Minor League Recap: Games of April 15, 2014

The King ended his time in AAA in grand fashion - David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Your daily look at the previous night's Minor League happenings.

AAA Oklahoma City RedHawks: 11-9 win over Colorado Springs (COL)

-> George Springer: 3-for-4, BB, GRAND SLAM, 4 R, 4 RBI
-> Max Stassi: 2-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI
-> Jon Singleton: 2-for-5, 2B, R
-> Austin Wates: 1-for-4, BB, R
-> Carlos Perez: 1-for-4, RBI
-> Ronald Torreyes: 1-for-4, R
-> Domingo Santana: 1-for-5, 2 RBI
-> Gregorio Petit: 0-for-3, BB, 2 R
-> Jonathan Meyer: 1-for-1, R (def. replacement)

SP Michael Foltynewicz: 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K (win)
RP Rudy Owens: 1.1 IP, 5 R (4 ER), 6 H, 0 BB, 1 K
RP Chia-Jen Lo: 0.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K
RP Jason Stoffel: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K (hold)
RP Josh Zeid: 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K (save)

Boy, the bullpen almost blew that one. The bad guys scored eight runs in the last four innings. Fortunately the offense pushed a pair of insurance runs across in the top of the ninth to give them some padding, otherwise there would have been extras after the score in the bottom of the frame.

It was a grand exit for The King of Spring. Not six hours after Springer hit his grand slam (in Colorado Springs, where else?), the Astros called him up, and a great cry of joy went up from the city of Houston. It was his fifth multi-hit game of the season, and his second in a row in which he did not strike out.

Now Singleton is the big bat on the team (not that he's alone, with Stassi and Santana remaining with him), and he continued to impress as well. Singleton's line over his last ten games is .375/.479/.800. Yowza. Stassi continues his hitting streak; he now has at least one in each of his 11 games, and a .906 OPS on the year. Santana also improved his hitting streak to six games, during which time he has ten hits.

Hey hey, a bounce-back start for Folty, and in Colorado Springs no less (Colorado Springs is just about as bad for pitchers as Coors Field is, FYI. I believe only the graveyard down in Albuquerque is worse in the entire PCL). He still had trouble locating his off-speed pitches, but using the fastball well enough to survive in a tough environment says something positive. Owens, on the other hand, felt the effects of the park. His ERA is still making things look a little more ugly than they've really been, but it was a bad night, for sure.

AA Corpus Christi Hooks: 2-1 loss to Springfield (STL)

-> Preston Tucker: 2-for-4, 2B
-> Leo Heras: 1-for-2, BB, RBI
-> Joe Sclafani: 1-for-3
-> Enrique Hernandez: 1-for-4, 2B, R

SP Thomas Shirley: 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K (loss)
RP Andrew Robinson: 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K
RP Matt Heidenreich: 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 5 K
RP Theron Geith: 0.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K
RP Jorge De Leon: 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K

Boy, second straight 2-1 loss. That Cardinal pitching depth...

Two bright spots tonight were Tucker and Shirley though. Tucker is hitting .327/.352/.519 so far, with four doubles and a pair of taters. He's only struck out five times in 12 games, and has a strikeout rate under 10%. You who dislike Chris Carter may end up loving this guy.

Given his age and all, I'm trying not to get too jacked up about Shirley, but his first three outings have been awesome. 2.03 ERA, 2.03 K/9 and 10.80 K/9 in 13.1 innings. He's competing well against righties, and then throw in the fact that he's eating left-handers alive, and it's no wonder his numbers look like they do. (no runs, no walks and a 15.43 K/9 against LHB so far).

Alright, I'm not a big Heidenreich fan, but I won't ignore him with a night like he had. This is his first good outing, so his numbers are bad, though in his last two starts he's walked none while striking out seven in 6.1 innings. So there's something to build on for him.

A+ Lancaster JetHawks: 5-4 win over High Desert

-> Daniel Gulbransen: 2-for-4
-> Carlos Correa: 2-for-5, 3B, SB, RBI, R
-> Teoscar Hernandez: 2-for-5, 2B, RBI
-> Roberto Pena: 1-for-3, BB, R
-> Danry Vasquez: 1-for-3
-> Anthony Kemp: 1-for-4, BB, RBI, R
-> Rio Ruiz: 1-for-4, BB, SB
-> Carlos Perdomo: 1-for-4, RBI, R
-> Brandon Meredith: 1-for-5, RBI, R

SP Kyle Westwood: 5.0 IP 2 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K
RP Vincent Velasquez: 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K (blown save, win)
RP Jamaine Cotton: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K (save)

A Teoscar Hernandez RBI double in the top of the ninth provided the winning run for the JetHawks. What more can we say? The kid is on fire. .415/.479/.780 during his last ten games with nine extra-base hits, six walks, and just six strikeouts. He has a 1.738 OPS against left-handed pitchers. He's fourth in the California League in OPS. Gosh.

Velasquez finally looked human tonight, but he was still quite solid. Westwood as well; that tandem has really been getting it done. 2.25 BB/9 and 10.69 K/9 for Velasquez so far, and 1.50 BB/9 and 5.50 K/9 for Westwood. I would note, however, that seven strikeouts came in one five inning outing, and that outside of that, he has a 2.77 K/9. I don't want to complain about someone doing so well, but that will have to come up eventually, no one can survive in the upper levels, much less the Majors, whiffing less than three guys per nine inning.

Ruiz has reached base in all 12 of his games via either hit or walk, and he has a .908 OPS on the season thus far. Gulbransen is showing his on-base ability, with 13 hits and seven walks giving him a .392 OBP in 12 games. And after a four game hitless slump, Vasquez is 5-for-17 in the last four days.

Since returning to the lineup, Correa is 4-for-11. Mwah ha ha.

A- Quad Cities River Bandits: Double-Header!

Game One: 6-4 loss to West Michigan (DET)

-> James Ramsay: 2-for-3, BB, 2B, 3B, R
-> Conrad Gregor: 1-for-2, BB, RBI, R
-> Brian Holberton: 1-for-3, solo HR
-> Jon Kemmer: 1-for-3, 2B, RBI
-> Tyler White: 1-for-3
-> Chan Moon: 0-for-2, BB, SB
-> Tanner Mathis: 0-for-3, RBI, R
-> Brett Phillips: 0-for-3, BB

SP Kent Emanuel: 4.0 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 7 H, 1 BB, 3 K
RP Chris Cotton: 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 1 K (loss)

Game Two: 2-1 win over West Michigan (DET)

-> Tyler White: 1-for-2, BB
-> Jon Kemmer: 1-for-3, 2B, R
-> Conrad Gregor: 1-for-3, 2B
-> Chase McDonald: 1-for-3
-> Austin Elkins: 1-for-4, RBI
-> Tanner Mathis: 0-for-2, BB
-> James Ramsay: 0-for-3, SB, R

SP Jandel Gustave: 4.2 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K
RP Patrick Christensen: 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K
RP Andrew Walter: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K (win)

First rough one for Emanuel, though the peripherals were there. I'd give him a pass, given the 40s and lower temperatures up there today. 3.00 ERA, 0.75 BB/9 and 6.00 K/9 in 12 innings on the year. Gustave has been better on the whole than I was expecting. He got knocked around in his second start, but he throws (really) hard and control was the thing I've been worried about, yet he's walked just two batters in 10.1 innings on the season. Ten strikeouts, and aside from that rough second outing, he's given up just the one unearned run he did in this game. Nice.

Ramsay was on an eight-game reaching base streak (I'm not counting one of the April 13 games since he didn't get a PA in it), but that was snapped in the second game of the double hitter. He's hitting .317/.412/.488 in 12 games, has seven each of walks and whiffs, and remains perfect in steals with 6-for-6 in his attempts.

Holberton's playing time has been sporadic enough for me to suspect some kind of minor nagging injury, and although he's not hitting for much average, he has a .768 OPS. He's walked four times and struck out just three in six games. Gregor is now on a six game hitting streak.

Tomorrow's Scheduled Starters

AAA: TBA (Jake Buchanan) vs. Christian Bergman
AA: Off Day
A+: Kyle Smith vs. Andrew Kittredge
A-: Michael Feliz vs. Kevin Ziomek

Quick note on the AAA pitching situation; tomorrow is Buchanan's scheduled day. Last time out, he made it through five innings and then Cisnero picked up two and Lo picked up one to finish the game, instead of a piggyback starter following him up. Clemens being in the Majors has thrown another kink into things. With Corpus off tomorrow, I wouldn't be shocked to see someone up from there or elsewhere temporarily. Brady Rodgers, who made a spot start in AAA last year and was very good in it, hasn't pitched since the 12th, the same date Buchanan last pitched. We'll see how they work it.

Also, Kevin Ziomek pitched five innings in the second game of the double header, so, yeah, the website has lost its mind again. Ignore that.

Minor League Links

Notes from the California League - Baseball Prospectus

For those of you who are subscribers or want to, the above piece has scouting reports from BP scouts on Teoscar Hernandez, Anthony Kemp, Carlos Correa, Rio Ruiz, Lance McCullers and Mark Appel. Very nice read.

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