Living in Austin, I was able to attend the Round Rock-Oklahoma City game on Friday night. Although this game was already covered on yesterday's recap, I'll start this one off with a few of my first-hand observations from that game.
First, the differences between the OKC and Round Rock rosters are vastly different. The Express are filled with journeyman players with names such as Lillibridge, Snyder (Chris and Brad) and Kouzmanoff, all with ample major league experience. On the other hand, the Redhawks roster is full of young prospects, many of whom have been mentioned on this site. That just goes to show the differences in minor league rosters start to become evident in Triple A.
On to the game; the Redhawks did nothing offensively as a team, combining for just four singles. Jonathan Singleton looked pretty lost at the plate, striking out three times, though he did hit a homer last night. George Springer hit one of those singles, and was retired on a sharp flyout to right field that I caught on video in the link below.
Nothing else really happened offensively. Jake Buchanan started the game for OKC and allowed a lot of hard contact, including a homer to Brad Snyder. Chia-Jen Lo, who was outrighted off the 40-man roster yesterday, looked pretty good in an inning of work. Though his future in the Astros bullpen may be in question, Lo was sitting consistently in the low 90s with his fastball. Paul Clemens finished the game on the back end of the tandem and didn't look too impressive. Clemens just doesn't look like an important part of the Astros future going forward, and this is based on his performance last year as well.
One part of the Redhawks that impressed me was there defense. The middle infield of Ronald Torreyes and second base and Gregorio Petit at short made every play last night and should help the Redhawks pitching staff this season. I also enjoyed getting a look at Jonathan Meyer a short; he's a pretty burly guy and although he did make an error last night he looked pretty confident on the plays he did convert at the hot corner.
Max Stassi's defense behind the plate was also interesting to watch. I'm no expert on pitch framing but Stassi looked smooth receiving pitches. He also made a perfect throw to the plate from the backstop on a Clemens wild pitch late in the game. The runner might've been out, but Clemens didn't get to the plate in time as the Express scored their sixth run of the game. On to the game recaps!
Triple-A: Round Rock Express 7, Oklahoma City Redhawks 4
Nick Tropeano made his season debut starting this game, lasting 3.1 innings and allowing four runs. He also walked four hitters, so not a great start to the season for NiTro. The Redhawks were obviously more confident at the plate last night compared to Friday with five hits for extra bases, including home runs from Carlos Perez and Jonathan Singleton. Singleton's homer was apparently crushed, reaching the walkway in Round Rock's right field. George Springer was held hitless in three at-bats and struck out twice.
Nick Tropeano: 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
Jose Cisnero: 1 IP, 1 BB, 2 K
Double-A: Corpus Christi Hooks 7, Tulsa Drillers 4
The Hooks hitters faced off against 2013 #3 pick Jonathan Gray of the Rockies last night and fared pretty well. Preston Tucker hit a homer off Gray and Delino DeShields and Andrew Aplin contributed as well. Luis Cruz started for Corpus and pitched well, going 5 innings and striking out 5 compared to one walk. Cruz is one of the more intriguing, less-heralded players in the system. He's a lefty and can throw pretty hard, two solid ingredients for a big league future.
Delino DeShields: 2-3, 3 runs, 2 SB (4), 1 K
Nolan Fontana: 2-5, 2B
Andrew Aplin: 1-2, 3 RBI, 2 BB
Preston Tucker: 2-3, HR (1), BB
Leo Heras: 0-4, K
Luis Cruz: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 5 K, 1 BB
Ross Seaton: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Andrew Robinson: .1 IP, SV (1)
High A: Lake Elsinore Storm 8, Lancaster Jethawks 7
The bullpen ultimately did the Jethawks in on this game, but the big story was the Cal League debut of Josh Hader, who struck out 10 Storm hitters in 4 innings of work. If you can do multiplication, that's 10 of 12 hitters retired via the K. The Jethawks offense recorded twelve hits, including three apiece from Dan Gulbransen and Danry Vasquez. Carlos Correa added two, but the team only recorded three extra base hits.
Tony Kemp: 0-4, BB, SB
Teoscar Hernandez: 0-4, 2 K
Carlos Correa: 2-5, 2B
Rio Ruiz: 2-5, 2 K
Danry Vasquez: 3-5, 4 runs, K
Dan Gulbransen: 3-5, 2 2B
Josh Hader: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K's
Daniel Minor: 1 IP, 3 ER,
A: Quad Cities River Bandits 2, Kane County Cougars 1 (Game 1, 7 innings)
Kane County 5, Quad Cities 4 (Game 2, 10 innings)
Quad Cities double-dipped after a rainout on Friday. Kent Emmanuel and Jandel Gustave combined to shut down the Cubs A-ballers in Game 1, while Michael Feliz had a rough start to his season in the loss in game two. The hitting lines for QC below are combined over the two games.
James Ramsay: 0-7, BB, K, RBI
Brett Phillips: 0-3
Conrad Gregor: 1-5, 4 BB, 3 K
Kent Emmanuel: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 K
Jandel Gustave: 3 IP (perfect line)
Michael Feliz: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HR allowed
Chris Cotton: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 K
Looking Ahead: 4-6-14
OKC vs. RR, Starter: David Martinez (1:05 pm)
CC vs. Springfield, Starter: Tom Shirley vs. TBD (4:10 pm)
LAN vs. LE, Starter: Mark Appel (4:00 pm)
QC vs. Kane County, Starter: Adrian Houser (1:15 pm)