Eibner Goes Deep Twice

April 17th, 2015

Julio Urias had a nice outing, striking out 10 in his five plus innings of work and not allowing a run for his second straight start. Both his starts have been against the San Antonio Missions, but this one had more swings and misses. His opening day start against the Missions he only struck out four in his five innings of work. He also got the win in this second start.

There were also some four and three hit days by some named prospects such as Nick Williams (4 for 4), Kyle Kubitza (4 for 5), Pete O’Brien (3 for 4), Blake Swihart (3 for 4), Manuel Margot (3 for 5), Addison Russell (3 for 4) and Trayce Thompson (3 for 6). There was even a nice day from Joe DeCarlo who went 3 for 4 with two homeruns and two walks. None of those players gets the minor league player of the day (April 16) honor. That goes to the Royals prospect Bret Eibner.

The 26 year old was a second round pick of the Royals in 2010, but his minor league career has been stalled by injuries. In 2011 he only appeared in 76 games and last year he was limited to 87 games. The two years in between where he has played more than 100 games he has hit double digits in homeruns. Yesterday he slugged his second and third homeruns of the young minor league season, his first a two run homerun in the third off Cardinals prospect Tim Cooney and his second, a grand slam homerun that put the game out of reach. Those were his only two hits in five at bats, but they accounted for six of the nine runs the Omaha Storm Chasers scored in a 9-6 win over the Memphis Redbirds. Eibner is hitting .360 in this young season with 11 RBIs in six games. At some point the Royals may have a need for some offensive output from their outfielders and Eibner appears ready for the call.

Fister Pumps Nats to First Winning Streak

April 17th, 2015

Doug Fister works quick. He went six plus innings to give the Nationals a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies and their first winning streak of the season, now two. Fister allowed both runs, but only one was earned after a dropped ball by Michael Taylor in centerfield. After back to back walks loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs, Matt Williams yanked Fister and called on Matt Thornton to get out the lefty hitting Chase Utley. Utley lined to centerfield.

The Nationals got a quick lead after their leadoff man in the opening frame, Yunel Escobar led off the bottom of the first inning with a homerun. For Yunel it is his first homerun of the young season.

The Phillies fought back to take a brief lead. Darin Ruf had begun the third inning with a double. The Nationals appeared to have gotten out of the inning when Cole Hamels laid down a poor bunt and Ruf was thrown out at third. Freddy Galvis blasted a two out triple off the wall to tie the game at one.

Francour began the fourth inning with a walk. A ground out moved Francour to second. Carlos Ruiz lined a ball to center field. Michael Taylor drifted back on the ball and had it hit off his glove. Francour advanced to third where he scored on a fly ball from Darin Ruf to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.

The lead did not last long with the Nationals responding in the bottom frame. Bryce Harper drew a walk, advanced to second on a balk and scored when Wilson Ramos blooped a single into left field. A faster outfielder, such as Ben Revere may have been able to catch the ball. The slow footed Darin Ruf dived for the ball but fell short.

Michael Taylor cancelled out his error by blasting a solo shot into the left field bullpen in the bottom of the fifth to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead. In the sixth, Ryan Zimmerman extended the lead by two runs with a double into right field. Bryce Harper almost passed Jayson Werth on the basepaths as they both raced home to increase the Nationals lead to 5-2.

The bullpen came out and faced the minimum number of batters in the final two innings to close out the victory. Aaron Barrett retired the side in order in the eighth. Drew Storen walked Ryan Howard to leadoff the ninth. Speedy Ben Revere pinch hit for the pitcher and bounced one up the middle that Ian Desmond turned two to end the game.

Game Notes: Ryan Sandberg brought Jonathan Papelbon to work the eighth. With a three run lead it did not look like there would be a bottom of the ninth. When Ryne Sandberg pinch hit for Papelbon in the top of the ninth he had no one warming up in the bullpen. It was almost as if he had accepted the loss…Michael Taylor has been good with the bat, but poor with the glove. When Denard Span returns from his injury it will probably be Michael Taylor who gets sent down….Despite the left hander Cole Hamels pitching it was Danny Espinosa starting at second base and not Dan Uggla…Odubel Herrera is a hacker. He swung at a 2-0 pitch in the dirt, but eventually drew a walk from Fister. He also went back poorly on a ball hit over his head in center field hit by Jayson Werth that went for a double. He stopped to soon to play the ball off the wall, when if he continued his chase he may have been able to make a high light catch.

Dykstra with the No No

April 16th, 2015

It appears that pitchers have to throw a no hitter or hitters have to hit for the cycle to make it to myworld’s player of the day vote. Tax day, April 15 was no exception. But first some of the also rans:

Trevor Story had a nice night for the Rockies AA New Britain club, going 3 for 3 with two doubles, a triple, two walks and three runs scored. This bumped his average up to .458 and his OBA to .567. His OPS is an amazing 1.359. Seven of his 11 hits on the season have come in two of the seven games he has played. Currently Trevor is blocked by Troy Tulowitski from playing shortstop for the Rockies.

Barrett Barnes went 4 for 5 for the Pirates Florida State club Bradenton. His four hits included two doubles which allowed him to score two runs. The four hits almost doubled his output for the season and increased the left fielder’s average to .450.

Austin Hedges is said to be a phenomenal defensive catcher who can not hit. Yesterday he went 3 for 4 with a solo homerun for the Padres AAA team the El Paso Chihuahuas. After a sluggish first three games he has collected six hits in his last 11 at bats to raise his average to .467. His OPS early in the season is 1.233.

His was also catching for his teammate Cory Mazzoni, who struck out the side in his one inning of work. Cory has allowed only one baserunner in his five plus innings of work, striking out seven. His WHIP is at an impressive 0.19.

Despite all those good performances referenced above, the minor league player for 2015 is given to James Dykstra of the White Sox organization, who did not allow a hit in his seven innings of work, a complete game 1-0 victory for the Winston-Salem Dash over the Potomac Nationals. While he only struck out three he did not allow a ball to leave the infield and not once did he have to throw a pitch from the stretch. The only runner he allowed on base with a walk, Rafael Bautitsta, he picked off before his next pitch. His brother Allan was recently called up by the Rays to the major leagues and no, neither brother is related to Lenny Dykstra.

Glaesmann Hits for the Cycle

April 15th, 2015

There was another cycle in the minor leagues, but first some performances that should be recognized. On the offensive side, Billy Burns shows he has speed to burn, ripping four hits in five at bats and stealing two bases to give him four for the year. The four hits raised the Nashville Sound outfielder’s batting average to .360. He should be patrolling the Oakland Athletics outfield by mid season if he keeps his average north of .300.

Two excellent pitching performances were handed in by Edwin Diaz of the Mariners and Blake Snell of the Rays, both done in High A. For Snell he allowed one hit in five innings of work with 8 strikeouts. This was his second start and the second time he has shutout his opponents. In his first start he threw seven shutout innings and struck out 10, allowing three hits. Snell has picked up the victory in both his starts.

Edwin Diaz also gave up one hit, but he pitched six innings and also struck out 8. This was the Puerto Ricans second start of the year and he has yet to give up a run in his 11 innings. In his last start he worked five innings, allowed three hits and struck out 8, but did not get the win. Edwin has an impressive 1/16 walk to whiff ratio. Edwin was voted our seventh rated Puerto Rican in the minor leagues for 2015.

The minor league player of April 14 goes to veteran minor leaguer Todd Glaesmann, who ran through his coaches stop sign in the sixth inning to complete his triple and the cycle. The team was up 8-2 at the time and the coach was unaware Todd was a triple short of the cycle so all was forgiven. It was the Visalia Rawhide’s first cycle since Derek Bruce accomplished the feat on July 26, 2007. Todd doubled in the first inning, bunted for a single in the second and homered to lead off the sixth inning. The triple was his second at bat of the inning to complete a 4 for 5 day with three runs scored and two RBIs. Glaesmann had announced his retirement from baseball at the beginning of the 2014 season after being traded from the Rays to the Diamondbacks because he had lost the passion for the game. He returned mid-season and there is nothing like hitting for a cycle to keep that passion churning.

Japan Update - Central League

April 15th, 2015

Chunichi Dragons (10-6)

Hector Luna leads the Central League in hitting with a .379 average. The slugger only has two extra base hits among his 22 hits, both of those doubles. Another foreigner Anderson Hernandez is hitting .338. Ryosuke Hirata is the other starter in the lineup hitting over .300 (.305), which also includes a team leading 14 walks. Nobumasa Fukuda has clubbed all three homeruns for the Dragons and is the club leader in RBIs with 10. Yohei Oshima leads the team in runs scored with 12.

Yudai Ono (1-0, 0.56) leads the Central League in ERA after his first two starts. Raul Valdes (1.29) has been the work horse with four starts and 28 innings. His 22 strikeouts leads the Central League. Daisuke Yamai (1.96) gives them three solid starters. Koji Fukutani (2.08) has picked up three saves and two holds as the team closer. Katsuki Matayoshi leads the Central League in appearances (10) and has picked up five holds, but a 5.06 ERA has shown his inconsistency.

DeNA Yokahama Bay Stars (9-6)

The Bay Stars have failed to bring Yulieski Gouriel to Japan for a second season because of health issues, but Aarom Baldiris is helping salve that wound, his .372 average second in the Central League in hitting. Aarom has hit two homeruns and driven in 12. The Yomiuri Giants decided to keep Cuban Frederich Cepeda and discard extra foreigner Jose Lopez. The Bay Stars are glad to add the Giants loss to their lineup. Lopez has hit a league leading 6 homeruns, is hitting .361 and has a league leading 13 RBIs. The Bay Stars are hoping this will last. Takehiro Ishikawa (.357) and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (.345) have also carried hot sticks. Tsutsugo has scored a team leading 12 runs while Ishikawa is 4 for 4 in stolen bases. Takayuki Kajitani (.292) leads all players in doubles with 10 in just 15 games and is 5 for 6 in stolen bases.

Guillermo Moscoso (1.50) and Shun Yamaguchi (4.32) have each picked up two wins without a loss. Yasuaki Yamasaki (3.86) has four saves.

Yakult Swallows (8-7)

The Swallows are waiting on the return of their injured star Wladimir Balentien. Without him they are severely lacking in power. Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (.263) and Tetsuto Yamada (.298) have four of their five homeruns, each slugging two. Kazuhiro leads the team in RBIs with 10. Shingo Kawabata is hitting .365 and is leading the team in runs scored with 11. The other big foreign bat on the team, Lastings Milledge has only been able to play four games and is hitting .250. He missed most of the 2014 season because of a shoulder injury.

The Swallows lead the NPB in ERA at 1.67, breaking a record of limiting the opponents to three or less runs in their first 14 games. Yasuhiro Ogawa leads the pitching staff with a 0.90 ERA in three starts. Toshihiro Sugiura (2.33), Masanori Ishikawa (2.37) and Taichi Ishiyama (0.64) also contribute to the starting rotation. Tony Barnette (0.00) has yet to give up a run in six appearances, picking up a hold, four saves and a win. Logan Ondrusek has not allowed a run in eight appearances and Ryo Akiyoshi (2.35) is 2-0 with three holds in his seven appearances.

Yomiuri Giants (7-8)

The Giants are not getting a lot from their offense. Veteran Shinnosuke Abe has been their most consistent hitter with a .314 average, but his power has disappeared with only two of his 16 hits going for extra bases. Only the Hanshin Tigers have a worse batting average than the Giants .229. Hisayoshi Chono is struggling with a .186 average and Shuichi Murata is hitting .220 with no extra base hits. Yoshiyuki Kamei (3) and Yasuyuki Kataoka (2) have hit all five of their homeruns, with Kamei leading the team in RBIs with 10. Frederich Cepeda has only been getting pinch hitting appearances and has yet to get a hit in 16 at bats and Leslie Anderson is still not healthy enough to play. It has got to hurt to see all the offense Jose Lopez is giving the Bay Stars.

Hayato Takagi (3-0, 1.23) won his first three starts, a rarity for a rookie in the NPB. He leads the team in innings pitched with 22. Tomoyuki Sugano (1-2, 2.14) has been troubled by a lack of offense in the games he pitches, allowing only five runs in his three starts, but still taking two losses. Aaron Poreda (1-1, 4.00) and Miles Mikolas (0-1, 3.27) have been two of the foreign starters. Scott Mathieson (3.68) again got off to a slow start in the pen.

Hanshin Tigers (6-9)

The Tigers are second in the Central League in homeruns with 8, but last in hitting at .223. No player on the team with over 10 at bats is hitting over .300. Kosuke Fukudome is the top homerun hitter with 3, but he is only hitting .244. Another ex-major leaguer Tsuyoshi Nishioka is their top hitter with a .288 average. He has hit five doubles. Foreign players Matt Murton (.250) and Mauro Gomez (.255) have ice cold bats with only Gomez having the lone homerun between the two of them. Hiroki Uemoto has 10 walks but only a .140 average. Takeshi Toritani, who considered jumping to the major leagues but found little interest returned to Hanshin and is hitting a decent .270, but has only driven in two runs.

Starting pitcher has been inconsistent with only Shintaro Fujinami (1-1, 3.60) and Minoru Iwata (0-1, 3.98) providing the best offerings. Randy Messenger (1-1, 4.74) has been very hittable. Korean Seung-Hwan Oh (1.50) still provides a solid closer option with four saves. Ryoma Matsuda (3-1, 1.50) has vultured three wins in his six appearances.

Hiroshima Carp (5-9)

The Carp are last in the Central League in runs scored with 38. Their only two homeruns have been hit by Ryosuke Kikuchi. Kosuke Tanaka has been their biggest run producer with 9 RBIs. Yoshihiro Maru is giving the team a lot of strikeouts (16) with a low average (.179). Jesus Guzman was hitting (.333) but he has only played in 8 games. Shota Dobayashi appears to have lost his starting job because of a lack of production.

Kenta Maeda (1-0, 1.71) has given them three ace level starts. Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 2.25) has pitched well in his return to Japan. The innings eater has been Kris Johnson (1-0, 1.57) with 23. Now if they only could find some bats to reward these solid pitching performances. Deunte Heath (0-1, 1.23) has picked up three saves and three holds in his seven appearances. Ryuji Ichioka (0-3, 4.50) and Shota Nakazaki (0-2, 5.19) have coughed up five of their nine losses from the pen.

Buxton and Seager with Four Hit Days

April 14th, 2015

Corey Seager banged out four hits from the DH spot in four at bats to increase his average to .550. He has gone 9 for 12 in his last three games, but all the hits have been singles. All those hits have only produced three runs, two scored and one RBI. Because the hits have not generated a lot of offensive production we have given Byron Buxton our minor league player of the day award for April 13.

Buxton went 4 for 6 with a double, triple and one RBI from the leadoff spot to lead the Chattanooga Lookouts to an 11-5 win over the Montgomery Biscuits. For Buxton, the hit total was one more than he had gotten in his first four games, raising his average to .280. Buxton missed a lot of playing time last year because of injuries and hopes to replicate a 2013 season that made him the top prospect in baseball. It is hard for him to avoid the Mike Trout comparisons with the five tools he has in his possession. One scout graded him at an 80 in all skill levels except power. The only other player he rated with more than three 80 scores was Josh Hamilton.

2015 Top Cuban Prospects

April 14th, 2015

The top Cuban prospects this year would make a pretty good start for an expansion team, a very expensive expansion team. One player not on this list is Alex Guerrero, who is currently playing with the Dodgers. He was the tenth rated player from the 2014 list. Jose Abreu was the top rated player in 2014. He made quite an impact with the White Sox, winning the rookie of the year award. The eighth rated player from the 2014 list Odrisamer Despaigne started 16 games for the Padres last year. Four players repeat this list, but a couple of them are certain to make enough of a major league impact they won’t appear on the 2016 list. Major league teams poured out close to $260 million for the first six players on this list, with Carlos Rodon and his six million dollar signing bonus dropping the average by quite a bit.

1. Yoan Moncada 2B (Red Sox) - Boston paid him a record setting $31.5 million bonus to sign him. Then they paid major league baseball the equivalent of a $31.5 million posting fee (or a penalty for exceeding their international bonus cap). Many would have rated him in the top five of the top 100 prospect lists if he was available when the lists came out. With Dustin Pedroia at second he may have to move to third or the outfield to play for the Red Sox. Since he won’t turn 20 until May of this year the Red Sox have plenty of time to figure out a position for him. He has a lethal bat with premium bat speed that will play anywhere. He also has a good arm and plus speed, all the tools necessary to be tagged a five tool player. Most of those tools are premium.

2. Carlos Rodon LHP (White Sox) - The White Sox drafted Rodon last year with the third pick. The Marlins passed on him with the second pick. Rodon was born in Miami, but his father is from Cuba. Myworld watched Rodon strike out 14 Cubans in North Carolina with his devastating slider. His fastball is pretty good too, sitting in the low 90s. A poor junior season with North Carolina State probably prevented him from being an Astro, a team that would have selected him with the first pick if he had replicated his sophomore season. At 6′3″ 234 pounds he has a build that will remind you of Roger Clemens, except Rodon throws from the left side. Expect him to be in the White Sox starting rotation before the 2015 season is done.

3. Jorge Soler OF (Cubs) - Jorge gets to bask quietly in the shadow of the publicity generated by the Kris Bryant buzz. The Cubs shelled out a $6 million bonus to sign him and a $30 million nine year contract. Many compare him to Puig and he has had some incidents that remind you of Puig. After signing the big contract in 2012 he had trouble staying healthy, his seasons limited to less than 300 at bats. Power will be his moniker, with the ability to hit 30 plus homeruns. When Bryant is promoted he will be the Gehrig to Bryant being the Ruth. Soler also has a powerful arm to play right field. Hamstring issues have prevented him from showing off his speed, but it is expected to be average. At 6′4″ with vicious bat speed he and Bryant will make miserable days for pitchers with their back to back 450 foot homeruns.

4. Rusney Castillo OF (Red Sox) - The Red Sox paid a lot for Castillo, signing him to a contract in August that is good for 2020 and $72.5 million. The minor league season was over after he signed but Castillo saw 10 games in the major leagues, hitting .333. He has the speed and grace to play centerfield. The speed should also give him 20 plus stolen bases and he will generate enough power to hit 20 plus homers. An injury in spring training and Mookie Betts hot bat put him in the back seat for the center field job. The Red Sox have a crowded outfield so they sent him to the minor leagues to get at bats. His arm is not good enough for right field so if the Red Sox like Mookie in center the best bet for Castillo would be left field. His small 5′8″ frame and the power he generates with it will remind Red Sox fans of Joe Morgan.

5. Yasmany Tomas 3B/OF (Diamondbacks) - The Diamondbacks signed Tomas to a six year $68.5 million contract. Now they have to find a position for him. They tried to put him at third base despite his 6′1″ 250 pound plus frame. Scouts termed that experiment a disaster. In his three minor league games the Diamondbacks have put him in right field. At 25 years of age he has the bat to contribute to the Diamondbacks lineup now once they find a position he can play that is not occupied. He has a power bat, a strong arm for right field but expect a lot of strikeouts and a .250 average in the major leagues. His average speed, which could turn to below average as he gets older will limit him to a corner outfield and ultimately first base/DH. Expect an injury in the outfield to open up a spot for him before the 2015 season is over.

6. Raisel Iglesias RHP (Reds) - The Reds gave Iglesias a seven year $27 million contract. While with Cuba Iglesias was a reliever. Myworld saw a 95 mile per hour fastball from him while he pitched in relief for Cuba when they played in North Carolina. The Reds are confident Iglesias has enough in his repertoire to be a starter. His fastball will sit more in the low 90s as a starter and he shows a good slider, curveball and change mix. The Reds tried to stretch his arm out in spring training to fill the starting role. Yesterday he made his major league debut, working five innings and allowing three runs. With Homer Bailey expected to come back from the DL soon Raisel must pitch well to keep from being sent down to the minors.

7. Yoan Lopez RHP (Diamondbacks) - The Diamondbacks shelled out $8.25 million for Lopez, a couple million less than they paid for Travis Lee, but a couple million more than they paid for Justin Upton. Lopez is a high risk player with a fastball that hits the mid 90s and a change, curve and slider combination that may need some work. At 21 years of age he does not have a lot of history to him, pitching three years for Isla de la Juventud. He showed some wildness his first two years, but the third year seemed to be more under control dropping his walks per nine innings from 5 to 2 per nine innings. The Diamondbacks have been aggressive with him starting him at AA to begin the 2015 season. In his first start there he allowed only two runs in six innings of work. At 6′3″ he has good height for a pitcher.

8. Albert Almora OF (Cubs) - His father played baseball in Cuba before he defected. Albert, like Carlos was born in Florida. The Cubs drafted him in the first round of the 2012 draft. Albert can be a five tool player, but those tools will be just above average. The power right now is limited to gap power, but as he matures it could increase into 15-20 homeruns per year. Albert has the ability to play centerfield with just a tick above average speed and a strong arm will make him fit in right field. If his power does not develop he is a better fit for centerfield. In 2013 he hit .329 in 61 games. Last year the bat struggled to stay above .250. He will repeat AA and with some success could make his major league in September. Injuries have prevented him from getting at bats so Albert will hope for an injury free season in 2015.

9. Vladimir Gutierrez RHP (none) - He probably will not be eligible to sign until after July 2. Cuba had expected him to act as their closer in the Series del Caribe this year, but he left before a game was played, putting some stress on the Cuban pen. Like Lopez he stands 6′3″ and throws a fastball in the low 90s, with what many scouts considered to be the best curveball in Cuba. At 19 years of age that fastball could gain some heat as he puts some meat on his 170 pound frame. While he pitched in the bullpen for Pinar del Rio in the Cuban League, the major league team that signs him will work him as a starter.

10. Hector Olivera 2B (Dodgers) - The Dodgers signed the Cuban for six years and $62.5 million. There was a hefty $28 million signing bonus and an option for one year at one million if his small tear in his elbow causes him to miss a season. At 30 years of age there may not be a lot left with Hector. While there is a lot of history with him, including being one of the fiercest hitters on the Cuban national team during his prime, his last two years of inactivity in Cuba creates a shroud of mystery. While he could provide immediate help at a position of need for a number of major league teams, a blood clot in his biceps caused him to miss all of the 2012/2013 season and he played almost a full season as the designated hitter on the 2013/2014 team. He runs well, has the power to hit 20 plus homeruns and should hit above .280, strong numbers for a second baseman in the major leagues. Those numbers should prove easy for him to reach if he proves he is healthy. The Dodgers have a dilemma now with both Alex Guerrero and Olivera being second baseman. One of them will have to move to third to make this work.

The 2014 top Cuban prospect list is at the link below:

Top Cuban Prospects for 2014

The World University Baseball Championships

April 13th, 2015

The sixth World University Baseball Championships will be held in Gwangju, Korea from July 6-11 of this year. The groups for those matchups have been decided. The Groups are:

Pool A - Korea, Japan, China and France

Pool B - United States, Taiwan, Czech Republic and Mexico

You can view more at the link below:

sixth World University Baseball Championships

Medeiros Hurls Six No Hit Innings

April 13th, 2015

There were a few top performances to rave about yesterday. Pete O’Brien went 4 for 5 with a double and is now hitting .450 for the season. The Diamondbacks talked about making him their starting catcher this year but defensive problems and troubles throwing balls back to the pitcher made their decision easier for them. He is now playing for their AAA Reno club where they have stuck him in the outfield, giving him three games in left field and one game in right field.

Joey Wendle had a nice game for Nashville, the AAA affiliate for the Oakland Athletics. Two of his three hits went over the fence and he drove in four runs, giving him eight for the year. The Athletics paid a big price for Joey, sending Brandon Moss to the Indians. Early in the season that trade seems to be paying off in future benefits.

A sleeper to watch down in Low A Rome for the Rockies is Wes Rogers. He had a 3 for 3 day with his seventh stolen base of the young season and a homerun. Last year in rookie ball he was 15 for 16 in stolen bases. For Rome he has more hits (7) than outs (6) and is hitting .538 with a .647 OBA. In his second game of the season he stole five bases on a 2 for 2 day with three walks and a triple. Myworld overlooked him in making our player of the day considerations.

The Orioles showed off their depth in starting pitching in the minor leagues. Brandon Kline worked five innings of shutout ball with AA Bowie allowing only three hits and striking out 10. Zach Davies also pitched five innings of shutout ball, allowing two hits and striking out 8.

The minor league player of the day for April 12 is awarded to the Hawaiian Kodi Medeiros who threw six innings of no hit shutout ball for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in Low A. The Brewers selected Kodi as their first round pick in the 2014 draft. He walked one and struck out seven and another reached base via an error. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the victory in the game. After he left with a 1-0 lead after six the Timber Rattler bullpen imploded, giving up 11 runs in the last two innings of an 11-1 loss to the Peoria Chiefs.

Blue Jays Power Over O’s

April 13th, 2015

The balls were flying out of Camden. Dalton Pompey smashed a drive off the fence on top of the right field scoreboard in the first inning to set the tone in the Blue Jays 10-7 romp over the Orioles. Kevin Pillar and Jose Bautista would also go deep for the Blue Jays before the game was over.

It was not a good day for Chris Tillman. Jose Reyes started the game off with a single. Dalton Pompey launched one high off the fence on top of the scoreboard, the ball bouncing back on the field of play. Reyes had stopped at third and Pompey at second. A further review by the umpires determined the hit was a homerun. Tillman would give up two more singles in the inning but limited the damage to just the two runs.

The Orioles pounced right back in their home half off Drew Hutchison. Steve Pearce was hit by a pitch. Chris Davis pulled the first pitch he saw high and far over the fence but foul. He grounded out to second. Adam Jones left no doubt with his hit, blasting it into centerfield to tie the game at 2-2.

Kevin Pillar led off the second inning with a homerun. The Blue Jays chased Tillman in the third loading the bases on three walks. With two outs Tillman appeared to have gotten out of the inning with a Devon Travis line drive to right field, but Travis Snider broke poorly for the ball and had it glance off his glove for a two base error, allowing all three baserunners to score. The Blue Jays added a fourth run in the inning when Jose Reyes singled into left field to score Travis.

The Orioles battled back. Alejandro de Aza swung at a pitch in the dirt for strike three but the ball found its way to the backstop with de Aza finding himself on first base. A walk and back to back singles by Chris Davis and Adam Jones gave the Orioles two more runs. With runners on first and second and no out the Orioles rally fizzled after back to back pop ups to first by Travis Snider and Manny Machado and a weak ground out to first by Evereth Cabrera.

The Blue Jays scored for their fourth straight inning getting a leadoff walk from Jose Bautista. Josh Donaldson lined a ball into right center that just eluded the glove of Adam Jones. Dioner Navarro scored Bautista with a deep fly to center field.

Travis Snider cancelled out his two base error that scored three runs. A Steve Pearce single and Adam Jones hit by pitch put two runners on. Snider chased Hutchison from the game, preventing him from getting the win by lofting a ball into the left field bleachers to put the Orioles within one run.

Brian Matusz came on to finally shut down the Blue Jay bats for two perfect innings. Brad Bach retired the first five hitters he faced, but a walk to Dalton Pompey brought out the bullpen. Sidearmer Darren O’Day came on to face Jose Bautista. He almost hit Bautista in the head with one pitch. Jose took some offense to the pitch, but got his revenge by driving a 3-1 pitch into the left field bleachers to up the Blue Jays lead to three.

The Orioles could do little off the Blue Jays young pen. Aaron Loup retired all five batters he faced after the Travis Snider homerun had chased Drew Hutchison. The youngster Robert Osuna faced only three hitters in the seventh, striking out two of them. Brett Cecil made it 11 in a row by retiring all three hitters he faced in the eighth. Miguel Castro faced a little trouble walking Ryan Flaherty to lead off the ninth. A one out single by Alejandro de Aza put two runners on with one out. Steve Pearce hit a fly to left field into foul territory but Kevin Pillar made a nice diving catch on the ball. Chris Davis swung and missed at his first two pitches, then made a defensive swing on his third pitch, hitting a weak fly ball to left to end the game.

Game Notes: Travis Snider will not make O’s forget Nick Markakis, especially on the defensive side of the game. His two base error allowed three runs to score. He also was going to play a ball off the right field scoreboard, then realized it was not going to hit off the scoreboard and made a diving catch to get the out…There were still a number of Nick Markakis uniform jerseys being worn at the game…Kevin Pillar made a couple diving catches in left field. He also homered in four at bats. Expect him to fill a bigger role for the Blue Jays as the season progresses…Russell Martin was hit by a pitch on a checked swing in the ninth inning. The Orioles appealed he swung and the first base umpire agreed for strike three…Chris Davis had the whole field to bunt against in the fifth inning with no one out. Josh Donaldson the normal third baseman was playing shortstop. Instead of bunting to put two runners on and no out Chris Davis swung away, striking out on four pitches. Of course, there was no guarantee Davis could lay down a satisfactory bunt.