Minor League Recap: 6/6/13

Ryan Dunsmore

Carlos Correa almost single-handedly keeps the Astros from being on the wrong end of an organizational sweep.

Man, it feels like it's been such a long time since my last minor league recap. Many thanks to the rest of the team for filling in while I took a much-needed vacation up the coast.

Exercise Your Civic Duty

Voting is underway for the Triple-A All-Star Game. You can head to the ballot by clicking here. The ballot isn't as ridiculous as the MLB ballot. Players don't have to have been on the Opening Day roster, for instance (RedHawks First Baseman is there), and more than one player can qualify from each team at an individual position (Brandon Laird and Jimmy Paredes are both listed at third base). Also, you can vote for pitchers. So for god's sakes, go do it.

On Again, Off Again

The Lancaster Jethawks swept the Inland Empire 66ers (LAA) in a four-game set that began on May 23rd. Why is that significant? Because the day before - May 22nd - was their last day off before the California League vs. Carolina League All-Star Game break, beginning June 17th. The Jethawks began the stretch with an eight-game winning streak (plus one game before the day off made it nine), then won three out of four against Visalia. On the thirteenth day of the marathon, after traveling about 167 miles north to Stockton, they began to fade.

After that initial 11-of-12 stretch, they've now lost four in a row. They've got three more left in San Jose before they make the 321-mile trip back to Lancaster... all told, they will have played in 26 straight games and traveled - including commutes to and from Southern Division opponents - approximately 2,075.3 miles.

I'm not making excuses for them, nor do they need excuses made for them. But it's important to remember that a lot of these young players are still getting used to the grind of professional baseball. These aren't major league games, either. They're not staying in nice hotels and taking private charters. They're riding in buses, getting little sleep, and often commuting back and forth great distances (Lake Elsinore is over 100 miles from Lancaster), even between individual games in a series.

Countdown at T-Minus Ten And Counting...

On June 17th, the Tri-City ValleyCats begin the defense of their Stedler Division championship at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, hosting the Vermont Lake Monsters (OAK).

The Greeneville Astros will have to wait a little longer. They open on the road on June 20th against the Bluefield Blue Jays (TOR) before their home opener, Sunday 6/23 at Pioneer Park against the Elizabethton Twins (MIN). It will be Josh Bonifay's first game as manager of the Astros, after previously serving as their hitting coach in 2011, and the hitting coach in Lexington in 2012. Cesar Cedeno and Corey O'Brien will be back, as well as a new face in pitching coach Josh Miller, a former Astors and Phillies farmhand (and Bonifay's teammate in Corpus Christi in 2006).

The GCL Astros won't get into action until June 21st.

What Happened Was...

Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA) - Asher Wojciechowski pitched seven strong shutout innings before ceding the game to the bullpen, beginning with Jason Stoffel, who walked two in an inning, but allowed no runs. Then Jose Valdez took the ball and the whole damn thing went in the crapper. He gave up two runs to cede the walkoff win, 2-1, to the Omaha Storm Chasers (KCR), as the offense couldn't get things going against the Royals' #3 prospect, Yordano Ventura.

Oklahoma City: 32-26, 2nd (1.0 GB) - Pacific Coast League American Southern Division

  • CF Robbie Grossman - 0/2, R, 2 BB, SB
  • 2B Jake Elmore - 0/4, 2 K, E
  • 1B RedHawks First Baseman - 0/4, 2 K
  • 3B Brandon Laird - 1/4, 2 K
  • DH Fernando Martinez - 1/4, 2 K
  • RHP Asher Wojciechowski - 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 WP
  • RHP Jason Stoffel - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
  • RHP Jose Valdez - 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, BK
Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) - This one got real ugly, real fast... and then it got a lot uglier. After trading crooked numbers in the fourth inning, the Hooks and the Midland RockHounds (OAK) were tied 4-4. Ruben Alaniz, already 64 pitches in, handed the ball off with an out left to go in the fourth. Andrew Robinson pitched well in relief, but by the end of this game - after the RockHounds put up 10 runs over the final three innings - four different Hooks pitchers (Alaniz, Kenny Long, and Jorge De Leon) had given up at least four runs each. Meanwhile, Jacob Goebbert continued to make life hell for the Houston organization (as if Travis Blackley's performance wasn't bad enough) by going 2/4 with a home run, 2 runs scored, 5 RBI, and 2 walks (one intentional).

Corpus Christi: 36-23, 1st - Texas League South
  • CF George Springer - 1/4, 2B, R, K
  • 2B Jose Martinez - 1/3, R, RBI, 2 BB, K
  • 1B Jonathan Singleton - 0/3, RBI, 2 K
  • DH Erik Castro - 0/3, R, BB, 3 K
  • LF Michael Burgess - 0/2, 2 BB, K
  • C Max Stassi - 0/3, R, HBP
  • SS Jiovanni Mier - 1/3, RBI, BB, K
  • RHP Ruben Alaniz - 3.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
  • RHP Andrew Robinson - 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
  • RHP Jorge De Leon - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB (1 IBB), 5 K
  • LHP Kenny Long - 1.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
  • RHP Matt Heidenreich - 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Lancaster Jethawks (A+) - When Tyson Perez gets down, he has a tendency to stay down. The San Jose Giants (SFG) got on him early, putting up four runs in the first inning. He was able to shut them down until the fifth, when he gave up three more, without recording a single out in the inning. The Jethawks bats were largely silent, though Nolan Fontana did triple and Chris Epps hit a late, too-little-too-late home run. Still, the Giants downed Lancaster, 8-3.

Lancaster: 35-25, 1st - California League South
  • 2B Delino DeShields - 1/5, K, SB
  • SS Nolan Fontana - 1/3, 3B, R, BB, E
  • CF Andrew Aplin - 1/4, RBI, K
  • 1B Telvin Nash - 0/4, 2 K
  • DH Chris Epps - 1/3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K
  • RHP Tyson Perez - 4.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 0 K, HBP, 2 WP
  • RHP Jonas Dufek - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, HBP, WP
  • RHP Michael Dimock - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
  • RHP Travis Ballew - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - With the 2013 MLB Draft happening, Carlos Correa made sure the 2012 MLB Draft was not forgotten. Within an hour of GM Jeff Luhnow hitting a home run by drafting Mark Appel (do you know how happy it makes me to bold his name now?), Correa hit one of his own -- and he wasn't done. All told, he ended the day with 3 hits (two for extra bases, the third thrown out trying to stretch it into extra bases) and 5 RBI. The home run was the first hit off of Jose Berrios this season. The Twins' other 2012 first rounder, Byron Buxton, was 0-for-4 with 2 strikeouts as the River Bandits beat the Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN) 9-5.

Quad Cities - 33-25, 3rd (4.0 GB) - Midwest League Western Division
  • CF Ruben Sosa - 0/3, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, K, SB
  • SS Carlos Correa - 3/4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB, E
  • DH Miles Hamblin - 0/5, 4 K
  • RF Ariel Ovando - 1/2, R, K, SB, OF Assist
  • RHP Vincent Velasquez - 4.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
  • RHP Jamaine Cotton - 3.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
  • RHP Gerardo Sanchez - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
DSL Astros (Rk) - The Astros got off to a good start, as Brauly Mejia hit his first professional home run in the bottom of the second, a solo shot to left field, to put them up 1-0. But the Royals (KCR) countered back with two runs in the top of the third and another in the sixth. The Astros offense couldn't get things going, getting just three hits in the 3-1 loss.

DSL Astros: 2-3, 4th (2.0 GB) - Dominican Summer League Boca Chica Northwest
  • CF Luis Payano - 0/1, 3 BB
  • 2B Arturo Michelena - 1/3, BB
  • 3B Randy Cesar - 1/3, BB, K
  • RF Brauly Mejia - 1/4, HR, R, RBI
  • SS Kristian Trompiz - 0/2, 2 BB
  • LHP Geronimo Franzua - 5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 1 K
  • RHP Carlos Vasquez - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
  • RHP Yonquelys Martinez - 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

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