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Written by Jay Yencich | 19 September 2011

I forgot how quickly list season gets here. The Baseball America 2011 Arizona League Top 20 Prospects was the first to be released and feature a lot of names off the international market, though if you expected it to be roughly ranked by bonus amount, you'd be wrong. So wrong. Seriously, the #1 guy signed for $135k. Anyway, the overall rankings had OF Phillips Castillo come in at second and IF Martin/Esteilon Peguero come in at #20, though that ranking seems to be largely about hope. The chat briefly suggested Morales could have been on the list, but didn't translate to the Appy League as well as hoped, which isn't something I'd be inclined to make a fuss about.

The selection of Castillo isn't too surprising. He was ranked as one of the most advanced bats in his class and did nothing to dissuade that notion this season. Certainly, we would all like it if he walked a little more and hit for additional power, but his OBP was a good sixty-six points above his average and he tied the league lead in doubles, so we can expect some of that power to translate later. I suppose the "strikeouts in roughly a third of his plate appearances" thing is more concerning. He's also a projected left fielder along with a bunch of other outfielders currently in system, which could be a might bit problematic in the long run, but at seventeen and in the Arizona League, he's practically an egg.

Peguero's ranking seems more reflective of how far his star has fallen in the past year and a half. First he was the consensus top prospect on the international market (or one of them), then he signed late, then he got a large portion of his bonus removed for reasons still unclear, then he went from an awesome name like Esteilon to a sort of blah name like Martin (sorry Martins), and then he didn't hit or field very well. It's strange to look back on because I remember when reading the July scouting reports from back in the day, it seemed like Castillo's value was tied to his ability to hit, for which there were few questions about his long-term power, but Peguero's bat seemed the type that he would need to both hit and defend sufficiently in order to have much value. He didn't do extraordinarily well on either front, and the suspicions that he might have to move to second are cropping up sooner, and with some tools reasons attached. I'm sure they'll work him like a dog in instructs, but it's still a tad worrisome.

Just to throw it out there, the BA tradition is to post a "Five Years Ago" lineup of how the lists played out. They got the top three of Hank Conger, Jeremy Jeffress, and Cedric Hunter to the big leagues, but then it drops to Luis Durango and Jose Ceda at thirteen and fourteen and Carlos Peguero (!) and Warner Madrigal at eighteen and nineteen. Former first base mancrush Gerardo Avila (this was back in the day when we had no viable first baseman unless you want to count LaHair) ranked six spots ahead of Peguero and didn't play all of this season. I know that some of these guys are likely still on the way as five years is still too soon for the AZL in certain cases, but it's still an indicator of the volatility of the rankings at this level.

I also delivered a long, three-question interview mostly about the draft and pitching at Pro Ball NW over the weekend. Toot toot. no comments

Written by Jay Yencich | 16 September 2011

Whenever someone shows up for a Q & A session, I always treat it like some kind of exciting and novel experience. I don't know why anymore, considering my tendency to ask weird questions that I didn't have answers for kind of got me blacklisted in BA chats for a while, and considering that the front office folks, while nice enough to come out to the LL/USSM events, don't generally tell anything that I wasn't already somewhat aware of. But when Pedro Grifol was reported to be coming on the radio side a couple of nights ago in the postgame show, I listened to an ultimately disappointing game in order to get to it and then took furious notes throughout. And again, I wasn't super surprised by anything, but in the interest of spreading some wealth of information, I'm going to share a rather large post outlining what happened, with a lot of paraphrase (probably no actual quotes) and some commentary.

* I'll start with the more general questions in no set order and try to move from there. There were a lot of responses to things that espoused an organization philosophy with regard to player development. One thing Pedro got on the table right away was a reference to the training program they instituted a few years ago and that at the end of the season, they bring in each guy to work with their people and equipment to determine a plan of action for the offseason in terms of skills and conditioning. He admitted that without the game situations, there's only so much that can be done, but the goal is to provide some kind of input for each to take on their own. Suffice to say, it's a more proactive approach than just waiting on a guy to spend an offseason going nuts in a weight room so that he can show up to spring training In the Best Shape of his Life.

The second general question regarded Ackley/Seager/Vasquez and the point that guys who were on a college diamond two years ago are in the big leagues right now. Pedro wasn't particularly elaborate in his response here, he just gave the standard credit to McNamara and said that if you draft good players, they'll move fast. Sort of a no-brainer response which acts as a subtle indictment of the previous regime. I would say that as the younger core of this team starts to coalesce a bit, they may be more willing to invest in a longer development cycle for guys with good make-up but raw skills at present. We've seen a little bit of this in June's returns as they were willing to take the time with guys like Marlette, Cohoes, Guarnaccia, White, Scammell, and Valenza (maybe even Marder) who had interesting physical talents, but otherwise weren't quite there yet.

The third general question was probably one that everyone would be most interested in hearing a reply to, what with the recent concern over aggressiveness, and that was "hey buddy, are you training these kids to do that?" The answer of course, was no, and to a lesser extent, yes. What he talked about was the notion of controlled aggressiveness and having guys on the look for their pitch and attacking said pitch. That isn't quite happening now. Big surprise, huh? Again, the refrain was that it needs to be individualized and guys need to understand who they are as hitters and what they can do and what they need to work on, and perhaps to lay off certain bendy things that look funny. That means that there are probably will continue to be some strikeout prone hitters in the system and they'll do what they can to temper that. It's not so easy as going out there and saying "hey you, swing less stupid." Coaching is rarely that simple.

The fourth general point may be me combining a couple of things (my notes, as ever, are barely comprehensible and written in code). It sort of ties into the second point, about drafting good questions, but the question was posed about what kind of adjustments guys need to make getting up to this level. Pedro pretty much said "the game is faster in the big leagues," which is a funny way of looking at it, but probably entirely accurate. There's less margin of error with guys making mistakes and the process has weeded out those that couldn't adapt. As Pedro said, adjustments need to be made on the fly and there isn't really a comfort zone as there might be elsewhere. But when the question came up of how many at-bats or innings they wanted to see from a guy before he moved up a level, the answer that came out went back to the old "it depends on the individual and no ideal number exists," which made me happy. It's not really a point of discussion that we can use to go "graaaagh that's too long and studies have shown…" or "no way that's too fast I can't handle it", but I don't really care about that as most of those debates are silly. I guess we'll just have to trust them on this from now on!

* When Francisco Martinez came up in the conversation pretty early on, Pedro immediately noted that other people had seen him play, but he hadn't made it out there yet to give his own evaluation. Consequently, what we got were some stock quotes: above-average tools, lots of power (probably raw power as opposed to game power at this point), can run a bit, etc. The only thing that I would say was new to me was the news that Martinez would play for Magallanes in the LVBP this winter. Now, someone is probably saying in response to that, "why not Lara? Don't we have the agreement with them?" and yes, we do, but it's been fairly common each year to have prospects who have hooked up with either their local team or a team that they've had a previous relationship with. If Martinez wants to stick with Magallanes, that's okay by me.

* Catricala was the next player-specific question, which isn't so surprising as there are a few people in Internetland who are wont to talk about him. Pedro didn't really have anything to say that any of us wouldn't have already expected. "He's hit at every level" (oh yeah?), "he's sort of versatile in that he can play third, first, or left" (yeah, and…?), "his bat plays at those positions" (oh good), and "we'll move him as his performance dictates" (okay!). This seemed to be more of a primer for those who had never heard of the guy before, so it was unlikely to satisfy any of the people who pose me these questions and might have been listening, For what it's worth, he seemed more effusive about Martinez' tools as a third baseman, so you might think that he's more a LF/1B type except that we have like a billion players vying for that job.

* The responses on Taijuan Walker were way, way more interesting in the greater scheme of things because there was the implicit assumption that we already knew who the guy was and the kinds of pitches that he threw. The latest is that he's moving to Arizona to be in close proximity to the training facilities, which I feel like I could add any number of exclamation points to the end to. We knew he was an interesting physical talent, but he's fully committed to this pitching thing and doing all he can do and that is just dope. The word is that that really intended to hold him back and put him in Everett, but after a few starts in extended they just looked at each other and decided that holding him back further would be foolish. Even though he's still really young, he'll move as his performance dictates.

* As Walker questions come, so Paxton questions followed. The first question was "were you surprised?" and the answer was no, no one was surprised. What they like about him beyond the stuff is that he's a competitor (okay…) and supposedly has this sort of presence on the mound and in the clubhouse. He wants to beat the batter on every pitch, which is good, I think. From here, he's going to get his own recommendations from the training crew and go through his offseason work, which is a roundabout way of saying, "no winter ball for you". * I think everyone's clear now on the bullpen needing help where it can get it, because we have a substitute teacher and a bartender out there now and they're two of our best guys. For that reason, Stephen Pryor came up next, and the biggest bit of news there is that he's headed to Lara for the offseason. What followed was a brief outline of him and his abilities, and I started to tune out, but then they mentioned that he was a little sore in the minicamp and this was the reason he was down in extended to start the year and was slow to get going. Back when he began his year in High Desert, he was in his spring training mode, much like what we saw with Guti to start the year.

* Next up on the docket was Littlewood and his conversion to catcher. I'm pretty sure I've already talked about it a bit, citing that physically it makes sense, good hands, kind of big/durable, good/accurate arm, but lacking speed, which might hurt him long-term up the middle. Pedro was pretty insistent that Littlewood could play up the middle and that there wasn't a question of that, and I guess I'll defer to his judgment, though from a tools standpoint they thought that catcher would be a fit, with good catching being hard to find (WE DRAFTED SO MANY). This was all something that came up in spring training. So, Littlewood sat down and talked with Roger Hansen and they started doing some drills and the like. I suppose the big thing is that he was reportedly excited about the transition and wants to go forward with it, which is really different from a lot of the "well, okay, if you really want me to…" sorts of transitions we've sometimes seen at the major league level these past several years. * A question was posed towards the end which was, in so many words, "Carlos Triunfel: what's up?" Pedro's response was pretty much what I expected it to be. There was little mention of his offense, but the matter of his recent injury history came up almost immediately with the discussion of a lost year of development, etc. Something that will probably surprise some is that Pedro said, paraphrased, "if he plays himself off shortstop, he will do it in the big leagues." This syncs up with the whole "keep guys at their most demanding defensive position" thing that the org has adhered to coming up (Seager is sort of an exception, but rules are bent to accommodate openings).

* Towards the end, x questions in, we finally got to the question of Nick Franklin, and with it, official confirmation of concussion, then food poisoning, THEN mono. Important matters of chronology there. The question was framed around whether he would be more offensive-minded or if he was the whole package, and that wasn't answered directly. Pedro talked about how the numbers weren't there in Adelanto, but they loved the process, and I agree to a certain extent in that the process seemed to be present early on, but then all the injuries. As one might expect, he was also trying to rush his way back way too quickly and was pretty much on the first plane out as soon as they cleared him. There was some discussion of loving his play at second and seeing little lost in the transition.

* The next question was the inevitable segue from the previous point, which was "can you see Ackley in center in five years? Would that be crazy?" The answer was no, not crazy, but it's probably not going to be necessary considering how far he's come in the past few years, and the fact is that they love that production from him at that position. I don't think anyone's going to disagree at this point. * The final question was how involved Eric Wedge was in the player development, which I suppose is a relevant item as the pitching philosophies that were disseminated to the minor leagues were often the same as those held by the pitching coach in recent years. The question was answered via various managerial platitudes. In my notes, I have "CLEAN FUNDAMENTAL BASEBALL" in all caps, and that should convey what it needs to. There are certain expectations held and they'll tell you what they are and how to get there, the Mariners way thing that he's talked about before. They like that he's taken interest, because rookies are something one should have to deal with every so often, and they appreciate that he's fiery and the like while I sit and think to myself "you know, the way 'fiery' is spelled is really peculiar". I wonder now how the old "bring back Lou" crowd is faring with a fiery new manager. They probably would still like more. I don't know.



And that's the outlined version of it, or as much as I was really paying attention to. Again, there was nothing revelatory that caused me to fall out of my chair and scream "now I get it!" (Walker moving to Arizona came close). Good notes overall, and probably fit well with the level of knowledge that his audience had anyway. Trying to talk too much about Campos or someone like that probably wouldn't have gone over as well. no comments

Written by Jay Yencich | 09 September 2011

That's it for the season. It might be it for me and the recaps as well. The reasons, I already went over before the season and sporadically throughout it. It's been a good run and much longer than most could probably expect to make it what with the insanity of 900+ games by the end of the year. I'll be around through the offseason, doing the winter stuff, and I'll likely continue doing the weekly stuff for USS Mariner and the monthly stuff for Grand Salami, but I'm thinking that this daily thing may need to go. There may be a full blown "hey, I'm done" post, there may not be.

Clinton 3, Quad Cities 5 (STL)
I hoped that we wouldn't be done this early and figured we had a shot, but yeah, not too surprised. LHP Anthony Fernandez (4.26, L) took the loss, with four runs (three earned) scoring on seven hits, a couple walks, and four Ks in six and a third innings. RHP John Taylor (0.00) had two hits and a walk in the third of an inning he pitched and then RHP Jonathan Arias (6.75) let a run plate on a hit, two walks, and three Ks in the final frame and a third. No inherited runners scored in this one.
The offense saw home runs as one of two hits by both CF Mike McGee (HR, .444) and DH Stefen Romero (HR, .500). C John Hicks (R, SB, .571) had a couple of hits and a walk, and 2B Anthony Phillips (2B, RBI, E, .333) had a couple of walks and a hit. 1B Mickey Wiswall (2B, .125) also doubled. no comments

Written by Jay Yencich | 08 September 2011

Quad Cities 9 (STL), Clinton 5
Given the outcome from when the last time these two squads met, I can't say that I was all that hopeful. Is it important that the Lumberkings are there? After the first half they had, certainly, but again, modest expectations. LHP Tony Butler (13.50, PO, L) let six runs plate through four innings after six hits (HR), two walks, a hit batter, and four Ks. Following him, RHP Matt Bischoff (0.00) had a phenomenal performance, striking out six in three innings, though he did get an unearned run tabbed against him and a wild pitch. RHP Jessie Nava (0.00, PO) had a hit and a K in the eighth, but then RHP Tyler Burgoon (18.00) was uncharacteristically unsteady, with two runs plating on two hits and a walk.
2B Stefen Romero (R, .600) had three singles, which is nice in its way, though singles can only push across so much. CF Mike McGee (2B, 3B, RBI, .500) and C John Hicks (HR, 3 RBI, .500) both had two hits which included some extra-base knocks, McGee walking once, and SS Brad Miller (2B, R, E, .250) and 3B Anthony Phillips (2B, R, .250) both doubled with Miller drawing a walk. This is one of those outings that overall I would think less of as bad and more of as insufficient. It kind of sucks that attendance was under a thousand though.

Clinton Lumberkings: LHP Anthony Fernandez, at Quad Cities, @ 5:00 pm PDT no comments

Written by Jay Yencich | 06 September 2011

Somehow, I managed to write this up and then not upload it last night. Lovely. Anyway, this is it! This is definitely it! This is the end of the minor league baseball season! Except for the Clinton series! It starts on Wednesday!

Fresno 12 (SF - 14), Tacoma 9
LHP Nate Robertson (7.14, PO, L) gave up nine runs in three and two-thirds innings on eight hits (3 HR!!), two hit batters, and two walks with no Ks. Both teams had three dingers. It was that kind of day. LHP Fabio Castro (3.63) then pitched three and a third innings with a solo shot, one other hit, and four Ks. RHP Dan Cortes (5.08) K'd one in the eighth and RHP Scott Patterson (3.99), who has been in a slump of late, let two runs score on four hits and a K in the ninth.
Prior to the game, I was looking at stats because I need to finish up that wrap at some point, and I noticed that two more home runs would put 3B Alex Liddi (2 HR, 3 RBI, .259) at thirty for the season. And then he did just that. I was pleased. LF Michael Saunders (HR ,2 RBI, .288) and RF Carlos Peguero (.317) also had dingers. DINGERS! CF Greg Halman (2 R, RBI, .299), who unlike Saunders and Liddi [and Delabar], was not called up, had three hits in the game. SS Carlos Triunfel (R, .279) added two and C Jose Yepe (2B, R, .307) and 2B Sean Kazmar (2B, R, 2 RBI, .253) both doubled, Yepez adding a walk.

Jackson 4, Jacksonville 8 (FLA - 4)
RHP Yoervis Medina (4.68, L) got to close out the double-A season and took his first decision there, with six runs scoring against him on seven hits (HR), two walks, a hit batter, and two Ks. We're talking about a 23-year-old who just reached double-A, so there's some time still available to him in his development, but for all the "he looks just like Felix!" remarks glowing out of camp in spring training, I think he ends up more like J.C. Ramirez, who is, by the way, a few weeks younger and has an additional year and a half of double-A seasoning. LHP Bobby LaFromboise (3.10) allowed two hits in the next inning and a third and then LHP Brian Moran (4.60) let two plate on two hits (HR) and a K in the eighth.
3B Francisco Martinez (2B, R, RBI, SB, E, .310) continued the recent hitting tear with another three in this game. 2B Nick Franklin (2B, R, SB, 2 E, .325) and 1B Rich Poythress (HR, 3 RBI, .267) both had two hits in the game, that being the eleventh dinger for Poythress. His ISO is still off from the first half. CF Brandon Haveman (2B, .265) doubled.

High Desert 10, Bakersfield 0 (CIN - 8)
Well this was just a summer romp in the park. RHP Taylor Stanton (5.65, W) allowed six hits and struck out four in seven innings of work. RHP Jason Buursma (5.14) allowed two hits and struck out a pair in the final two innings.
2B Leury Bonilla (2B, 2 HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, .326) had four hits in the game and went yard twice. He did not, however, talk his manager into letting him play all nine positions, which makes this a failure of a finale. SS Shaver Hansen (2 R, RBI, .289), LF James McOwen (HR, 2 RBI, .291), RF Joe Dunigan (RBI, A, .236), and CF Denny Almonte (2B, HR, 2 RBI, SB, A, .268) all had two hits with Dunigan adding a walk. Almonte has six fewer home runs than Liddi. 1B Rudy van Heydoorn (2B, R, .241) doubled.

Clinton 9, Kane County 3 (KC + 2)
I would say that overall this was a nice way to close the season. LHP Roenis Elias (5.45, PO, W) pitched five innings and walked four, threw a wild pitch, and struck out three, but was no worse for it as he only allowed a couple of hits and an unearned run. RHP Ben Versnik (4.50, S) instead had some trouble on his way to a four-inning save, with two runs scoring on two hits (HR) and two walks.
More interesting for the Lumberkings was the offense, SS Brad Miller (3 R, RBI, E, .415), CF Mike McGee (3 RBI, SB, .283), and C Carlton Tanabe (2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, .219) all recording three hits in the game with Miller adding two walks and Tanabe drawing one. LF Julio Morban (HR, 3 RBI, SB, .256) and 3B Anthony Phillips (2 R, .199) both added two hits and Morban drew a walk. It was Morban's fourth home run of the season. RF Kalian Sams (2B, R, .237) contributed a double. This talk of Sams and Phillips reminds me that we've somehow gone an entire season without seeing either in an Aquasox uniform.

Tacoma: Season over, second place in PCL Pacific Northern
Jackson: Season over, fourth place in SL North
High Desert: Season over, tied for fourth place in CAL South
Clinton: Season over, fourth place in CAL South
Everett: Season over, second place in NWL West
Pulaski: Season over, third place in APL East
Peoria: Season over, second place in AZL West
Aguirre: Season over, tied for third place
Yamasa: Season over, lost in second round of playoffs

Organization Record:
Tacoma Rainiers: 70-74, .486, 7 GB in PCL Pacific Northern
Jackson Generals: 30-40 (68-72), .429 (.486), 12.5 GB in SL North
High Desert Mavericks: 27-43 (59-81), .386 (.421), 15 GB in CAL South
Clinton Lumberkings: 39-30 (63-76), .565 (.453), 2.5 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 21-17 (37-39), .553 (.487), 1 GB in NWL West
Pulaski Mariners: 32-36, .471, 9 GB in APL East
Peoria Mariners: 25-31, .446, 12 GB in AZL West
Aguirre Mariners: 38-34, .528, 2 GB in VSL
Yamasa Mariners: 45-24, .652, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Overall Record: 437-467, .483

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Written by Jay Yencich | 05 September 2011

This is the penultimate day of the full-season schedule and we are now at 900 games. Enjoy it while it lasts, because there isn't much we're going to have for playoffs. Also, towards the end of the minor league season, a fellow who visits various minor league stadiums and writes about their features got around to Everett Memorial. I've usually had a better time with the fans in the stadium, who see to at the very least know the team quite well and the league reasonably so, but whatever.

Fresno 5 (SF - 15), Tacoma 7
So this was a win. RHP Erasmo Ramirez (5.10) had another good outing with seven innings pitched and two runs scoring on six hits, a walk, and five Ks. RHP Forrest Snow (5.35, BS, W) blew that lead, with two scoring on three hits and two walks, but the Rainiers came back, so it mattered less. RHP Scott Patterson (3.69, S) let one last run score on two hits in the ninth.
CF Greg Halman (2 2B, R, .291), 3B Alex Liddi (R, RBI, E, .258), RF Carlos Peguero (3B, 2 R, RBI, 2 A, E, .319), DH Mike Wilson (2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, .335), and 1B Johan Limonta (HR, 2 RBI, .322) all had two hits in the game.

Jackson 5, Jacksonville 2 (FLA - 5)
There were a few too many balls in play for my tastes, but otherwise, RHP Steven Hensley (4.61, W) had a fine outing, throwing seven and a third innings with two runs (one earned) scoring on five hits (HR), two wild pitches, a walk, and three Ks. LHP Edward Paredes (5.24) allowed a hit and recorded one out, and RHP Daniel Cooper (4.24, S) got through the final inning and a third with a strikeout.
3B Francisco Martinez (3B, HR, 2 R, .296) got his power stroke down and had a triple and a home run in the game, both his third with the team, and the only extra-base hits for the Generals tonight. CF Brandon Haveman (RBI, SB, E, .266) had a hit and two walks and 2B Nick Franklin (RBI, .316), 1B Rich Poythress (RBI, .264), and DH Scott Savastano (R, .286) all had a hit and a walk. SS Gabriel Noriega (R, SB, .247) contributed two singles.

High Desert 4, Bakersfield 5 (CIN - 7)
Unpleasant. RHP Jandy Sena (6.22) let three runs score through six+ innings on four hits, two wild pitches, two walks, and two Ks. RHP Willy Kesler (3.12, L) then let two unearned runs score on four hits, a wild pitch, a walk, and two Ks in two+ innings. As Kesler scored one of Sena's runs, RHP Austin Hudson (5.35, BS) scored two of Kesler's runs on a hit after recording an out. And the winning pitcher was Douglas Salinas. This is not the first time this season that this has happened.
2B Shaver Hansen (R, RBI, .286) led off and walked twice. LF James McOwen (HR, .287) added two hits, one of which left the park, and 1B Rudy van Heydoorn (2B, RBI, E, .240) doubled.

Clinton 1, Kane County 3 (KC + 3)
With the spot secured an all, this was a game that we could lose and stand to screw around with. Therefore, Menchaca opted not to start their ace in Fernandez and instead run out LHP Ryan Kiel (3.54, L) as the opener to a bullpen day. Kiel let two plate on seven hits, two walks, and two Ks in three+ innings. RHP John Taylor (3.78) walked two and struck out one in the next two innings and was followed by RHP Jonathan Arias (3.27, E) let another run plate on two hits, a wild pitch, two walks, and two Ks. RHP Tyler Burgoon (2.30) then allowed a hit and struck out a pair in the final inning and two-thirds.
SS Brad Miller (3B, .380) had a triple before he and Menchaca were ejected in the sixth. LF Julio Morban (3B, .253) and RF Kalian Sams (HR, .237) both had extra-base hits.

Monday's Games:
Tacoma: TBA, in Tacoma, @ 1:35 pm PDT
Jackson: RHP Yoervis Medina?, at Jacksonville, @ 12:05 pm PDT
High Desert: TBA, at Bakersfield, @ 1:00 pm PDT
Clinton: LHP Roenis Elias, at Kane County, @ 11:00 am PDT
Everett: Season over, second place in NWL West
Pulaski: Season over, third place in APL East
Peoria: Season over, second place in AZL West
Aguirre: Season over, tied for third place
Yamasa: Season over, lost in second round of playoffs

Organization Record:
Tacoma Rainiers: 70-73, .490, 6.5 GB in PCL Pacific Northern
Jackson Generals: 30-39 (68-71), .435 (.489), 12 GB in SL North
High Desert Mavericks: 26-43 (58-81), .377 (.417), 15 GB in CAL South
Clinton Lumberkings: 38-30 (62-76), .559 (.449), 2.5 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 21-17 (37-39), .553 (.487), 1 GB in NWL West
Pulaski Mariners: 32-36, .471, 9 GB in APL East
Peoria Mariners: 25-31, .446, 12 GB in AZL West
Aguirre Mariners: 38-34, .528, 2 GB in VSL
Yamasa Mariners: 45-24, .652, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Overall Record: 435-465, .483

 

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Written by Jay Yencich | 04 September 2011

Fresno 4 (SF - 15), Tacoma 2
Hmm. RHP Jarrett Grube (4.95, L) let four runs (three earned) plate on six hits (HR), a hit batter, a walk, and seven Ks in six innings. Seems unlucky. RHP Dan Cortes (5.21) then walked a pair in the next inning and LHP Fabio Castro (3.67, E) outdid him by walking two AND striking out two in the eighth. RHP Steve Delabar (0.69) had a hit and a K in the ninth.
LF Michael Saunders (SB, .295) and 1B Johan Limonta (RBI, .320) both had a couple of hits in the game and DH Carlos Peguero (R, .3160) and RF Mike Wilson (R, .333) both had a hit and a walk.

Jackson 6, Jacksonville 0 (FLA - 4)
Neat! LHP Jimmy Gillheeney (5.49, W) threw a no-hitter through seven, striking out five. He walked four, but hey, no-hitter! RHP Stephen Penney (4.25) had a hit, a walk, and a K in the next inning and RHP Stephen Pryor (1.19) struck out one in the ninth.
LF Vinnie Catricala (2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .352) and 3B Francisco Martinez (2 R, 2 RBI, .292) both had two hits. Edge goes to Catricala for walking and getting some more distance.

High Desert 1, Bakersfield 5 (CIN - 8)
RHP Chris Sorce (5.07, L) let five runs score on seven hits (HR), a hit batter, three walks, and three Ks in six+ innings of work. LHP Jose Jimenez (6.44) then had a hit, a walk, and a K in the final two innings. He wasn't responsible for any of Sorce's runners.
LF James McOwen (RBI, .280) had two singles. Yep.

Clinton 6, Kane County 1 (KC + 4)
This clinches it. The Lumberkings will now face Quad Cities in the first round of the playoffs. The same Quad Cities team that outscored Clinton in the last series thirty-four to sixteen. Wonderful. But enough misery for now (more later), RHP Steve Kohlscheen (4.44, W) had a fine outing in which had let a run score on five hits, two wild pitches, two free passes, and four Ks, and RHP Jessie Nava (3.28, S) followed that up with two hits and six Ks over three innings of work.
SS Brad Miller (3 RBI, SB, .362) had three hits in the game and CF Mike McGee (2B, R, .281), 2B Stefen Romero (R, RBI, SB, .283), and LF Kevin Rivers (3B, R, SB, .254) all had two with McGee adding a walk. C John Hicks (R, PB, .309) had a hit and two walks. TWO WHOLE WALKS! It's almost as though he read the wrap this week.

Everett 2, Spokane 4 (TEX - 8)
No playoffs. The Aquasox spent too many games losing to middling teams at the end of the season. RHP Joe Dirocco (5.13, L) let three runs score on four hits and two Ks in five+ innings. LHP Kyle Hunter (1.82) scored two of those and one of his own on four hits, a hit batter, two walks, and five Ks in the next two and a two-thirds innings and then RHP Tim Griffin (2.09, PO) allowed a hit before recording the final out.
LF Jabari Blash (.292) closed the season with a single and two walks. DH James Wood (2B, RBI, .260) and C Larry Gonzalez (PB, .246) both had a hit and a walk and 2B Jorge Agudelo (2B, R, .211) had a couple of hits.

Sunday's Games:
Tacoma: TBA, in Tacoma, @ 1:35 pm PDT
Jackson: RHP Steven Hensley, at Jacksonville, @ 4:05 pm PDT
High Desert: TBA, at Bakersfield, @ 7:30 pm PDT
Clinton: LHP Anthony Fernandez, at Kane County, @ 4:00 pm PDT
Everett: Season over, second place in NWL West
Pulaski: Season over, third place in APL East
Peoria: Season over, second place in AZL West
Aguirre: Season over, tied for third place
Yamasa: Season over, lost in second round of playoffs

Organization Record:
Tacoma Rainiers: 69-73, .489, 7 GB in PCL Pacific Northern
Jackson Generals: 28-38 (66-70), .424 (.485), 10.5 GB in SL North
High Desert Mavericks: 26-42 (58-79), .382 (.423), 13.5 GB in CAL South
Clinton Lumberkings: 38-29 (62-75), .567 (.453), 2.5 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 21-17 (37-39), .553 (.487), 1 GB in NWL West
Pulaski Mariners: 32-36, .471, 9 GB in APL East
Peoria Mariners: 25-31, .446, 12 GB in AZL West
Aguirre Mariners: 38-34, .528, 2 GB in VSL
Yamasa Mariners: 45-24, .652, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Overall Record: 433-463, .483

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Written by Jay Yencich | 03 September 2011

Fresno 7 (SF - 15), Tacoma 2
LHP Chris Seddon (6.27, L) let four runs plate on eight hits, three walks, and six Ks in four and two-thirds innings. RHP Chaz Roe (6.59) then finished the game off with three runs scoring on five hits, a walk, and four Ks.
CF Michael Saunders (R, SB, .291) and 3B AlexL iddi (RBI, .256) both had a hit and a walk. This was significant in that Liddi was the first Rainier to hit a hundred runs and a hundred RBI since Craig Kusick, who had some kind of major league career.

Jackson 3, Jacksonville 4 (FLA - 3)
It was close? RHP Kenn Kasparek (4.50, L) let four runs (three earned) score on six hits (HR), four walks, and three Ks in four and two-thirds innings. RHP Moises Hernandez (6.25) and LHP Brian Moran (4.37) split the final three and a third innings, both striking out two, Hernandez allowing a hit and Moran walking one.
LF Vinnie Catrricala (HR, 2 RBI, .348) hit his tenth home run at the level. Even that could not save the offense. RF Chih-Hsien Chiang (E, .212) had a couple of singles and CF Johermyn Chavez (.218) had a single and a walk.

High Desert 4, Bakersfield 2 (CIN - 9)
LHP Jonathan Hesketh (6.55, W) got another start and went five innings deep with it, a run scoring on four hits, a wild pitch, and five Ks. RHP Stephen Kahn (5.76) had three hits and four Ks in the next three frames and then RHP Willy Kesler (3.29, S) closed it out with a run score on two hits (HR) and three Ks.
C Trevor Coleman (2B, R, .264) had three hits out of the ninth spot in the order. 2B Jack Marder (R, SB, E, .338) had a couple of hits, and RF James McOwen (2B, 2 RBI, .272) doubled.

Clinton 1, Quad Cities 4 (STL + 14)
This series has been kind of miserable. LHP Tony Butler (3.26, PO, L) let three runs score on eight hits, a wild pitch, a hit batter, three walks, and two KS in six and two-thirds innings. RHP Tyler Burgoon (2.36) let a run score on two hits and a K in the final inning and two-thirds.
SS Brad Miller (R, .333) and DH Stefen Romero (2B, RBI, SB, .282) both had a couple of hits, with Romero adding a walk, 2B Anthony Phillips (CS, .201) walked twice, and RF Kalian Sams (.236) had a single and a walk. The Lumberkings hit into five double plays.

Everett 7, Spokane 5 (TEX - 9)
We won, but Eugene won too. Frustratiiiiing. LHP Cameron Hobson (2.89, W) let five runs score on ten hits, a walk, and nine Ks. There are parts of that line that I like and parts of that line that I like not at all. RHP Joshua Corrales (0.00) scored two of those runs on a hit in the next two-thirds and then RHP Tim Griffin (2.11, S) had a hit and two Ks in the final two innings.
SS Marcus Littlewood (2 R, SB, .211) and RF Mario Yepez (3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, .333) tried to provide all the offense, Littlewood walking four times and Yepez collecting four hits. Fortunately for them, they didn't end up having to go it alone and 3B Ramon Morla (2B, 2 RBI, .267) added two hits and 2B Jorge Agudelo (R, SB, .205) and DH James Wood (RBI, .259) both had a hit and a walk.

Saturday's Games:
Tacoma: TBA, in Tacoma, @ 7:05 pm PDT
Jackson: LHP Jimmy Gillheeney, at Jacksonville, @ 4:05 pm PDT
High Desert: TBA, at Bakersfield, @ 7:30 pm PDT
Clinton: RHP Steve Kohlscheen, at Kane County, @ 4:00 pm PDT
Everett: TBA, at Spokane, @ 4:30 pm PDT
Pulaski: Season over, third place in APL East
Peoria: Season over, second place in AZL West
Aguirre: Season over, tied for third place
Yamasa: Season over, lost in second round of playoffs

Organization Record:
Tacoma Rainiers: 69-72, .489, 7 GB in PCL Pacific Northern
Jackson Generals: 28-38 (66-70), .424 (.485), 10.5 GB in SL North
High Desert Mavericks: 25-41 (57-79), .379 (.419), 14 GB in CAL South
Clinton Lumberkings: 37-29 (61-75), .561 (.449), 3 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 21-16 (37-38), .568 (.493), 1 GB in NWL West
Pulaski Mariners: 32-36, .471, 9 GB in APL East
Peoria Mariners: 25-31, .446, 12 GB in AZL West
Aguirre Mariners: 38-34, .528, 2 GB in VSL
Yamasa Mariners: 45-24, .652, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Overall Record: 431-460, .484

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Written by Jay Yencich | 02 September 2011

Stuff today: I talked about the recent call-ups and removals from the 40-man at USSM and former Rainier Bryan LaHair was named the PCL MVP because it's just been that kind of year.

Tucson 3 (SD - 14), Tacoma 7
LHP Luke French (6.27, W) evened up his record to 9-9, pitching seven frames and letting three runs score on six hits (HR), three walks, and seven Ks. RHP Forrest Snow (4.98) then got two-thirds of an inning in with a walk and a K and RHP Scott Patterson (3.57, S) closed it out with three Ks.
RF Greg Halman (HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 SB, .296) and DH Luis Antonio Jimenez (2 2B, R, RBI, .287) both had a couple of hits in the game. LF Carlos Peguero (HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .321) had a home run and A WALK, and 2B Sean Kazmar (.257) had a single and a walk. Smoak was 0-for-3 with another walk.

Jackson 6, Jacksonville 7 (FLA - 4)
RHP Andrew Carraway (3.66) pitched five+ innings and let six runs (five earned) score on six hits (HR), two walks, a hit batter, and six Ks. LHP Bobby LaFromboise (3.32, L) didn't score any of his inherited runners, but he did let a run score on three hits, a walk, and a K in the two innings he pitched and that wound up being decisive. RHP Daniel Cooper (4.60) had a hit, a wild pitch, and two Ks in the eighth.
1B Rich Poythress (2B, R, 2 RBI, .264) and C Jesus Sucre (2 RBI, .219) both had three hits in the game. Poythress has hit for average in the second half, but his home run rate has halved. DH Vinnie Catricala (2B, 2 R, SB, .348) and LF Jake Shaffer (.288) both had a couple of hits with Cat drawing two walks. He still has an OPS above 1.000 in case anyone wasn't paying attention. 3B Francisco Martinez (2B, 2 R, RBI, E, .295) added a double and CF Brandon Haveman (.265) and SS Nick Franklin (E, .348) both had a hit and a walk.

Rancho Cucamonga 13 (LA + 12), High Desert 11
LHP Nate Reed (5.91) let six runs plate on eight hits, four wild pitches, four walks, and four Ks in three and two-thirds innings. Wacky. RHP Keli'i Zablan (11.02, L) then let four runs score in a third+ on a hit, a wild pitch, a hit batter, and three walks. Also wacky. RHP Jason Buursma (5.68) scored two of those runs and three of his own (two earned) on three hits (2 HR!), a wild pitch, a walk, and a K in three frames of work. That's not so crazy because the Quakes pitchers allowed five home runs today (and won). LHP Jason Markovitz (6.20) struck out one over the last two innings he pitched.
Dingers defined this game for the offense. LF Daniel Carroll (HR, 4 R, SB, 4-5, .302), 2B Jack Marder (2B, HR, 5 RBI, CS, 3-4, BB, .328), 3B Steve Proscia (HR, 3 RBI, E, 2-5, .303), RF James McOwen (HR, 2-5, .273), and 1B Mario Martinez (HR, 2-5, .283) all had 'em. Look where we're playing! SS Leury Bonilla (3 R, E, .322) had three singles and DH Joe Dunigan (.242) had a single and two walks.

Clinton 5, Quad Cities 8 (STL + 13)
RHP Carter Capps (6.00, L) had his first really awful outing, giving up seven runs on eight hits (HR), five walks, a hit batter, and three Ks. RHP John Taylor (4.30) pitched the next three and two-thirds, scoring one of Capps' runs and one of his own after three hits, a walk, and two Ks. RHP Matt Bischoff (3.38) struck out one in the ninth.
CF Mike McGee (3B, R, A, .282) and 1B Mickey Wiswall (R, RBI, CS, .243) both had a couple of hits with Wiswall drawing a walk and RF Kalian Sams (3B, R, 2 RBI, A, .235) added another triple and outfield assist. LF Kevin Rivers (RBI, .251) singled and walked.

Everett 0, Spokane 3 (TEX - 8)
No no no, this is going all wrong! RHP Jordan Pries (3.71, L) let three runs score on nine hits, a hit batter, a walk and four Ks in six and a third innings. LHP Kyle Hunter (1.64) then allowed two hits and a walk while striking out one in the final inning and two-thirds.
RF Jabari Blash (2B, A, .296) and LF James Wood (2B, .259) both had doubles. Blash did walk, but he also struck out two times. Outcomes?

Friday's Games:
Tacoma: TBA, in Tacoma, @ 7:05 pm PDT
Jackson: RHP Kenn Kasparek, at Jacksonville, @ 4:05 pm PDT
High Desert: TBA, at Bakersfield, @ 7:30 pm PDT
Clinton: LHP Tony Butler, at Quad Cities, @ 5:00 pm PDT
Everett: TBA, at Spokane, @ 4:30 pm PDT
Pulaski: Season over, third place in APL East
Peoria: Season over, second place in AZL West
Aguirre: Season over, tied for third place
Yamasa: Season over, lost in second round of playoffs

Organization Record:
Tacoma Rainiers: 69-71, .493, 6 GB in PCL Pacific Northern
Jackson Generals: 28-38 (66-70), .424 (.485), 10.5 GB in SL North
High Desert Mavericks: 25-41 (57-79), .379 (.419), 14 GB in CAL South
Clinton Lumberkings: 37-28 (61-74), .569 (.452), 2 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 20-16 (36-38), .556 (.486), 1 GB in NWL West
Pulaski Mariners: 32-36, .471, 9 GB in APL East
Peoria Mariners: 25-31, .446, 12 GB in AZL West
Aguirre Mariners: 38-34, .528, 2 GB in VSL
Yamasa Mariners: 45-24, .652, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Overall Record: 429-457, .484

 

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Written by Jay Yencich | 01 September 2011

Tucson 1(SD - 13), Tacoma 6
LHP Nate Robertson (6.52, W) had a heck of an outing, going eight innings with an unearned run scoring on five hits, a walk, and five Ks. RHP Chaz Roe (6.61) had an uneventful ninth.
CF Greg Halman (R, 2 RBI, .290) and DH Luis Antonio Jimenez (R, RBI, .284) both had three hits in the game, C Chris Gimenez (R, .265), 3B Alex Liddi (E, .256), and RF Mike Wilson (R, .336) all had a hit and a walk, and 2B Sean Kazmar (R, .256) had two walks. Smoak was 0-for-3 with a walk. Sadface.

Rancho Cucamonga 8 (LA + 11), High Desert 7
RHP Taylor Stanton (6.33, L) pitched six and two-thirds with eight runs scoring on fifteen hits (2 HR), a wild pitch, two walks, and four Ks. No one can say he doesn't get his innings in. RHP Stephen Kahn (6.17) had two walks in the next inning and a third and RHP Willy Kesler (3.80) allowed a hit in the eighth.
LF Daniel Carroll (HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, SB, .297) and DH Joe Dunigan (HR, 2 R, .239) both had a home run, with Carroll adding a walk and Dunigan adding two walks. Joe Dunigan has ten home runs with the Mavs now. Joe Dunigan has been playing with the Mavs for a month. My head hurts. C Jack Marder (2B, R, RBI, .300) came off the DL and delivered a double and RF James MCOwen (RBI, .267) and SS Leury Bonilla (RBI, .309) both had two singles.

Clinton 10, Quad Cities 21 (STL + 12)
This is a heck of a series to end the regular season on. LHP Roenis Elias (6.32) had one of his catastrophic outings and let nine runs score through an inning and two-thirds on ten hits (2 HR), a couple walks, and a K. LHP Ryan Kiel (3.24) got the next inning and a third and had six runs (one earned) score on five hits and a hit batter while he was on the mound. RHP Jonathan Arias (3.19) then let four runs score on five hits (HR), a couple walks, and four Ks in the next two innings and RHP Ben Versnik (4.50) gave up a solo shot in the two innings he pitched. Even though the Lumberkings just had a fake day off with the rain out, they were still shorthanded or something. Maybe they just didn't want a probable postseason opponent to know their bullpen too well. At any rate, LF-LHP Robbie Anston (9.00) took over in the ninth and let a run score on a hit batter and three walks.
SS Brad Miller (2B, 2 R, E, .324), CF Mike McGee (2 R, RBI, .278), 2B Stefen Romero (R, 2 RBI, .279), C John Hicks (2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, .310), and 3B Anthony Phillips (.203) all had two hits with Hicks and Phillips adding walks. Anyone who read the wrap this week knows how Hicks walks are worth getting excited over. 1B Tim Morris (RBI, .252) had two walks and LF-CF Julio Morban (2 R, .255) had a single and a walk.

Everett 1, Spokane 3 (TEX - 9)
RHP Jose Campos (2.32, L) had an off-start by his standards, which is to say he let three runs score on five hits (HR) and two walks against three Ks in just five innings of work. RHP Joshua Corrales (0.00), recently imported from Pulaski, gave up a hit and struck out three over the final three innings. Only one of the outs on balls in play tonight came in the air.
RF Mario Yepez (.329) and all-star LF Jabari Blash (2B, HR, .296) both had two hits in the game.

Thursday's Games:
Tacoma: TBA, in Tacoma, @ 7:05 pm PDT
Jackson: RHP Andrew Carraway, at Jacksonville, @ 10:05 am PDT
High Desert: TBA, in Adleanto, @ 7:05 pm PDT
Clinton: RHP Carter Capps, at Quad Cities, @ 5:00 pm PDT
Everett: TBA, at Spokane, @ 4:30 pm PDT
Pulaski: Season over, third place in APL East
Peoria: Season over, second place in AZL West
Aguirre: Season over, tied for third place
Yamasa: Season over, lost in second round of playoffs

Organization Record:
Tacoma Rainiers: 68-71, .489, 7 GB in PCL Pacific Northern
Jackson Generals: 28-37 (66-69), .431 (.489), 9.5 GB in SL North
High Desert Mavericks: 25-40 (57-78), .385 (.422), 12 GB in CAL South
Clinton Lumberkings: 37-27 (61-73), .578 (.455), 1 GB in MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 20-15 (36-37), .571 (.493), 1 GB in NWL West
Pulaski Mariners: 32-36, .471, 9 GB in APL East
Peoria Mariners: 25-31, .446, 12 GB in AZL West
Aguirre Mariners: 38-34, .528, 2 GB in VSL
Yamasa Mariners: 45-24, .652, 1st in Santo Domingo Norte
Overall Record: 428-453, .486

 

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