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SF Giants Minor Lines 4/13/19: Offense Goes Missing

Quiet bats on a Saturday night lead to 0-4 slate

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Not too much offense to focus on from last night so let’s highlight defense up top. Jonah Arenado showing his big brother how it’s done

Whoa! Pretty cool. Let’s see that again!

HIGHLIGHTS: Mike Gerber and Frankie Tostado had two more hits; Jalen Miller went 3 for 4; Seth Corry struck out 7 over 4 scoreless innings.

Sacramento lost at Salt Lake Bees (Angels), 4-3

Sacramento came tantalizingly close to a series victory, putting runners on 1st and 3rd in the 9th inning with just 1 out, but Donovan Solano and Stephen Vogt both struck out to end the threat and the game. It was an appropriate ending for a game in which Sac bats went 0 for 15 with runners in scoring position.

The RiverCats had held a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the 7th, but Carlos Navas allowed a three-run rising capped by a 2-run homer that ended the scoring for the night.

Sacramento had 9 hits, including two apiece from Mike Gerber, Anthony Garcia, and Michael Reed, but they lost the HR battle 0-2 and that made the difference in the scoring.

Gerber continues to demand the front office’s attention with his torrid spring. Gerber has a hit in all 7 games he’s played with multiple hits in 5 of them. Gerber’s 9th inning double gave the team its fleeting hopes for a comeback.

On the “Not Hot” side of the ledger, Breyvic Valera is hitting just .207 in the early going and made his 5th error of the season last night.

Pat Venditte walked 2 and struck out 2 in his 2 scoreless innings of work. That’s been a pattern for Venditte, who now has 6 walks and 8 Ks in 8 IP this year. He really does like balance! Venditte has surrendered just 3 hits and 1 ER.

Richmond lost at Reading Fightin’ Phils, 5-1

Jalen Miller giveth and Jalen Miller taketh away was the story of last night’s Squirrels game. The 22 year old 2015 3rd rounder has hit the ground swinging in the Eastern League so far, with 9 hits in his first 24 at bats. He kept those good times going last night with three more hits, including driving in the team’s lone run.

However, the normally dynamic 2b had a rough night in the field, committing two errors in the early going, each of which led to a run. The extra outs and a little command issue led to a shorter than normal night for Conner Menez, who reached his pitch limit with two outs in the 5th.

Back to Miller: Jalen has so far been a singles machine in Richmond. He has just one extra base hit, and as has been his wont, no walks yet. But he’s also been cutting down on the strikeouts (3 so far) and he’s been barreling the ball with consistency. Definitely an encouraging start to an important year for the athletic Miller.

Menez is pushing for advancement himself. In his first two starts he’s allowed no earned runs on just 3 hits and 3 BBs while striking out 11 (9.2 IP). Props to area scout Chuck Fick who advocated for and signed the obscure 14th rounder from The Master’s College.

Richmond struck out 13 times in the game. That included a Golden Sombrero for Hamlet Marte, who has yet to get himself an average for the year (0 for 14). It also included a hat trick for Chris Shaw, who could well be dealing with some discouragement at his assignment. Shaw has started the year 3 for 14 with no extra base hits. He does have 3 walks against now 5 Ks.

Another Richmond prospect with a slow start to the year is reliever Melvin Adon, who is bringing to mind the old folk song, “Where have all the strikeouts gone?” Adon’s triple digit heat and wicked slider piled up heaps of Ks in the Arizona Fall League, but he’s struggling to miss bats in AA, with just 3 Ks so far against 3 BB and 6 hits — 3 of which have gone for extra bases.

San Jose lost to Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks), 4-2

Two things really tied together the system-wide breakdown of offense last night: 1) not much power; 2) seriously out of whack K/BB ratios.

While San Jose’s Gio Brusa did mange to chip in a solo HR (one of two in the system last night), the team’s ratio of 11 Ks to 1 BB was part of an overall trend among the affiliates. Between them, Richmond, San Jose, and Augusta ran up an astounding 35 Ks to 3 BBs. That’s no way to go through life, son! The trio of teams also scored just 4 runs between them.

Jean Angomas led the team with 3 hits including an RBI single that brought home the team’s other run.

Joey Bart took the night off and got to spend the game talking Catching with the old white-haired Grateful Dead fan.

With Billy Hayes leading him and Eli Whiteside available to pop in, Joey is being well supported with the wisdom of his craft.

Heliot Ramos was in the lineup and though he didn’t have much in the way of offensive highlights, he did team up with Manny Geraldo to nail Visalia speedster Anfernee Grier trying for a triple. And he showed off his strong arm, discouraging another Visalia runner from trying to tag up and advance to 3b later in the game.

But still, I know you want to see Heliot swing it, so here’s his lone hit of the game, waiting back on a hanging breaking ball and drilling it into Left.

Raffi Vizcaino kept his near perfect 2019 going with a perfect inning. Through 6.2 IP so far on the year, Vizcaino has allowed no runs on just 2 hits, 1 BB and a HB, while striking out 14! Sizzling! Here’s where all the strikeouts have gone!

Augusta lost at West Virginia Power (Mariners), 2-1

There’s plenty of strikeouts to be found in the left arm of 2017 3rd rounder Seth Corry so far too. Corry has been near unhittable in his two starts, surrendering just three base hits — and no runs — over 7 innings. That’s good because the generous-minded Corry does enjoy giving away free base runners, with 7 BBs and 1 HB over that time. But he’s racked up 14 Ks in those 7 innings too.

Friend of Minor Lines, John Calvagno caught Corry’s first start and noted that he was getting a lot of swing thrus on his high fastball

The Greenjackets’ offense has shown Boom or Bust tendencies on their opening road trip, and last night the switch was definitely set on Bust.

Yup. Aaron Bond’s 9th inning solo HR averted the shutout. It was Bond’s first HR of the year and got his average up to .200. The speedy Bond does have 3 SB on the year so far.

Frankie Tostado lashed two more hits — both singles — to boost his average up to .375 and his OPS at 1.069. Frankie’s been the early season surprise for the system, without a doubt.

And before we get to today’s scheduled starters — a special treat. We all know that in this Year of Our Transition, there are two loci of particular importance and excitement for Giants fans. One, of course, is currently to be found in the 3-4 spots in the lineup in San Jose, and you should all be making that trek while you can. But the other special place is more obscure — far away from us madding crowd: the back fields of extended spring training (and in a couple of months, the rookie league games).

So it’s a particular pleasure when someone lifts that veil for us. Enter good friend @GPT, hanging out in the less traveled corners of the Phoenix vicinity for a day!

Awesome stuff. Thanks Avi! As I don’t seem to be making much headway at convincing Mrs. Minor Lines that we need to retire to Scottsdale, we’ll have to continue to rely on the kindness of strangers to get this kind of look.

Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Andrew Suarez) @ Salt Lake (TBD)
Richmond (Garrett Williams) @ Reading (Adonis Medina)
San Jose (DJ Myers) vs. Visalia (TBD)
Augusta (Sean Hjelle) @ West Virginia (Logan Gilbert)

Two very interesting pitching matchups among today’s slate of series finales. Garrett Williams goes up against strong armed Adonis Medina, the Phillies #3 prospect. Medina is coming off a terrific 2018 which included one of the more impressive pitching performances in the Future’s Game.

Oh, how did you drop in there, tweet? No, no reason!

The other marquee matchup is in Charleston, WV where beanpole Sean Hjelle goes up against the Mariners’ 2018 1st round pick out of Stetson (14th overall), Logan Gilbert. Gilbert has struck out 14 Sally leaguers in his 9 innings of work this year while giving up just 3 hits. He’ll be a tough challenge for a weary Greenjackets club that is probably longing to finally get home (Master’s ends today boys!).

Get out the hammock and have a great, relaxing Sunday!