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SF Giants Minor Lines 6/17/18: A Major Change

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Long reliever Michael Connolly, who just thrown 2 innings for Richmond on Wednesday, was summoned to New Orleans to make a spot start on Sunday — taking Tyler Beede’s spot in the rotation even though Beede was still on the roster. What’s it all mean? It looks like a change that has felt like it was coming closer and closer for the last month has arrived.

HIGHLIGHTS: Miguel Gomez doubled among three hits; Heath Quinn singled and homered; Tyler Brown doubled twice among three hits.


Sacramento lost at New Orleans Babycakes (Marlins), 3-0

So yes, this game appears to mark the most significant change in the system of the first half of the year: Tyler Beede, former 14th overall pick and top pitching prospect in the system, who came into the season with a rotation spot that was his for the taking, was shifted to the bullpen, presumably in an attempt to see if his overall game would play up there. At least on the first occasion, what didn’t change much was the results. Beede was tagged with another loss, coming into a 0-0 tie in the 7th and allowing the only 3 runs of the game.

Though he actually threw a preponderance of strikes (14 in 23 pitches) lack of command did once again hurt Beede as he walked a batter, hit a batter, and issued two wild pitches. The HB, which followed a leadoff infield hit, really set up the big inning. After a Sac Bunt moved runners to 2b and 3b, Beede picked up a huge out when he struck out former Dodger Scott Van Slyke. But he was never able to secure that third out, surrendering a single, a wild pitch, a walk, and another single in succession. That final single should have resulted in a fourth run scoring, but a baserunning mistake by the batter and a strong throw from Chris Shaw got Beede out of the inning with just 3 runs allowed.

You heard the announcer note that Beede leads the PCL in both walks issues and wild pitches. At 1.92 he, unsurprisingly, also has the worst WHIP in the league among qualifying pitchers. He has surrendered the third most runs of any pitcher in the league (47). Not exactly the year he was hoping for.

It goes without saying that the change from starting to relieving is a major disruption of routine, and isn’t likely to have immediate benefits. One has only to remember Kyle Crick’s initial experience moving to the pen to confirm that. (It’s also worth remembering that the year after Crick moved to Richmond’s bullpen he returned to the rotation — no change is set in stone). Beede will just have to play it as it lies and see where the path takes him.

The Sacramento offense was MIA in the game, picking up just 4 hits, including doubles’ machine Austin Slater’s 23rd two-bagger of the season. Chris Shaw suffered through a four-K night that boosted his K rate up very near the 40% line. Woof!


Richmond lost at Harrisburg Senators (Nationals), 6-5
losing their series, 1-2

Subtitled: “Tales of the Lost Strike Zone” by Garrett Williams.

After spending much more of his last couple of starts around the zone, Williams was clearly missing a feel for it on Sunday. He threw less than half of his pitches for strikes and ended up handing out five free passes, plus a plunked batter. The good news for the left hander is that when he’s in the zone he’s proven very difficult to hit—and he allowed just two hits yesterday. The bad news is that he just hasn’t gotten in the zone with enough consistency against AA hitters. And even with his stuff, it’s hard to attack advanced hitters when you’re always behind in the count. For the year Williams is getting very close to a gouge your eyes out 1:1 BB to K ratio, with 43 BB and 51 Ks in 54 IP. Maybe the subtitle is “You’ve Lost That Striking Feeling.” It was there last year, Garrett, it’s around somewhere. Things will, or at least they can, get better.

Miguel Gomez completed an excellent week with a three-hit night, two RBIs and a walk. Since last Sunday, Gomez has gone 9 for 25 with two HRs, two doubles and a triple. Along with Luigi Rodriguez, who homered for the second consecutive game, he’s been driving much of the production for the Squirrels this week.

Seems like we could all use a little comic relief at this point, so let’s play along with Jay Burnham:


San Jose beat Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks), 7-1
losing their series 1-2

San Jose put up a very loud 4-run rally in the bottom of the 8th, to end a disappointing first half by making a joyful noise. Amazingly, this victory broke a 7-game home losing streak.

The rally included home runs from Heath Quinn and Brandon Van Horn and John Riley’s second double of the afternoon. Quinn is still riding a hitting streak that stretches back to April—now up to 13 games! The big slugger has struggled to stay healthy again this year, and he has mostly served as a DH when active, but he’s certainly rebounded with the bat in his hands. In 33 games, Quinn is posting a solid .344/.403/.520 line in his return to the Cal League.

Van Horn, who’s probably the finest defensive SS in the Giants’ full season affiliates, has seen his line tick up a bit with a .303/.361/.545 line over the first half of June. Entering June Brandon had just a .550 OPS so there was nowhere to go but up, but it’s good to see him swinging with a bit of authority lately.

John Riley is well on his way to the Grand Tour—he just needs a trip to Sacramento to complete his collection of full season affiliates in 2018—and he’s hit at pretty much every stop with a .319/.399/.538 overall line this year. At 24 now it’s probably too late for Riley to develop into something interesting, but he’s turning into a useful role player who can fill organizational holes.


Augusta beat Asheville Tourists (Rockies), 5-4 in 10 inn
winning their series, 2-1

Jason Bahr finished a terrific first half with yet another sensational effort, striking out 9 over 6 IP. Bahr surrendered a solo HR (in a very homer friendly stadium) but otherwise held the Tourists in check. His 88 Ks (in 68.2 IP) are currently 2nd in the Sally league and he’s allowed barely more than a baserunner per inning so far (1.06 WHIP). Just a great start to his full season career for the 5th rounder who was cut twice from Central Florida.

Tourist 3b Taylor Snyder was the bane of both Bahr and Cave, as he touched up Bahr for a double and a solo HR and doubled off of Cave to set up a 2-run rally.

Tyler Brown, just back from a trip to Richmond, collected two doubles and keyed a big three-run 7th inning. But Franklin Van Gurp, ALSO just back from Richmond, wild pitched in the game tying run (which was ALSO Taylor Snyder!) with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to send it to extra innings.

Heliot Ramos continued a nice ending to his first half. He doubled for the fourth consecutive game and worked his 22nd walk of the year as he continues to work on refining his selection. He also stole his 4th base of the year and the 3rd in his last four games. His most impactful AB came in the 10th, however, when his grounder to SS was booted, allowing Logan Baldwin to come in with the eventual game winner. So they pulled out of the death spiral to pick up two wins going into the break. That has to feel nice.


Salem-Keizer lost to Tri-City Dust Devils (Padres), 11-0

Greg Jacknewitz walked the first three batters he faced last night. Such an opening would seem to presage bad things to come, and indeed, come they did. Jacknewitz and Zach Becherer allowed 9 runs between them over the opening three frames in a game that was never a contest.

Let us not speak of it.


Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Taylor Hill vs. Tyler Cloyd
Richmond: OFF DAY
San Jose: ALL STAR BREAK
Augusta: ALL STAR BREAK
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. Sam Keating
AZL Giants Black: OFF DAY
AZL Giants Orange: OFF Day
DSL Giants: Ivan Armstrong vs. TBD

Pretty short schedule today. I didn’t do too well on my guessing game yesterday, but I’m gong with Miguel Figueroa as the Volcanoes TBD today and I feel good about this guess! AZL ball opens today but both of the Giants two teams start with off days. Both teams will open up tomorrow. Somewhere in there we’ll get the hotly anticipated season debut of Alexander Canario.

For your reading pleasure this morning, if you’re a Baseball Prospectus subscriber there are notes on both Jose Marte (from David Lee) and Luigi Rodriguez in the Monday Ten Pack.

Hope everybody had a great Father’s Day!