Get dressed up and ready, it’s a 4th of July edition of Minor Lines!
Don’t forget when you are at the ballpark tonight to post your pictures and use the hashtag #ExciteFanOfTheGame! We will be picking 15 winners tonight to receive one of these Fourth of July baseballs signed by the team presented by @Excite_CU! pic.twitter.com/LNPEwQ8Qhb— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) July 4, 2019
HIGHLIGHTS: Kervin Castro threw 6 shutout innings; Jesus Gomez struck out 6 over 5 shutout innings;
Chris Shaw’s 15th home run of the year kicked off a short-lived comeback for Sacramento who had trailed 5-0 after just two innings. Shaw’s 3-run shot was his lone hit of the game. A little more than 100 PA into his AAA season, Shaw is currently hitting .267/.345/.543 with 8 HRs. His K rate has kicked back up in AAA to just a hair shy of 30% but his walk rate has mostly carried over from Richmond, holding steady at 9.6% while his Iso is an excellent .276.
Chris Shaw goes deep for the 15 time this year to help try to bring Sacramento back from 6-0 deficit. pic.twitter.com/gpDloSkpFI— Roger Munter (@rog61) July 5, 2019
Aramis Garcia’s solo shot to RF brought the RiverCats all the way back into a 5-5 tie. It was Garcia’s 12th HR of the year in the minors, 14th overall. Garcia is hitting .266/.333/.531 with Sacramento this year.
Despite the comeback, Sacramento would fall when Caleb Joseph’s leadoff triple off Williams Jerez led to the game deciding run in the bottom of the 8th.
Richmond’s game against Reading was postponed due to rain
Still shot off their fireworks though!
Sandro Fabian celebrated his first game back with San Jose by lining a two-run single to push the Giants to an early 3-0 lead — a lead they would never surrender. Most of the thump for this game came from the bottom of the order, where 7/8 hitters Manuel Geraldo and Dalton Combs combined for 5 hits, 3 runs, and 3 RBIs.
Heliot Ramos and Joey Bart combined to go 1 for 8 with 3 Ks — Bart is still struggling to get back into the groove since returning from his long IL stint. I would imagine that last night was the pair’s final game with San Jose before departing for Cleveland and the Future’s Game on Sunday. Hopefully, we’ll see a reset button in the second half for Joey (but seriously — stop panicking people, he’s good!).
Aaron Phillips gave San Jose a huge piggyback relief effort, throwing 4 shutout innings in the middle of the game.
The sudden burst of Greenjackets offense we’ve seen this week vanished without a trace on their return home. Augusta was coming off back to back double digit scoring games in Charleston, but quiet bats let a pretty solid Adam Oller pitching performance go to waste against Kannapolis.
Diego Rincones keeps on hitting though. Rincones had another two-hit day, extending his hit streak to 10 games and pushing his average to threshold of .300. Since the start of June Rincones is hitting .327/.373/.445 with a very strong 8Bb to 12 K. His contact rate of 13% is exceptional this year. The one thing he’s really missing from his season is power, with just a .118 Iso out of a corner OF spot. At 20, there’s still time to grow into some but it will be a big challenge with his development.
Diego Rincones ropes his 20th double of the year — nifty slide too pic.twitter.com/JJlSLVKwpO— Roger Munter (@rog61) July 5, 2019
Kervin Castro shook off a tough outing — in which he gave up literally half his runs on the year — to throw another gem, going 6 shutout innings. Last week in Boise Castro gave up 4 runs in 5 innings. In his other four start combined now, he’s allowed just 4 total runs and just 2 earned runs over 20 IP. He’s also given up 2 or fewer hits in four of his five starts this year. Pretty impressive. He’s not generating huge swing and miss with a little less than a K per inning, but his 22 K to 6 BBs is an impressive ratio.
Sean Roby continued what’s been a quietly effective 2019, knocking out his 3rd double and 2nd triple of the season to help support Castro. The 20 year old 3b from Arizona Western JC hasn’t jumped out of the gates with big power like teammates Franklin Labour and Ricardo Genoves, but he’s been consistently picking up hits and he’s controlled the zone quite well — his 11.7% BB rate so far is a nice jump up from 8.8% in rookie ball last year. Roby is hitting .329/.404/.451 early on in the season. Along with Genoves and Labour, he’s giving the team a strong 3-4-5 combination in the middle of the order.
Alexander Canario is getting a few early lessons — probably along the line of “hey that thing bends!” — from the college heavy pitching core of the NWL. He had his second hat trick in four games with Salem-Keizer and in all has struck out in 9 of his 17 ABs in the NWL. Learn the lesson; master the lesson; incorporate the learning into your work. He’ll come out stronger on the other side.
Much of the attention on last year’s DSL Giants pitching staff focused on starters Juan Sanchez, Sonny Vargas, and Ivan Armstrong. But that trio has gotten off to rocky beginnings on the domestic side with ERAs in the 7.00s and/or lackluster K rates in their first few starts. Instead, the trio of last year DSL arms that is impressing most in 2019 is Kervin Castro (as we see above), Wilkelma Castillo (2.38 ERA with a 13.50 K9) and LHP Jesus Gomez — all three Venezuelan products.
Gomez made a handful of starts for the DSL team at the end of last season, but mostly pitched in 2-4 inning stints out of the bullpen. He did lead the team in K9 and that skill has transferred over to the States. After a rough opening start in which he surrendered 5 Runs in 3 IP, Gomez has really gotten things going. In his last three starts, Gomez has surrendered just 2 runs on 5 hits over 12 innings while striking out 19. For the season his 22 Ks is just one off the AZL lead.
While the AZL camp is normally the place for young players to shine (I see you going 2 for 4 Marco!) yesterday the oldest player on the field was bringing some favorable news as well. I, for one, miss Ryder Jones’ swing:
@Jonesy_56 who has had incredibly difficult 2019 appeared in his first game since May 29 -- and just his 3rd game overall this season -- in the AZL. Jones had to leave Opening game w knee soreness, came back May 29 on rehab assignment that lasted just one game. Good luck Ryder!— Roger Munter (@rog61) July 4, 2019
The DSL Giants started the year out 9-3, but they have gone just 4-12 since that hot start and floated down the standings. By and large, this has been an issue of pitching and defense as the Giants have surrendered the third most runs (208) and the fourth most earned runs (150) in the 40+ team DSL. While the offense has scored the 5th most in the league, it’s often at a loss to keep pace with all the largesse.
Luis Matos got an off day, so no two-hits for him.
But 17 year old Catcher Ronaldo Flores had his second consecutive two-hit day and third in his last four. Flores has at least one hit in 15 of his 17 starts, including nine multi-hit efforts.
Jose Peralta went deep for the first time this year. The 18 year old MI is slashing .305/.408/.448 in his second year in the league.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Ty Blach) @ Reno (TBD)
Richmond (Garrett Williams/Caleb Baragar) vs. Reading (David Parkinson/Damon Jones)
San Jose (Matt Frisbee) vs. Visalia (Josh Green)
Augusta (Gregory Santos) vs. Kannapolis (Davis Martin)
Salem-Keizer (Jacob Lopez) vs. Vancouver (TBD)
AZL Orange and Black: OFF NIGHT
DSL Giants (Jason Bonilla) vs. DSL Tigers2 (TBD)
Richmond gets a July 5th double header (we hope) to make up for last night’s rainout while Gregory Santos takes the mound in Augusta — which is always cause for excitement. The AZL teams are dark, which makes us sad.
One thing that has always been true here at Minor Lines — you guys have LOTS of questions. And I have no answers! But you know what, Kyle Haines has answers to all of them, and if you subscribe to the Athletic (not an endorsement per se, but I do enjoy mine) you can find out what those answers are right here, in a very long Q&A with Melissa Lockard: