Okay, the big news you probably already heard.
Double-A pitcher Logan Webb received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. He’s one of Giants top two pitching prospects, was off to a huge start.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) May 1, 2019
This triggered a huge panic mode on Giants’ twitter, as well as responses from a lot of people, including Webb himself.
Of course, this had a lot of people bemoaning the state of the Giants’ farm system and top prospects, but it’s a little early to call for fire and doom. Even for Webb, who came back from Tommy John surgery, he could still come back. But the luster that was behind his 2018 season will certainly be gone. ANd meanwhile, the farm system continues on.
Highlights: Mike Gerber hit a double and a home run; Jacob Heyward returned from the IL with two home runs.
It was an interesting day from Sacramento, even as discussions were all around the team.
Mike Gerber led the team with three hits, including his sixth home run of the season and seventh double. That’ s three straight multi-hit games from Gerber, who is now batting .346/.395/.667 and goes into May still as the best hitter on the the River Cats, the way he spent most of April.
Not far behind Gerber in the stat line was Austin Slater. Slater had one of his best slugging days, with his sixth double and second home run of the season. He has a .288/.453/.470 batting line on the season now, among a fairly crowded group of Triple-A outfielders. So much so, that Slater was back at first base.
Also not playing outfield was Henry Ramos. In his first career start at second, Ramos hit his fifth home run, and first since April 20th. Ramos is batting .256/.289/.474 on the season.
On the mound, Yoanys Quiala took the tough game, struggling with command. He walked six, more than double all the walks he’d had in his previous three starts. He has allowed a .324 batting average in two starts at Triple-A, with a 2.28 WHIP. Tyler Rogers also struggled with command, walking a season-high four, one intentionally, but he didn’t give up a run. Sam Coonrod struggled late, however, giving up a pair of earned runs in the ninth. Coonrod has given up three earned runs over his last two appearances, and has a .327 average allowed with a 2.16 WHIP.
Oh, and Mac Williamson? 0-for-1 with three walks, only one of which was intentional. Five of Williamson’s seven walks this season have come the last two days.
I think Jacob Heyward missed playing baseball.
Heyward came off his short IL stint, moved into the vagabond’s leadoff spot, and pounded two home runs and three hits total. Heyward missed eight days of baseball, and it looks like his time off hasn’t slowed him down. He only has three home runs on the season (his first came on his last game before going on the Injured List), and now owns a .351/.500/.659 batting line. It’s only a month, but Heyward is having the best season of his career so far, and the 18th round pick from 2016 might be getting his prospect status back…or reaching one he never had before.
Chris Shaw got a single hit, hitting a home run for the second straight game, giving him four on the season. The slugger now has a batting line of .265/.351/.529, and a nice K:BB ratio of 11:7 in 20 games.
I’ll bet you $5 we’ll see Chris Shaw on the Giants roster before we see Mac Williamson. https://t.co/tVyiWoDQgC— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) May 1, 2019
That’s some big talk about a guy who ended up in Double-A to start the season, albeit one who was likely a victim of a numbers game of a lot of 4-A guys. Then again, he is on the 40-Man roster, and roster moves are a big part of the decision making.
Brock Stassi added his second home run of the season as well, both coming in the last four games.
On the mound, Garrett Williams had his best game of the season. He went a season-high six innings, and tied his season high with six strikeouts. He also had his third game without allowing a walk, out of five total. That’s a notable change for a pitcher who averaged 6.72 BB per nine innings last season; he sits at 1.96 so far this season. Melvin Adon had another nice game without allowing a run. In 12.1 innings, he has 14 strikeouts and eight walks.
San Jose defeated Inland Empire (Angels), 6-3
Leading the San Jose hitting was Manuel Geraldo, who picked up his first triple of the season. Geraldo’s had a quiet season so far in San Jose, though he is now 6-for-19 (.316) over his last five games. Geraldo had a .294/.337/.385 line last season, in his third attempt at the South Atlantic League, when he hit under .200 in a month or a month-plus before. He’s now hitting .178/.253/.244 in San Jose.
Bryce Johnson added a pair of walks, going 1-for-2 with his seventh stolen base of the season. He has a .342 OBP despite a .202 batting average, with 19 walks. Logan Baldwin had another 2-hit game, and added his third stolen base. He has a .262/.284/.405 line on the season.
And for the weirdest line of the night:
SB: Brusa (1, home off Ortega, O/Scott)
Gio Brusa indeed stole home for his first steal of the season, and 11th of his three-plus year career. Of course, it was part of a double-steal with Baldwin on first, and can you blame the 66ers for throwing after Baldwin? Who would’ve expected Brusa to head home?
Trenton Toplikar couldn’t quite finish off the fifth inning to qualify for that antiquated win stat, but he put forth one of his best efforts on the day. The 16th round pick from 2018 has a .232 average allowed and a 1.36 WHIP on the season with his push up to San Jose. Raffi Vizcaino added another scoreless relief outing, although he walked two. That gives him a forgivable 28:7 K:BB ration in 14.1 innings of work.
Augusta defeated Lexington (Royals), 4-2
The GreenJackets didn’t get a deep offensive performances, but what they got was enough to pick up their fourth straight win.
Wander Franco had the biggest day, going 2-for-3 with his fourth home run of the season and his second double, collecting a third of the team’s hits. Franco has home runs in back-to-back days, but is batting just .189 despite having an OPS of .759 thanks to nine walks and all those extra-base hits.
Behind him, there were four scattered hits, with Frankie Tostado picking up one with a walk. Tostado has cooled off as of late, but he has a .313/.380/.530 batting line still off of his half start.
However, Seth Corry helped make it stand up, giving up just two runs on three hits and three walks, with seven strikeouts. It was Corry’s second straight start giving up two earned runs, after not allowing any in his first three games. Corry has 33 strikeouts against 15 walks in 19.2 innings. And Jesus Tona picked up the save with another scoreless outing. Luis Amaya made his season debut, going 1.2 IP with 2 strikeouts.
LHP Luis Amaya (20.8Y) made his full season debut tonight for Augusta. 92-93 FB. Amaya back in 2015 was the youngest player in affiliated baseball and had a good year in the DSL. Pitched a few innings in 2016, then missed all of 2017 after having TJ. Had 21.2 IP in AZL in 2018.— GPT (@giantsprospects) May 2, 2019
Tona has thrown 12 innings of baseball this season without allowing a run, and has allowed just two hits and six walks while striking out 18.
TONA TIME!— Augusta GreenJackets (@GreenJackets) May 2, 2019
Jesus Tona has not allowed a run in his first 12 innings on the mound this season and gets his 5th save tonight!
Jackets are HOT . Four straight wins as we beat Lexington 4-2!
Yeah…”Tona Time” is not going to replace “Webb Gem” I’m afraid…
Today’s Scheduled Starters
Sacramento (Caleb Baragar) at Albuquerque (Chi Chi Gonzalez), 10:05 am PDT
Richmond (Brandon Lawson) vs. Altoona (Pedro Vasques), 6:35 pm EDT
San Jose (Garrett Cave) at Inland Empire (Jake Lee), 7:05 pm PDT
Augusta (Sean Hjelle) vs. Lexington (Charlie Neuweiler), 7:05 pm EDT
Caleb Baragar gets the spot start in Sacramento, in a game Tyler Beede would have started, but Beede will be in San Francisco on Friday. Baragar got called up along with Ronnie Freeman (who goes from replacing Joey Bart to Stephen Vogt).
Since there’s been not much to talk about in the comments lately, I want to look at two hot takes.
Henry Ramos and Austin Slater are both playing second base in Triple-A and Jalen Miller has 5 homers in Double-A. The #SFGiants have options at second base. The Joe Panik era won’t last too much longer https://t.co/Js9wWURAb2— Dalton Johnson (@DaltonJ_Johnson) May 2, 2019
Jalen Miller’s emergence as a prospect aside after a long wait, is Austin Slater and Henry Ramos playing second base really spelling the end for Joe Panik? There’s no doubt that Panik is having his second straight tough season. But are those three players going to be the ones that replace him, if he gets replaced this season?
Spcifically, if the Giants new Draft braintrust has their act together, the #10 draftee should instantly vault onto the rankings as the Giants #2 or #3 prospect. On a related note, the Giants Round 2 draftee should debut in the #7 to #12 range.— Darryl Zero (@Darryl_Zero) May 1, 2019
The Giants’ 2nd round pick, #51 overall, should debut in the #7 to #12 range on their prospect chart?
What do you think? Sean Hjelle was the Giants’ second round pick in 2018, at #45 overall, and he debuted pretty highly on several draft charts (#6 on MLB Pipeline, #5 on Baseball America), though the CPL put him back in the double digits with a lot of negative feelings about his low floor and high ceiling.
Alright, that’s it. See you tomorrow!