Man, it certainly was another rough night at the major league level. I'm honestly not sure how much more of that bullpen I can take; the ERA is above six right now. It's hard to believe they could be worse than last year, but they're #onpace to do that exact thing. Help us Jesse Crain, you're our only hope! There was actually a lot of hope to be found on the farm last night. Skip down to the Lancaster recap for instant gratification, but it's worth savoring because Corpus did some good stuff too.
AAA: Colorado Springs Sky Sox (COL) 8, Oklahoma City Redhawks 2
OKC starter Rudy Owens was roughed up in this one. The offense wasn't there either, but it's nice to see Austin Wates back in the lineup for the first time since April 17. Wates had two hits in his return, keeping his average at .350. That number looks good but the injury will make the Astros front office wait a little longer to see how his hitting progresses before bringing him up. Jon Singleton had a double but also struck out three times. Jon's contact rates have been much better than his career averages so far this season, but last night was a bit of a hiccup.
AA: Corpus Christi Hooks 5, Frisco Roughriders 1
Is it just me or does it seem like Corpus plays Frisco every day? Or maybe they do when I'm on recaps. Anyway, the Hooks took this one behind twelve hits and some solid work from the pitching staff, especially the bullpen. Delino DeShields had another nice night after his return from getting his face smashed, and Nolan Fontana, Matt Duffy and Preston Tucker all had multi-hit games. Fontana is hitting .311 in his last 20 games with 11 walks, and he's up to .281 on the season after a slow start which is a pretty solid number for a guy in his first month and a half in AA. Also the Hooks did their damage off of Frisco starter and noted major league Joe Saunders, so that's pretty cool.
Delino Deshields: 2-5
Nolan Fontana: 2-3, K
Andrew Aplin: 1-5, 2 RBI
Matt Duffy: 3-4, HR (4)
Preston Tucker: 2-4
Tommy Shirley: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
Travis Ballew: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K
Jorge De Leon: 2 IP, 3 K
A+: Lancaster JetHawks 12, High Desert Mavericks 5 (SEA)
An impressive night all-around for the Jethawks; offense generated 12 runs on 18 hits, and the 1-2-3 of Kemp, Hernandez and Correa combined to go 12-17 with 8 RBI. Correa went 5-6 and has not skipped a beat since his return. He's hitting .322 with 28 RBI. Also, Tony Kemp is approaching Altuvian levels of Cal League dominance. He's up to .368 so far. Call that guy up to Corpus! Or Houston! (Remember when Altuve went from starting 2011 in Lancaster and finishing in Houston? Fun times). Not to be outdone, Tesocar Hernandez is hitting .432 over his last ten games after a mini-slump. You can call this a Cal League mirage all you want and that's fair, but all three of these guys are having this success in the first taste of a higher level. That's impressive.
The Jethawks pitching had a notable night as well. Kent Emmanuel earned his first pro win in a 5 inning, 2 run performance and Lance McCullers finished the tandem.
Tony Kemp: 4-6, 4 R, 1 RBI
Teoscar Hernandez: 3-5, 2 R, 2B, BB, K
Carlos Correa: 5-6, 2B, 6 RBI
Bobby Borchering: 1-5, BB, 3 K
Kent Emmanuel: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Lance McCullers: 4 IP, 5 H, 4 BB, 4 K
A-: Quad Cities River Bandits 6, Beloit Snappers (OAK) 2
Quad Cities had a few multi-hit games from the offense, but the guy I want to talk about is starter Andrew Thurman. Thurman had a rough beginning to the season in QC, and his overall numbers still don't look great. However, his K/BB ratio is pretty solid at 2.75, he's only allowed one homer and his FIP is a lot better than his ERA. Thurman is one of my favorite prospects who's just outside of or nearly at the Astros top ten so I'm really pulling for him to have a nice debut and get on the fast track to Houston.
James Ramsay: 2-2, 2B, 2 BB
Jack Mayfield: 0-4
Conrad Gregor: 2-3, BB
Brian Holberton: 2-4, 2 RBI
Brett Phillips: 2-4, 2B
Andrew Thurman: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Chris Lee: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Tomorrow's probables and game times
AAA: OKC (Foltynewicz) vs. CS (2:05 pm CT)
AA: CC (Rodgers) vs. FRI (2:05 pm CT)
A+: LAN (Devenski) vs. HD (3:05 CT)
A-: QC, off day