Here’s to all the players getting to perform in front of their parents on Mother’s Day!
HIGHLIGHTS: Chris Shaw went 3 for 4 with HR; Logan Baldwin collected 4 hits and drove in 5 runs
Ray Black is finding the road to AAA is a slightly bumpy one.
Ray Black's first pitch of the day was an adventure pic.twitter.com/roHOUP8s3Y— Doug (@moonwalkmcfly) May 14, 2018
Black was called on to save a 4-2 lead in the nightcap and earn Sacramento a split of their double header. Instead he issued the ol’ “Unforgivable” or at least “unforgiving” leadoff walk. That came back to haunt him (of course) when he surrendered the second HR of the game and third of the day to Large Round Human Dan Vogelbach. So on to extra innings they went (in this case the 8th inning was treated as extras). On the plus side, Black was appearing for the first time this year on just one day’s rest, rather than two. So they appear to be working him toward back to back days. And he’s still missing bats. But he does seem a little more jittery than he was in AA, where he was successfully attacking the zone with regularity and impugnity.
Despite the stumble the RiverCats would take the nightcap in extra innings as Tyler Rogers held Tacoma’s free runner at 2b, and a PB and FC throwing error allowed Sacramento to push theirs across.
Chris Shaw skipped the opener but he got in a full day’s damage in the second game, going 3 for 4 with his 10th HR of the year. Shaw is hitting .327/.340/.755 in the month of May and has really turned on the power of late. One notable oddity about his hitting line, however, is that his walks have virtually disappeared — a bit odd for such a power threat. He has no walks in May (to 16 Ks) and just 6 on the year. Still there’s no denying the extra base impact he’s showing right now. Since April 26, the big LF has 7 HRs, 6 doubles and a triple, raising his OPS from .689 to to .879 in just over two weeks.
Shaw homer aftermath pic.twitter.com/xXERdoxPP4— Madison Marie Parks-Valetta (@legaleagle88) May 14, 2018
Seems like some beat guys are keeping an eye on his numbers, too. Does this have meaning? Does this have import?
Elsewhere in the Sacramento OF, Steven Duggar can play a fine CF, but his season is certainly giving no impression that he should be anywhere else but AAA. His slash line is down to .240/.342/.349 and while the K% had made some strides it’s still at about 29% which awfully high for someone without much power. Duggar has had a particularly bad time of it in May, hitting just .146/.255/.208 with 18 Ks in 48 ABs. More developmental at bats in the minors still seems appropriate at this point to my eyes.
On the whole, it was a struggle with the bats today. Hunter Pence picked up two hits in the first game, while Austin Slater reached base 3x thanks to two walks.
The second game started with something of an ominous note. Don’t know what this means but it doesn’t seem great:
Dusten Knight supposed to start 2nd game of DH, but is out before he finishes his warmup pitches. Went to the clubhouse with the trainer. No idea what happened.— Madison Marie Parks-Valetta (@legaleagle88) May 13, 2018
Finally, today’s note about what a rough place AAA can be sometimes. Jayson Werth is 38 years old. He has a ring, he’s made over $100 million playing this game. And he’s still chasing it despite some obvious warning signs that it may not choose to be caught by him anymore. These guys, man! The passion is amazing.
Jayson Werth is playing for Tacoma. Things are...not going his way right now (I think the Hits stat is actually OPS) pic.twitter.com/cPERyAl0z6— Doug (@moonwalkmcfly) May 13, 2018
Richmond lost to Trenton Thunder (Yankees), 3-2
splitting their series 2-2
So after I boldly proclaimed Chase Johnson was destined to make his major league debut this year, he went out and laid an egg, failing to make it out of the 1st inning. Sorry, Chase! I seem to be pretty toxic with the jinx juice this year. Johnson collected two quick outs to start the game but things went downhill from there: single, homer, double, single, WP, walk and Chase’s day was over. I should note, it wasn’t just me jinxing Chase. Jay Burnham helped too!
RVA Acorns: If you missed Chase Johnson returning from TJ on Tuesday, he's back out today. Johnson was electric in 3 IP. Allowed 1 hit, 32 pitches.— Jay Burnham (@Burnham_Jay) May 13, 2018
Maybe it was the combination of our powers, Jay!
That three run 1st would stand up for the win as Richmond’s offense continued it’s sluggish ways. They did get some production from the hit guys at the top of the order as Miguel Gomez and Ryan Howard teamed up for three hits, including two doubles from Miggy. Dylan Davis would pick them both up with a two-run double in the 6th. Davis is hitting .346 this year with runners in scoring position, but his was the only such hit on this day (1 for 6 w RISP) and accounted for all their runs.
A three-run first inning was enough for @TrentonThunder today, as they beat the Flying Squirrels 3-2.— Squirrels Baseball (@GoSquirrels) May 13, 2018
Richmond will hit the road to Altoona for three against @AltoonaCurve, then return to the Diamond on Thursday against @HbgSenators.#GoSquirrels pic.twitter.com/IKNRpCidAx
Trenton has been a power in the Eastern League lately. They’ve been to the Championship series the last two years (losing both times) and looking like they’ve got their eye on three straight this year. Yet Richmond has played them particularly tough. The Squirrels were the only team in the league to have a winning record against Trenton in 2017 and they’re giving the Thunder a battle again in 2018. The teams have split two home and home four game series so far.
If hitting’s your thing then you probably wanted to avoid the Muni on Mother’s Day, as there was precious little to be found. The game featured just six hits in all, with San Jose piggybackers Logan Webb and DJ Myers teaming up on a dominant one-hitter. Webb has been strong all year, but he overwhelmed the JetHawks in this outing, pouring strike after strike at them.
Logan Webb with a dominant 3-inning start against the Cal League's top hitting team today. No hits allowed, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts. Retired 9 of 10. Threw three pitches for strikes: FB at 94-96, plus-change, curve. Former 4th round pick emerging in San Jose this year.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) May 13, 2018
Webb has delivered on the excitement he showed in spring camp. The command is still not quite there, and he still needs to lengthen out, but this is a tremendous arm on the come. Health willing, he’s going to be leaping up Giants’ prospect lists next winter.
Very large human DJ Myers has been Webb’s handcuff all season, and he deserves some love for his efforts of late too. Though he started the year with some big hiccups, he’s been solid of late, with 15 shutout innings in his last three appearances. He’s given up just five hits in that time while striking out 17. Myers doesn’t have the stuff that his enormosity might imply, but he pounds the outside corner with what he has.
Jacob Heyward has slowed down considerably since he played his way into the every day lineup with a hot start. But he had the only swing of the bat yesterday that would make you look up from your scorecard in a hurry:
And while we’re in San Jose, a side note: one thing that’s cool about MLB Pipeline’s prospect lists is the dynamic updates throughout the year. Not a full reshuffling, but at least you get your top 30 filled (Baseball America’s most recent Giants top 30 has no less than 5 players who have been traded away). And so, we get San Jose CF’ Bryce Johnson making his way onto the list this weekend.
Logan Baldwin is out of his gourd insane at the plate right now! For the 5th time in his last 9 games he had three or more hits. This time they frequently came with runners on base as he drove in a career high 5 runs on four hits including three doubles.
Baldwin also owns an inspirational gift given to him at birth by Bart Starr! You better just read this article from friend of the blog, David Lee!
I wrote a feature on Augusta OF Logan Baldwin, a former Georgia Southern standout with a quirky draft story and a current hot streak. https://t.co/ox5XBjDu4a— David Lee (@David11Lee) May 13, 2018
Augusta also got another night from Catcher Jeffry Parra who — yes, of course — hadn’t had a hit since I talked about how impressed I was with him last weekend. Good job overcoming the power my poisoned pen, Jeffry! Parra picked up his 3rd HR of the year, all of which have come in his last 10 games.
Augusta ran Marlins’ prospect Edward Cabrera out of the game with a four-run 4th. Meanwhile Jose Marte kept on keepin’ on, throwing 6 strong innings with 6 Ks. The soon-to-be 22 year old brought his ERA down to 2.86. That’s actually only the fourth best in the Augusta rotation, but he’s flashing some of the best stuff of the group. Marte has 34 Ks to 14 BB in 34.2 IP on the year.
Hey, we’ve got some tape to roll! Well push that button, George Michael, let’s get the Sports Machine rolling!
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Jose Flores vs. Rob Whalen
Richmond: Cory Taylor vs. Nick Kingham
San Jose: Mac Marshall vs. Logan Longwith
Augusta: Joey Marciano vs. Taylor Brayley
Richmond’s timid bats get to go up against a guy who just 1 hit the Cardinals with 9 Ks in his major league debut a couple of weeks ago. This does not seem like a Slump Buster day in the making (so they’ll probably get 11 runs). Meanwhile, San Jose looks to go longwith Logan! (sorry about that).
Hope you all enjoyed your Mother’s Day as much as Hunter Pence enjoys basically anything!