Lehigh Valley lost a slugfest, with Cesar Hernandez a homer short of the cycle. Maikel Franco and Leandro Castro had two hit a piece. Hector Neris has put up five straight scoreless appearances. He’s had a handful of absolute trainwrecks at AAA, so a nice long stretch of scoreless would be nice. Reading managed just three hits and a walk off of Akron pitching. If it seems like Roman Quinn’s been walking a lot lately, it’s because he’s been walking a lot lately. Five straight games. His BB rate is spiking near 9% now. Notched his 15th steal as well, and four games in a row with one steal, and six steals in his last eight games. Nice to see. JP Crawford OPSing .875 in his last ten games. Also nice. Aaron Nola gave up one run on five hits, a walk and four strikeouts – the walk was his first free pass since his debut, 32 days earlier.
Tocci, Green, Astudillo and Greene with two hits a piece for Lakewood. Back-to-back days of two hits for Tocci and Green. In his eight starts, Yacksel Rios has struck out just 26 and walked 20 in 40.2 IP. That’s not great. It was 32:12 in 38 relief innings to start the year. You’d have to think he’ll eventually wind up back in the pen if he can’t improve on those K numbers when he’s stretched out.
Williamsport managed just two hits, though they had four walks, so not as bad as it sounds at first glance. Still bad though. Mahoning Valley starter Kieran Lovegrove pitched and whatever , but dang, that’s a pretty fine name. I called it an 80 on Twitter, but that was probably generous by a grade.
And a couple DSL notes – Bryan Martelo was 2-3 plus a walk. He’s having a rough go of it in his pro debut. And 17 year-old RHP Adonis Medina has been carving up DSL hitters in his couple of outings – he’s allowed eight hits, struck out 12 and walked just one in 10 innings. Call that a name to watch.
Busiest day I can remember this year. All eight affiliates plus two rain-completion double headers. The headline for me is four Lakewood Blueclaws with two hits a piece – Tocci, Pullin, Cozens and Green. Green had two doubles and added a walk. Other standouts on the day included Kelly Dugan and Jake Fox for Reading, Jiandido Tromp for WIL, Jesus Posso, Jose Pujols, Joel Fisher, Jake Sweaney, Tim Zier and Franklyn Kilome for GCL.
In the interest of getting this up so the discussion can commence, I’ll spare you any further musings. Have at it.
Here’s a fresh open thread for general discussion. And here’s my #HotTake for the day – Ryne Sandberg should be fired for allowing Burnett to throw that many pitches with a rain delay in the middle when the club is trying to trade him. Six innings of shut-out ball proved the point. Seven was ridiculous. Eight was borderline negligent. Phillippe Aumont was fresh in the bullpen to give you two innings, and the game was meaningless to the season.
In general, I don’t care for Sandberg’s managerial style. Last night with two men on he had Darin Ruf bunt so that Andres Blanco could take a crack at Madison Bumgarner. The guy’s barely allowing any baserunners all night, and you want to give him an out against one of your “better” bats so a guy who until two weeks ago hadn’t seen the big leagues since 2011 can take his chance? No. Bad. Also, there’s this, from Jim Salisbury this spring, partially quoting Sandberg’s book: Continue reading
Severino Gonzalez with an “avert your eyes” type of line. Just don’t look. (Just don’t look). In CLR, Gabriel Lino went 3-4 with a home run and a walk, while Roman Quinn stole his 13th base of the year, in what’s been about 40% of a year’s worth of PAs – figure that’s 30-35 or so in a full season after 30 and 32 in half seasons the last two years. Coming off his Achilles injury, I’m not too worried about that decline, as you’d expect him to ease back in to things.
For Lakewood, Mitch Walding is really hitting in the second half so far – in over 120 PAs, he’s got 15 doubles and 13 walks, both marked improvements over the first half, when he was fresh off having rib-removal surgery. He’s also limited his Ks, with about a 21% in the second half after ~33% in the first half. Big caveat – he’s repeating the league. Even so, I’ll take signs of life from a guy we had high hopes for coming out of the 2011 draft. Also for Lakewood, Yoel Mecias worked five strong innings, allowing one run on just two hits, and he struck out one.
Brandon Liebrandt has been absolutely dealing in his two NYPL starts – he’s allowed just one run, five hits, two walks and struck out 12 in 12 innings since his promotion. Derek Campbell was 2-4 with a double and a triple in Liebrandt’s win tonight.
Sorry so late – got caught up watching Whatever It Takes, Dude on the YouTube. Maikel Franco left the Lehigh Valley game early with what Greg Joyce (@gjoyce9) described on Twitter as back tightness. Jo-Jo Reyes, back from over a year in pro ball in Korea, didn’t have his finest game, giving up seven earned in five innings and not managing to strike out a single batter. Jake Fox was a single short of the Big Wheel, and Kelly Dugan was 2-4 with a walk, pulling his season OPS back to an even .800. If he starts to show signs of getting his power stroke back in the next two weeks, they should just promote him already. He’s proven he can hit at AA. JPC with a hit and a walk, while Brian Pointer was 2-5 with a double for CLR. Perhaps I did not jinx him with that write-up last week after all. It’s almost as if I have no power to jinx people…hmm…gonna have to look into that.
Jiandido Tromp was 4-5 with two home runs (9), his third two-bomb game of the year. Aaron Brown and Cord Sandberg had two hits a piece, and Drew Stankiewicz was 4-4 for WIL as they walked off against Batavia on a Rhys Hoskins double. Fifth rounder Hoskins has hit safely in five of his last six, including five extra base hits (3 HR). Mitch Gueller managed his six innings well, walking two and allowing five hits while inducing seven outs on the ground, though he didn’t manage to strike anyone out in his six innings. In the GCL, Trey Williams had two XBH, including his second home run, while Nic Hanson and Austin Wright both got hit around in their rehab outings.
And finally, a little VSL update. The VSL squad was idle, but their playoffs start in less than two weeks – the Phils sit firmly in second place, four games up on third place Seattle for the last of two playoff spots to compete with runaway leader Detroit in a three game championship series. 18-year-old Ranger Suarez leads the five-team league in strikeouts with 68, (second place has 55), and he also leads all starters for fewest walks: he has allowed one, while the next closest starter has allowed four. Jesus Alastre’s OPS ranks ninth in the league, and he’s bested by four guys repeating the league, two 18-year-old league rookies old enough for the 2012 July 2 signing period, and two “men” (17-year-olds) from his signing year. I imagine we’ll see both Suarez and Alastre for instructs in the fall and vying for a spot in GCL (or possibly higher for Suarez) in the spring.
Darin Ruf had three hits, while David Buchanan and Ethan Martin pitched well for Lehigh Valley. They had the lead going into the ninth and then things went south. Then in the tenth things went even further south – so far south that the toilets flush the other direction. Which is an appropriate reference, I think.
Everyone in Reading’s lineup had a hit – Jake Fox hit his 11th homer. He’s only been with the team for 35 games. Hoby Milner allowed another home run – his 18th in 17 games. His HR/9 is nearing 2. At least he hasn’t had to face Jake Fox, I guess. Luis Encarnacion hit his second home run of the year while playing first base. He’s only played two games in left and DHed some, and has not been used at third at all. That lines up with what we were told when he was drafted – they may have called him a third baseman, but it seems to not be an option going forward.
I’m going to guess some teams will make trades in the next ten days. Just a hunch.
Maikel Franco and Darin Ruf each with two doubles and Franco another hit in the nightcap. Phillippe Aumont struck out two and allowed just one hit in two scoreless innings in that game. Adam Loewen, (some of you are interested, so I’ll keep mentioning him), struck out seven and walked one in 6.2IP, while Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez took the loss as he struck out two but allowed a solo home run in the ninth for Reading. J.P. Crawford had three hits and Mark Leiter threw a complete game shutout – he allowed just five hits, no walks and struck out eight, his best performance at A+ thus far.
Tocci, Pullin, Cozens and Astudillo with two hits a piece. Tocci’s OPSing .666 in the second half. Beastly. Cozens added a walk, Tocci a triple and Astudillo a double. Sam Hiciano had a double there, and Andy Knapp was on base twice. Williamsport managed just two hits, (Brown and Tromp), while Mark Meadors struck out four in two scoreless innings of relief. He’s put up six scoreless outings in WIL thus far, but he has walked five men in 9.2 IP, while striking out a very respectable nine over that span.
When I started pulling this together for the night I was wide awake, but now I’m about ready to fall asleep. So let me sum up the night really quickly without trying to force any jokes down your throat.
Brad Lincoln and Ryan O’Sullivan pitched really well as LV and REA both swept double headers. MAG got the save in the Reading nightcap (insert drinking joke here), while Kelly Dugan was on base three times and Aaron Altherr was 2-3 with a double. Roman Quinn went deep and Aaron Nola struck out five against zero walks – he hasn’t walked a man since his debut on June 23, (insert debutante joke here).
Carlos Tocci was on base three times, (joke, second quick joke back to back, one of them about how he should eat a snack), Andy Knapp four hits, including two doubles, and Mitch Walding had three hits. He’s been hot (joke – whoa, that was a little racy). We’ll see how it plays out. Rhys Hoskins now has three days in a row with a home run. Jia Tromp and Aaron Brown with two hits a piece (joke in poor taste, oops, offended some folks there – you guess which group of people). And Lewis Alezones struck out four and walked one in four hitless innings in the GCL (thing that seems like it was supposed to be a joke but it’s really me falling asleep).
Ethan Martin went 2.2 perfect innings, struck out three, threw 19/26 for strikes and doubled in his only at bat against Nats up-and-comer AJ Cole. Not bad. Aaron “The Rhineland Rocket” Altherr with his eighth home run of the year – he’s OPSing around .900 in June and July. Severino Gonzalez gave up two homers. Guy throws strikes, 74/102 is impressive. Maybe work outsider the zone a little more, though, if you’re not fooling anyone over the plate. Just a thought. Roman Quinn with two steals and Freddy Galvis went yard for CLR in their win, as Lee “Rocket Arm” Ridenhour closed out the game. I can’t believe people just make up these goofy nicknames and think they’ll stick. “Rocket Arm”? I mean, come on…come on…that’s…just a little…little bit silly…I mean…uh…just…THERE’S ONLY ROOM FOR ONE MADE UP ROCKET NICKNAME IN THE PHILLIES SYSTEM. TAKE A HIKE LEE RIDENHOUR PEOPLE!
Two hits a piece for Pullin, Knapp, Cozens and Astudillo, and Sam Hiciano went deep (8), to hopefully seal the deal on the end of his slump. His nine-game July is looking good, OPSing .819 after a .511 in June. Rhys Hoskins with his second home run in as many days (3), while Chris Oliver walked five but somehow managed to only give up one unearned run. Real nice outing from 2014 8th rounder Sam McWilliams, going four scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and striking out three.
Looks like no late signings from the Phils this year, so McWilliams is the only prep signing from the 2014 draft. That’s going to leave a bit of open space in the GCL next year and a lot of competition for spots at Lakewood in the spring and Williamsport in the summer.
Really not sure they thought this whole thing through very well.