Well, THAT was an eventful day!
Steven Duggar gets his first big league knock pic.twitter.com/HUMSUqWkuE— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) July 8, 2018
One of my favorite days in the time I’ve been doing Minor Lines. Seven years and multiple multiple surgeries for Ray Black to get here — what an amazing story! I don’t feel one bit bad about his major league debut — looked just like the debut with Sacramento. He’ll settle down, get rid of the jitters, and start bringing the heat and thrilling the crowds.
Meanwhile, Duggar, about whom I wrote this piece more than two years ago, made the first of what we can hope will be a lot of starts in CF. I have a feeling that Duggar’s going to be one of those guys whose major league performance outscales what we’ve seen of him in the minors this year by a decent bit. It may be on the come a little, but Duggar’s a player and his tools will play at the highest level.
BEST. MINOR LINES. DAY. EVER!
Sacramento lost at Reno Aces (Diamondbacks), 8-2
losing their series, 1-4
Well at this point the RiverCats are a somewhat denuded roster, probably in need of some reinforcements (dare I say: Luigi Rodriguez promotion?). Sacramento stumbled into the AAA All Star Break by losing four of five in Reno. Kelby Tomlinson “led” the offense with three hits, while Miguel Gomez picked up two, including the teams only double. Both of those two MI were just bypassed by Chase D’Arnaud in this week’s promotion.
D’Arnaud has been a bright presence both on and off the field for Sacramento this year, and his promotion was extremely well-deserved.
He won. His glove is already broken in. https://t.co/EXIKE2Ma6W— Chase d'Arnaud (@chasedarnaud) June 11, 2018
Well, I jinxed him. Just gave up back to back doubles.— Madison Marie Parks-Valetta (@legaleagle88) July 8, 2018
Jordan Johnson has been struggling with his location in his two PCL starts, possibly trying to be a little too fine against AAA competition (and offensive environments). He’s walked 7 so far in 8.2 IP with Sacramento, while striking out 6 which isn’t a super great ratio. He’s still got velocity and the system’s best changeup though, so we’ll see. Like Black, it’s been a long road and and a lot of injuries overcome for the Elk Grove native.
Richmond beat Akron Rubber Ducks (Indians), 2-1
losing their series, 2-3
Triston McKenzie on the mound today for Akron.— Adam McInturff (@2080adam) July 8, 2018
With Cleveland clearly buyers at the ML level this deadline, lots of scouts in for this start. If you’re a GM and talking to Cleveland, McKenzie is one of the guys you have done your homework on. pic.twitter.com/dSyIjYfjzh
The pitching matchup of the day lived up to its billing. The star of the day, of course, was the Indians McKenzie, who was the #30 prospect in Baseball America’s midseason ranking. But Richmond put their best foot forward as well. Not only did they open against McKenzie with hard-throwing 40 man member Chase Johnson, but they had a special guest star relief performance by Shaun Anderson.
Anderson, as you may remember, skipped his previous start to be ready to pitching Wednesday’s Eastern League All Star Game. However, when Anderson was selected to perform in next Sunday’s Future’s Game, he was taken out of the EL All Star game roster (replaced by Dan Slania). The result of all of that was that Anderson was potentially looking going two weeks without pitching between his last start and the Future’s Game. The Giants braintrust thought it best to get him a few innings yesterday to stay sharp.
Both of the Squirrels “piggy back starters” lived up to the challenge posed by McKenzie. Combined they allowed just three hits over 8 innings. Johnson was touched up for a solo HR from ndians #3 prospect, power hitting 1b Bobby Bradley, his 17th of the year.
But it was the Giants’ #8 prospect of the year who would ultimately be the hero. Aramis Garcia reached McKenzie for an opposite-field solo HR of his own to open up the scoring.
Move to the top of the 9th, when Garcia came up in a 1-1 tie with the bases loaded and two outs. Drama! And what did Aramis do?
That’s right! Garcia delivered the game winner with a HBP. Hero!
#SFGiants catcher Aramis Garcia has impressed me w/ the glove. Big target but blocks well, low targets, quiet receiver who has an idea how to frame. Big RH raw power that doesn’t fully come into games; long swing, all pull.— Adam McInturff (@2080adam) July 7, 2018
See FV 45, bench catcher w/ low averages and some pop.
Sam Wolff shut it down for his first Squirrel’s save to send Richmond into the break happy. One wonders if that was perhaps Wolff’s last Richmond save, as he would be the logical choice to replace Black in Sacramento.
San Jose lost to Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers), 6-5
getting swept in their series, 0-5
So first the good news, SS Brandon Van Horn grabbed himself some distinction when he became the first SJ Giant ever to homer in three consecutive games. The slick fielding Van Horn is hitting just .217/.269/.362 on the year, but he’s suddenly showing some surprising pop, now with 8 HRs.
Ok, now the bad news -- everything else:
#SJGiants can't hold a five-run lead, fall 6-5 to Rancho Cucamonga. SJ swept in a five-game series at home. Losing streak at eight games, overall record drops 10 below .500 (39-49).— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 9, 2018
Dobson 2 hits & 2 RBI's, Quinn 2 hits, Van Horn HR tonight.
Through four innings, the Giants were sitting pretty with a 5-0 lead and hopes of ending a losing streak that was already as long as any they had last year. Then things flipped around. Raffi Vizcaino was unable to get through a 5th inning that saw the Quakes score four times. And simultaneously, the Giants’ offense went dark. They would collect just two singles the rest of the game.
They were still clinging to a 5-4 lead in the 8th, but Peter Lannoo would surrender the tying run in the 8th, and in the 9th a big blast that put the Giants behind for the first time all game.
To make sure their hearts were ripped completely out of their chests, their was some bottom of the 9th drama as well. Heath Quinn singled and PR Bryce Johnson stole 2b to move the tying run into scoring position. Jacob Heyward struck out, which brought up Dillon Dobson as the Giants last chance. Dobson flared a ball just into the OF that looked like it would tie the game up, but...
Things are going downhill rapidly in San Jose this year, as this is threatening to be -- for the second straight year -- the worst San Jose season in 15 years.
Augusta beat Rome Braves, 5-3 in Gm 1 (7 inn)
A recipe that served Augusta well for most of the first half was solid starting pitching and timely hitting. For a day at least, they rediscovered that formula to deliver a double header sweep over the Rome Braves.
Garrett Cave worked through a LOT of control issues to deliver 5 innings of one-hit, one-run work in the lid-lifter, while John Gavin was more efficiently dominant in the nightcap, throwing a 7 inning complete game shutout on just two hits and a walk.
Orlando Garcia led the charge in the first game, driving in three runs with a double and his 4th HR of the season.
The Greenjackets had a strong 10 hit, 5 walk attack in the first game, putting pressure on Rome pitching throughout.
The nightcap had more of a getaway feel, as offense was in short supply throughout. But entering the final inning 0-0, Augusta finally woke up to the threat of extra innings at the end of a long hot double header. To prevent the catastrophe, they sprung into action. Shane Matheny, hitting just .146 off of LHP this year, delivered a two-out, bases loaded single to break up the tie. And for the coup de grace, Heliot Ramos knocked his 19th double to bring everyone home.
Ramos is doing is best to shine up the stat line for his Future’s Game appearance next week. He’s now 5 for his last 11, boosting his batting average up to .242 and his OPS up to .696. It would be nice to see a .700 on that OPS by Sunday Heliot! Gotta be spruced up and looking your finest!
In the top of the 2nd, Keaton Winn let a 3-0 lead slip away as the Hawks cuffed the 5th rounder around for a 6-run 2nd. The Volcanoes response was swift and powerful. They bludgeoned Boise with a power attack that just wouldn’t let up. Salem knocked out 13 hits, including four HRs and three doubles. Some of that production came from expected sources -- Joey Bart, for instance, blasted his 3rd HR and his first double. And David Villar kept on getting extra base hits as he connected for his third double of the year.
But there was also the highly unexpected. Mikey Edie went deep for a three-run blast in the 3rd inning, which erased the temporary Boise lead. That was just Edie’s 3rd professional HR in 5 minor league seasons. Coming off of his 4-hit day it looks like Mikey is angling for increased playing time!
Wander Franco the Middling started everything off by going deep in the 1st inning for his 2nd HR. And completing the power surge, Jose Layer hit his 2nd of the year in his return to the lineup.
Both AZL teams and the DSL Giants were OFF yesterday
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: All Star Break
Richmond: All Star Break
San Jose: Dom Mazza vs. TBD
Augusta: Aaron Phillips vs. Keith Weisenberg
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs TBD
AZL: Luis Moreno (Black), Seth Corry (Orange) vs. TBD
DSL: Juan Sanchez vs. TBD
With the upper minors dark for the week, time for the youngsters to shine. In particular, Seth Corry looks to keep rolling in what’s been a terrific second season for him thus far.
For subscribers, today’s “Monday Morning Ten Pack” has a writeup on yesterday’s Triston McKenzie performance against Richmond and there’s also a report on Salem-Keizer’s Gregory Santos in there.
Yesterday I watched Triston McKenzie throw six solid innings while only giving up two hits and one run while striking out six hitters. Check out my thoughts below:https://t.co/RMqRBBZW1w via @baseballpro— Alexis Collins (@AlexisCBaseball) July 9, 2018
And once again, congrats to the newest Giants! We’re so excited for your futures!
I’ll never forget Ray Black thanked me for writing about him in Augusta. Thoroughly enjoyed being able to and seeing a 102 mph fastball. I’m proud of him.— David Lee (@David11Lee) July 8, 2018
Oh AND FOR GOD’S SAKES, VOTE BRANDON!