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SF Giants Minor Lines 5/2/19: A New Catcher Is Traded For

Plus, more home runs from Sacramento, but not from Mac

minor lines

At this point, you kind of have to wonder if Farhan Zaidi either really likes catchers, or really hates the Giants’ catchers (beyond Posey and Bart).

Okay, that’s a bit extreme. But the Giants sure have gone after a lot of catchers for depth since Zaidi came around. Francisco Peña was acquired for cash from the St. Louis Cardinals, and he’s expected to go to Triple-A and fill in the spot that Stephen Vogt had. Pena’s been in the Majors for parts of five years, getting a career-high 58 games with St. Louis last season, batting .203/.239/.271. He had only played six games this season at Memphis (Triple-A), but was 6-for-18 (.333) with two doubles and a home run, and three walks and three strikeouts.

There’s really not too much to this move other than depth and emergency options, and even then, Peña is behind Garcia as a callup if only for the fact that he won’t be on the 40-man roster. If there’s any discussion to have, it’s about Erik Kratz, who has been Buster Posey’s backup for April, and is candidate number one to be taken off the 25-man roster in favor of Tyler Beede, after batting just 4-for-30 (.133) so far this season. Stephen Vogt, called up on Wednesday, could easily fill Kratz’s shoes.

(It’s also worth mentioning that 28-year old catcher Ronnie Freeman, has yet to not get a hit in a game this season…albeit in five games between Triple-A and Single-A. He’ll probably return to San Jose to continue filling in for Joey Bart.)

Highlights: Mike Yastrzemski hit two home runs.

Sacramento defeated Albuquerque (Rockies), 13-5

One final game in Albuquerque, and the home runs came out one more time.

It was leadoff hitter Mike Yastrzemski’s turn to have the big game. On a 3-for-5 day, Yastrzemski hit a pair of home runs to give him five on the season. He’s already halfway to his total last season, when he had ten in 121 games.

Zach Green added a home run of his own, to give him six, and also led the team with five RBI on the day. It was Green’s second home run in four games. Donovan Solano capped off the home runs with his second home run of the season. And Mike Gerber didn’t get a home run for the first Albuquerque game, but continues to hit. Gerber is 10-for-18 with a double and three home runs over his four games in New Mexico. He may have struck out five times with just one walk, but why walk when you’re hitting more than half the time.

Caleb Baragar took the start after getting promoted from San Jose, and struggled. The five runs he gave up in 4.1 innings with Sacramento, matched his total in 16.2 innings over five appearances in San Jose. Baragar had a 2.70 ERA in High-A so far this season. Steven Okert had another good game, and now has a 21 strikeouts and one walks in 14.1 innings.

Oh, and the man of sports talk radio, Mac Williamson? 0-for-4 with two walks and two strikeouts, giving him a 9 BB to 22 strikeout total on the season. You all jinxed him with your promotion talk!

Sacramento hit 12 home runs in four games in the high altitude of New Mexico, after hitting just 33 in 27 games the rest of the season. Don’t worry, the River Cats will make another visit to Albuquerque in just three weeks, starting May 25th. But that’s the last visit of the season…so, you know, better stock up on those home runs then.

Richmond lost to Altoona (Pirates), 9-2

As the Squirrels lost the first game of the homestand, Brandon Lawson had a scary game. Lawson had only walked one batter through three innings, but the first batter of the fourth inning lined a drive right back to Lawson, and hit him in the ankle. Lawson was knocked down, but still attempted to make the play (not making it, giving up a hit and an error on top of things). Lawson was removed from the game, but walked off the field under his own power.

Beyond that, this game was pretty unnotable. The Squirrels committed four errors, including the one by Lawson. Hamlet Marte and Chris Shaw picked up their second errors of the season, and Heath Quinn gave up his first.

There wasn’t much offense to offer in the game. Levi Michael had his fifth straight game with a hit, and is 8-for-19 over his last five games. Jonah Arenado was 1-for-2 with a walk

San Jose was defeated by Inland Empire (Angels), 5-4

Garrett Cave had an interesting game. He didn’t give up a single hit in 3.1 innings, bbut walked five while striking out six. It wasn’t even a season-high for him, as he’d walked six in his last start. The 4th round pick from 2017 now has 18 walks against 15 strikeouts in 17 innings. But his ERA dropped from 7.90 to 6.88 in the game.

On the offensive side, Gio Brusa picked up his third home run of the season, and his seventh walk. It was his first of both since April 24th. Brusa, who briefly was hitless in Richmond over three games, is just 6-for-48, and has just seven walks against 26 strikeouts. Logan Baldwin also picked up a hit, giving him a .261/.283/.420 batting line on the season.

Camilo Doval had a nice day in the bullpen, striking out four of the five batters he faced (and walking the fifth. Doval has a 19:8 K/BB ratio through 13 innings of work, and his ERA is down to 5.54 after it was 47.25 after his second game of the season.

Augusta beat Lexington (Royals), 4-2

Sean Hjelle may be disappointing to some, but he had another good game for Augusta.

Hjelle struck out six and walked just one, while he lowered his ERA to 3.04. The six strikeouts, a season-high, gave him 28 strikeouts on the season in 26.2 innings, with just six walks. His numbers aren’t the most overwhelming, with 25 hits allowed, but his numbers have continued to get stronger as the season has gone on.

Solomon Bates followed Hjelle with a strong outing of his own, striking out five for the second straight game. He has a 27:1 K:BB line over 18 innings this season in relief. The 22-year old is averaging two innings per appearance.

Behind the strong pitching of the day, the offense was led by Aaron Bond and his third home run of the season. Bond had gone through five straight games without a hit, going 0-for-13, as his batting average dipped from .228 to .192 on the season. The home run was a monster, though.

Having been to the stadium, the Savannah River is not right up against the ballpark. Getting one wet, even if on a bounce, is a pretty spectacular feat.

Diego Rincones had a 2-hit game as well, raising his batting average to .259.

Today’s Scheduled Starters

Sacramento (Shaun Anderson) vs. Reno (John Duplantier), 7:05 pm PDT

Richmond (Alfred Gutierrez) vs. Altoona (Yeudy Garcia), 7:05 pm EDT

San Jose (Matt Frisbee) at Rancho Cucamonga (TBA), 7:00 pm PDT

Augusta (Blake Rivera) vs. Hagerstown (Tim Cate), 7:05 pm EDT

With Logan Webb more or less banished for much of the rest of the season (well, he’ll be throwing in Extended Spring Training), we’ll get the other top pitching prospect on the mound in Sacramento, back home from the launching pad of Albuquerque. Meanwhile, Augusta’s Blake Rivera and his 19 strikeouts in 15.2 innings will take the mound for Augusta.

For some light reading, though, if you haven’t seen it, let’s see Farhan Zaidi very calmly and practically explain why Mac Williamson isn’t up on the team yet. Pre-jinx, of course.