Friday night at the yard. Let’s start out by spotlighting some defense, courtesy of Jalen Miller!
HIGHLIGHTS: Mac Williamson reached base four times; Heliot Ramos had three singles; Israel Cruz struck out 7; Luis Toribio reached base five times.
Mac Williamson started and ended a big 6-run rally in the second inning and the RiverCats were (barely) able to hold on and ride that big inning to the victory. Williamson had two hits in the inning — the first Sacramento hitter to do so this year since Mac himself did the deed way back in the opening weekend of play, on April 9.
Williamson reached base four times in the game, following up his two single inning with a pair of walks. He was one of four Sacramento hitters to collect two hits, including starting Pitcher Casey Kelly, who had himself half a cycle! Do we love #pitcherswhorake? Yes we do!
Old friend alert: Kelly’s double came off former Giant (and RiverCat) Albert Suarez.
Chris Shaw picked up his 4th RBI of the series with a run scoring single, though he did also strike out three times in the game, giving him 98 already on the year in just 254 ABs.
The game got a little hairy in the end as Sacramento frittered away nearly all of it’s one-time 8 run lead but Pierce Johnson managed to navigate his way through the 9th on three fairly deep fly balls to Steven Duggar — probably not the best strategy for protecting a one-run lead at high elevation but it got the job done!
A certain Groundhog’s Day quality is taking over the Squirrels games these days:
Very few hits (3) ✔
Late comeback that didn’t quite get all the way back ✔
CJ Hinojosa reached base one time to extend his streak to 20 ✔
Team extends losing streak to 6 ✔
I’m sure I wrote all this yesterday!
Still there’s always something unique that happens in any given game:
Friend of Minor Lines Adam McInturff was at the game, and provided a little info on the Squirrels relievers:
#SFGiants RHP Olbis Parra 92-96 (93) w/ short high-80s cutter/slider pitch in Double-A debut with Richmond. Athletic frame, arm works, secondary+control still could live to tighten up. @giantsprospects @giant_potential @CoveChatter @rog61— Adam McInturff (@2080adam) July 7, 2018
Williams 89-92, commanded the FB at times but lost ability to spot it across the plate often. Low-80s slider that got slurvy.— Adam McInturff (@2080adam) July 7, 2018
Though it was the Rubber Ducks closer that excited Adam the most, which could be good news for a Cleveland pen in distress. Here he gets Jonah Arenado swinging to end it.
Akron closer RHP Henry Martinez, 94-97 w/ hard, heavy run; power SL 84-86 gets a swinging K here. Third time seeing him this year. Looks better every time, close to ML ready. FV 45, middle relief, link to report below: https://t.co/TjjP8Q2GyH pic.twitter.com/MrNaaPYbAU— Adam McInturff (@2080adam) July 7, 2018
Speaking of distress, Richmond qualifies as their season is drifting out to sea at this point. But the ever sunny Jay Burnham always has some comic stylings to keep the mood light:
Oh yeah, there’s dejà vu going on here too, as San Jose keeps lock-step with Richmond, losing it’s sixth straight game as well. As with the Squirrels, a somnambulant offense is the primary culprit.
#SJGiants sixth straight loss is a 4-0 setback tonight to Rancho Cucamonga. SJ held to five or fewer hits for the fourth consecutive game.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 7, 2018
And to make matters worse:
Melvin Adon scratched from his start tonight just before first pitch. Sandro Cabrera will start instead for the #SJGiants.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 7, 2018
Right now, when Logan Webb isn’t on the mound, there is not a whole lot to be interested in with this club. I have to say, the combination of the future salary obligations of the big club over the next three years, and the potential contributions coming from the rosters of its top three farm clubs is pretty depressing picture right at the moment.
Loyal reader Nathan posted this in yesterday’s lines, but it’s worth a repeat appearance, as Jalen Miller’s turnaround season is running into a serious rough patch. How he responds in the second half could tell us a lot about Jalen’s future.
Baseball Census has write ups and video from two of the Giants relievers up, including Carlos Sano who tossed 3.2 scoreless innings last night:
Augusta lost at Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees), 4-2
losing their series, 1-2
Heliot Ramos celebrated his Future’s Game announcement in style with a three hit game. Out of an overabundance of teammate civility, the rest of the Greenjackets refused to steal the spotlight from Ramos, collecting just two hits themselves. The lineup combined for 9 Ks, a relatively low number for the league’s leading Whiff-masters.
In truth, Ramos’ hits were all of the doink variety, humpbacked fisters to right or center, just missing gloves of various sorts.
The 18 year old hasn’t been able to show off the raw power we saw from in rookie ball, in what has been a very challenging assignment. But he’s making strides on the K rate and improving contact. The tools will be able to play when the development clicks in. Development isn’t linear, the best mantra for watching Minor Lines.
Jose Marte continues to scuffle through a rough patch in his first full season. After finishing May with a 2.62 ERA, he’s seen it climb more than a run over the last five weeks and his strikeouts have dried up to a great extent. His 4 Ks yesterday were the most he’d recorded since June 14th. That first long hot summer is a real test of stamina and strength for the young guys.
Salem-Keizer Volcanoes lost to Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks), 6-5
losing their series, 1-2
RHP Gregory Santos had perhaps his roughest outing as a Volcanoe, giving up 7 hits and 4 runs in just 3 IP, his shortest stint of the year. Santos has shown some proclivity to getting hurt in the opening inning lately. Of the 9 runs he’s allowed over his last three starts, 7 of them have come in the first. Last night was the second time in those three games that he’s allowed a 3-run 1st inning to put his team behind immediately.
Interestingly, the original lineup had Joey Bart listed as Catcher, which would have paired the org’s primary Catching prospect with one of its better SP prospects. But a last minute switch moved Bart to DH and Ricardo Genoves to C, possibly so that Santos could have a Catcher who spoke his language? It’ll be interesting to see how Bart and Santos matchup this year though, as Bart’s game-calling experience could be a real boon to Santos dazzling mix of pitches.
Aaron Bond, taking a game in CF for a resting Jose Layer, unloaded with his 1st HR of the year, but it was a relatively quiet game for the league’s best offense. Bond and Kyle McPherson at the top of the lineup had more than half the team’s hits. 3b David Villar showed off his power again with his 2nd double.
Still the Volcanoes made it a game in the 9th when the Hops threw away Diego Rincones easy double play grounder, letting two runs score on what could have been the game’s final out. That brought Bart to the plate with the tying run on 2b,
Seems like a need a Charlie Brown comic about here.
Israel Cruz, the 21 year old Venezuelan pitcher the Giants picked up in the Matt Moore trade is in his 3rd season in the AZL and fifth season of rookie ball overall (two in the DSL). He’s still struggling to turn his arm strength into productive pitching, but he’s rebounded nicely from a rough season debut. In his last three starts, Cruz has allowed just 6 total runs while striking out 17 and walking just 2 in 14.2 IP.
His counterpart on the Orange squad, Colombian Jasier Herrera had a little scuffle with his control. Jasier has had a mild Jekyll and Hyde effect going on this year. In 2 of his 4 starts he’s walked 6 and struck out just 4, while surrendering 4 earned runs. In the more Jekyllish 2 starts, he’s struck out 11, walked none, and given up 0 earned runs.
Young Taco Bell continued raking picking up three more hits to give him a 12 game hitting streak. That included a double, which was just Bell’s third extra base hit so far. His three-hit game pushed his batting average up to .370, good for 8th in the league, though more than a hundred points behind the league leader, because...well it’s rookie ball.
The left side of the infield was providing most of the offensive production yesterday. 3b Luis Toribio had a perfect 5 for 5 day, with two hits and three walks in 5 Plate Appearances. Toribio leapt up to second in the expansive DSL in OPS at 1.079.
And SS Andrew Caraballo (first time he’s manned SS this year) continued his hot stretch with two more hits. Caraballo is now 7 for 13 in his last four games with four walks, three doubles and a HR. The 18 year old Venezuelan is en fuego.
One of the reasons (one presumes) that Caraballo got the nod at SS is that Jean Peña has been out since the beginning of the month. No word what’s keeping Peña off the field at this time.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Michael Connolly vs. Neftali Feliz
Richmond: TBD vs. Sean Brady
San Jose: DJ Myers vs. Dustin May
Augusta: TBD vs TBD
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. Miguel Ausua
AZL: Johan Herrera (Black), Marco Gonzalez (Orange) vs. TBD
DSL: Sonny Vargas
Sacramento hitters have an inviting target today as they take on the former All Star Neftali Feliz, who has struggled mightily in his efforts to regain his health and his major league career. The travails of injured pitchers are a sad sight indeed.
The ice cold bats of San Jose, on the other hand, get a tougher assignment going up against the Dodgers #11 prospect, flame throwing youngster Dustin May. We’re still awaiting one of the Volcanoes TBD’s to turn into Blake Rivera at some point but who knows when that will happen.
Regardless, I would like to humbly suggest that somebody mix in a few wins here at some point. The avalanche of three-hit losses are getting a little difficult to write up. Don’t know how the SF beat guys survived 2017.
However, if you’re an afficianado of minor league promotions, I’ve got a couple for you tonight!
The Hall of Very Good legend and only ballplayer to have his own surgery makes an appearance in the great northwest, and for no discernible reason Richmond honors a legend of a very different sort with one of their better uniform promotions.
At Volcanoes Stadium TONIGHT - Saturday, July 7th. Meet and Greet a BASEBALL LEGEND who turned the baseball world upside down with his famous UCL reconstruction surgery. 288 Wins in the Major Leagues. FREE AUTOGRAPHS. Tickets 503.390.2225 or https://t.co/slCejYXqLJ pic.twitter.com/2MzyGT92Cp— S-K Volcanoes ⚾ (@SKVolcanoes) July 7, 2018