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Minor League Recap: Games of April 20, 2014

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

Kudos to Bobby G on starting off hot following his demotion to AAA
Kudos to Bobby G on starting off hot following his demotion to AAA
Ronald Martinez

AAA Oklahoma City RedHawks: 5-4 loss to Memphis

-> Robbie Grossman: 3-for-5, SB
-> Jon Singleton: 1-for-3, R, 2 BB
-> Domingo Santana: 1-for-3, BB, R
-> Max Stassi: 1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI
-> Gregorio Petit: 1-for-4, BB, 2B, R
-> Enrique Hernandez: 1-for-4, RBI

SP Jake Buchanan: 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 2 K
RP Rhiner Cruz: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 3 BB, 0 K
RP Jose Cisnero: 2.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K
RP Darin Downs: 0.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K (loss)

4-2 lead going into the bottom of the eighth...Memphis gets two in the eighth, one in the ninth to walk off. Man. Does this organization have a relief problem? It's a question you have to ask. Is the "relievers are fungible" Moneyball mentality hurting...?

Last night, Singleton hit his seventh bomb of the year, but he also struck out three times. Tonight, however, a bit more patient, polished night at the plate. He has seven homers and 12 walks in 17 games, though the 23 strikeouts are a bit of a concern. It should be noted that in his last ten games, he has 11 strikeouts, but five of them came in just two of them, so recently you can see a positive trend in that regard.

Speaking of which, Santana has whiffed five times in his last five games. That's not awesome, but it's much better than what he had been doing over the course of the season. Grossman has three games now after being demoted; the first was a rough 0-for-5 night, but he's collected three hits per game in the following two, including a couple of doubles.

Stassi has a homer in each of his last two games (he didn't play last night), and four on the year; two each against left-handed pitchers and right-handed pitchers. Notably, he's struck out just three times in his last seven games.

And I'll throw a quick spotlight on Jose Cisnero. He has six appearances and 11 innings, so he's definitely a guy who can work more than just one inning at a time. He has a 2.45 ERA, 3.27 BB/9 and 14.73 K/9 (18 K in 11 innings, wow). Those who followed the MLB club last year may remember that, in the midst of one of the worst bullpens in history, Cisnero was only of the only decent performers out there. Don't be surprised if Cisnero gets the call at some point, considering his success, multi-inning ability and the struggles of the MLB pen, should they continue.

AA Corpus Christi Hooks: 7-5 win over Frisco

-> Matthew Duffy: 3-for-5, HR, R, 4 RBI
-> Preston Tucker: 2-for-3, 2B, R, 2 BB
-> Telvin Nash: 1-for-3, BB, solo HR
-> Andrew Aplin: 1-for-3, 2B, SB, 2 BB, 2 R
-> Leonardo Heras: 1-for-4, solo HR
-> Rene Garcia: 1-for-4, SB
-> Chris Epps: 1-for-5, 3B, R
-> Joe Sclafani: 1-for-5, RBI

SP Matthew Heidenreich: 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K
RP Andrew Robinson: 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K (win)
RP Patrick Urckfitz: 0.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K (hold)
RP Thomas Shirley: 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 6 K (save)

Prior to this game, Duffy was in a 1-for-20 funk during his previous six games, so this was a nice breakout. Home run number one of the season for him. Still looking for his first walk.

Tucker continues to be team MVP, and with DeShields out for a number of weeks rather than days, he'll have to be the man carrying this team if they want to win. He's on a .341/.372/.561 run in his last ten games, with a pair of long balls and a trio of doubles. He's noticeably better against right-handed pitching, as you'd expect, but his .286/.286/.500 line against left-handed pitching is more than acceptable.

The guy who's really getting killed by the southpaws is Andrew Aplin. He's hitting .294/.458/.353 against right-handers, but just .182/.308/.182 against lefties. The on-base ability is still there, and he hasn't been striking out much against them either, so if he can improve a bit there, his overall numbers should improve. Whatever power he showed in Tri-City and Lancaster has not translated to AA at all, at least yet; .286 slugging percentage, with just a pair of doubles in the XBH department.

And boy, how about Thomas Shirley? Seemingly out of nowhere, he's been arguably the best pitcher in the system so far. In four outings (17.1 IP), he has a 1.56 ERA, 1.56 BB/9 and 11.42 K/9. I mean, wow. If anyone attends a game this year and sees him first hand, feel free to pass on any info you can glean from it.

A+ Lancaster JetHawks: Off Night

On a Sunday...?

A- Quad Cities River Bandits: Off Night

Okay, who the heck schedules off days for Sunday? Gosh. At least I have some highlights and links to flesh things out.

Tomorrow's Scheduled Starters

AAA: Nick Tropeano vs. TBD
AA: Brady Rodgers vs. Shawn Haviland
A+: Lance McCullers vs. Ryan Crowley
A-: Evan Grills vs. Edwin Diaz

Video Highlights

Singleton's three-run tater

Singleton goes yard again

And again

And again

Springer's bomb

Springer's slam

DeShields hits a double

DeShields swipes a base

Fontana's triple

Minor League Links

How Service Time Dictates Top Prospect Promotions - Zachary Levine, Baseball Prospectus

Singleton named PCL Player of the Week -

RedHawks' Singleton sets sights on present -

A 'perfect' MLB start for Springer, fans - PROSPECTive