Logan Webb used a well spotted 94-95 mph fb and devilish breaker to rack up 7 Ks in AAA debut pic.twitter.com/f1Xu8W2KRo— Roger Munter (@rog61) August 13, 2019
Logan Webb’s AAA debut was as successful as it was anticipated. Leaning heavily on his fastball-breaking ball combo, Webb went 7 strong innings against the Rangers’ AAA club, allowing just one run on seven hits. As seen above, he was definitely in sync with the home plate ump, who ran several Sounds hitters on well-spotted fastballs at the knees.
2019 has been a strange ride for Webb, who has just 63 official innings thrown this year, and thanks to his suspension (not to mention previous injuries) has fewer than 80 IP above the A ball level in his career. But the question will likely begin to gain in frequency: as the Giants continue to cycle through rookie pitchers trying to find something that works in their rotation, how long will it take them to come around to 40 man member Webb as an option? Not too long if there are more starts like this.
Sadly, Webb’s debut was spoiled by a late Nashville comeback as the RiverCats couldn’t get their bats going much either. Zach Green gave Sacramento all the runs it was going to get on this night with one 1st inning swing of the bat.
Zach Green.— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) August 13, 2019
That’s it. That’s the tweet. pic.twitter.com/AdN6vBg1Pl
Sacramento still owns a comfortable 7 game lead in their division, however, and is cruising toward the playoffs with a magic number of 14.
Richmond was OFF
The Squirrels and BaySox are going to try to get in a double header tonight, though the current weather predictions are not overly promising. If they do, your humble narrator will be there to get my very first in person look at Joey Bart and my first 2019 look at Heliot Ramos who, just to remind you all, is still 19 and in AA.
San Jose was OFF
But they, too, are getting into the Bodies in Motion act of the final weeks of the season
ROSTER NEWS: The GreenJackets would like to congratulate Diego Rincones on his promotion to @SJGiants!— Augusta GreenJackets (@GreenJackets) August 12, 2019
Rincones leaves the Jackets leading the team in Average (.295), OBP (.346), Hits (118), and Doubles (25)!#FromTheRiverToTheBay pic.twitter.com/ZexHF1cd4s
Also, congratulations are due to Matt Frisbee, the California League’s Pitcher of the Week. Congrats, Matt!
Matt Frisbee named California League Pitcher of the Week. Struck out a career-high 11 over seven shutout innings last Wednesday at Lake Elsinore. Has now thrown 24 consecutive scoreless innings.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 12, 2019
Frisbee with #SJGiants this season: 3.36 ERA, 107 SO/18 BB in 96 IP, 1.07 WHIP.
Much like the end of the first half, Augusta is picking a bad time to have a slump. The new-look Greenjackets’ offense came into this game not having scored a run in 19 innings. They snapped that ignominious streak right off the bat, thanks to a two-out error that helped them to a 3-0 lead. However, relying on the kindness of strangers is not an effectively sustainable approach to offense, and they would score just twice more the rest of the night.
The team’s new, more mature members of the lineup contributed much to the team’s approach. Tyler Fitzgerald, Logan Wyatt, and Sean Roby drew five walks between them last night (the team had seven total). However, Augusta went just 3 for 16 with RISP, leading to an extremely frustrating third consecutive defeat.
Augusta has now gone 4-6 over its last 10 games and fallen into second place, a game behind Asheville with just over 2 weeks to go in the season. They do have one road series with Asheville left this year. The time to pull out of the spin is right now.
With the offensive personnel in transition, the Volcanoes were shut out for just the second time this year — the previous time coming way back on June 25. Marco Luciano and company were only able to produce five hits in this game, with veteran backup Catcher Chris Corbett producing the team’s lone XBH. Like Augusta, the Volcanoes were silent with men in scoring position, going 0 for 12 on the night in RBI situations.
Hunter Bishop drew two more walks and stole his 6th base of the year in the game. Despite his struggles getting into the swing of things, Bishop is easily producing a .400+ OBP against NWL pitching, and has more walks (22) than Ks (18) for his debut.
Though he went hitless in his second game with the Volcanoes, the league’s youngest player has quickly taken the mantle of the most exciting player on a team that is stacked with prospects. MLB’s Jesse Sanchez had a great feature on Luciano yesterday, which also highlighted all the changes the Giants have made to try to get more production from their international pipeline. Among the interesting nuggets herein, is the fact that Luciano didn’t participate in the Tricky League last year, as he had a minor medical procedure, which essentially means he’s playing his first slate of competitive games ever in 2019. Simply remarkable. Like Heliot Ramos, Luciano has set a goal of reaching the majors in three years. And, like Ramos, he may well just accomplish it.
After being promoted yesterday, 17-year-old #SFGiants prospect Marco Luciano is the youngest player in the Northwest League. And he might be the most important in the @SFGiants' farm system. More from @JesseSanchezMLB: https://t.co/smdx5nVFu5 pic.twitter.com/aRTTu9beIF— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 12, 2019
Way deep into the twilight of the year, we finally have the last of our 2019 debuts! Trevor McDonald, the Giants’ 11th round pick this year made his pro debut going one perfect inning and striking out 2. Though the 18 year old from Lucedale, MS wasn’t drafted until the 11th round, he signed the third highest bonus in the Giants draft class (tied with Garrett Frechette actually at $797,500) and only fell as low as he did due to questions regarding his signability.
As you may recall, Jim Callis pointed to McDonald as the highest upside pitcher in the Giants draft class in our conversation about the 2019 draft:
McCovey Chronicles: As touched on above, the Giants’ draft went heavy on position players. Which of the pitchers taken stands out to you?
Jim Callis: The 11th-rounder, Trevor McDonald, whom they will get signed. He’s a fourth-sixth round talent with a low-90s fastball and a pair of promising breaking pitches.
Promising start for the youngster.
Even with so much talent having flown out of the AZL Orange roster, they just keep piling up runs and wins. The Orange men got a huge game from Abdiel Layer, who had two doubles and his 4th HR of the year, as well as a two-double, three-hit night from 2018 7th rounder Edison Mora (who was basically the Dilan Rosario of his draft class).
LHP Jesus Gomez had his second consecutive terrific start, allowing just two hits over 5 scoreless innings. In his last two starts, Gomez had allowed just one unearned run on four hits in 10.1 IP while striking out 16. His 54 strikeouts for the year (in 44 IP) is currently second best in the AZL.
The game ended, interestingly enough, with infielder Francisco Medina on the mound. Teams don’t normally run out of pitchers in the roster-rich complex league, so we have to wonder if this appearance portends a conversion coming in 2020 for the one time power hitter whose career progress has long since stalled. The 21 year old is in his third AZL campaign and fifth overall rookie league season.
As the season wears on to its conclusion, Luis Matos has downshifted from two hits per game to just one on most days — though he still produces those hits with the consistency of a metronome. His 22nd double yesterday gave him a nine-game hitting streak — if he gets another hit today he’ll have his third different ten-game hitting streak of the season. He has just seven games this year without a hit and just five in which he has not reached base. With three walks, a double, and a homer over his last four games he’s pushing his OPS back up towards the 1.000 mark, as he’s now slashing .355/.424/.571. Just a fantastic debut campaign for the 17 year old.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Enderson Franco) vs. Nashville (Brock Burke)
Richmond (Chase Johnson) @ Bowie (Alex Wells) Gm 1
Richmond (Ryan Halstead) @ Bowie (TBD) Gm 2
San Jose (Aaron Phillips) @ Visalia (Bryan Valdez)
Augusta (Keaton Winn) vs. Greenville (Hunter Haworth)
Salem-Keizer (Jasier Herrera) @ Tri-City (Connor Lehmann)
AZL Giants Orange (Nick Avila) vs. AZL D-backs
AZL Giants Black (Chris Wright) @ AZL Indians Red
DSL Giants (Marvin Brown) @ DSL Colorado (TBD)
Let’s end today with Hank Schulman’s excellent interview with Kyle Haines. If you haven’t listened to it yet, do so now — Haines drops huge buckets of information about both behind the scenes process and individual players. Despite getting outside his normal beat a bit (and let’s face it, only complete lunatics know all the guys playing at every level of the minors), Hank does a great job at getting all the important information out of his subject. Must listen: four thumbs up!