HIGHLIGHTS: Chris Shaw doubled and homered; Joey Bart homered twice; Seth Corry K’d 6 in 5 shutout innings;
If you’re going to have one skill, blasting homers isn’t a bad one skill to choose:
Sadly, that was the only highlight in another lifeless loss for the RiverCats who collected just four hits in the game. After Shaw’s 1st inning home run, the club wouldn’t record another hit until the 8th inning, when Gregor Blanco also went deep.
Surprisingly, this was Sacramento’s first game of the year in Reno, and it didn’t go well for starter Matt Gage. The LHP was battered for 7 runs in just under 3 innings. The bullpen had to pick up the bulk of the game and mostly handled the Aces over the final five frames.
Tyler Beede had gone five straight scoreless outings out of the pen before yesterday, but one thing he hadn’t done was work a multi-inning relief stint. Beede’s tried that yesterday with mixed results. He worked a clean 6th inning, allowing one hit and striking out two. But when he tried returning for a second inning of work, things went south on him. He failed to retire any of the three batters he faced in the 7th, hitting the leadoff batter and then surrendering a run scoring double. He ended his night with a walk. Derek Law came in to the two on no out situation and would ultimately let both runners score.
Sadly, the fans the Richmond fans didn’t have much to cheer until after the game. For the second time in less than a week, the Squirrels were shut out on one-hit. After opening the season with their best start ever, Richmond has now fallen under .500 for the first time this year and it’s hard to see how things are going to turn around for the club with such a toothless lineup.
Here we are in July and Dillon Dobson is hitting .186. Jonah Arenado at .217 with a .602 OPS. Aramis Garcia matching him at .219 and .629. Outside of Luigi Rodriguez and the occasional Jerry Sands bomb, there’s not much flicker of excitement in the Richmond lineup in 2018. Right now, the Giants upper minors aren’t providing us with a lot of hope for productivity in the near future.
Ok, we’re three levels in now and we’re up to a total of 7 hits. That’s it, I’m turning this thing upside down tomorrow!
Setting aside the hapless bats, Logan Webb continues his breakout 2018 with what has turned into his routine brilliance. Four no-hit innings with 5 Ks. Webb easily handled a team that includes several top Dodgers’ prospects, including former 1st rounders Gavin Lux and Jeren Kendell.
Granted that it’s easier to pitch scoreless ball in short doses, still it’s no small achievement that Webb has not given up an earned run in 12 of his 17 games this year. He’s not given up a run at all in 8 of his past 10 starts. And he’s allowed two hits or fewer in 7 of those starts. And he seems to be getting better. His last three starts—all 4 inning stints—he’s surrendered 0 runs on a total of 5 hits, while striking out 19. He has walked 6 in those games, but 11 baserunners in 12 innings is a ratio any pitcher will take.
Friend of Minor Lines Bobby DeMuro caught Webb’s previous start in Visalia, and produced an enthusiastic (or bullish, to use Bobby’s phrase) scouting report that is worth a read, and includes a lot of video footage:
Logan Webb and Joe Ritzo in the same place at the same time is the best — both were exceptional in Visalia five days ago, too.— Baseball Census (@BaseballCensus) July 5, 2018
Here is Webb's report, perhaps we'll write Joe up soon: https://t.co/CmYyFxQWar #SFGiants https://t.co/BeChOxrJlf
And as long as we’re getting to know Logan, there was a great piece on MiLB.com about his relationship with Mac Marshall recently. Another recommended read.
Aaron Phillips came up with his best performance of the year, setting a career high with 9 strikeouts and allowing just three hits over 5 innings. After allowing 13 runs in his previous two starts, it was good to see the RHP getting his stuff to play up to it’s potential. He allowed just two solo HRs in qualifying for the Win.
He was backed by just enough offense to do the trick. Ryan Kirby started off two rallies with doubles, his 22nd and 23rd of the year.
And the bottom of the order, Logan Baldwin, Trevor Abrams and Rob Calabrese came up with the clutch run scoring hits (Baldwin was robbed of at least one RBI on a pretty iffy bit of official scoring). Solid pitching, a few clutch hits, and strong defense are a good recipe for a win.
Heliot Ramos took an 0 fer, though he did hit two balls hard. He was also caught stealing for the 7th time this year against just 5 SB. So more lessons to learn for Heliot. Jacob Gonzalez was caught looking twice in the game but he did hit his 14th double as well.
How to make a first impression:
Joey Bart crushed a no doubt HR in his second at bat with the Volcanoes, and he liked it so much he came back and did it again in the 8th. That was part of a fusillade of offense from the top of the order, as the top four hitters in the lineup combined for 11 hits, including four home runs. SS Kyle McPherson accumulated all the hard parts of a cycle, coming just a single short (though he did add a walk, that should count!).
Jose Layer went deep for the first time this year. The leadoff hitter is up to an .890 OPS on the year but he has a minuscule .040 Iso. Diego Rincones’ Iso is .200, but in this game he was the banjo hitter, picking up three singles, running his batting average up to a league leading .389.
Still the story of the game was Bart who showed off that power stroke that made him the highest position player taken in this year’s draft.
I’m not entirely sure that branding is going to stick though. Volcanoes social media folks: you might want to take a second shot at that tag line.
Amid all the excitement, it was easy to lose track of another debut though, as 3rd rounder Jake Wong took the hill for the first time in his pro career. Wong showed some first time jitters, hitting the first batter he faced. That turned into a run when Joey Bart committed a throwing error on a stolen base attempt. A ground ball brought the run in from 3b. But that was all Wong allowed in his short stint, going 2 innings and striking out 2.
The Volcanoes now have four of the Giants top five picks from the draft, with Blake Rivera expected to join the club soon as well.
Down in the desert, it’s last year’s 3rd round pick who is really opening eyes. Seth Corry is working on cleaning up and repeating his mechanics and so far that work is really paying dividends. Corry has allowed just 1 earned run on the year, and surrendered just 9 hits in 17.2 IP. More importantly, he’s sticking in the strike zone more this year and racking up the swing and misses. Corry now has 22 Ks against just 7 walks on the year. Yesterday’s 6 K/0 BB performance was the finest ratio of his pro career, and just the third time he’s not walked a batter since being drafted.
40-man member Tyler Herb made his second appearance in the rookie league, going 3 innings — his longest outing since April 23. Tyler should be getting close to an assignment in the upper minors soon and add to the usable stock of pitching.
3b Sean Roby out of Arizona Western JC hit his first professional HR. The 12th rounder with intriguing raw power has three extra base hits among his seven hits so far. He also has four walks to three strikeouts as the 19 year old is showing an advanced approach at the plate.
Alexander Canario picked up two more hits. He’s now 7 for his last 17 and he’s gone two straight games without a strikeout. He did get caught stealing twice in yesterday’s game, however. That’s the raw side of the toolsiness.
Frankie Tostado’s delayed pro debut has gotten off to an excellent start. The Oxnard Community College star, taken in the 19th round of last year’s draft, has started his career off with an 11 game hitting streak. Pretty impressive. Overall, the OF who dominated California’s JC ranks in 2017, is hitting .310/.358/.452 with three extra base hits and a SB. Nice opening act, Mr. Tostado!
The Giants were crusing along towards their 18th win of the year when they ran into a buzz saw of an 8th inning. A 5-run lead turned into a 5-run deficit when Yhonson Rojas and Jose Cruz combined to allow the Mariners to score 10 runs int he top of the 8th. I’d wager that teams have a pretty low Win-Loss record when allowing a 10-run inning.
Luis Toribio got his average back above the .300 line and hit his 5th HR of the year, climbing back into a tie for team lead with Jean Peña. The teammates are tied for fourth in the DSL in HRs. Toribio is also 4th in OPS (1.046) with his .301/.468/.578 line. The 17 year old has had a pretty liberal strikezone, striking out 24% of the time, but he’s matched it with a 20% walk rate (though unfortunately the former seems to be more predictive than that latter in the DSL).
Let’s watch the man swing (not from yesterday):
Video of 3B Luis Toribio (17.8Y) HR from yesterday's DSL Giants game. It was his third straight game with a HR. pic.twitter.com/BJgYxblg8N— GPT (@giantsprospects) June 8, 2018
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Casey Kelly vs. TBD
Richmond: Dillon Overton vs. Dominic DeMasi
San Jose: Jason Bahr vs. Ryan Moseley
Augusta: TBD vs. Jio Orozco
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. Ryan Weiss
AZL: Conner Nurse (Black), Francis Peña (Orange) vs. TBD
DSL: Ivan Armstrong vs. TBD
[EDIT] Richmond native Conner Overton gets the hometown start in place of Shaun Anderson, who is resting up for his All Star appearance. Meanwhile, Jason Bahr tries to do what Anderson did last year — keep impressing the Northern California crowds by throwing up Zeros and Ks to start his San Jose career.
From Minor Lines to you—hope everyone had a great 4th.