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SF Giants Minor Lines 4/11/18: Jalen Miller and Gio Brusa both hit for cycles!

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So it’s been a pretty historic week from Minor Lines perspective. For just the second time in SF Giants’ history there were back to back starting pitchers making their major league debuts.

Pretty incredible. On the previous occasion, the results of the back to back debuts were one pitcher who had a long, highly successful career with multiple All Star appearances (Bob Knepper), and one who would make just four more starts pitch a total of 41 innings in the majors (Frank Ricelli).

Just for the record (and because I was curious), in Matt Cain’s major league debut (a start), the Giants lost 2-1 to the Rockies (the Caining begins!) In Tim Lincecum’s major league debut (a start) they lost 8-5 to the Phillies. And in Madison Bumgarner’s major league debut (a start) they lost 4-3 to the Pads. So don’t worry Andrew, you’re in good company! Hopefully this is the start of something big.

But that’s not the only history we get to talk about today!

Yup. We got ourselves a DOUBLE CYCLE!

What a night! And hey, shoutout to Thomas Neal! Let’s get to it (as always, the headings link to the box score page on MiLB.com)


Sacramento beat Reno Aces (Mets), 18-4

I’m starting a new twitter campaign! Everyone join in: #didMachomer?

Yeah he did!

Though the game was played in Sacramento’s Raley Field and not in the high altitudes of Reno, the RiverCats hitters seemed to be swinging in a Reno in their minds on this day. Sacramento absolutely bludgeoned Aces starter Taylor Clarke for 11 runs (7 earned) in just 3.1 IP. By days end, guys were getting good hacks off position players Cody Decker (who allowed Chase D’arnaud’s 2nd HR of the day) and Daniel Robertson (Shaw’s HR and 5th hit of the day)

The RiverCats piled up 19 hits including 10 XBH along with 7 BBs in a real Raley Field explosion. Every position player collected at least 1 hit, and six players had at least 2. The standard bearer for the day was Chris Shaw, who healthied up his numbers in a big way with 5 hits including a majestic HR (albeit off a position player) to cap off the scoring. It was Shaw’s first 5-hit day as a pro.

Chase d’Arnaud also had quite the day, with 2 HRs, a double and 6 RBI. His blast off of Decker went an estimated 464’! BP fastballs are awesome! It was such a day of offensive largesse that merely reaching base 4 times with an XBH, as both Austin Slater and Alen Henson managed, barely merits mentioning. Mac only managed one hit (still circulating somewhere over I80) and one walk, which dropped his numbers to an anemic .500/.593/1.045. However, let the record show that Mac nobly chose not to further the humiliation of his fellow position players (pitching) and in a display grace and humility, took a called third strike from Robertson to help lead the painful 8th inning to its conclusion.

And pitching? Yeah, I guess some guys were out there throwing. But whatevs. This one was all about them bats.


Richmond lost at Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies), 3-1

Shaun Anderson had another strong start, but one big mistake and a lack of support doomed him and the Squirrels, who were hoping to end their season opening road trip with a four game winning streak. Anderson allowed a single and a homer to the first two batters he saw in the 2nd inning and those two swings were enough for the L. A 5th inning triple to the Rox toolsy #24 prospect Yonathan Daza accounted for the final run against Anderson, who has now allowed 4 runs in 11 IP while striking out 13 and walking just 2. Excellent open to his AA campaign.

Like most of the Rockies’ affiliate homes, Dunkin’ Donuts park has generally played as a very offense-friendly environment. But the Squirrels, who are likely to be a fairly offense-challenged group this year, couldn’t seem to find the right air currents. Perhaps, they were just balancing out Sacramento, and playing in a Richmond in their own minds. They managed five hits and two walks, but struck out 12 times and had just one extra base hit. That came off the bat of Jonah Arenado who’s starting to get in the swing of things with a double and a Grand Slam now in the last two games. Arenado also walked for the first time this year, though he did make his third error of the season. On another happy note, Ronnie Jebavy finally got himself an average, picking up his first AA hit.

Miguel Gomez made his return to AA, in a roster move that had consequences for another member of the system, one time 40 man member and million $$ signee Daniel Carbonell

Richmond gets a travel day today before tomorrow night’s home opener. While we’re waiting for that, enjoy this clip of Ray Black completely befuddling one of the finest hitting prospects in the minors:


San Jose won at Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies), 18-6

Ok, now we have a score that fits its environs, as a serious Lancaster game blew up in Lancaster. Let me sum this game up in one amazing stat:

Jalen Miller tied a San Jose record with his 5-hit game that included his 3rd double of the year and first triple and HRs. He even chipped in with his first SB for good measure. Even with some (no doubt) Lancastrian hijinx playing a role, I’d actually been planning on highlighting Miller today as he’s off to a torrid start to begin the year. Over his last four games Miller is now 11 for 21, with just two Ks in that stretch. He’s yet to draw a walk this year, but dare we hope that 2018 is the year this talented player really puts his game together? He’s still just 21 years old and with a lot of impressive tools.

San Jose banged out an incredible 25 hits in the game and scored 9 times in the first two innings alone. Both of the cycles were secured with triples quite late in the game as Brusa tripled in the 8th inning and Miller’s came with two outs in the top of the 9th. Somewhat amazingly, of the other 16 hits that the rest of the team managed, just two of them went for extra bases, a Frandy De La Rosa home run and Wander Franco’s double. Sandro Fabian had a four-hit game himself, though all were singles.

Amongst all this firepower, the San Jose pitchers acquitted themselves fairly well. Logan Webb, who managed just one strenuous inning in his first start, was only allowed to stretch out to 3 in this game (56 pitches), allowing just 1 unearned run on three hits. On this night, that doesn’t seem half bad.

I noted that Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser was on hand for San Jose’s opening series in Inland Empire, and his latest notebook contains a ton o’ video and notes on Giants players including (new major leaguer) Tyler Beede, Melvin Adon, Rodolfo Martinez, and Sandro Fabian


Augusta won at Greensboro Grasshoppers (Marlins), 5-2
sweeping their three game series, 3-0

Winning streak intact! After losing their first two games of the season, the Greenjackets have ripped off five straight wins. They finished a successful road trip in an Education Day morning affair, sweeping the Grasshoppers (who were 3-0 to start the year before Augusta came to town).

No player in the lineup had more than one hit, but in a statistical oddity, five of Augusta’s six hits in the game went for extra bases,. That included the first HR of the season for Jacob Gonzalez (second of his career) and the 2nd for Ryan Kirby.

Malique Ziegler kept impacting the baseball, with an RBI triple. That gives the slight OF two home runs, a ground rule double and a triple in this series alone, along with two singles and three walks. Can’t ask for more than that from your leadoff man.

Heliot Ramos keeps learning the lessons we anticipated he’d need to learn in the Sally, as he picked up a hat trick and now has 11 Ks in 27 ABs on the year. He had the Greenjackets lone single of the day. His good buddy Gonzalez is having a little better success thus far, hitting .241 and now in the HR column, though he too has 10 Ks in 29 ABs.

Garrett Cave struggled with his control a bit (shocker, I know), walking 6 in his 3 innings of work. He wasn’t very hittable when he was in the zone though, allowing just two hits and striking out 3. Cave now has 8 walks and 7 Ks in 8 IP this year. He’ll struggle with wonky command as he tries to refine his mechanics, but the Bahr/Cave duo brings some real stuff to the top of the Greenjackets rotation that will definitely draw our attention this summer.

As it happens, Kyle Glaser’s east coast compatriot Josh Norris also has a bounty of Giants’ videos for us.

Of course, here’s the best one:


Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Conner Menez vs. TBD
Richmond: OFF DAY
San Jose: TBD vs. TBD
Augusta: John Gavin vs. TBD

Conner Menez goes up to Sacramento to fill in for the temporary loss of Andrew Saurez which puts San Jose in a temporary bind, though at one point yesterday the probable starters seemed highly improbable:

Augusta opens their beautiful new home park tonight (which absolutely unbelievably doesn’t have a video system included despite the fact that it’s brand new and the year is 2018 and video is how people market themselves and I’m simply besides myself with COMPLETE INCREDULITY AT THIS INCREDIBLY UNBELIEVABLE OMISSION OF A VITAL MARKETING DEVICE THAT WOULD HARDLY HAVE COST ANYTHING IN THE OVERALL COST OF A BRAND NEW STADIUM IN THE YEAR 2018 AND .... but I digress).

Anyway, it seems like a pretty enough place (IF YOU CAN GET SOMEBODY TO GO THERE AND TAKE PICTURES FOR YOU AND SEND THEM and I’ll stop now I promise).

And that’ll do it from an incredibly historic day around the minor lines.