Hello, from Jack Coombs Field at Duke University! No, I’m not scouting any draft prospects, although Griffin Conine might end up a big steal in the mid-rounds with a lot of tools and an incredibly bad college performance.
Instead, let’s take a look around sunny Giants farm system!
RVA Acorns: and lastly, springtime in Richmond, you can’t beat it. pic.twitter.com/k9gcDTnXQL— Jay Burnham (@Burnham_Jay) May 7, 2018
On the mound, Dereck Rodriguez had his best start of the season, the first one not giving up any runs this year. Rodriguez had his third straight game striking out six batters, but his first one in the past three giving up any walks. Rodriguez has been steadily decreasing some of his peripherals this season, lowering his WHIP for the season to 1.31 and his batting average against to .254.
Sacramento had a remarkably consistent day, with seven of nine batters getting a single hit, and an eighth (Eury Perez) getting two. Luckily for the River Cats, many of the hits came in a big burst in the fourth inning.
Austin Slater led off the inning with a double, his 12th of the year and fourth in the last three games. After an out, Kyle Jensen and Ryder Jones each singled to score the game’s first run and putting two runners on. Caleb Gindl added a two-out RBI single, and a wild pitch put the River Cats up 3-0. In the fifth, One of Eury Perez’s singles preceded Chris Shaw’s double to score what would be the deciding fourth run.
Ronnie Freeman, in his second game with Sacramento, hit his first home run of the season at either Double-A or Triple-A. The ninth inning two-run shot helped keep the game from getting two close in a wild final two innings.
Eury Perez’s two hits may have been the team’s only multi-hit game, but it wasn’t the only way Perez helped the team.
It is official, Eury Perez has a cannon. He throws out Tucker to end the threat in the 6th. Perez now has 4 outfield assists!— River Cats (@RiverCats) May 8, 2018
T7| River Cats - 4, Grizzlies - 0
Meanwhile, Austin Slater continued a hot streak, having collected hits in seven straight games with the River Cats, and five doubles among the 12 hits. Slater is now batting .380/.451/.648 with 12 doubles, two triples and one home run, and just seven walks against 10 strikeouts in 18 Sacramento games.
In relief, Ryler Rogers had his fifth consecutive appearance without allowing any runs. Rogers has struggled with control a bit, his fourth game delivering a walk, and now has eight walks against 12 strikeouts in 16.1 IP.
Garrett Williams had his roughest start of what has been a very difficult year. At 1.2 IP, it was his shortest of the year, and yet he gave up a season-high in walks with five. The four earned runs put the Squirrels into a hole that they would not be able to recover from. Williams’ ERA jumped from 4.03 to 5.25, although it’s not the highest he’s had of the year (5.56, which he reached on April 20th).
On the brighter side, Ryan Halstead jumped in to eat some innings and was very strong, going three innings without being scored upon, giving up just two hits. For the 21st round pick, it’s been a strong season as he returned to Richmond after putting up a 4.56 ERA there in half a season last year.
Offensively, Luigi Rodriguez continues to be the team’s top hitter with a 1-for-3 day with a walk added. The 25-year old outfielder played with Akron last season in the Indians organization but is having his best season of his career, batting a .410/.500/.607 slash line, with three home runs and six stolen bases in seven attempts.
Meanwhile, Miguel Gomez continued to be steady. Gomez hit a triple, his second in three days, for his only hit of the game. He has hits in 13 of his past 14 games, but in nine of those games he has only had one hit. Ryan Howard had a two-hit game, extending his hit-streak to six games.
San Jose had a Scheduled Day Off
The entire California League is taking Monday off…I like this idea.
It’s a crazy close first half in the California League. San Jose is in a 3-way tie atop the four team division with Stockton and Visalia. Only Modesto, who is four games back, is not in first. Four games also separates first (Lancaster) and last (Lake Elsinore) in the Southern Division.
For San Jose, the way has been led by Johneshwy Fargas, who leads the team with a .381 batting average and 1.090 OPS. Fargas has cooled off a bit from the pace that won him last week’s prospect of the week, but is still getting hits, and somehow has just five strikeouts in 42 at-bats. Heath Quinn ( .317/.374/.490) and Matt Winn (.296/.367/.549) are also among the team’s top hitting contributors.
On the pitching staff is lead by two pitchers with inning limits, Logan Webb (with a 1.06 ERA) and Mac Marshall (1.20 ERA) with five starts apiece but not going more than three innings in any of them until Webb went four in his last start. Conner Menez has had no such limitations, and has a 1.42 ERA across five starts in San Jose (and an outlier in Sacramento).
The highs and lows of being Heliot Ramos.
Ramos broke a long hitless streak that had lasted 29 at-bats with a third inning single. He went 2-for-5 on the day, with his fourth double of the year. But he also had three strikeouts to make up those outs. In fact, of those 29 hitless at-bats, 18 of them were by way of the strikeout. He did have five walks during the stretch, but it was not a good look for him during the stretch. On the year, Ramos has struck out 36 tomes in 103 at-bats, more than 1 out of 3, and his batting average dropped from .274 to .204 before today’s game.
I’m tough on Ramos, but he and Manuel Geraldo got five of the team’s six hits in the game. Geraldo has been the opposite of Ramos. His 3-for-4 day extended his hitting streak to 11 games, and he has his in 14 out of 15 of his past games. His batting average was .205 on April 29th, and he’s now on the verge of putting it over .300. Geraldo also stole two more bases, giving him nine on the year.
On the pitching side, Jose Marte had a pretty cold game, giving up seven hits and four walks, but only three runs. It was the first start since his season debut that he’d given up more than one earned run in a game, and it was a season-high in walks for the 21-year old.
One other noteworthy performance is that Franklin Van Gurp’s streak is over. He gave up his first earned run, skyrocketing his ERA to 0.53. He gave up more hits (four) than he had given up in his previous 15 innings pitched this season (three). He still has given up just seven hits and five walks against 23 strikeouts in 17 innings this season.
Today’s Scheduled Starters
Sacramento vs. Salt Lake (Angels); Casey Kelly vs. Ivan Pineyro
Richmond vs. Akron (Indians); TBD vs. Jake Paulson
San Jose @ Modesto (Mariners); Logan Webb vs. Ljay Newsome
Augusta is off.
Logan Webb went four innings in his last start, it will be interesting to see if the Giants let him extend his innings further. The four innings were the first time the 21-year old Webb went more than three this year.
Augusta is taking the day off...but will be back for a doubleheader on Wednesday. And, barring traffic, yours truly will be there.
See you soon!