Minor League Action

July 5th, 2015

Myworld returned from our travels and hope to have things get back to normal. We have three days of minor league reports to catch up on.

July 2

It has been a struggle for Angels Cuban signing Roberto Baldoquin. The 21 year old hit .154 in April and .182 in June. On the second day of July he went 4 for 5 with two doubles but in four other July games he has only one other hit. He needs to learn patience with a 3/32 walk to whiff ratio in just 30 games, one of the big reasons for his struggles. A .522 OPS and .289 slugging in the California League is not the kind of production the Angels want to see from his bat.

Yesterday the Giants had a player from High A named Lollis patrolling left field. They might want to consider Mac Williamson, who hit .366 at AA Richmond. That led to a promotion to AAA where he had a 4 for 4 day to raise his AAA average to .321. He hit his first AAA homerun, drove in three and scored three runs. Since that 4 for 4 day he went 0 for 9 to plummet his average back down to .243.

Dalton Pompey is looking for another opportunity to patrol centerfield for the Jays before the 2015 season is over. He is currently on a nine game hitting streak (19 for 42) to raise his AA average to .384. His assault on AA pitchers should at least get him a promotion to AAA where he struggled after his major league demotion, hitting just .209.

In rookie ball the second start by the 6′5 inch Dominican Ofelky Peralta had to make the Orioles feel better. In three innings of work he struck out seven of the 11 hitters he faced. He did not walk a batter or allow a hit.

An ex-Oriole now Astro Josh Hader struck out six in his two innings of work in a relief role. He did walk one and allow two hits, but prevented any runs from crossing the plate. Josh has been more effective as a starter (2.86) than as a reliever (4.15), especially with his command.

The Royals have been using Kyle Zimmer in a relief role to help him recover from his many injuries. In his first game after being promoted to AA he struck out five of the six hitters he faced in a perfect two innings. In nine relief appearances in Low A Kyle finished with an ERA of 1.13. Last year the Royals 2012 first round pick was limited to five starts because of injuries.

The Mets Gabriel Ynoa did not have any problems with his innings limit, pitching a complete game nine innings and allowing just one hit. He did not walk a batter and struck out six in facing just two over the minimum. In his last outing he went eight innings without walking a batter. Gabriel is not a strikeout pitcher (4.33 per nine innings) but he also has good command (2.09 per nine innings).

July 3

In the same game the Reds Reydel Medina went 4 for 6 with three homeruns, driving in five with three runs scored. That was not enough to beat the Brewers rookie ball team who was led by the 5 for 6 performance of Monte Harrison. All of the hits for Monte were singles, but he scored four runs and drove in three, stealing two bases. The five hits for Monte raised his average from .157 to .228.

Kyle Schwarber enjoyed his brief time in the major leagues DHing for the Cubs. He hit .381 in five games for the Cubs, slugging his first homerun. The Cubs demoted him to AAA, which was a promotion from his previous AA club where he continues to rake. Kyle completed a 4 for 4 day with three RBIs and his fifth double in just 11 games. He is currently hitting .349 in AAA after hitting .320 with 13 homeruns in AA.

The Diamondbacks Brandon Drury has a crowded situation in the major leagues. With Jake Lamb ahead of him at third the Snakes have been using Drury at second base. A promotion to AAA and a 4 for 5 day raised his average to .372. Three of his four hits were doubles, giving him six in just 12 AAA games.

The Pirates third round 2013 pick LaCoby Jones went 4 for 5 with a double and homerun to raise his average to .262. The shortstop had a rough June where he hit only .204. He does show some power with nine homeruns.

The Blue Jays Lane Thomas is struggling down in rookie ball. A 3 for 5 day raised his average to .179 but the secondbaseman drove in six runs with a double and a homerun. Despite the paucity of hits, five of his ten hits have gone for extra bases.

The Mets Carlyn Reyes had one of the better pitching performances, throwing a seven inning complete game shutout. He allowed four hits, struck out 12 and picked up his eighth win against four losses to lower his ERA to 3.20.

Teddy Stankiewicz of the Red Sox and Amir Garrett of the Reds both threw seven innings of three hit shutout ball. Teddy did not walk a batter and struck out nine to improve his record to 3-8. Amir walked two and struck out seven to put his record at 4-5. Amir has thrown 12 shutout innings in his last two starts.

The Dodgers Jharel Cotton and the Astros Frncis Martes each threw six innings of four hit shutout ball. Cotton struck out seven in his second AA victory to lower his ERA to 0.95. This was his third promotion after one appearance in Low A. For Martes he has only given up one run in 18 innings to lower his ERA to 0.88 in Low A. Expect the Astros to promote him to High A soon.

The Phillies 2014 second round pick Matt Imhof worked six innings of one hit shutout ball to lower his ERA to 4.50. He was a bit wild walking four while striking out three. That has been his MO this season with an average of 5.5 walks per nine innings with a K rate of just 4.8. Last year in Low A he was a much better 9 whiffs to two walks so he needs to get that back if he hopes to see AA.

July 4

The Diamondbacks Mitch Haniger was recently demoted to the California League. His 4 for 5 July 4th raised his average to .385. He hit his third homerun in nine games and his fifth double. Nine of his 15 hits have been for extra bases. He has also driven in 13 runs in 9 games. At this rate it should not be long for him to return to AA.

The Cubs Jeimer Candelario put together another four hit game, this time going 4 for 6 with a double, triple three runs scored and three RBIs. He has driven in 9 runs in his last five games. His average now sits at .282.

Two more 4 for 6 games were achieved by the Indians Clint Frazier and Nellie Rodriguez. As a first round 2013 pick Clint is the more storied prospect. A four game hitting streak has raised his average to .257, his 81 whiffs in 75 games a great contributor to his low average. Nellie was a 15th round pick in 2012 but drove in five runs with his four hits. The firstbaseman now has 62 RBIs in 85 games but 89 whiffs.

The Cardinals Cody Stanley has Yadier Molina catching ahead of him in the major leagues. He got into three major league games this year, returned to AAA only to see his average sink to .197. A career 5 for 6 game rose that average to .222. He contributed a double with four RBIs.

With Ian Desmond a free agent after this season the Nationals moved Wilmer Difo to short. A 3 for 5 day put his average at .280. He hit a double and drove in four runs. Wilmer made his major league debut earlier this year getting six at bats in six games. Last year Wilmer stole 49 bases. This year he has only been able to steal nine. He needs to improve on his five walks in 41 games.

The Diamondbacks eventually will regret the trade of Touki Toussaint for a salary dump. In his second start with the Braves Touki allowed only one hit in five shutout innings, walking two and striking out two. His ERA with the Braves dropped to 0.96. In his first start with the Braves Touki only allowed one run in less than five innings but walked five.

The last three starts for Tyler Mahle were ended without him issuing a walk. Yesterday he walked two but he only allowed three hits in six shutout innings. His ERA dropped to 2.87 and he picked up his eighth victory against five losses.

The Marlins Trevor Williams tossed six innings of two hit shutout ball. He struck out six and lowered his ERA to 4.26. Another Marlin Jose Urena has bounced around between AAA and the major leagues this year. He pitched a rare nine inning shutout, giving up five hits to improve his record to 5-0 and lower his ERA to 0.97. With Jose Fernandez recently activated from the DL it may be tougher to reach the major leagues, but in his seven AAA starts he has given up a run or less in six of them.

The Phillies Elniery Garcia threw his second straight seven inning shutout game, this time giving up five hits after allowing just four hits in his previous start. The 14 shutout innings lowered his ERA to 3.08 and improved his won/loss record to an even 6-6.

The White Sox Yency Almonte was one out shy of pitching a nine inning no hitter but gave up back to back singles to leave the game. He failed to get the rare nine inning complete game, but the bullpen kept the shutout. His ERA was lowered to 4.19

Moore Leads Nats to a Bumgarner Thumping

July 5th, 2015

Michael Taylor got the Nationals off on the right foot, sending the first pitch from Madison Bumgarner just over the left field fence. Yunel Escobar followed sending the second pitch off the centerfield wall to the deepest part of the park for a double. Bryce Harper took a couple pitches before sending a low liner into the right field bullpen. Five pitches and Bumgarner was behind 3-0. The Nationals would go on to win 9-3.

Stephen Strasburg pitched well for the Nationals, shutting the Giants down on one hit in the first three innings. In the fourth he retired the first two batters and threw his first pitch to the third batter and pulled a muscle in his side. Manager Matt Williams and the trainers had an extensive conversation with Strasburg before taking him out.

Tanner Roark came on to pitch and extended the shutout through the sixth inning. In the seventh a Buster Posey single and Brandon Belt double put runners on second and third with one out. Brandon Crawford clubbed one to medium center. Posey tagged and Michael Taylor made a strong throw home. It appeared Wilson Ramos tried to make the tag before he caught the ball and Posey slid in safely.

Bumgarner continued to have his troubles. Tyler Moore blasted a ball into the left centerfield gap in the fourth inning. While the ball rolled to the wall Danny Espinosa hustled all the way home for the fourth run.

In the sixth Clint Robinson scorched a line drive double down the right field line. Danny Espinosa grounded one hard at third, it glanced off the glove of Duffy bouncing toward Crawford at short. Crawford fielded it and appeared to have Robinson off second. He didn’t see him and threw to first, but Brandon Belt was not standing on the bag. All hands were safe. Bumgarner yielded the mound after that play to Yusmeiro Petit. Tyler Moore bounced one past the third base line, rolling into the corner to score both Espinosa and Robinson.

The Giants again scored a run in the eighth on back to back doubles by pinch hitter Ehire Adrianza and a double by Gregor Blanco. Matt Duffy had grounded one to Desmond who had no play to get the out at first. Matt Duffy ran past the third base bag and was tagged out by Ian Desmond running toward the third base bag for the third out.

The Nationals continued their assault on Petit in the seventh, scoring three more runs. Bryce Harper roped a double into right center for his second of three hits. Yunel advanced to third. The hot hitting Clint Robinson was walked intentionally, which back fired when Danny Espinosa walked to score the first run of the inning. Ian Desmond flailed at a pitch high in the strike zone on a 0-2 pitch and hit it deep enough into right to score Harper. Tyler Moore ripped a single to left field for his third hit and fourth RBI of the game.

The Giants were able to score a run in the ninth off Casey Jannsen but it was too little too late in the Nationals 9-3 win.

Game Notes: Over 40,000 were in attendance, allowing the Nationals to term it a sellout. There was a constant rain early in the morning. Myworld noticed a lot of empty seats which may have been the no shows….Stephen Strasburg was throwing 95-97 before the injury. He had struck out three and allowed only a bloop single into right field by Justin Maxwell…With Bryce Harper on second the Giants tried to sneak in centerfielder Gregor Blanco to catch Harper napping for the pick off attempt. The hitter Ramos was wise to the attempt and warned Harper to get back to second…Ian Desmond made some nice defensive plays, but he bobbled a grounder in the third, still getting the out at second. He also went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts to lower his average to .215. At this rate he will be lucky to sign a free agent contract that is half of what the Nationals had offered him earlier in the season. His best bet might be to sign a one year contract and hope his annual decline on offense does not continue…Wilson Ramos picked off Brandon Belt in the second inning. Belt was the Giants first baserunner after drawing a walk…Tyler Moore sent a ball deep just inside the left field foul pole in the fourth inning. With the count 2-2 he came through with a two out double to score Espinosa from first.

Cuba Gets First Win Against United States

July 4th, 2015

After being no hit in the opener and piecing together just three hit in the second game, both 2-0 losses, Cuba finally broke out with a 5-1 win in game three of the Cuban versus U.S. college national team exhibition match. Yoribis Borroto led the Cuban team with three of their twelve hits, driving in a run and scoring a run. Yoani Yera pitched six innings of three hit ball, giving up a run in the fourth after Cuba had built a 5-0 lead. Hector Mendoza closed out the game, walking one and striking out the side. Both teams struck out 12 times.

The United States now leads the series two games to one.

United States versus Cuba exhibition

NPB All Stars

July 4th, 2015

The Pacific League dominated the Central league this year in interleague play, which leaves no Central League team with a record over .500 as the NPB enters the All Star break. The Hanshin Tigers sit in first with a .500 record but four teams sit closely behind, less than three games behind. The Softbank Hawks seem to be having an easy time in the Pacific. Below are the All Stars who will play three games in three different parks.

Central League

Pitchers: Tomoyuki Sugano (Yokohama), Hayato Takagi (Yokohama), Shintaro Fujinami (Hanshin), Seung-Hwan Oh (Hanshin), Kenta Maeda (Hiroshima), Yudai Ono (Chunichi), Kenjiro Tanaka (Yokohama), Tony Barnette (Yakult), Hiroki Kiroda (Hiroshima), Tetsuya Yamaguchi (Yomiuri), Yasuaki Yamasaki (Yokohama)

Catchers: Tsubasa Aizawa (Hiroshima), Shinnosuke Abe (Yomiuri), Yuhei Nakamura (Yakult)

Infielders: Takahiro Arai (Hiroshima), Jose Lopez (Yokohama), Ryosuke Kikuchi (Hiroshima), Shingo Kawabata (Yakult), Takashi Toritani (Hanshin), Kosuke Tanaka (Hiroshima), Hector Luna (Chunuchi), Tetsuto Yamada(Yakult)

Outfielders: Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (Yokohama), Yoshihiro Maru (Hiroshima), Takayuki Kajitani (Yokohama), Yuhei Takai (Yakult),Takahiro Suzuki (Yomiuri), Ryosuke Hirata (Chunuchi)

Hiroki Kuroda ex of the Yankees will get the start for the Central league

Pacific League

Pitchers: Shota Takeda (Softbank), Yuki Nishi (Orix), Brandon Dickson (Orix), Naoki Miyanishi (Ham Fighters), Mitsuo Yoshikawa (Ham Fighters), Hideaki Wakui (Chiba), Tatsushi Masuda (Seibu), Ken Togame (Seibu), Tomomi Takahashi (Seibu), Shohei Otani (Ham Fighters), Edison Barrios (Softbank), Yuki Matsui (Rakuten)

Catchers: Motohiro Shima (Rakuten), Ginjiro Sumitani (Seibu)

Infielders: Sho Nakata (Ham Fighters), Hideto Asamura (Seibu), Takeya Nakamura (Seibu), Kenta Imamiya (Softbank), Nobuhiro Matsuda (Softbank), Takuya Nakashima (Ham Fighters), Luis Cruz (Chiba), Tomoya Mori (Siebu)

Outfielders: Yuki Yanagita (Softbank), Shogo Akiyama (Seibu), Yoshio Itoi (Orix), Ikuhiro Kiyota (Chiba), Katsuya Kakunaka (Chiba), Kazuo Matsui (Rakuten)

Shohei Otani, the twenty year old superstar will get the start for the Pacific League in the first game.

This Time Luis Yander La O Really Defects

July 3rd, 2015

The last time myworld reported on a Luis Yander La O defection it was a false alarm. This time his trip to North Carolina to play with the Cuban National team against the United States college national team gave him an opportunity to defect. He played in the 2-0 no hit loss for Cuba. In the second 2-0 loss he was absent from the lineup.

Myworld saw a lot of Luis when he played for the Cuban team in the Series del Caribe held in Puerto Rico. He played third base, moving Yulieski Gourriel to second. His defense at the hot corner is excellent, but his bat may be lacking in power to play the position full time. He has also played second base in Cuba but we have not seen him play there. Luis also showed some base running speed, but his ability to steal bases at this point is poor.

As a six year Cuban national player he will be exempt from the international cap. We feel his bat will be a bit short to make it as a starter, but he could make an excellent utility player roaming around the infield. Last year he hit .326 with two homeruns. Only 16 of his 97 hits went for extra bases. That kind of production falls a bit short of being a major league starter, but his defense and ability to play second, short and third will make him a solid utility player candidate. It will be interesting to see what major league teams will pay for those tools.

Giolito Almost Perfect

July 2nd, 2015

Aaron Barrett started the game in a rehab assignment and pitched the first inning, walking one hitter. Lucas Giolito followed and threw seven innings of no hit shutout ball, walking one and striking out seven. He left when his pitch count hit 84. Manny Rodriguez pitched the ninth and gave up the only hit but preserved the shutout. For Lucas it was his third straight appearance of not allowing a run, the shutout string hitting 13.

The Dodgers Zach Lee had a rehab appearance in the Rookie league and pitched a perfect five innings, striking out two. His last appearance had been May 29 when he pitched three shutout innings. Prior to that he had gone seven shutout innings, giving him a streak of 15 shutout innings. The Dodgers 2010 number one pick should return back to AAA for his next start.

A pitcher not long for the minor leagues is the Marlins Kendry Flores. He went from AA to the major leagues and then to AAA. He had his third shutout appearance in four starts in AAA, working six innings and scattering six hits. He walked one and struck out five. For nine starts in AA his ERA was 2.06. In four AAA starts it is 1.96.

The Pirates acquired Steven Brault from the Orioles for Travis Snider. He may let that deal look pretty good for the Pirates after tossing seven innings of one hit ball. He did not walk a batter and struck out five. He has now pitched two consecutive starts without allowing a run, putting his shutout streak at 13 and dropping his ERA to 2.08. In the Florida State League it was 3.02.

Cole Tucker had one of the few hot bats in the minors, going 4 for 5 with a double. The four hits raised his average to .293. The Pirates 2014 first round pick stole his 20th base in the game, but he was also caught for his fourth time.

The Nationals Matt Skole also had a four hit game in six at bats. With the double, homerun and two singles his average rose to .241. Matt has a tendency to strike out (74) so his average will always be low.

July 2 Signings

July 2nd, 2015

Myworld attempted to get from Pensacola to Durham to see the United States versus Cuba, but the drive was a little longer than expected. Plus the rains came down and myworld called it quits in South Carolina. After being no hit yesterday Cuba was limited to three hits today in another 2-0 loss.

Myworld will mention the signings of players not from the Dominican Republic or Venezuela. Perhaps we will create a separate post for them. Ben Badler at Baseball America has been doing a good job reporting the signings. Below are some of the international prospects who signed that are not from Dominican Republic or Venezuela and the teams who signed them. We’re not going to pretend we know who any of these guys are because we don’t. They are 16 or 17 years old, just juniors in high school if they were in the United States.

Bahamas

Lucias Fox (SS) - Giants $6 million, what does a fox say? Played in the United States but to avoid the major league draft and increase his bonus potential moved back home to the Bahamas. Got to love a kid who can take advantage of loopholes.

Cuba

Yadier Alvarez (RHP) - Dodgers $16 million. Little command but a 99 mile per hour fastball will get you a lot of bling.

Panama

Enrique Saldana (SS) - Rockies for $500,000
Miguel Amaya (C) - Cubs

All of the top 30 prospects as identified by Baseball America except one, number 30 Anderson Amarista have signed with a major league team. To see where they have signed go to the link below:

Top 30 international prospects and the major league teams who have signed them.

Team USA No Hits Cuba

July 2nd, 2015

The Cubans have never been no hit in international play. Until tonight. A trio of pitchers, Tanner Houck, A.J. Puk and Ryan Hendrix combined on the no hitter in Cary, North Carolina, walking only one hitter and allowing a runner to reach on an error. The United States offense was just good enough to start the series with a 2-0 win.

The 6′5″ Houck was a little too much for the Cubans to take, retiring all 12 hitters he faced. The even taller 6′7″ Puk worked four innings, issuing the one walk. Hendrix, a little smaller at 6′3″ worked the ninth and got three Cubans to beat the ball on the ground to complete the no hitter.

Matt Thaiss drove in the first run in the sixth inning with an RBI single. In the next inning Corey Ray reached on an error, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a groundout. The win ends the Cubans five game winning streak against the United States, all of the wins coming when the United States visited Cuba.

Suns Cook the Blue Wahoos Early

July 2nd, 2015

Wandy Peralta was the starting pitcher for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. He failed to finish the first inning, giving up five hits and a walk before departing with two out in the first with five runs already crossing the plate. Juan Perez made a critical error on a ball that could have been turned into a double play to gift wrap the last two runs. The Jacksonville Suns would ride the seven innings of pitching from Jake Esche to claim the 6-2 victory.

Carlos Lopez had the big first inning hit when he sailed one over the head of right fielder Juan Duran for a triple, scoring Kenny Wilson, who had started the game with a single. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases before Wandy could get the first out on a grounder to second. With runners on first and third and one out Terrence Dayleg bounced a one hopper at Perez who had it skip by his glove for an error. A two out RBI single by the pitcher Jake Esche ended the day for Peralta.

The Blue Wahoos tallied their first run in the fourth. Jesse Winker walked and an error by shortstop J.T. Riddle put runners at first and second with no out. Seth Mejias-Brean grounded into a double play at third, but the 6′7″ Juan Duran drove in Winker with a line single up the middle.

Matt Juengel got the run back for the Suns with a blast that barely cleared the fence in left field to give the Suns a 6-1 cushion. The Wahoos came right back after a Juan Duran walk and a triple from Juan Perez to make it 6-2. Yovan Gonzalez could have made the game more interesting by driving in the runner from third, but he stranded him with a swing and a miss. Brian Ellington came on to relieve Esche and retired the last batter to stem the threat.

Pensacola was unable to muster any kind of rally in the last two innings, despite the appearance of the rallyfish. Juan Duran hit a two out double in the ninth off the right centerfield fence but Juan Perez struck out for the final out of the game.

Game Notes: The sight lines for this stadium are excellent, with the fans watching the game while looking at the water of Pensacola Bay. A good 450 shot could carry into the water. If you arrive early enough you might see the Blue Angels work on their flight formations as they pass over the stadium. There was a full moon out and scattered thunder clouds hanging from the sky to make for an interesting post card picture moment…The mascot is Kazoo, a blue dinosaur like creature…Just like Mobile, only the video board was working to project the innings and score. The regular scoreboard was not working…The one downside with the park is the abundance of advertising. Every strikeout is a mention for roto rooter and a ball sailing out of play will get the ball smashing into car window sound, followed by an advertisement for car window repair…They had an eyeball race in the 6th inning. Different colored eyes racing against each other sponsored by an eye doctor…The Silver Wahoos, a group of older ladies who danced on the field was sponsored by a retirement planning group…A dark cloud passed over the field and inundated us with a ten to fifteen minute rain shower. It was not enough to postpone the game, but the fans left their seats. There is not a lot of cover to hide under at Wahoo Park…Juan Duran did not impress me with his defensive chops, but at 6′7″ if he can get his arms extended he could be a force…Jesse Winker also had a good offensive day going 2 for 3 with one walk. He also made a nice sliding catch…Myworld can’t say anyone on the Jacksonville Sons stood out…

Judge the Yankees Next Big Thing

July 1st, 2015

The Yankees have lacked an identity this year. They may have no players voted to the All Star team. Television ratings and attendance are down. That could all change because here comes the Judge. Aaron Judge, a 6′7″ outfielder who hits balls a ton. He was recently promoted to AAA where he had a perfect 4 for 4 day to raise his average to .276. While he hit 12 homeruns and slugged .516 in AA he has only hit one homerun and slugged .448 in his eight games in AAA. It is a small sample size. The 4 for 4 day raised his average more than 100 points and the Yankees hope it will wake his bat so the Yankee fans can witness the sentence he gives to opposing pitchers.

Christian Arroyo had one of the two 5 for 5 days. The Giants 2013 first round pick had two doubles and three singles among the hits, scoring twice. He now has hit at least one double in three consecutive games and is hitting .326. A 6 for 32 walk to whiff ratio is the only cause for concern as he battles High A pitching.

At a level lower in Low A the Rays Justin Williams had a 5 for 5 day. He scored three times. Williams was a second round 2013 draft pick of the Diamondbacks and was recently acquired by the Rays in the Jeremy Hellickson trade. In a four game hitting streak he is 11 for 18 with six runs scored. He only has one extra base hit during that streak, the double he hit yesterday.

A fourth perfect day was achieved by Jeimer Candelario with his 4 for 4 day. The Cubs third baseman has picked up his game hitting .303 for the month of June to raise his average to .277. He may need to show a little more power (.426 slugging) if he hopes to stick at third.

Alex Verdugo was the Dodgers second round pick in 2014. The outfielder went 4 for 5 to raise his average to .269. It comes on the heels of a 3 for 5 strafing the previous day to raise his average 17 points. All seven of his hits the last two days were singles.

The Cardinals keep churning out pitchers like cows churn out milk. Rob Kaminsky is another one. The Cardinals 2013 first round pick tossed seven innings of two hit shutout ball, striking out four to improve his record to 6-4. He has not allowed more than two runs in his last four starts, putting together a 1.16 ERA for the month of June. Expect a promotion to AA soon.