Apr 252012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Postponed @ Rochester,
7:05 p.m.
Lannan (0-2, 7.50) vs.
Thompson (1-2, 3.21)
Harrisburg Won, 5-1 @ Altoona,
6:30 p.m.
Rosenbaum (2-0, 1.25) vs.
Baker (2-1, 3.29)
Potomac Lost, 6-4 @ Winston-Salem,
12:00 p.m.
Grace (1-1, 7.00) vs.
Buch (0-1, 6.75)
Hagerstown Won, 9-2 @ Rome,
7:00 p.m.
Hill (2-0, 2.45) vs.
Perez (0-2, 12.27)

SYRACUSE — PPD
With snow/sleet in the forecast, and sub-40 degree temperatures, the game between the Rochester Red Wings was postponed on Tuesday night, to be replayed on Thursday morning as part of a doubleheader. Tonight’s game is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. but rain is forecast for parts of this afternoon though it is significantly warmer.

Harrisburg 5 Altoona 1
• Mandel (W, 2-1) 6IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 3K
• Frias 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Ivany 2-4, 3B, HR, RBI
• Kobernus 2-4, 2R, 4SB (15)

Speed, defense, and good pitching were all on display in Altoona as Harrisburg used strong doses of all three elements in a 5-1 win over the Curve. Jeff Kobernus stole four of the seven bases the Sens swiped, including teaming up with Chris Rahl on a double steal of home and second base in the third. His 15 steals is second to Billy Hamilton’s 18 in affiliated baseball. Harrisburg turned three double plays on the night to help Jeff Mandel scatter his nine baserunners allowed over six innings, as the veteran allowed just one run to raise his ERA to 1.09 for the season.

Winston-Salem 6 Potomac 4
• Winters (L, 1-2) 5⅓ IP, 9H, 6R, 6ER, 3BB, 4K
• Wort 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Freitas 2-4, 2-2B, RBI
• Keyes 1-2, R, 2BB, HR, RBI, CS
• Oduber 1-3, 2R, 2BB, SB

Despite the wind blowing out at a hitter’s park, the two teams traded zeros early before the P-Nats exploded for three runs in the 5th, highlighted by Kevin Keyes’ 3rd HR of the season. Winston-Salem, however, answered with two in the 5th and four in the sixth en route to a 6-4 win, the 15th defeat in the regular season for Potomac since the ballpark opened in 2010. Kyle Winters took the loss, giving up nine hits and three walks over five and a 1/3rd innings. He was charged with six runs as Neil Holland couldn’t prevent either of the two runners he inherited from scoring. Rob Wort struck out the side in the 8th, the second time in three outings he’s achieved the feat.

Hagerstown 9 Rome 2
• Meyer 4IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 6K
• Dupra (W, 1-3) 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Nieto 4-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Dykstra 2-4, RBI
• Skole 1-2, 2R, HR, RBI, 2BB, SF

A pair of four-run innings pushed the Suns past the Rome Braves en route to a 9-2 win. Adrian Nieto led the 12-hit parade with a 4-for-5 night, while Matt Skole smacked his 4th HR of the season, a solo shot in the 3rd that broke a 0-0 tie. Brian Dupra got the win in relief with three scoreless innings. Alex Meyer started but labored through four innings — four walks, six strikeouts — as he continually got into long counts and struggled with his command. (At least that’s what I saw on MiLB.tv last night. Once Mike Newman of ScoutingTheSally.com files his story, I’ll link to it). Notes: Steven Souza made his first start of the season, going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts, but played right field, indicating that his listing on the Suns roster as an OF may not be a mistake. On a similar note, Dupra’s usage in relief last night and Hill’s start tonight may not necessarily be a flip-flop. Dupra had not pitched in eight days and Hill has not pitched since a week ago.

Apr 242012
 

Editor’s Note: These were moved from today’s News & Notes to make a post unto itself.
A couple of transactions that were missed (or backdated) since the last “Catching Up” post:
• LHP Kylin Turnbull placed on the 7-Day DL for Hagerstown (effective 4/19)
• C Jhonatan Solano placed on the 7-Day DL for Syracuse (effective 4/20)
• LHP Christian Meza reassigned to Hagerstown Suns (effective 4/22)

Still no official word on when OF Brian Goodwin will be activated from the DL, timeframe for Anthony Rendon’s return, or the status of LHP Matthew Purke.

OF Brett Carroll has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Syracuse. This may explain why Solano’s placement on the DL was backdated. Syracuse announcers had said during one the broadcasts that Solano had been feeling ill, though one cannot rule out the Hellenic Flu, either.

Per an official team release, IF Jim Negrych has been assigned to the Harrisburg Senators, with LHP Joe Testa placed on the 7-Day DL to make room for him on the 25-man roster. As reported last week, Negrych was a 6th Round pick in the 2006 draft for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who spent last season in the Marlins organization, posting a .304/.370/.402 line for Miami’s AA affiliate.

UPDATE: The Potomac Nationals have announced that 2B Adrian Sanchez has been placed on the 7-Day DL, with OF Chris Curran replacing him on the 25-man roster.

Apr 242012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY @ Rochester,
7:05 p.m.
Lannan (0-2, 7.50) vs.
DeVries (0-1, 2.87)
Harrisburg OFF DAY @ Altoona,
6:30 p.m.
Mandel (1-0, 0.96) vs.
Colla (0-2, 5.14)
Potomac Lost, 4-1 @ Winston-Salem,
7:00 p.m.
Winters (1-1, 3.71) vs.
Arroyo (0-1, 10.80)
Hagerstown OFF DAY @ Rome,
7:00 p.m.
Meyer (1-2, 6.75) vs.
Holland (1-2, 1.37)

Yesterday was a scheduled off day for three of the four full-season affiliates, and as luck would have it, all four teams will be on the road for the next three before Potomac, Harrisburg and Syracuse return home on Friday. The rainouts also have given us a treat in that Alex Meyer will be pitching near Scouting The Sally’s home base in Georgia, which should give us an opportunity to get a view from “outside the bubble” from a more scouting-oriented prospect writer.

Winston-Salem 4 Potomac 1
• Swynenberg (L, 1-1) 5⅓ IP, 9H, 2R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• Wort 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Bloxom 2-4, 2B, 2K, E(6)
• Moore 1-3, 2B

With two errors to the first two batters, the Dash struck early for two unearned runs while Winston-Salem’s Andre Rienzo stifled the Potomac lineup for seven innings for a 4-1 win over the P-Nats. Matt Swynenberg scattered nine hits over five and a 1/3rd innings, walking none and fanning three, but those two unearned runs did him in for his first loss. The damage could have been much worse, as the Dash batters went just 2-for-17 with RISP and stranded 12 runners. After answering the Winston-Salem’s two runs in the bottom of the 1st with a run in the top of the 2nd, Potomac went in order from the 3rd to the 6th until David Freitas led off the 7th with a single. The last gasp came in the 9th as a hit batsmen (Freitas), double (Justin Bloxom), and a walk (Kevin Keyes) loaded the bases with two outs in the 9th, but Sean Nicol couldn’t connect and went down swinging to end the game.

Apr 232012
 

Danny RosenbaumOn the strength of his four-hit complete game on last Wednesday, Danny Rosenbaum was named the Eastern League’s Pitcher of the Week for the period of April 16 to 22.

Rosenbaum walked none and struck out nine for the game, throwing just 95 pitches — 71 for strikes — to earn his second win in three starts for the Harrisburg Senators. The 22nd-round pick of the 2009 draft leads the Eastern League with a 0.65 WHIP and is fourth in ERA with a mark of 1.25.

The complete game was Rosenbaum’s second nine-inning effort in less than a calendar year, as the 24-year-old tossed a shutout last June against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, a three-hit, one-walk effort.

Apr 232012
 

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-1;
Won 1-0
OFF DAY n/a
Harrisburg Postponed OFF DAY n/a
Potomac Postponed @ Winston-Salem,
7:00 p.m.
Applebee (1-0, 1.35) vs.
Rienzo (2-0, 1.00)
Hagerstown Postponed OFF DAY n/a

Buffalo 6 Syracuse 1 — GAME ONE
• Maya (L, 1-2) 5IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 3K, HR, WP
• Pena 2IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K
• Harper 2-3, R, HR, RBI
• Johnson 2-4

The long Nationals nightmare is over as Bryce Harper finally homered (above, video 1, video 2) at AAA, but the Syracuse Chiefs lost, 6-1. Yunesky Maya was in midseason form, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings. He also committed an error. Josh Johnson and Harper both had two hits, but the Chiefs managed on six total as they dropped their sixth straight decision.

Syracuse 1 Buffalo 0 — GAME TWO
• Roark (W, 1-3) 6IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 4K, E (pickoff)
• Perry (SV, 2) 1IP, H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Brown 1-2, R, HR, RBI
• Moore 1-2

Corey Brown’s solo shot in the 4th was all the support that Tanner Roark would get, but with some help from Ryan Perry, it was all he would need as the Chiefs took the nightcap of the doubleheader, 1-0. Roark tosses six strong innings, alllowing just two hits and two walks (one intenional) while striking out four. He also worked around what could have been a critical error in the 6th, throwing to Brown in CF instead Johnson at SS on a pickoff attempt with one out. The error moved the runner up to third, but Roark painted the corner for a backwards K for the second out and got a grounder to second to end the threat. Perry also danced in and out of danger in the 7th by putting on the tying run with a walk and giving up a single before Tyler Moore pounced on the ensuing bunt for the 3-5 putout and then started the 1-6-3 DP to end the game.

HARRISBURG — PPD
The Senators took two of three from the Thunder in the rain-shortened series and have an off day today before a three-game, midweek set against Altoona. A makeup date for Sunday’s postponement is pending, with the two teams meeting again in Harrisburg in June (15-17) and the Senators visiting Trenton next in late July (26-29).

POTOMAC — PPD
Rain washed out both weekend games against the Salem Red Sox and will likely force some shuffling of the rotation as well. When the two games will be made up has not yet been announced, but the guess here is that one will be made up in Salem when the P-Nats visit May 8-10, and the other will be made up during the June 8-10. Absent another rainout, Potomac could go from May 8 to June 17 without a day off, which could mean as many as 44 games in 41 games.

HAGERSTOWN — PPD
The rain gave the Suns a 2-0 series win against the BlueClaws and a head start on their long bus ride to Georgia to face the Braves for four and GreenJackets for three before heading back and hosting Rome for three and Augusta for four. Makeup dates for the two missed games have not been announced, but with the half system, it’s probable that a pair of doubleheaders will be played when Hagerstown next visits Lakewood on May 24-27.

Apr 222012
 

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Postponed vs. Buffalo,
12:00 p.m.
Maya (1-1, 2.60) and
Roark (0-3, 6.46) vs.
Familia (1-1, 6.59) and
Schwinden (2-1, 2.25)
Harrisburg Won, 4-1 @ Trenton,
1:05 p.m.
Mandel (1-1, 0.96) vs.
Marshall (2-1, 5.40)
Potomac Postponed vs. Salem,
12:05 p.m.
Grace (1-1, 7.00) and
Applebee (1-0, 1.35) vs.
Couch (2-1, 3.38) and TBD
Hagerstown Postponed vs. Lakewood,
1:05 p.m.
Dupra (0-3, 5.02) and
Meyer (1-2, 6.75) vs.
Manzanillo (0-1, 6.55) and
Nesseth (1-1, 7.59)

Rain washed out three of four games on the Washington Nationals farm last night, and with percentages of 80, 80 and 100 forecast for Woodbridge, Hagerstown, and Trenton, there’s a good chance that it’ll be another three rainouts today. Without further ado, here’s how things went in Trenton, NJ.

Harrisburg 4 Trenton 1
• Demny (W, 1-1) 6⅓ IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 3K
• McCoy (H, 2) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Garcia (SV, 1) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Rahl 3-4, 2R, 3B, HR, 3RBI
• Hood 2-4, R
• Pahuta 2-4, R
• Valdez OF assist at 2B (4th in 9G)

Walks had been the bugaboo for Paul Demny — 13 in 11⅔ innings — in his first three outings, but with just one last night, the 22-year-old Texan was able to pitch into 7th inning for the first time this season. Thanks to Chris Rahl’s two-run triple in the top of the 7th, Demny would get the win, too. Rahl fell short of the cycle, but singled, tripled, and homered (#4, second in the Nats minors behind Tyler Moore) to drive in three of the four Senator runs. Harrisburg got 10 hits total, including a double by Chris McConnell to halt an 0-for-21 skid, while Pat McCoy and Christian Garcia both tossed an inning and a third of scoreless relief to earn the hold and save, respectively.

Apr 212012
 


A few more moves were made today, as the shuffling between Extended Spring Training continues.

POTOMAC
• IF Zach Walters activated from the DL
• C Sam Palace placed on the DL

HAGERSTOWN
• 1B Steve Souza activated from Potomac DL, assigned to Hagerstown
• 2B Hendry Jimenez assigned to Extended Spring Training
• LHP Ben Hawkins assigned to Hagerstown from Auburn

AUBURN
• LHP Christian Meza assigned to Auburn from Hagerstown

It’s been a busy week on the transaction front, with two posts and items in the notes. I repeated this morning’s Hagerstown-Auburn transaction above, but in keeping with the headline, here’s a recap:

• Xavier Paul placed on Syracuse restricted list (personal matter)
• IF Josh Johnson assigned to Syracuse from Harrisburg
• IF Chris McConnell assigned to Harrisburg from Syracuse
• C Jeff Howell assigned to Syracuse from Harrisburg
• C James Skelton assigned to Harrisburg from Potomac
• C Sam Palace activated from DL
• IF Brent Greer placed on the DL
• LHP Josh Smoker placed on the DL
• RHP Shane McCatty activated from XST, assigned to Potomac
• IF Cutter Dykstra activated from XST, assigned to Hagerstown
• OF Narciso Mesa assigned to XST from Hagerstown

Obviously more moves are coming, so I’ll do my best to keep you folks informed.

Apr 212012
 

“This one was over early.”

That’s what the brain said, after giving up six runs to the first eight batters Adam Olbrychowski faced, punctuated by a two-run HR by Salem’s Drew Hedman.

But then Oblrychowski settled down, retiring eight straight batters while the offense chipped away at the 6-0 deficit with a solo HR by Justin Bloxom in the 2nd and an RBI groundout by Michael Taylor in the 3rd.

So the heart said, “Well, maybe if Olby can give us five innings, we can make this a ballgame.”

After back-to-back walks in the 4th, then a nifty 8-6-4 double play when Salem tried to hit-and-run with leadoff hitter Jackie Bradley Jr., the heart started to flutter. Then a two-run shot deep to left field reminded us that the brain was right all along, putting the Red Sox up 8-2 after three and a 1/2 innings.

A five-run 5th put the game away for Salem, as the Red Sox prospects battered Trevor Holder for a triple, two doubles and a single to take a commanding 13-2 lead.

Randolph Oduber struck back with a two-run shot in the bottom of the 5th, but it was too little, too late.

Wilson Eusebio, Neil Holland and Cameron Selik combined for four and 1/3rd scoreless innings of relief, but their Salem counterparts matched them zero for zero, with Blake Kelso’s two-out single to left in the 7th the last gasp over the final four innings.

With the loss, Potomac falls to 6-7 on the season, tied for second place with the Frederick Keys in the Carolina League’s Northern Division, two and a 1/2 games behind the Lynchburg Hillcats. Matt Grace (1-1, 7.00) is slated to take the hill tonight against Salem’s Keith Couch (2-1, 3.38) in Game Three of the four-game series.

Apr 212012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-4 vs. Buffalo,
2:00 p.m.
Roark (0-3, 6.46) vs.
Familia (1-1, 6.59)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-5
(12 inn.)
@ Trenton,
5:05 p.m.
Demny (0-1, 5.40) vs.
Hall (2-1, 3.94)
Potomac Lost, 13-4 vs. Salem,
6:35 p.m.
Grace (1-1, 7.00) vs.
Couch (2-1, 3.38)
Hagerstown Won, 15-2 vs. Lakewood,
7:05 p.m.
Dupra (0-3, 5.02) vs.
Manzanillo (0-1, 6.55)

Buffalo 6 Syracuse 4
• Atkins (L, 1-2) 5IP, 10H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Arnesen 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Rivero 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Moore 1-4, HR, 2RBI
• Harper 0-3, BB, 2K, OF assist (HP)

THe GBI curse is alive and well, as Mitch Atkins gave up 10 hits and five runs in a 6-4 loss to Buffalo — the fifth straight defeat for Syracuse. Tyler Moore gave the Chiefs a brief 2-1 lead with his sixth HR in the bottom of the first. After Bryce Harper Ankieled a runner at the plate in the next half-inning, it looked like this might be a good night. But things fell apart from there, as the Bisons trampled Atkins for a run in 3rd, two in the 4th, and another in the 5th. Carlos Rivero doubled in a run in the 6th and Mark Teahen singled in a run in the 7th, but Syracuse went down in order in the last two innings to end any hopes of a comeback.

Trenton 6 Harrisburg 5 (12 inn.)
• Gilliam 4+ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 3K
• Davis 3⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Leon 3-3, 2B, BB, RBI, SF
• Kobernus 3-6, 2-2B, RBI, 2CS, E
• Pahuta 3-6

After rallying for two in the top of the 12th, the Sens ‘pen gave back three for a 6-5 loss in 12 innings. After letting in starter Robert Gilliam’s two runs in the bottom of the 5th, the relief work was shut-down: six straight goose eggs, highlighted by Erik Davis’s 3⅔ scoreless IP. Hector Nelo worked around a single and a walk in the 11th, but was tagged for three straight hits in the 12th and left with a 5-4 lead. Pat Lehman came on with nobody out and got the first on a sacrifice, but a Jeff Kobernus throwing error sent in the tying run and sacrifice fly drove in the gamewinner. Sandy Leon, Kobernus, and Tim Pahuta combined for nine of the 12 Harrisburg hits, but the no-alibi number for the offense (as in u-g-l-y) was the 0-for-9 with RISP, six of them with two outs.

Salem 13 Potomac 4
• Olbrychowski (L, 0-3) 4IP, 7H, 8R, 7ER, 2BB, 2K, 2HR
• Eusebio 2⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Kelso 3-4
• Oduber 1-4, 2R, HR, 2RBI
• Sanchez 2-3, R, E

It was one to forget Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 15 Lakewood 2
• Estevez (W, 2-0) 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 9K, HR
• Lucas 2IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Skole 4-4, 2R, 2-2B, HR, 4RBI, BB
• Dykstra 4-6, 4R, 2-2B, RBI, SB
• Nieto 2-4, R, HR, 3RBI
• Ramsey 2-6, R, 3RBI

The fireworks started early at the Muni, as the Suns exploded for 15 runs on 19 hits in a 15-2 pinch of the BlueClaws. Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez turned in his best outing of the year: two runs over six innings with nine strikeouts for the win and a quality start. Every Suns batter got a hit [insert Cheech & Chong reference here] including home runs by Matt Skole, Adrian Nieto (his second in as many games), Brett Newsome, and J.P. Ramirez. Prior to the game, LHP Ben Hawkins was activated from XST, swapping places with LHP Christian Meza on the Suns roster.

Apr 202012
 

It’s back! Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues. For the newcomers, this is a ripoff of tribute to comedian Demetri Martin’s segment from his old show on Comedy Central.

And of course, the obligatory caveats: sample sizes are here small, it’s early in the season, minors stats aren’t as meaningful as we think, past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance, etc.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 3-11, 6th place I.L. North, 7½ games behind

Good Tyler Moore .296/.361/.611, 5HR, 14 RBI in 14G
Bad Corey VanAllen 7BB in 7⅔ IP over 5 appearances
Interesting Mitch Atkins 0.75ERA in 1st two starts despite 7BB

HARRISBURG SENATORS 10-5, 1st place E.L. West, ½ game ahead

Good Danny Rosenbaum 2-0, 1.25 ERA, 0.65WHIP in 3 starts
Bad Chris McConnell 0-for-15, 2E since reassignment from AAA
Interesting Jeff Kobernus .403 OBP (.313 in ’11)

POTOMAC NATIONALS 6-6, 2nd place C.L. North Division, 2½ games behind

Good David Freitas .333/.419/.611, 8RBI (tied for team lead)
Bad Justin Bloxom .159/.255/.205, 5E in 12G
Interesting Kyle Winters 17K in 17IP

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 7-8, 4th place Sally League North Divison, 3 games behind

Good Jason Martinson .319/.437/.534, 8SB in 15G
Bad Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez 1.53 WHIP, 8.16 ERA in 3 starts
Interesting Taylor Hill 2-0, 2.45 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 1.93 FIP in 3 appearances