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SF Giants Minor Lines 7/23/19: Mike Gerber wants back!

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Earlier in the month word came that Pat Venditte would not be attending the PCL All Star Game because of a family issue. Yesterday, Pat opened up publicly on the terrifying story of what his family has gone through this month.

Minor Lines thoughts are with Pat and his wife Erin and their family. I sincerely hope that they’ve turned a corner and the worst is behind them.

HIGHLIGHTS: Mike Gerber doubled and homered; Sandro Fabian had two more hits; Logan Webb went 5 strong innings; Victor Bericoto has 16 hits over the last five games.

Sacramento won at Fresno Grizzlies (Nationals), 8-6 in 10 inn

Things got busy in the top of the 10th inning in Fresno last night, where a 4-4 game exploded into an 8-6 final. HRs from Francisco Peña and Joey Rickard gave the RiverCats a four-run cushion in the top of the 10th. But Steven Okert was shaky trying to hold onto that lead, giving up a two-run homer of his own in the bottom of the inning. With one out and the tying run coming up to the plate, Ray Black was called in to dispatch the Grizzlies for good.

Sacramento had jumped out to the early lead when Mike Gerber sliced his 21st HR of the year just inside the LF foul pole in the top of the 1st. That gave Gerber his team leading 66th and 67 RBIs of the year.

A little AAAA camera work there in Fresno! That was just the beginning of a big night for Gerber who ended with three hits including his 29th double of the year.

But Fresno would creep back from a 4-1 deficit scoring single runs in the 3rd, 5th, and finally the 9th against brand new 40 man member Jandel Gustave to send things into extras.

With the victory, Sacramento ensured that they will leave Fresno still in sole possession of 1st place no matter what happens the rest of the series. And of course, they can pad their lead with more victories.

San Jose won at Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks), 5-4

The Giants were able to take a first step towards snatching a series in Visalia with a comeback win in Game 1 of their series. The red-hot (and newly named Player of the Week) Sandro Fabian came up with two more hits, including a go-ahead RBI single in the 6th inning. Fabian has a 9-game hit streak going during which he has gone 17 for 35 with 3 HRs and even 3 BBs (against 7 Ks). Fabian is in a hurry to make up for lost time apparently. One wonders if he might be another player who ends up in consideration for an AFL assignment in September?

Jose Marte went 5 innings to collect the win, though the big righty continues to have a somewhat disappointing 2019 — and it’s somewhat remarkable how few players in the system I can really say that about this year! Marte has improved his run prevention this month, posting a 3.75 ERA in five July starts. But the peripherals — 19 Ks to 13 BBs in 24 IP — point to the issues he’s had. Just not enough fastball command to make use of his stuff. Keep at it, Jose!

So both Sacramento and Visalia came away with wins down in the Valley just about 30 miles apart. Wonder if they got together in Selma for a little victory dinner?

Augusta lost at Columbia Fireflies (Mets), 2-1

Logan Webb was scheduled to start last night’s game in Columbia. But once rain delayed the start of the game — and with more chancey weather in the forecast — they decided to hold him back to prevent an early game stoppage from ending his outing prematurely. Things worked out well, as Webb was able to get in 5 uninterrupted innings, allowing just two hits and a run to the Fireflies.

Webb retired the final 9 batters he faced and struck out 5 and is now on track to return to Richmond for his first post-suspension start on July 28. Mark your calendars! Webb will almost certainly be appearing in the AFL for the Giants to make up some of those lost innings and put him on track to start 2020 in Sacramento.

Unfortunately, despite Webb’s strong effort, the bats couldn’t get anything going against the Mets #6 prospect, 18 year old Simeon Woods Richardson. The 2018 2nd rounder carved the GreenJackets up, striking out 7 over 5 shutout innings. Augusta scored a lone run in the top of the 9th on a Wild Pitch, but that was all they were able to manage.

Salem-Keizer lost at Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks), 5-4

Salem-Keizer came up a little bit short in their first game of the second half, falling in Hillsboro. The game was a showcase for the best two prospects on the field, the Diamondbacks Kristian Robinson and Alexander Canario. Both players went deep in the contest and both had a chance to show off their premium athleticism.

Canario continued to get into the swing of things in the NWL. He walked, stole a base, and in the top of 8th put the Volcanoes back into the game with a huge two-run blast off the scoreboard. That bat speed!

Tyler Fitzgerald and Jeff Houghtby were the only other Volcanoes contributing much to the offense. Both players had two hits, with Fitzgerald contributing an RBI triple.

The Volcanoes lost one of their mainstays before the game as SS Simon Whiteman was transferred up to Augusta, taking the place of Jett Manning who was released. Whiteman, the Giants 9th round pick out of Yale this year, posted a .401 OBP for Salem-Keizer, and gave the team a real burst of energy with 15 SB in just 33 games.

AZL Giants Orange lost to AZL Angels, 8-7

AZL Giants Black beat AZL D-backs, 4-3

Jasier Herrera continued his strong AZL campaign, striking out 5 over 5 innings while allowing just 2 runs. The 21 year old is in his 4th rookie league campaign and it’s been his best with a 2.11 ERA. His 37 Ks are currently 3rd in the AZL.

His counterpart, Luis Moreno, had a very rough outing with Team Orange. Moreno faced 7 batters in his second inning of work — and failed to retire any of them. That put the Orangemen in a hole that proved too deep to climb out of — despite 14 hits! Javeyan Williams, the 22nd round pick out of Southern University, contributed two doubles to that total. He was one of six Giants Orange hitters with multiple hits, including Marco Luciano who just keeps cruising along.

Another notable pitching line came from Pat Ruotolo, who had his second appearance of the year. Ruotolo is working his way back from shoulder woes and hopefully will appear out of Richmond’s pen before the year is up. Ruotolo struck out two of the three batters he faced and has yet to allow a baserunner this year in his 2 innings of work.

DSL Giants beat DSL Royals2, 8-5

Victor Bericoto continued his hot hitting, picking up two more hits to help the Giants to an 8-5 win. That’s Bericoto’s fifth consecutive multi-hit game — a streak in which he’s gone a mind-boggling 16 for 22. That hasn’t come with a lot of power as he’s only had two doubles among those 16 hits — and indeed, Bericoto has just three XBH this month, all doubles. But his OBP for the year is now up to .487 thanks in large part to fantastic control of the strike zone. He’s walked 40 times against just 33 BBs. Excellent debut for the 17 year old Venezuelan.

Luis Matos stretched his hit streak to 10 games with an aberrant one-hit game. He also walked and stole his 14th base of the year. He’s been Caught Stealing just once.

The pitching staff held nearly all of the Royals in check, as four of the five Royals runs came on two HRs from the Royals DH Neyfi Marinez who tied Matos for 8th place in the league in HRs with 6.

Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Yoanys Quiala) @ Fresno (Ben Braymer)
Richmond (Keyvius Sampson) vs. Bowie (Dean Kremer)
San Jose (Sean Hjelle) @ Visalia (TBD)
Augusta (Seth Corry) @ Columbia (Willy Taveras)
Salem-Keizer (Conner Nurse) @ Hillsboro (Tyler Holton)
AZL Giants Black (Cole Waites) vs. AZL Dbacks (TBD)
AZL Giants Orange (Wilkelma Castillo) @ AZL Brewers Gold (TBD)
DSL Giants (Jason Bonilla) vs. DSL Pirates2 (TBD)

Arguably the two best pitching prospects currently in the system (I probably wouldn’t argue this however) take the mound tonight in the A ball games with Seth Corry and Sean Hjelle looking to push through to the end of terrific full season debut seasons. While Salem-Keizer and AZL Orange team look to get into the win column in their second halves.

Have a great hump day everyone. Let’s keep the winning rolling!