Hey, Kevin here, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be taking over Minor Lines for the day! Finally, it’s my time to go on about Ramos and how amazing he is and….wait, he didn’t play today??????
(As always, the headlines link to the game box scores)
The River Cats pulled out a sweep against the Mariners’ club, finally making up the games that have been earlier this week.
Game 1 featured former Mariner Chris Heston getting a short start against his former club, and he did fine, although he didn’t go long enough for the win. Heston needed 72 pitches to get 10 outs, giving up a run on three hits and two walks. D.J. Snelten worked most of the rest of the game, bouncing back from a difficult opening day outing where he gave up 3 earned runs. Derek Law took the ball for the save in the 7th, giving up a home run but getting the save.
The offense managed three runs despite only collecting four hits, but were helped by walks. Ryder Jones scored off of a walk he collected in the second inning. Chase D’Arnaud also scored the eventual winning run off of a walk in the 6th inning, coming in on a Miguel Gomez groundout.
Although he did not participate in the scoring, it was a bit of a relief to see Steven Duggar collect two hits in Game 1, raising his batting average from .083 to .188. Duggar did not play in Game 2.
The second game was highlighted for the River Cats by a 6-run inning. It was led off by a Mac Williamson double, and resulted in five other singles by River Cats hitters, a walk and two hit batters. Williamson had two hits in the inning, starting with a double that led off the inning.
He came up again later in the inning, and collected an RBI single on a squib that was a perfect antidote against the shift.
Hector Sanchez and Chris Shaw each picked up 2-RBI singles in the inning as well.
Williamson was the offensive force in Game 2, with a 3-for-4 day and two doubles, the only extra-base hits the River Cats had. Hector Sanchez also collected a pair of hits to go with his 2-RBI day.
The Game 2 starter was Dereck Rodriguez, a 25-year old free agent making his first appearance in the Giants organization. Rodriguez was a 6th round pick in 2011 by the Twins, and had a 3.27 ERA between High-A and Double-A in 2017.
Introducing Garrett Williams: Knee-level heaters @ 93 MPH gets B2B K's - RVA up, 2-1 T3— Squirrels Baseball (@GoSquirrels) April 9, 2018
The Squirrels rode the back of strong pitching to their third win of the season. The three pitchers the Squirrels threw up there combined for 13 strikeouts against just two walks. And it was powered by Garrett Williams.
The #9 prospect in the Giants system (as rated by MLB.com) only allowed two baserunners in five innings of work. The two runners did end up scoring as the Goats made a lot of productive outs, but Williams held the line otherwise. The 7th rounder gets a mediocre ERA of 3.60 After this game, but the other peripherals of a .125 batting average against and a 0.40 WHIP look very nice.
Totally dominating AA debut by the Giants' LHP Garrett Williams tonite. Went 5 full innings, with 6 Ks, 0 BBs, 2 hits, 2 base runners, & only 3 balls left the infield. Unluckily, both of his 2 base runners scored. He faced only 2 batters over the minimum, needed only 66 pitches.— Darryl Zero (@Darryl_Zero) April 10, 2018
This thread from @Darryl_Zero is a nice little narrative about Williams’ journey so far, and how things have turned around for him. And when you’re done with that, check out Williams’ curveball on his final strikeout of the night.
Mike Connolly worked three innings in relief, keeping the Goats off the board, although he allowed four hits and a walk. He’s been working mostly as a starter the last three years, and had a 4.85 ERA in San Jose last season. Meanwhile, Caleb Simpson picked up the save, with Ray Black seemingly getting the game off (Black saved both of the Squirrels’ previous two wins).
For offense, the Giants got most of their offense from the 5-8 hitters. They combined for a 5-for-12 day, with all three extra-base hits coming from them. #8 hitter Ali Castillo even tripled in a run in the 7th inning, allowing a reliever to bat with a man on 3rd and nobody out. Connolly took advantage, and put up a sacrifice fly that iced the scoring in the game.
As good as Williams was, Raffi Vizcaino was even more impressive.
Vizcaino carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and ended up with just one hit and two walks given up. It was an excellent start for Raffi, after he had a 4.98 ERA in Augusta last season. It actually gives Vizcaino a streak of two straight very good starts, since he finished last year with six innings of two-hit, three-walk baseball.
Like in Richmond, Vizcaino’s start was backed up by a great day by the bullpen. Carlos Diaz worked three scoreless innings, and Nolan Riggs picked up the ninth inning.
What’s most impressive about the pitching performance, however, is that this took place in the launching pad known as Lancaster. The wind was blowing in from center field, however, so chalk this up for just another weird weather event this spring.
On the offensive side, Heath Quinn provided the power for San Jose. The third round pick got his first home run of the year, a 2-run shot that capped off a four-run inning that provided all the scoring San Jose would get. Last season, Quinn had 10 home runs in 75 games in San Jose. Meanwhile, Jalen Miller went 3-for-4 with his second double of the season, giving the young infielder a .333 batting average to start the season.
If you’re looking to Heliot Ramos, I’m afraid you won’t find him here. The young star got the day off. However, the rest of the GreenJackets didn’t do so bad. The GreenJackets knocked out 12 hits against Greensboro, 8 of them against Taylor Braley (6th round pick by Miami last year).
The first thing to notice is that Orlando Garcia continued his hot, hot hitting. He went 2-for-5 with his second double of the year to drop his batting average to just .500. The 15th round pick has gotten at least one hit in each of his first five games, and peaked with Sunday’s 4-for-5 line. You’ve also got Ryan Kirby waking up with his own 2-for-5 day, including his first home run of the season. That brought his batting average up to .158.
But the performance of the day is clearly Malique Ziegler. Ziegler got on base four times in five plate appearances, including a pair of walks and his first home run of the year. That home run led off the game to put the GreenJackets on the right track. The 22nd round pick from 2016 now has five walks against four strikeouts in his five games.
Ziegler hits a home run on the first pitch of the game! Then later in the inning, Kirby hits another one that scores Garcia! 3-0 GreenJackets after the top of the first!— Augusta GreenJackets (@GreenJackets) April 9, 2018
On the mound, Joey Marciano made his season debut, and looked pretty good. The 23-year old only gave up three hits and a walk while striking out four. Marciano, a 36th round pick last year, spent all of last year in the Arizona League, mostly as a reliever, with a 1.57 ERA and 26 strikeouts against 12 walks in 28.2 innings. As a 22-year old last year, he was a bit old for the AZL, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does with the push to full season ball. His 5-inning start today is his longest professional appearance.
Out in the bullpen, hey, Camilo Doval has a non-infinite ERA! It’s still not ideal, as he gives up three more earned runs, this time at least getting two outs. In his season debut, Doval gave up four runs while walking each of the four batters he faced. Doval, 20, had a 3.90 ERA working in relief in the AZL last season. Right now, his ERA is a whopping 94.50. Yikes.
Today’s Scheduled Starters
Sacramento: Jose Flores vs. TBD
Richmond: Cory Taylor vs. Jack Wynkoop
San Jose: Melvin Adon vs. Rico Garcia
Augusta: TBD vs. Edward Cabrera
It looks like Augusta’s back to the TBD game. However, the teams are starting to turn over their rotations for the first time this year. That may indicate Jason Bahr taking the mound for Augusta. Meanwhile, Melvin Adon will be the headlining pitcher in the Giants’ system.
In Augusta, SRP Park was broken in by some high school teams, and Augusta’s David Lee was kind enough to tweet some shots.
Say hello to the new home of the Augusta GreenJackets. This place is beautiful. Amazing job. pic.twitter.com/UyDEN4omSb— David Lee (@David11Lee) April 9, 2018
The night view of Augusta’s SRP Park. pic.twitter.com/H8sDN35iTL— David Lee (@David11Lee) April 10, 2018
.@SRPPark is OFFICIALLY OPEN!! And boy is it beautiful We are here for the North Augusta HS vs. Greenbrier HS matchup. Come see your GreenJackets here THIS THURSDAY for our home opener! #CatchTheBuzz pic.twitter.com/3k7KWx2i3a— Augusta GreenJackets (@GreenJackets) April 9, 2018
Finally, congratulations to Tyler Beede and his impending Major League debut. His appearance will also be a milestone for the San Jose Giants.