Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fresno Grizzlies: Early Season Results

We are now 20 games in to the Fresno Grizzlies season. Let's see where things stand!

The Grizzlies (aka Tacos) are currently 9-11 and in third place in the PCL Pacific Northern Division, two games behind Tacoma (SEA) and Reno (ARI) and one and a half games in front of the last place Sacramento (SF) team. Their current run differential is -11.

Here's how the Grizzlies rank in the 16-team AAA Pacific Coast League in select categories:

OFFENSE
4th in Batting Average: .279
2nd in On-Base Percentage: .351
4th in Slugging Percentage: .429
5th in On-Base Plus Slugging: .781
T15th in Doubles: 25
T3rd in Triples: 8
T5th in Home Runs: 20
T3rd in Walks: 74
8th in Strikeouts: 143
T10th in Stolen Bases: 11

PITCHING
16th in ERA: 5.71
16th in WHIP: 1.74
16th in Home Runs Allowed: 10
1st in Walks: 87
12th in Strikeouts: 140
T7th in Saves: 5

I think it's pretty clear where this team is having problems right now. The offense shakes out well, but the starting pitching has struggled mightily with one notable exception.   Let's look at the individual players who have had the most success early on.

Derek Fisher & Teoscar Hernandez - April 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

TOP 20 LEAGUE OFFENSIVE LEADERS (in select categories)

OF Preston Tucker
.369 AVG (11th)
13 RBI (T19th)

OF Teoscar Hernandez
.571 SLG (16th)
3 3B (T1st)
4 HR (T9th)
15 RBI (T10th)

IF Tyler White
15 R (T4th)

1B A.J. Reed
14 R (T13th)
3 HR (T19th)
15 RBI (T10th)
13 BB (13th)

OF Derek Fisher
13 R (T20th)
4 HR (T9th)
10BB (T12th)

3B Colin Moran
3 HR (T19th)
16 RBI (T5th)

IF/OF Tony Kemp
4 SB (T12th)

Brady Rodgers - May 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

TOP 20 LEAGUE PITCHING LEADERS (in select categories)

RHP Brady Rodgers
1.10 ERA (3rd)
0.92 WHIP (3rd)

Yep, after Brady it's mostly crickets as far as starting pitching goes, at least so far. Francis Martes has a respectable ERA of 2.92, but after allowing 15 hits and 12 walks over only 12.1 innings, his WHIP has ballooned up to 2.19. Of course there's still plenty of time for these pitchers to settle in and turn their seasons around.

The good news is that there are a few relief pitchers who have really contributed. In particular, Jordan Jankowski (who sometimes starts out slowly) has been solid out of the 'pen and has already collected two saves to go with his 1.00 ERA. And Kevin Comer, who started the season in Corpus Christi, has not allowed a run, earned or otherwise, in his four appearances since being promoted to Fresno. Similarly, James Hoyt allowed no runs over five appearances before being recalled to Houston last week.

From Monday: Quad Cities River Bandits
From Tuesday: Buies Creek Astros
From Wednesday: Corpus Christi Hooks

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Let's play two in Winston-Salem!

Fresno was off

The Grizzlies will begin a 4-game series in Reno tonight at 6:35 Pacific. Mike Hauschild, fresh off his MLB trial with Arlington, will get the start in his return to the Astros organization.

Corpus Christi 5, Midland 3

W- Andrew Thome (2-0, 2-1 season)
L- Heath Fillmeyer (0-2)
S- Michael Freeman (1)

CC home runs: Jon Singleton (2, 2-run in 1st), J.D. Davis (5, solo in 7th)

The Hooks have taken two straight from the RockHounds after getting pasted in the series opener.

Jon Singleton opened up the scoring by sending a ball completely out of Whataburger Field for a 2-run homer. Garrett Stubbs led off the 4th with a double, took 3rd as part of a double steal with Mott Hyde, and scored on a Jamie Ritchie groundout. Stubbs hit a single with one out in the 6th and eventually came home on a Tony Nuñez sac fly. J.D. Davis finished 2-4 and smacked a solo homer in the 7th inning for Corpus Christi's final run of the night. Stubbs finished 3-4 on the night, and the swipe of third base was his 2nd steal of the season.

Rogelio Armenteros went 4.2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 5. Andrew Thome was the first man out of the Corpus bullpen and threw 2 scoreless innings (last out of the 5th, 6th, first two outs of the 7th), allowing a hit, walking 2, and striking out 2. The last two batters he faced both drew walks, which resulted in Michael Freeman's entrance. Freeman pitched the final 2.1 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2; the run he allowed scored on a double play in the 9th.

Josh James will be on the mound for the Hooks as they wrap up this series with the Hounds at 7:05. Ben Bracewell will oppose him.

Game 1: Winston-Salem 12, Buies Creek 6

W- Louie Lechich (1-1)
L- Sebastian Kessay (2-1)

BC home runs: None.

The Astros scored 5 in the 2nd to get themselves out of an early 5-0 hole, but it was all Dash in the first game of this twinbill.

Buies Creek somehow got Alex Winkelman off the hook after he got torched for the first time this season. Winkelman only got two outs in the 1st, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits and walking 1. Sebastian Kessay and Carlos Sierra both pitched 2.2 innings; Kessay allowed 5 runs (4 earned, 2 inherited runners charged to him) on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1, while Sierra allowed 2 unearned runs on 3 hits, walked 1, and fanned 1.

The Astros loaded the bases to start the top of the 2nd and they took advantage. Anibal Sierra got them on the board with an RBI single. Jason Martin followed him with a 2-run single. Myles Straw went down on strikes, but Kyle Tucker and Dex McCall tied the game with RBI singles. Anthony Hermelyn ripped an RBI double in the 5th. Martin, Tucker, and McCall all finished 2-4.

Would game 2 have a more positive result for Buies Creek?

Game 2: Buies Creek 5, Winston-Salem 3

W- Justin Ferrell (2-1)
L- Kelvis Valerio (1-2)

BC home runs: None.

The Carolina Stros earned the split behind a huge game from Kyle Tucker.

Little Tuck continued his excellent day by opening the scoring in game 2 with a 2-run triple in the 1st and scoring on a balk. Johnny Sewald ripped an RBI double in the 2nd, and Tucker added an RBI single to his ledger in the 5th. All three of Sewald's hits were doubles, while Tucker finished with 2 more hits in game 2.

Justin Ferrell went 5 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 7. Gabriel Valdez pitched the final 2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 2.

The Astros will wrap up this series, and this long, long roadtrip at 7:00 Eastern. Matt Bower faces Aron McRee.

Quad Cities 6, Peoria 1

W- Carson LaRue (2-0)
L- Ronnie Williams (1-1)

QC home runs: Ronnie Dawson (4, solo in 1st), Randy César (3, 2-run in 4th), Jake Rogers (4, solo in 7th)

The Banditos swatted three more homers and Carson LaRue turned in another fine start.

LaRue allowed 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4 over 5 shutout innings. The Chiefs spoiled the shutout by scoring a run against Abdiel Saldaña in the 7th. Saldaña allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and fanned 4 over 3 innings. Erasmo Pinales walked 2, allowed a single, and struck out 1 in a scoreless 9th.

Ronnie Dawson extended his hitting streak to 11 games by leading off the bottom of the 1st with a homer; he's also homered in consecutive games. Randy César launched a 2-run shot in the 4th. Rodrigo Ayarza lashed a 2-run double in the 6th, and Jake Rogers capped off the evening with a solo blast in the 7th. Both of Ayarza's hits were doubles. Stephen Wrenn also finished with two hits on the night.

Quad Cities will kick off a 4-game series in Clinton at 6:30. The River Bandits have not announced their starting pitchers for this series. Whoever gets the start will take on Ljay Newsome.

Wednesday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Photo by Rich Guill
Kyle Tucker, OF, Buies Creek
Doubleheader @ Winston-Salem: 4-7, 2B, 3B, 4 RBI, R
Game 1: 2-4, 2B, RBI
Game 2: 2-3, 3B, 3 RBI, R

Photo by Rich Guill
 Carson LaRue, RHP, Quad Cities
W (2-0), 5 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K

Rodrigo Ayarza, IF, Quad Cities
2-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI

Johnny Sewald, OF, Buies Creek
3-4, 3 2B, RBI, R in game 2 of doubleheader

Justin Ferrell, RHP, Buies Creek
W (2-1), 5 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 7 K in game 2 of doubleheader

Garrett Stubbs, C, Corpus Christi
3-4, 2B, 2 R, SB (2)

Andrew Thome, RHP, Corpus Christi
W (2-0, 2-1 season), 2 IP, H, 2 BB, 2 K

J.D. Davis, 3B, Corpus Christi
2-4, solo HR (5)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Corpus Christi Hooks: Early Season Results

We are now 18 games in to the Corpus Christi Hooks season. Let's see where things stand!

The Hooks are currently 11-7 and in first place in the Texas League South Division, two games in front of a second place tie between Frisco (TEX) and San Antonio (SD). Their current run differential is -7.

Here's how the Hooks rank in the 8-team AA Texas League in select categories:

OFFENSE
8th in Batting Average: .237
3rd in On-Base Percentage: .331
7th in Slugging Percentage: .361
6th in On-Base Plus Slugging: .692
T4th in Doubles: 30
T7th in Triples: 1
T3rd in Home Runs: 15
T1st in Walks: 79
4th in Strikeouts: 149
1st in Stolen Bases: 21

PITCHING
8th in ERA: 4.26
5th in WHIP: 1.37
T4th in Home Runs Allowed: 13
6th in Walks: 58
4th in Strikeouts: 155
T2nd in Saves: 6

If you look purely at Team Batting Average and Team ERA, you're probably wondering how this team is in first place. The fact of the matter is that some players have struggled early, particularly on the pitching side, but good performances from key players have been enough to carry the team ... for now. They will need to start showing more consistency or I'm afraid they may have trouble hanging on to that first place standing.  Let's look at the individual contributions that have helped them to their current first place standings.

Drew Ferguson - June 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

TOP 20 LEAGUE OFFENSIVE LEADERS (in select categories)

OF Drew Ferguson
.308 AVG (13th)
.383 OBP (14th)
15 R (T1st)
5 2B (T13th)
8 BB (T17th)
5 SB (T2nd)

1B Jon Singleton
.420 OBP (T3rd)
4 2B (T18th)
10 RBI (T15th)
21 BB (1st)

IF Antonio Nunez
.380 OBP (15th)

3B J.D. Davis
.472 SLG (15th)
.818 OPS (20th)
9 R (T20th)
4 HR (2nd)
11 RBI (T10th)
9 BB (T12th)

OF Alejandro Garcia
.471 SLG (16th)
10 R (T14th)
5 2B (T13th)
3 HR (T3rd)
11 RBI (T10th)

IF Jack Mayfield
.455 SLG (18th)
5 2B (T13th)
2 HR (T12th)

OF Ramon Laureano
14 R (T3rd)
2 HR (T12th)
12 RBI (T6th)
5 SB (T2nd)

Although Davis is the only Hooks player who currently ranks in the Top 20 in OPS, there are four additional Corpus players who ranked from 21st to 27th in that metric: Alejandro Garcia (21st), Drew Ferguson (22nd), Jack Mayfield (25th) and Jon Singleton (27th).


Rogelio Armenteros - June 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

TOP 20 LEAGUE PITCHING LEADERS (in select categories)

RHP Rogelio Armenteros
0.61 ERA (3rd)
0.75 WHIP (2nd)
22 SO (4th)

LHP Kent Emanuel
18 SO (T13th)

RHP Dean Deetz is just shy of having enough innings to qualify as a league leader, but he would certainly rank highly with a 0.66 ERA and a 0.51 WHIP!!! RHP Josh James has also had a good start with his 2.08 ERA and 0.77 WHIP, but doesn't qualify right now. RHP Michael Freeman (0.93 ERA) and RHP Riley Ferrell (1.29 ERA and 1.29 WHIP) have been steady in the bullpen.

From Monday: Quad Cities River Bandits
From Tuesday: Buies Creek Astros

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Salt Lake 9, Fresno 7

W- Luis Diaz (1-0)
L- Edison Frias (1-2)
S- Keynan Middleton (2)

Fresno home runs: D.J. Fisher (4, solo in 2nd)

Like the Grizzlies on Monday, the Tacos fell behind early on Tuesday and couldn't quite erase a (more manageable) deficit; they trailed 5-1 after the 4th.

D.J. Fisher put Fresno on the board with a solo homer in the 2nd inning. The Tacos scored twice in the 5th thanks to an Andrew Aplin sac fly and a Colin Moran RBI double. Reid Brignac added an RBI single in the 6th and ripped a 2-run triple in the 8th. Aplin brought him home with a single.

Fisher finished 3-5 on the day, while Tony Kemp (R, SB [4]), Preston Tucker (R), Brignac (3B, 3 RBI, R), and Aplin (2 RBI) all finished with two-hit days.

Edison Frias went 5 innings and allowed 5 runs on 4 hits, walked 4, and struck out 3. Reymin Guduan got 2 outs in the 6th but allowed a couple of runs on 3 hits. Dayan Diaz and Jordan Jankowski both pitched 1.2 innings; Diaz allowed 2 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 3 hits, and Jankowski allowed a sac fly that allowed one of the two runners that he inherited from Diaz to score.

Brian Holmes will start the first of a 4-game series in Reno on Thursday. First pitch is at 6:35 Pacific.

Corpus Christi 4, Midland 3 in 12 innings

W- Andrew Thome (1-0, 1-1 season)
L- Cody Stull (0-1)

CC home runs: Bryan Muñiz (1, solo in 7th), Ramon Laureano (2, walk-off solo in 12th)

The Hooks made up for that debacle on Monday by walking off with the victory on Tuesday.

Dean Deetz started off the evening by allowing 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 3 over 5 shutout innings. Kent Emanuel tagged in and went 2.2 innings, allowing 3 runs (all in the 6th) on 6 hits (2-run homer), walking 2, and fanning 4. Riley Ferrell walked 3 and struck out 3 over 3 scoreless, and Andrew Thome retired all four RockHounds he faced to get the win; he got a flyball out to end the 11th and three groundouts in the 12th.

Ramon Laureano scored the first run of the evening when Jon Singleton swatted a ground-rule double in the 1st inning. Singleton also hit an RBI single in the 3rd inning. Corpus held a 2-0 lead until the 6th inning when the Hounds took the lead with 3 runs. They wouldn't be down for long, however, as Bryan Muñiz clubbed a solo shot in the 7th to tie the game. The 3-3 deadlock remained until the 12th when Laureano scored the last run of the evening, driving himself in with a home run.

Singleton (2B, 2 RBI, SB) and Jack Mayfield (2B) both finished with 2 hits on the evening. Drew Ferguson went 4-6 with a double and a stolen base (5); he led off the 3rd with that double and scored on Singleton's single.

Rogelio Armenteros takes on Heath Fillmeyer in game 3 of this series. First pitch is at 7:05.

Buies Creek and Winston-Salem was postponed

Due to rain. A doubleheader is scheduled for today with game 1 starting at 11 AM Eastern. Justin Ferrell will take on Max Beatty in game 1, while Alex Winkelman goes up against Kelvis Valerio in game 2.

The north-central part of North Carolina, where Winston-Salem is located, has been dealing with heavy rains over the last few days.

Peoria 9, Quad Cities 5

W- Jordan Hicks (3-0)
L- Dustin Hunt (0-3)

QC home runs: Ronnie Dawson (3, 2-run in 4th)

The Chiefs scored 4 runs in the top of the 2nd, which forced the Banditos to play catch-up all day.

Dustin Hunt couldn't get out of the 2nd inning; he allowed 4 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 1. Edgardo Sandoval came in and threw 3.2 innings; the two runs he allowed came on a homer hit by Ryan McCarvel in the 5th. One of the runs was unearned. and he struck out 2. Reggie Williams was the next man up; in 3 innings, he allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Lucas Williams allowed a run on 2 hits in the 9th.

Ronnie Dawson put Quad Cities on the board with an RBI single in the 2nd inning and clubbed a 2-run homer in the 4th. The Banditos scored a pair in the 7th on a groundout from Chuckie Robinson and a Marcos Almonte single. Dawson finished 2-4 and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Almonte also had 2 hits on the day; he's recorded a hit in 6 of the 7 games he's played since joining the River Bandits.

Quad Cities and Peoria will finish the series at 6:35 as Carson LaRue takes on Ronnie Williams.

Tuesday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Photo by Rich Guill
Ronnie Dawson, OF, Quad Cities
2-4, 2-R HR (3), 3 RBI
Currently on 10-game hitting streak

Riley Ferrell, RHP, Corpus Christi
 3 IP, 3 BB, 3 K

Dean Deetz, RHP, Corpus Christi
5 IP, 2 H, BB, 3 K

Ramon Laureano, OF, Corpus Christi
Walk-off HR (2) in 12th, 2 R

Jon Singleton, 1B, Corpus Christi
2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SB (2)

Drew Ferguson, OF, Corpus Christi
4-6, 2B, R, SB (5)

Derek Fisher, OF, Fresno
3-5, 2B, solo HR (4), 2 R

Reid Brignac, IF, Fresno (below; I don't enjoy embedding stuff from Getty Images)
2-4, 3B, 3 RBI, R

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Buies Creek Astros: Early Season Results

We are now 18 games in to the Buies Creek Astros season. Let's see where things stand!

The BC Astros are currently 12-6 and in first place in the Carolina League Southern Division, three games in front of a second place tie between Myrtle Beach (CHC) and the Carolina Mudcats (MIL). Their current run differential is +16.

Here's how the BC Astros rank in the 10-team High A Carolina League in select categories:

OFFENSE
5th in Batting Average: .255
5th in On-Base Percentage: .327
5th in Slugging Percentage: .378
5th in On-Base Plus Slugging: .706
3rd in Doubles: 30
3rd in Triples: 8
T6th in Home Runs: 9
T4th in Walks: 60
1st in Strikeouts: 167
3rd in Stolen Bases: 21

PITCHING
5th in ERA: 3.67
2nd in WHIP: 1.24
T6th in Home Runs Allowed: 11
T2nd in Walks: 62
1st in Strikeouts: 187
1st in Saves: 10

The offense has been mostly in the middle of the pack with a high strikeout rate, but that has been overcome by some eye-popping starting pitching. Let's look at the individual contributions that have helped them to their current first place standings.

Ryne Birk - July 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

TOP 20 LEAGUE OFFENSIVE LEADERS (in select categories)

OF Myles Straw
.311 BA (18th)
.386 OBP (11th)
14 R (2nd)
12 RBI (T5th)
8 BB (T14th)

2B Ryne Birk
.310 BA (19th)
.369 OBP (19th)
.517 SLG (10th)
.886 OPS (15th)
11R (T13th)
3 3B (T1st)
12 RBI (T5th)

OF Kyle Tucker
.554 SLG (6th)
.910 OPS (9th)
12 R (T5th)
6 2B (T2nd)
3 HR (T5th)
17 RBI (2nd)

OF Jason Martin
12 R (T5th)

C Eduardo de Oleo
3 HR (T5th)

1B Dex McCall
10 BB (T6th)

This is a speedy crew as well, with Kyle Tucker (6), Myles Straw (4), Osvaldo Duarte (3) and Jason Martin (3) all residing in the top 20 in the league in that category.

Alex Winkelman - May 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

TOP 20 LEAGUE PITCHING LEADERS (in select categories)

RHP Franklin Perez
0.00 ERA (T1st)
0.42 WHIP (2nd)

LHP Alex Winkelman
0.00 ERA (T1st)
0.35 WHIP (1st)
21 SO (T8th)

RHP Akeem Bostick
1.86 ERA (12th)
0.83 WHIP (6th)

From Monday: Quad Cities River Bandits

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, April 24, 2017

Salt Lake 12, Fresno 9

W- Troy Scribner (2-0)
L- Keegan Yuhl (1-3)

Fresno home runs: Colin Moran (3, solo in 4th), Tyler White (1, 2-run in 9th)

The Grizzlies made things pretty interesting after getting demolished in the early going. They weren't able to erase a 9-0 deficit, though.

Colin Moran's solo homer in the 4th finally put Fresno on the board after the Bees scored the first 9 runs of the night. A.J. Reed added a 2-run single in the 5th inning. Moran hit a 2-run single in the 8th, and Reid Brignac drove in another run with a groundout. In the 9th, Reed hit and RBI single and came home when Tyler White clubbed a 2-run home run. Reed (3 RBI, 2 R), Moran (solo HR, 3 RBI, 2 R), and Preston Tucker all had two-hit games. Reed is looking to recover from a 1-18 slump and he's doing that pretty well; he's recorded a hit in 3 of his last 4 games.

Keegan Yuhl struggled in his 4 innings, and I'll leave it at that. Tyson Perez and Ryan Thompson both threw 2 innings with radically different results. Perez's two frames were scoreless; he allowed 3 hits and struck out 1. On the other hand, Thompson allowed 3 runs in the 8th after turning in a scoreless 7th. He allowed 6 hits and struck out 2. Andrew Aplin retired the side in order in the 9th.

Fresno and Salt Lake will wrap up their series with an early Taco Tuesday as Edison Frias takes on Alex Blackford at 11:05 AM Pacific.

Midland 9, Corpus Christi 0

W- Corey Walter (2-0)
L- Kyle Smith (0-1)
S- Brandon Mann (1)

CC home runs: None.

Sometimes you're the hammer... sometimes you're the nail. The Hooks, unfortunately, were the latter on Monday.

On offense, Corpus only got a pair of singles from Jack Mayfield and Jamie Ritchie.

Kyle Smith went 4.1 innings and allowed 5 runs (4 earned, 2 inherited runners charged to him) on 5 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 5. Eric Peterson was the first man out of the Hooks bullpen and went 2.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits (grand slam; 2 runs were charged to Smith), walking 1, and striking out 2. The three runs that Jacob Dorris allowed in his 1.1 innings of work all came on a home run hit by J.P. Sportman in the 8th inning. He allowed 4 other hits and struck out 3. Michael Freeman got the final two outs of the 9th, walking 1 and striking out 1.

Dean Deetz will face James Naile in game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 7:05.

Buies Creek was off

The Astros will wrap up their 14-game road trip with 3 games in Winston-Salem. Alex Winkleman will start game 1, and he'll face Max Beatty at 7:00 Eastern.

Quad Cities 14, Peoria 4

W- Ryan Hartman (2-0)
L- Bryan Dobzanski (0-2)

QC home runs: Ray Henderson-Lozano 2 (2, solo in 2nd, 2-run in 3rd), Jake Rogers (3, 2-run in 1st)

The Banditos took game 1 from the Chiefs with a show of power and a 6-run 3rd inning that featured a Little League home run.

Jake Rogers opened the scoring with a 2-run homer in the 1st inning. Ray Henderson-Lozano launched a solo homer, his first of the evening, in the 2nd.

Alex De Goti drew a 1-out walk that kickstarted Quad Cities' big 3rd inning. He advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch, stole 3rd when Rogers walked, and scored on a Stephen Wrenn infield single. Rodrigo Ayarza followed with an RBI single and an errant relay throw allowed him and Wrenn to score. Taylor Jones singled, which prompted Peoria to make a pitching change. Daz Cameron flew out for the second out of the inning, but Henderson capped off the scoring in the 3rd by smacking his second homer of the game to put the Banditos up 9-1.

Carmen Benedetti was the only player in the Quad Cities lineup to go hitless in this game, but he drew a bases-loaded walk in the 5th. The River Bandits finished off the onslaught with 4 more runs in the 6th: Daz hit an RBI single, Wrenn scored on a wild pitch, and Ronnie Dawson hit a 2-run single. Rogers (2B, 2-R HR, 3 R), Wrenn (RBI, 2 R), Ayarza (RBI, 2 R), and Henderson (2 HR) all finished with two hits on the night.

None of the three Quad Cities hurlers in this game had spectacular nights, but they did their job by not allowing the Chiefs to score more runs than their offense did. Hector Perez went 4.1 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 4, and struck out 4. Ryan Hartman tagged in for 3.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits (solo homer), walking 2, and fanning 3. Lucas Williams allowed a solo homer to Tommy Edman in the 9th, which was the only hit he allowed in the frame. He struck out 1.

Dustin Hunt will go against Jordan Hicks in an early start. First pitch is at 11:00 AM.

Monday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Ray Henderson-Lozano, C, Quad Cities
2-5, 2 HR (2), 3 RBI; was in the lineup at 2B

Jake Rogers, C, Quad Cities
2-3, 2B, 2-R HR (3), 3 R
Has a hit in 10 of his last 11 games

Colin Moran, IF, Fresno
2-5, solo HR (3), 3 RBI, 2 R
HR in 2nd straight game

A.J. Reed, 1B, Fresno
2-4, 3 RBI, 2 R
Last 4 games: 6-15; 1-18 in previous 6

Tyson Perez, RHP, Fresno
2 IP, 3 H, K

Hector Perez, RHP, Quad Cities
4.1 IP, 2 H, ER, 4 BB, 4 K

Monday, April 24, 2017

Quad Cities River Bandits: Early Season Results

We are now 17 games in to the Quad Cities River Bandits season. Let's see where things stand!

The Banditos are currently 9-8 and in a 3-way tie for second place (along with Cedar Rapids-MIN and Wisconsin-MIL), two games behind the Kane County Cougars, an Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate. Only four games separate the first place team and the last place team in the eight-team division. Thanks to a recent offensive onslaught, the Quad Cities crew are sporting a +22 run differential.

Here's how Quad Cities ranks in the 16-team Low A Midwest League in select categories:

OFFENSE
4th in Batting Average: .250
3rd in On-Base Percentage: .322
1st in Slugging Percentage: .448
1st in On-Base Plus Slugging: .770
T4th in Doubles: 28
T5th in Triples: 6
1st in Home Runs: 24
5th in Walks: 56
13th in Strikeouts: 139
5th in Stolen Bases: 17

PITCHING
5th in ERA: 3.00
2nd in WHIP: 1.080
T3rd in Home Runs Allowed: 20
T13th in Walks: 46
T8th in Strikeouts: 153
16th in Hit Batters: 2

As you can see, the River Bandits have had a good balance of offense and pitching. Let's look at the individual contributions that have led to their early success.

Alex De Goti - July 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

TOP 20 LEAGUE OFFENSIVE LEADERS (in select categories)

IF Alex De Goti
.322 BA (18th)
.437 OBP (9th)
.945 OPS (14th)
11 R (T11th)
12 BB (T2nd)

C Jake Rogers
.521 SLG (20th)

OF Ronnie Dawson
10 R (T13th)
4SB (T11th)

1B Spencer Johnson
.571 SLG (T10th)
12 RBI (T6th)

OF Stephen Wrenn
9 BB (T12th)
5SB (T4th)

OF Daz Cameron
9 RBI (T17th)
5 SB (T4th)

Also, there are five players on the team that are tied for 10th in the league with three home runs each: Marcos Almonte, Rodrigo Ayarza, Daz Cameron, Spencer Johnson, and Stephen Wrenn.

Ryan Hartman - July 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

TOP 20 LEAGUE PITCHING LEADERS (in select categories)

RHP Carson LaRue
1.20 ERA (6th)
0.87 WHIP (11th)

LHP Ryan Hartman
1.29 ERA (7th)
0.79 WHIP (7th)

LHP Brett Adcock
1.32 ERA (9th)
0.95 WHIP (16th)
22 SO (T4th)

RHP Hector Perez
20 SO (T11th)

Tomorrow (I hope): Buies Creek

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, April 23, 2017

Three teams had to settle for splits in their series.

Fresno 5, Salt Lake 2

W- Ashur Tolliver (2-0)
L- Manny Banuelos (2-1)
S- Jordan Jankowski (2)

Fresno home runs: Colin Moran (2, 3-run in 6th)

The Grizzlies only had 4 hits on the day, but they made the most of it and snapped the Bees' 7-game winning streak.

Three walks in the opening frame loaded the bases for Colin Moran, who opened the scoring with an RBI single. Moran was erased when D.J. Fisher grounded into a force out, but A.J. Reed was able to score on the play. Salt Lake scored 3 in the 3rd to tie the game, but Moran had the last word on offense; he put Fresno back in front with a 3-run homer in the 6th inning. The other two hits belonged to Max Stassi and Andrew Aplin.

David Martinez went 5.1 innings and allowed 2 runs on 10 hits (9 singles and a double) and struck out 2. Four relievers combined to throw 3.2 scoreless innings to finish off the game. Ashur Tolliver was first, and he got the final two outs of the 6th, striking out 1. Aaron West got the first out of the 7th, allowing a hit and walking 1. Reymin Guduan allowed 2 hits over 1.2 scoreless innings, and Jordan Jankowski got a strikeout in a 1-2-3 9th to earn the save.

Keegan Yuhl takes the mound in game 3 of this series. He'll face Troy Scribner at 6:35 Eastern.

Frisco 5, Corpus Christi 3

W- Connor Sadzeck (2-1)
L- Trent Thornton (1-2)
S- Sam Wolff (1)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks had to settle for a split as once again, a 4-run inning from Frisco condemned them to a second consecutive 5-3 defeat.

Corpus was on the wrong end of a Connor Sadzeck perfect game until Trent Woodward drew a one-out walk in the 6th. They didn't have a hit until the 8th, when Garrett Stubbs, who is coming back from a stint on the DL, led off the frame with a single. Alejandro Garcia lined out for the first out of the inning, but Mott Hyde got plunked, and Woodward drew another walk to load the bases. Jack Mayfield went down on the infield fly rule for the 2nd out, but the Hooks got on the board when Ramon Laureano drove in a run in painful fashion; he was also plunked by Sadzeck, which brought Stubbs home. This prompted a pitching chance from Frisco. Drew Ferguson greeted the new Riders pitcher, Sam Wolff, with a 2-run single that was the Hooks' only other hit of the day.

Trent Thornton went 4.1 innings and allowed 5 runs (4 earned, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 6 hits (3-run homer) and struck out 4. Michael Freeman was the first man out of the Hooks bullpen, and he struck out 1 in 1.2 innings of work; the runner he inherited from Thornton scored on a sac fly. Andrew Thome pitched the final 2 innings in his Texas League debut; he allowed a hit, walked 1, and fanned 1.

Kyle Smith will take the mound as the Hooks welcome Midland to Whataburger Field for a 4-game set. First pitch is at 7:05.

Carolina 6, Buies Creek 1

W- Corbin Burnes (1-0)
L- Elieser Hernandez (1-2)

BC home runs: None.

The Astros also had to settle for a split as the Mudcats ran wild on their bullpen.

Anibal Sierra tripled to lead off the 3rd and scored Buies Creek's only run on a Jason Martin groundout. Sierra's triple was also their only extra-base hit.

Elieser Hernandez went 5+ innings and allowed 2 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 9. Ryan Deemes was the first man out of the Buies Creek bullpen, and in 1.2 innings, he allowed 2 runs, both of which were inherited runners that were charged to him. He also allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Carlos Sierra pitched the final 1.1 innings and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, both of which were home runs. Troy Stokes hit a 3-run home run off him in the 7th; two of the runners were charged to Deemes. The other home run was a solo shot hit by Lucas Erceg in the 8th. Sierra walked 1 and struck out 3.

Buies Creek has Monday off, and then they'll wrap up this 14-game road trip where they started: Winston-Salem. Alex Winkelman will start Tuesday's opener, and he'll face Max Beatty at 7:00 Eastern.

Clinton 5, Quad Cities 4

W- Robert Dugger (1-1)
L- Derick Velazquez (1-2)

QC home runs: Ronnie Dawson (2, solo in 6th)

The Banditos were also forced to settle for a split after the LumberKings scored a run in the 8th to get within a run and two more runs in the 9th to take the lead.

Jorge Alcala shook off back-to-back solo homers to lead off the 2nd to turn in a nice outing. He went 6 innings and allowed 3 other hits (all singles), walked 1, and struck out 8. Erasmo Pinales pitched 2 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits, and Derick Velazquez allowed 2 runs on 3 hits in the 9th.

Quad Cities responded to Clinton's two blasts in the 2nd with 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Ronnie Dawson hit a two-out single, and then a pair of errors allowed Marcos Almonte and Rodrigo Ayarza to reach, loading the bases for Taylor Jones, who promptly cleared them with a double. Dawson, who finished 3-3 with a stolen base (4), led off the 6th with a homer. Jones went 2-4 with the bases-clearing double.

Hector Perez will get the start as Quad Cities begins a 4-game series with Peoria at 6:35. Bryan Dobzanski will oppose him.

Sunday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Photo by Rich Guill
Ronnie Dawson, OF, Quad Cities
 3-3. solo HR (2), 2 R, SB (4)

Photo by Bryan Green
Jorge Alcala, RHP, Quad Cities
6 IP, 5 H (2 solo HRs allowed), 2 ER, BB, 8 K

Taylor Jones, 1B, Quad Cities
2-4, 2B, 3 RBI

Elieser Hernandez, RHP, Buies Creek
L (1-2), 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER (1 inherited runner charged to him), BB, 9 K

Colin Moran, IF, Fresno
2-3, 3-R HR (2), 4 RBI, R

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Saturday, April 22, 2017

Swept.



Salt Lake 6, Fresno 5

W- Cody Ege (2-2)
L- Ryan Thompson (0-1)
S- Keynan Middleton (1)

Fresno home runs: D.J. Fisher (3, 2-run in 6th)

The Grizzlies saw their 3-game winning streak go by the wayside and fell to 0-5 in series openers.

Francis Martes had his first rough outing of the year as he allowed 4 runs on 8 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2 in just 3 innings of work. There wasn't anything wrong with him physically... the early part of the season is mostly about working on things like sequencing or focusing on a certain pitch. Kevin Comer was the first man out of the Fresno bullpen and threw 3 scoreless innings, allowing 4 hits and striking out 2. Ryan Thompson allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and walked 1 in the 7th, and Dayan Diaz pitched 2 scoreless, allowing 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 3.

Preston Tucker opened the scoring with a 2-run double in the 1st inning. Teoscar Hernandez added an RBI single in the 3rd, and D.J. Fisher's 2-run homer gave the Grizz the lead in the 6th. However, they wouldn't have that lead for very long. Tucker and Teoscar both finished 2-4 on the night. Tyler White went 0-2, but he also walked twice and scored twice.

David Martinez gets the start in game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 1:05 Pacific.

Frisco 5, Corpus Christi 3

W- Collin Wiles (2-0)
L- Brock Dykxhoorn (0-1)
S- James Dykstra (2)

CC home runs: Mott Hyde (1, solo in 5th)

Corpus found themselves in a 4-0 hole after the opening frame and couldn't quite escape from it.

Trent Woodward put the Hooks on the board with an RBI single in the 2nd inning. Mott Hyde's homer led off the 5th, and Tony Nuñez scored on a wild pitch in the 8th. Jack Mayfield was the only player in the Corpus lineup with a multi-hit outing, going 2-4. Nuñez made it a one-run game when he dashed home on the wild pitch, but the Riders with an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th.

Brock Dykxhoorn went 4 innings and allowed 4 runs on 3 hits (3-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 1. Cy Sneed threw the last 4 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1.

The Hooks and Roughriders will finish up this series at 4:05. Trent Thornton will take on Connor Sadzeck.

Carolina 6, Buies Creek 2

W- Quintin Torres-Costa (3-0)
L- Akeem Bostick (2-1)

BC home runs: None.

The Mudcats busted this one open with 4 runs in the 5th inning.

Akeem Bostick hit his first speed bump of the season, failing to get out of the 5th inning. He went 4.2 innings and allowed 4 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Nick Hernandez was the first man out of the Buies Creek bullpen, and in 2.1 innings, he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits (2-run homer; one run was charged to Bostick) and struck out 3. Ralph Garza Jr. struck out the side in order in the 8th inning.

Myles Straw and Anibal Sierra both finished 2-4 and they both had RBI singles which represented all the scoring that Buies Creek did in this game. Sierra's came in the 4th, while Straw hit his in the 7th.

Elieser Hernandez will start the series finale. He'll face Corbin Burnes at 2:00 Eastern.

Clinton 6, Quad Cities 1

W- Ljay Newsome (3-1)
L- Enoli Paredes (0-1)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos got on the board first, but it was all LumberKings on Saturday afternoon.

Spencer Johnson's RBI single in the 1st was Quad Cities' only scoring play. Marcos Almonte finished 2-4 with a double.

Enoli Paredes went 4.2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits and struck out 4. Abdiel Saldaña pitched 3 innings and allowed 4 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 7 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Reggie Johnson pitched the final 1.1 innings; he came on with the bases loaded in the 8th and one of the runners he inherited from Saldaña scored when he uncorked a wild pitch. Other than that, he breezed through his outing.

Quad Cities and Clinton will wrap up their series with another 1:15 start. Jorge Alcala will take on Danny Garcia.

Saturday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Kevin Comer, RHP, Fresno
3 IP, 4 H, 2 K

Preston Tucker, OF, Fresno
2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R

Ralph Garza Jr., RHP, Buies Creek
IP, 3 K

Dayan Diaz, RHP, Fresno
2 IP, 2 H, BB, 3 K

 Follow him on Twitter @CySneed
Cy Sneed, RHP, Corpus Christi
4 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 BB, K

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, April 21, 2017

Three days in a row!


Fresno 8, Las Vegas 5

W- Reymin Guduan (1-2)
L- David Roseboom (0-2)
S- Jordan Jankowski (1)

Fresno home runs: A.J. Reed (3, 3-run in 6th), Teoscar Hernandez (4, grand slam in 8th)

Fresno erased a 5-0 deficit by scoring the game's last eight runs. They entered this series on a 5-game losing streak but finished it by taking 3 of 4 from the 51s.

For the first five innings, the Grizz couldn't get much done against Adam Wilk until Tony Kemp and D.J. Fisher hit one-out singles in the 6th. Tyler White was the 2nd casualty of the inning on a lineout, but A.J. Reed put them on the board with a 3-run homer.

Kemp singled to lead off the 8th. and then White singled and Reed drew a walk to load the bases. Preston Tucker drew a bases-loaded walk to make it a one-run game and prompted a pitching change. Teoscar Hernandez greeted Paul Sewald (Johnny Sewald's brother) with a grand slam that put Fresno in front. Kemp (2 R) and Colin Moran (2B) had 2 hits apiece.

Brian Holmes went 4 innings and allowed 5 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 6 hits (2-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 4. The bullpen picked him up and kept Vegas off the scoreboard for the final 5 innings. Well, technically, they allowed a run, but it was charged to Holmes.

Aaron West inherited two runners from Holmes in the 5th; one of them scored on a force out. Fortunately, he got out of the 5th without further incident, striking out 1. Sean Stutzman allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 1 over 2 innings. Reymin Guduan struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 8th, and Jordan Jankowski allowed a hit and issued a walk to the first two men he faced, but he pulled himself together to secure the victory. Jankowski induced a double play and got Xorge Carrillo to fly out to end the game.

Francis Martes gets the start as the Grizzlies welcome Salt Lake to town for a 4-game series. He'll face Manny Banuelos at 7:05 Pacific.

Corpus Christi 8, Frisco 3

W- Josh James (2-0)
L- Reed Garrett (0-3)
S- Rogelio Armenteros (1)

CC home runs: J.D. Davis (4; 2-run in 7th)

The Hooks responded to Frisco taking the lead with 3 runs in the 3rd with a pair of 3-run innings of their own.

Ramon Laureano opened the scoring with a 2-run single in the 3rd inning. The Riders responded with 3 in the bottom of the inning to take the lead, but fortunately, that was the only inning in which they scored.

Corpus regained the lead in the 5th by taking advantage of a bases-loaded, no out situation. Mott Hyde and Drew Ferguson singled to lead off the inning while Laureano joined them by drawing a walk. Jon Singleton was next and he came through with a 2-run single to put the Hooks back in front. Laureano stole home on a double steal with Singleton, who took 2nd. Singleton hit an RBI single in the 7th, and J.D. Davis capped off the evening with a 2-run homer. Davis has now homered in three consecutive games. Ferguson finished 2-4 with 3 runs scored and 2 stolen bases (4). Singleton (3 RBI, R, SB), Davis (2-R HR), and Alejandro Garcia (2 2B) also finished with 2 hits in the game. Garcia extended his hitting streak to 7 games; the last five have been multi-hit outings.

Josh James went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Rogelio Armenteros shut it down, allowing 3 hits, walking 2, and striking out 4 over the final four innings.

Brock Dykxhoorn will start game 3 of this series. He'll face Collin Wiles at 7:05.

Buies Creek 9, Carolina 4

W- Sebastian Kessay (2-0)
L- Marcos Diplan (1-1)

BC home runs: Eduardo de Oleo 3 (3; 3-run in 1st, solo in 3rd, solo in 8th)

Buies Creek stormed out to a 6-0 lead after the opening frame and Eduardo de Oleo had a night to remember.

De Oleo, who was acquired in the minor league phase of last winter's Rule 5 draft from the Diamondbacks, exceeded his home run total from 2016 and matched his total from 2015 in one night. All three of his hits left the yard.

Jason Martin led off the game with a double and scored the first run of the evening on a Myles Straw single. Straw made it to 3rd on an errant pickoff attempt and scored on Kyle Tucker's sacrifice fly. Dex McCall and Ryne Birk followed with singles. Osvaldo Duarte went down on strikes for the 2nd out, but Pat Porter kept the line moving with an RBI single. De Oleo was next, and he capped off the stellar start by slamming a 3-run homer. De Oleo wasn't finished; he led off the 3rd with a homer and did it again in the 8th. Birk drove in the final Astros run with an RBI single in the 9th inning. Kyle Tucker, who scored on Birk's base hit, singled and stole his way to 3rd before coming home. Little Tuck now has 6 stolen bases on the season. Straw and Birk both finished with 2 hits on the night.

Yoanys Quiala went 3.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 8 hits while striking out 4. Sebastian Kessay was the first man out of the Buies Creek bullpen and went 1.1 innings, allowing a hit, walking 2, and striking out 2. Framber Valdez tagged in for 3.2 innings; the one run he allowed came on a solo homer hit by Isan Diaz in the 9th. Framber allowed 3 other hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Carlos Sierra issued a walk to the first man he faced, but he got the final out with a strikeout.

Akeem Bostick gets the start in game 3 of this series. He'll face Conor Harber at 5:00 Eastern.

Quad Cities 3, Clinton 1

W- Edgardo Sandoval (2-1)
L- Alex Wells (0-1)

QC home runs: Spencer Johnson (3, solo in 2nd), Marcos Almonte (3, 2-run in 5th)

The Banditos took game 2 thanks to the long ball and a couple of stellar performances on the mound.

Brett Adcock and Edgardo Sandoval combined to hold the LumberKings to just two hits in this one. Adcock allowed a run, both Clinton hits, walked 1, and struck out 6 in 4.2 innings, while Sandoval struck out 4 in 4.1 innings; he faced one batter over the minimum because of an error.

All three Quad Cities runs came via the home run. Spencer Johnson launched one in the 2nd to put the Banditos on the board first and Marcos Almonte clubbed his third in four games, a 2-run shot in the 5th.

Enoli Paredes will take on Ljay Newsome (yes, this is his given name) in game 3 of this series. First pitch is at 1:15.

Friday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Photo by Bryan Green
Eduardo de Oleo, C, Buies Creek
3-4, 3 HR (3), 5 RBI

Brett Adcock's photo from MiLB.com
Brett Adcock, LHP, and Edgardo Sandoval, RHP, Quad Cities
Adcock: 4.2 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 6 K
Sandoval: W (2-1), 4.1 IP, 4 K

Rogelio Armenteros, RHP, Corpus Christi
Save (1), 4 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K

Drew Ferguson, OF, Corpus Christi
2-4, 3 R, 2 SB (4)

Jon Singleton, 1B, Corpus Christi
2-4, 3 RBI, R, SB (1)

J.D. Davis, 3B, Corpus Christi
2-5, 2-R HR (4)
HR in 3rd consecutive game

Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Fresno
Go-ahead grand slam (4) in 8th

Fresno bullpen: W 8-5 vs.Las Vegas
5 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K
Aaron West: IP, K; allowed 1 of 2 inherited runners to score
Sean Stutzman: 2 IP, H, BB, K
Reymin Guduan: W (1-2), IP, 2 K
Jordan Jankowski: Save (1), IP, H, BB