## Playing Catchup

Myworld took the bus to Pittsburgh to avoid the Memorial Day traffic. On the return trip the bus broke down in Somerset. It took three hours to get a replacement. Myworld didn’t get home until 1AM. So much for the idea of avoiding traffic. Now we’re in Louisville to see the Bats. It’s raining in Louisville. Hopefully, they’ll get the games in. On to the minor leaguers.

May 23

Jeimer Candelario hit two homeruns in a 3 for 4 day. Both of his homeruns were of the solo variety. After close to 40 games those were his first homeruns of the year. The last two years Jeimer has hit 11 homeruns so he has shown some power.

When myworld is in Chattanooga we hope to see Byron Buxton play. He is starting to turn it on in AA so his time there may be short. He went 3 for 5 with his 11th triple. That is more than his doubles (5) and homeruns (5) combined. Nine of those 11 triples have been in the month of May and four of them have been in the last four games. He is still struggling a little bit with a .267 average but is 13 for 14 in stolen bases.

Another uber prospect that is skuffling is Miguel Sano, AA teammate of Buxton. Those two should make the Twins powerhouses with the bats in the not too distant future. Sano did not play last year because of Tommy John, showing some rust in his April at bats (.159). His May is smoking with a .311 average and five RBIs in his last two games. He has 20 RBIs for the month of May. On this day he hit his first triple in a 3 for 6 day to raise his average to .250.

Blake Snell finally gave up a run. In six innings. That raised his AA ERA to 0.29. Add in his zeroes from High A and his overall ERA for the year is 0.17. He only gave up three hits, missing a lot of bats with his 12 whiffs.

His Rays teammate pitching a level lower in High A is taking over where Blake left off. He pitched five innings of shutout ball to extend his shutout streak to 17. He has only given up one run in the month of May for an ERA of 0.35. Buddy is not as dominant with the strikeout numbers as Blake.

The 6′7″ Eric Skogland can be an intimidating force. On this day he pitched seven innings of four hit shutout ball, striking out eight without walking anyone. For a big guy he has shown excellent command, walking only seven hitters in 47 innings. The seven shutout innings also extended his zeroes streak to 13 innings. He gave up four hits and struck out 10 in his last start, walking just one hitter.

The Cubs Corey Black threw five innings of one hit shutout ball. He struck out six in the outing without walking a hitter. It was the first of his eight starts in which he did not walk a batter. Corey has struck out at least six batters in each of his last four starts.

May 24

The Rays first round 2012 pick Richie Shaffer made his AAA 2015 debut a memorable one, going 4 for 5 with four runs driven in, with a double and two homeruns. In AA Shaffer hit .262 with seven homeruns.

The Padres outfield might be crowded, but don’t forget about Rymer Liriano. He is a better alternative than Melvin Upton, who changed his name to hide the identity of the person who did not hit the last two years for the Braves. Rymer went 4 for 5 with his fifth homerun.

Josh Bell had to move to first base because of the Pirates crowded outfield. He also went 4 for 5 at AAA, raising his average to .338. All of his hits were singles but they drove in four runs for the day. Josh has an eight game hitting streak with an OBA of .411. The only downside to his game is just one homerun for the 2015 season. The Pirates expect a little more power than that from their firstbasemen.

The last of four 4 for 5 days belonged to one time Yankee disappointment Mason Williams. Recently promoted to AAA after hitting .317 in AA Mason hit his first extra base hits, a double and a triple. Mason currently has a four game hitting streak in AAA.

Pete O’Brien hit homerun number 11. A 3 for 4 day raised his average to .344. He also drove in three runs, giving him 45 for the year in just 41 games. Pete is still switching off between outfield and catcher.

Drew Dosch has been having some big RBI games for the Orioles Low A club. He drove in six runs, the fifth game he has driving in three or more runs in a game. Twenty two of his 32 RBIs have been driven in in five games. Drew was a double short of the cycle.

Two first round draft picks Zach Lee and Trey Ball proved their worth. Trey threw five plus innings of shutout ball, allowing just five hits. The long ball has been his nemesis, with six hit off him in 41 innings. The month of May has also seen a lack of command with a 10/10 walk to whiff ratio in 20 innings.

The Dodgers Zach Lee has had better numbers. His seven innings of shutout ball lowered his ERA to 2.52. The four hits he gave up were a pleasant surprise after the 11 he gave up in his previous start. Zach won his first three starts, allowing only two runs, but it has been a year of inconsistency after those first three starts.

The Nationals Nick Pivetta has been extremely consistent. The Canadian pitched six innings of shutout ball to lower his ERA to 1.41 after nine appearances and eight starts. Like Zach, he allowed only one run in his first three starts, but has yet to give up more than three runs in his next five starts.

May 25

Lots of 4 for 5 days. The Tigers Steven Moya was one of them. His season was delayed by plantar fasciitis. A 4 for 5 day and a 6 for his last 9 has raised his average up to .252. He hit a homerun, his third of the year to match the three he hit in rehab at High A. Last year Moya slugged .555 at AAA. This year he has only gotten up to .405.

Down at the lower levels, Tiger teammate Mike Gerber went 4 for 5. The four hits were the most of the 2015 season for Gerber. It raised his average to .376. In 25 games in the month of May, Gerber is hitting .411. That sounds like a promotion to AA.

The Indians have sent Jesus Aguilar down for his second season in AAA. He also had three seasons in AA. While the power has been there, the average has not. His 4 for 5 day raised his average to .241. His OBA stands at an anemic ,290. Last year at Columbus his OBA was at .395.

Brett Phillips continues to carry a hot stick. He drove in four runs with two singles, a double and a homerun. Brett has a seven game hitting streak, going 14 for 30, with seven RBIs in his last three games. Brett has been very consistent with a .341 April and a .337 May.

Mauricio Dubon had a 4 for 5 day to raise his average to .295. The Red Sox prospect hit his eighth double of the season. The Blue Jays Andy Burns was the last 4 for 5 prospect to mention. A 9 for 18 four game hit streak has raised his average to .304.

The Red Sox Teddy Stankiewicz picked up his first victory after five straight losses. The Red Sox 2013 second round pick had given up runs in his first eight starts, but shutout the opposition for eight innings in this start, allowing just two hits. His ERA lowered to 3.52.

The Cubs prospect from Taiwan, Jen=Ho Tseng threw six innings of two hit shutout ball. He struck out six without walking a batter. In his three previous outings he had given up three or more runs in less than five innings. Two of those three starts resulted in losses and keeps his ERA at a high 4.26.

May 26

After hitting .375 in AAA Corey Seager is finding AAA more of a challenge. A 4 for 5 day raised his average to .280. Corey has played a little third base, in addition to his normal shortstop position in anticipation of an injury or need in the majors at those two positions. A 6 for 9 two day hitting streak appears to show he is over his AAA blahs. The prior day he had hit his first two AAA homeruns.

It was a quiet 4 for 5 day for Cardinals prospect Charlie Tilson. All of the hits were singles and failed to drive in any runs or allow him to touch home plate. It did raise his average to .281.

One of the Rangers many Dominican players, shortstop Michael Deleon had a 4 for 5 day. Michael had been struggling in May, with an average below the Mendoza line, but the four hits raised that May average to .222. He is currently hitting .257 for the year. The three runs he drove in were a 2015 high.

The Astros got a combined 15 whiffs from two of their better pitching prospects in AA. Vince Velasquez went the first five innings, allowing just three hits without allowing a run. He struck out eight and lowered his ERA to 1.40. Michael Feliz went the last four innings to pick up his first save. He allowed a run but struck out seven. His ERA sits at 2.25. This was his first AA appearance after weaving together a 4.41 ERA in Low A.

Strikeouts seem to come easy for Stephen Gonsalves. The 12 whiffs was his third game in which he struck out 10 or more hitters. He allowed just one unearned run in six innings of work to lower his ERA to 1.31. In eight starts he has yet to allow more than two runs.

If the Mets collapse continues Steve Matz could join Noah Syndergaard in the rotation. He threw seven innings of shutout ball to pick up his sixth victory against two losses. After coughing up six runs in his last outing, the seven shutout innings lowered his ERA to 1.99.

Marlins prospect Adam Conley is hoping to join the chaos of the Marlins, stitching together six innings of four hit shutout ball. He struck out six in the outing. The last two starts have only seen one runner cross the plate in 12 innings of work to lower his ERA to 3.09.

The Rangers top pitching prospect Jake Thompson needed the six innings of shutout ball. It lowered his ERA to a less unsightly 4.63. He also had allowed only one run in his last two outings covering 12 plus innings. Prior to those two outings his ERA was 6.19, despite two shutout outings.