as planned. Richmond gets two doubles, a triple and a sacrifice fly in the ninth and hangs on for a 6-5 win.— NH Fisher Cats (@FisherCats) August 5, 2017
Richmond’s had a ton of difficulty lately protecting late inning leads, but yesterday they were able to turn the tables and hang a 9th inning blown save on New Hampshire’s All Star closer Dusty Isaacs. Trailing 5-4 in the top of the 9th with their 8th and 9th place hitters coming to bat, the Squirrels exploded with three consecutive extra base hits to tie the game. Daniel Carbonell opened the frame with a double and then TJ Bennett crushed a double off the wall to tie it. Bennett should have had a triple had he not overslid 3b. Bennett, an undrafted FA who the Giants signed out of the Australian Baseball League, has been an excellent org guy the last two years, filling in wherever there’s a roster vacancy and acquitting himself well at all levels.
His TOOTBLAN might have killed the rally, but Caleb Gindl then tripled off the very top of the LF wall and CJ Hinojosa brought in the eventual game winner with a Sac Fly.
That was the end of yet another productive day for Hinojosa, who also walked, stole a base, and knocked in an earlier run with a single. Yep, CJ’s straight out of the Kelby factory.
The comeback was necessary because Cory Taylor once again found himself extremely hittable. After dancing through two different two-on, no-out situations in the 2nd and 3rd innings, he couldn’t escape danger a third time and ended up suffering a four-run 4th. Taylor avoided the walks in this start, but he got singled to death. Eight of the nine hits he allowed were singles and they were often in rapid succession. The ninth was a two-run HR that capped the 4th inning rally.
Taylor did settle down well though, retiring eight of his final nine hitters. He then handed it over to a very effective bullpen as Ryan Halstead and Tyler Cyr were nearly perfect over the 8th and 9th, each striking out two batters in their inning. That fine work over the final four innings allowed the Squirrels’ offense time to mount the comeback against the Blue Jays 2015 1st round pick Jon Harris.
One player who wasn’t a part of that comeback was Aramis Garcia who’s getting the standard AA eye-opening. Garcia went 0 for 5 with three Ks and is now 1 for 10 to start his Squirrels career.
San Jose Bats
San Jose Arms
|Shaun Anderson (W, 1-1)||4||1||0||0||0||4||0||3.68|
|David Owen (H, 3)||2||1||1||0||1||2||0||5.29|
|Will LaMarche (H, 10)||1.2||4||3||3||0||2||0||2.60|
|Dylan Rheault (S, 18)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.54|
Like their AA brethren, San Jose also had to come back from a 4-0 deficit. Mark Melancon put San Jose in a huge hole when he allowed four runs in the top of the 1st and had to be relieved before picking up three outs. Reports on his velocity in Sacramento were concerning and this effort in A+ ball didn’t alleviate those concerns much. Rodolfo Martinez made his first SJ appearance to bail Melancon out of the jam.
But with that unpleasantness over, the Giants ended up making this an entertaining night. Shaun Anderson, the scheduled starter took over in the 2nd inning, and the newly acquired right-hander from UFlorida breezed through four sensational innings. Anderson faced just 14 batters (and one reached on a fielding error) while striking out 4. Anderson was an incredible strike throwing machine, throwing 42 of 57 pitches for strikes.
Let’s see what good friend Conner Penfold thought:
#SJGiants RHP Shaun Anderson 88-92 with cut. Slider 84-86. One strikeout, two groundouts.— Giant Potential (@giant_potential) August 5, 2017
Shaun Anderson brought out CB in 2nd inning. 76-80 with good snap. Used it for a few called strikes, including one called strike 3.— Giant Potential (@giant_potential) August 5, 2017
Shaun Anderson ramped up FB to 93-94 in 3rd. Got one K with 93. Just one hit so far. #SJGiants— Giant Potential (@giant_potential) August 5, 2017
You can listen to Anderson talk about his reaction to being traded, and detail his repertoire a bit in this podcast:
With Anderson shutting down the 66ers, the offense had time to go to work. And go to work they did, behind huge nights from Ryan Howard and Jonah Arenado.
Ryan Howard had a four hit night, giving him 137 on the season and boosting his average up to .325. Howard and Reynolds (two more hits) kept setting the table Jonah Arenado kept cleaning it up. Arenado ended up a home run shy of a cycle driving in three runs with a triple and double.
In all the Giants collected 15 hits, including five for extra bases, in coming back to win the high scoring affairs. They did have some sloppy fielding, making four errors in the game.
Steve Duggar reached base twice with a single and a walk. It will be interesting to see how the Giants handle Duggar the rest of the year. It seems clear that his half season of lost time has put him behind this year. He’s striking out in over a third of his PA with San Jose which is far far higher than he’s done at any level. Though a huge 14% walk rate makes his overall line representative, batting .246 in the Cal League (again a career worst by far) suggests that he’s still looking for his timing. At this point I wonder if they don’t just let him play out the season in San Jose and then send him to the AFL. With all the injuries the system is suffered they might have more candidates for the AFL than slots.
Augusta’s game vs. Columbia was postponed
Another back and forth high scoring affair. The Volcanoes relied on an old favorite weapon as they swiped six bases in this game. It’s been a while since we checked the ticker on the SB leaderboard:
Yeah, that’s lapping the field alright. The thievery last night included two more SB from Bryce Johnson giving the speedy OF 15 SB in just 28 games played. He does have 7 CS but he seems to be getting better on that score. Since July 19 he’s stolen 10 bags and been caught just 3 times. The 2-3-4 hitters (Logan Baldwin, Johnson, Ryan Kirby) had five of those SB. They also reached base eight times and scored six of the team’s runs.
Orlando Garcia picked up three hits and two RBIs thanks to all the opportunities in front of him. C Rob Calabrese also collected three hits, including a double, in reaching base five times.
Jason Bahr was scheduled to start this game, but instead it was 28th rounder Peter Lannoo out of Cornell who made the emergency start. Lannoo didn’t show quite the same swing and miss stuff as he’s had in relief. After striking out 16 over 13.1 innings in one and two inning bursts, he had no strikeouts in his four inning starting performance. He did keep the Sox off the board mostly though, with just a solo HR against him.
After some messy middle innings relief from Tyler Schimpf and Aaron Russell (five runs allowed between them) John Russell locked down the win with a perfect 9th. Russell has struck out 23 batters in 13.1 innings this year.
|a- Jose Layer||PH-DH||1||0||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||.333|
|b- Ricardo Genoves||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.256|
Sorry, not much in the way of fun Heliot news today: Ramos reached base just once and was almost immediately picked off for his 2nd CS of the year. It’s a lesson learning league.
But Jacob Gonzalez is getting his groove back. The strapping 3b picked up three hits and a walk. Gonzalez has hits in each of his last seven starts, going 11 for 28 over that stretch, albeit with just two doubles. With Ramos cooling off a bit and Gonzalez coming back to life the top two round draftees now sit with perfectly equal .365 batting averages. Ramos has the OPS advantage at 1.054 to .958. Still two pretty nice teenaged debuts.
The AZL group had a well-rounded offensive attack. Six of their starters had at least one hit and all but Catcher Andres Angulo had a hit or a walk. Beicker Mendoza hit a two-run double to give the Giants a 1st inning lead and Angeddy Almanzar later contributed his 2nd HR of the season. Jose Layer who entered the game late had time to pick up a hit and a walk in his two PA.
That was plenty enough offense for a trio of pitchers to pick up the win. Starter Michael Figueroa allowed four runs to push his ERA nearly to 5.00, but the 19 year old has shown good stuff in his stateside debut. The RHP now has 26 Ks to just 4 BB in his 30 innings in the desert, which is a pretty impressive showing for a teenager in his first American experience.
Keenan Bartlett, the Giants 31st round pick out of University of Richmond is having little problem with the complex league. He’s allowed just 1 run and six hits in 13.2 IP while striking out 16. Bartlett is probably too advanced for this level.
Before we go, enjoy a local feature story on Jacob Gonzalez, why don’t you?
The Giants pitchers took a pasting pretty much top to bottom. That included Brayan De Pena, the one time power hitting 1b who the Giants signed for $425,000 back in 2014. De Pena was in the same signing class as Sandro Fabian, Sandro Cabrera, Jose Rivero etc, but has played very sparingly as a pro. This was his third game this year as a pitcher (he hasn’t appeared as a hitter at all) and he’s now surrendered five runs in two innings.
Ghordy Santos had one of the better days of his career so far, picking up two hits including a triple. The 17 year old SS did also commit his 15th error of the season. Santos has not had a great showing in his first pro season, but the quick twitch athlete is still one to keep an eye on for his overall athleticism, defensive skills, and strong bag of physical tools.
Samuel Jorge has a modest five game hit streak going during which the young RHH is 8 for 18 and has reached base 13 times. For the second time in three days Jorge reached base via a hit, a walk, and a HBP in this game.
A quick glimpse of a couple of the top 2016 signings in that episode. Samuel Jorge (13) and Ghordy Santos (7). pic.twitter.com/1hi2iucM6O— GPT (@giantsprospects) March 22, 2017
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Robert Gomez vs. Eric Skoglund
Richmond: Matt Lujan vs. TBD
San Jose: Conner Menez vs. Joe Gatto
Augusta: Stephen Woods, Jr. to TBD; Jose Morel vs. TBD
Salem-Keizer: Jose Marte vs. Andres Torres
AZL: Deiyerbert Bolivar
DSL: Luis Moreno
Enjoy the weekend everybody. Kevin will be here tomorrow with the Roundup.