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SF Giants Minor Lines 4/8/19: A River(Cat) of Runs

The offense is here.... it’s just not, you know, here here

minor lines

One week in and it is becoming increasingly clear that Farhan Zaidi is building a deep, powerful, flexible offense that can score from any part of the lineup or bench — in Sacramento!

It’s a short Minor Lines today thanks to two different rainouts on the East Coast, but there was a lot of action in California.

HIGHLIGHTS: Michael Reed doubled, homered and drove in 3; Mike Gerber had 3 hits including HR; Joey Bart homered, doubled, and walked;

Sacramento beat Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners), 11-10 in 10 inn
Winning their series, 4-1

Sacramento’s offense has exploded out of the gates with a vengeance, scoring 42 runs in its first five games — and 32 in just the last three. The RiverCats appear to be the AAA ideal of a Zaidi club. Only two players have played in each of their five games — Breyvic Valera, who has started games at three different positions, and Zach Green, who has bounced back and forth between 1b and 3b. The team is operating with a roster that includes seven OF, plus corner INF men Green and Eric Vogt. Henry Ramos has batted in the 1st, 5th and 6th spots in the order—and hit in all of them. THIS was the team we were promised.

The RiverCats have hammered 9 HRs in their first five games from seven different players. Seven different hitters have OPS over .900, led by Mike Gerber, Henry Ramos, and Zach Green, who collectively have 22 hits, including nine XBH, and five walks in thorough five-game demolition of Tacoma’s staff.

So potent have the Sac Bats been that when Starting Pitcher Enderson Franco ignited a 7-run Tacoma rally in the 4th inning, it seemed but a flesh wound, that could be shook off in a moment. And indeed, the comeback was soon on.

Michael Reed started the comeback in the 6th with a two run blast. And the following inning Mike Gerber (above) and Abiatal Avelino went back to back to put the Cats back on top.

A rare outburst of control trouble for Tyler Rogers helped Tacoma tie things back up and take the game to extras, where, once again, the Cats would have to come from behind. And once again, it was Michael Reed who swung the big bat.

After an IBB to Zach Green to try to set up an inning-ending double play, Little Yaz lofted one into LF to end a great opening series for the RiverCats.

Scoring! What fun at the ballyard!

Michael Reed might not be doomed to end his Giants career being known only for having never recorded a hit with the team despite having been an Opening Day starter. 2019 would seem to be setting up to be a year of many roster moves. And hey, when he’s not swinging the bat, Reed can do things like this too:

That doesn’t happen to be from yesterday’s game, but it’s not like we’re over loaded with games to talk about here today. Work with me a little!

Sacramento leads the PCL in Runs, 3b, RBI, and Total Bases, and is second in doubles, HRs, Avg, OBP, and SLG (all to Las Vegas, who interestingly is not starting the year at home, but is playing in lively El Paso).

The Pitching you ask? Well it’s not quite so good, but for the PCL the team 4.50 ERA and 28 Runs allowed is decidedly middle of the pack! And the staff is second in the league in Ks.

All in all, it’s been a Happy Vibes opening weekend in Raley Field, where fans can still dig the long ball.

Boo! That’s two times in five days. Coming off the rainiest year in the region’s history in 2018, I fear that 2019 could be a soggy one too. At least it’s been an extraordinarily warm opening week.

And while I’m at it, let’s go ahead and get this out of the way too:

San Jose won at Stockton Ports (A’s), 10-1

San Jose hasn’t shown the same kind of consistency as Sacramento — they were shut out over 11 innings just two games ago — but there’s obviously a lot of firepower potential in this lineup and yesterday they broke out at Banner Island, winning in a ha-ha-ha-HA-ha, LAUGHER!

Not surprisingly, the charge was led by Joey Bart who put the team up to stay with a majestic blast with his first swing of that bat. Getting the green light in a 3-0 count, Joey picked himself out a good one:

Bart would double and walk, and both drive in and score three runs in the game. John Riley chipped in with his first HR of the year among two hits, and David Villar drove in three more with a double and single.

Starter Aaron Phillips went just 2 innings, uncharacteristically struggling with his control. Phillips threw 58 pitches in his aborted outing, and uncorked three Wild Pitches. Though he surrendered just one run on a solo HR, Phillips was the least effective of the team’s four pitchers. San Jose got great relief work, however, particularly from John Russell and Frank Rubio who collectively struck out 8 Port batters over the final 4 innings while allowing just one baserunner.

One player who mostly didn’t partake of the party at Banner Island was Heliot Ramos, who is off to a slow start against the advanced competition. Ramos did walk and score a run, but he also K’d twice more which gives him 8 strikeouts now in 19 PA, though with 4 BB. But once again, he’s been thrown into the deep end a bit. The 19 year old is the 5th youngest player in the Cal League — by Baseball America’s count, he’s the only player in the Giants’ org who is one of the ten youngest players in a full season league.

Don’t look now but the four players younger than Ramos in the Cal League? They’re all Padres’ prospects. As is the one who’s exactly the same age as Heliot, and the one who .... well in point of fact San Diego has an absurd seven prospects among the 10 youngest players in the Cal League and their Lake Elsinore team is the youngest roster in full season ball — younger even than any team in the A ball level below the Cal. That org is seriously on the rise.

Digging further into the numbers, the Giants overall have, on average, the 6th oldest minor league rosters in baseball. The rebuild is still in its formative stages.

Two games, 21 runs! Didn’t even need the East coasters contributions!

Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Andy Suarez) @ Las Vegas (Daniel Mengden)
Richmond (Alfred Gutierrez) vs. Bowie (Tyler Herb)
San Jose (Jose Marte) @ Stockton (Daulton Jefferies)
Augusta (Blake Rivera & TBD) vs. Greenville (Brayan Bello & Miguel Suero);

Sacramento hits the road for the first time, heading to meet up with a Las Vegas team that is off to every bit as explosive a start to the year as the RiverCats. And at elevation. Look out pitchers.

Old friend alert in Richmond, where Tyler Herb and his flow takes the mound against some of his erstwhile teammates. Jose Marte gets his second start in Stockton while down in Greenville, last year’s 4th rounder Blake Rivera takes another shot at making his 2019 debut.

Have a great day, everyone!