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SF Giants Minor Lines 8/31/18: Aaron Phillips Ks 11

Not many Ws, but a night of good feelings anyway

minor lines

Callooo! Callay! Oh fraptious day!

Let us count our stores here at Minor Lines! We’ve now seen Tyler Beede, Andrew Suarez, Dereck Rodriguez, Ray Black, Steven Duggar, Aramis Garcia, and Chris Shaw step out of the pages of Minor Lines to make their major league debuts in 2018 (oh the dear departed DJ Snelten, too!) and most of them have taken that opportunity and run with it to make positive impressions and hopes for the future. Not to mention a heck of a step forward from 2017 debuté Reyes Moronta. That’s a pretty nice class! Count the blessings.

HIGHLIGHTS: Aaron Phillips K’d 11, allowed one hit in 5 IP.

Sacramento lost at Las Vegas 51s (Mets), 11-2

Somehow Mike Connolly was pitching at elevation yesterday, but old friend Matt Gage wasn’t! Go figure.

The tone was set with a sloppy 1st inning in which Connolly walked two, allowed three hits, and was backed by two errors—one of those coming from the normally sure-handed Kelby Tomlinson who doubled his season error total last night. After that, Connolly and the Cats were buried under a fusillade of homers, giving up four in all. Two of those came to the Mets #2 prospect, slugger Peter Alonso, who now has 35 on the year. Rumor has it the Mets won’t be bringing Alonso to the show this September, because they want to make sure they can squeeze a 7th year of control out of him — yes, Mets, the market shows us how incredibly important it is to make sure you can hold control of a guy who’s going to be a 31 year old DH type 7 years from now. I sincerely hope the next CBA manages to put a stake in the heart of that particular bit of “cleverness.”

Meanwhile, on the 51s side, Gage was in total control. The lefty struck out 10 Sacramento hitters and didn’t allow a run until after he had left the game in the 7th inning.

Sacramento is a loss away from being 30 games under .500, but as noted at the top, they sure have provided the big club a whole lot help this year. That’s a development win (though I’m sure the good folks of Sacramento would enjoy a slight bit more success on the field as well next year).

Richmond lost to Harrisburg Senators (Nationals), 4-3 in 10 inn

Aramis Garcia wasn’t the only Catcher going deep last night! His replacement back in Richmond had himself a happy night in front of the family as well. Richmond native Matt Winn hit his first long ball since returning to the RVA, a two-run shot that gave the team a 3-0 lead:

Luigi Rodriguez’ 14th of the year had provided the Squirrels with their first run. Luigi has really fallen on hard times the second half of 2018. After hitting over .400 through the end of May, he’s hit just .168 since July 1, dropping his average down into the .260s. What a tale of two halves for the minor league free agent pick up.

Armed with the 3-0 lead, the pitching staff faltered down the stretch however. Starter Jake McCasland allowed his only two runs of the night in his 7th and final inning. And three relievers tried, but failed, to prevent the tying run from getting pushed across in the 8th. Dusten Knight’s bases loaded walk tied things up at 3-3.

With the new extra innings rules, it’s extremely important not to TOOTBLAN

San Jose lost to Modesto Nuts (Mariners), 3-1

You want to see some beautiful defensive play? Let’s take a look at Johneshwy Fargas taking nothing for granted:

Johneshwy’s not down-shifting through the final days. Plays hard, plays with excitement. All the time. He hasn’t necessarily thrived with the bat in A+, but Fargas brings an awful lot of tools and skills to help teams win games. If there’s a future Gregor Blanco (or even Gorkys Hernandez) in the system, is there a better candidate for some late bloomer UT production than Johneshwy? Speed, defense, arm. Good building blocks.

Jacob Heyward kept his hot hitting going with his 26th double of the year. Heyward now has at least one extra base hit in 8 of his past 9 games. His SLG has risen 43 points in those 9 days. Nice way to end things!

This was San Jose’s 80th loss, their worst mark in 15 years, and they’ve now lost 158 games over the last two seasons. This is their third consecutive losing season and That’s a worrisome trend that needs to get reversed in 2019. As they start increasing talent levels in the system they’re going to need to see an increase in competitiveness too.

That said, San Jose had things to feel proud of yesterday, too:

That number will likely still increase as that 2016 squad also included Sam Coonrod, CJ Hinojosa, the aforementioned Fargas, Tyler Cyr, and Jordan Johnson. Had that group all stayed in San Jose for the summer, there’s a good chance they might have nabbed a Cal League Championship. As it is, they were the last post-season team above the rookie league level that the system has seen (interestingly, that core group of Shaw, Duggar, Suarez, Gomez, and Hinojosa were also part of the last Salem-Keizer playoff team).

Next year’s San Jose team is likely to be led by the top of the Giants’ prospect list — Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos, Sean Hjelle and others. It will be a very good sign to see that team return the franchise to Cal League success.

Augusta lost to Columbia Fireflies (Mets), 4-0 in Gm 1 (9 inn)

Augusta beat Columbia Fireflies, 4-0 in Gm 2 (7 inn)

Aaron Phillips is heading to the offseason with a lot of good tinglies as he was sensational in his final start of the year. Phillips overwhelmed the Fireflies striking out 8 batters in the first three innings alone.

Phillips actually started the night like he was about to fall prey to a disaster. He walked the leadoff batter and then hit the next two batters, loading the bases with nobody out in the first inning. However, a serious bowing of the neck would follow: Phillips struck out the side to get out of the jam and then struck out the side the next inning as well. A ground out stopped his flow in the 3rd before he struck out the final two batters of the inning—ending a streak in which he Kd 8 out of 9 batters.

The RHP would end the night with 5 sensational innings of one-hit shutout ball, tying the system high mark of 11 Ks with just 86 pitches thrown (ah, send him back out for one more!). That gives Phillips a season total of 120 Ks in 101.1 IP.

Augusta’s rotation punched out a lot of hitters this year. Four different starters struck out 100 batters, the first time an Augusta staff has done that since they’ve been a Giants affiliate. That’s not even counting Jason Bahr, who moved on up to San Jose when he was just shy of the 100 mark. It’s possible that Phillips—who’s still just 21 and might be a bit behind owing to his cold-weather background—could end up being the brightest arm of the bunch.

Manuel Geraldo was placed on the DL and his excellent 2018 season is now over. To replace him for the final weekend Abdiel Layer was called up from the Scottsdale camp.

Salem-Keizer lost to Eugene Emeralds (Cubs), 7-3

Boy it’s just Groundhog’s Day for the Volanoes pitching staff — every day they run somebody out there and every day they get pounded. This time it was Seth Corry’s turn. Corry ran into a wall in his 4th inning of work, and couldn’t stop the big inning — surrendering five runs in the frame. The 19 year old lefty surrendered just one earned run total over his first three starts with SK, but he’s now allowed 11 earned runs in his past two starts. He didn’t last terribly long in either of those outings as he threw just 5 IP total in the two starts. Seems like the teenager might be wearing down, but then maybe he’s just trying to fit in!

The team did add a few arms from the AZL to give guys a blow — most notably Luis Moreno and Fancis Peña, two of the better starters from the AZL teams this year.

Aaron Bond went deep for the 12th time, tying his teammates Bart and Villar for the team lead and the 2nd highest total in the NWL. David Villar hit two more doubles, pushing his SLG up to .544 on the year. Joey Bart fell below the .300 mark with an 0 for 4, 2K night.

So now, according to the Eugene Emeralds social media folks, it looks like the (to me) less logical procedure of the two discussed yesterday is the NWL’s approach: the 2nd place team in the 2nd half will go to the playoffs, not the team with the second best record overall.

That’s bad news! And it means that the Volcanoes just lost a home series to the team they are chasing to a playoff spot and managed to blow their advantage in the standings and a potential tiebreaker in so doing. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, the team they now HAVE to sweep if they have any chance of making the post-season is the best team in the division, the Hillsboro Hops. And they have to do it on the road. Losers of 10 of their last 14 games, it seems like they let their opportunity slip away, but we shall see.

Honestly, this Volcano team really should have been better than this. There were a lot of elements that could have led to a championship type team accumulated on this roster — including nearly the entire to 10 round draft picks of what was supposed to be an org defining 2018 draft. This has been a real disappointment and obviously it’s the pitching side that has been the driver for that disappointment. It’s just been brutal and there’s almost nobody who can be exempt from the blame (except you Jesus Tona! You’ve been just swell! And Jake Wong’s been good too). It’s not the end-all/be-all, of course, nor the final word on anybody by any stretch, but it’s a little disappointing outset.

It’s gone unmentioned here over the last month, but I suppose I should note that Jose Layer has once again gone missing. Though he’s never been placed on the DL as far as I can tell, he hasn’t appeared in a game since Aug. 4. Layer has performed splendidly every time he’s been on the field in his three year career. But unfortunately that qualifying phrase (“when he’s on the field”) has had to be used far too often for the injury-plagued CF.

Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Daniel Camaera vs. Scott Copeland
Richmond: Chase Johnson vs. Jaron Long
San Jose: John Gavin vs. Nick Wells
Augusta: Garrett Cave vs. TBD
Salem-Keizer: Jake Wong vs.

Everybody make as good a last impression as Aaron Phillips did, how about?!? For Chase Johnson, it’s not a last impression as he’s ticketed to head to the Arizona Fall League after a little break in September. There will be some difficult decisions to make on the 40 man both in November and through the winter (as players are added to the major league roster), so for guys on the edges like Chase, it’ll be important to show the front office he’s worth keeping protected.

Still time to show things, make impressions, and leave lasting memories! Three more days.

(hey an Eliezer Alfonzo call back!)