May 132011
 

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE 12-21, 6th place I.L. North, 7 games behind

Good Tug Hulett .288/.373/.404 in 15G
Bad Alex Valdez .145/.234/.290 in 25G
Interesting Jeff Mandel 0.65WHIP in 5G

HARRISBURG 16-17, 3rd place E.L. West Division, 1½ games behind

Good Archie Gilbert .324/.400/.765 in last 10G
Bad Jimmy Barthmaier 2.07WHIP in 18.1 IP
Interesting Chris Rahl .333BA in 17G

POTOMAC 12-20, 4th place C.L. North Division, six games behind

Good Danny Rosenbaum 1.16WHIP, 1.98ERA
Bad Cutter Dykstra .473OPS
Interesting Evan Bronson 1.42ERA in 3G

HAGERSTOWN 22-12, 2nd place Sally League Northern Division, .009 W% behind

Good Bryce Harper .395/.473/.702
Bad Chris McKenzie 10.23ERA, 2.14WHIP
Interesting David Freitas .286/.395/.467, 25RBI in 30G
May 092011
 

For the second time this season a pair of Nationals farmhands garnered Player of The Week Honors, as Archie Gilbert won it for the Eastern League and Bryce Harper won it for the South Atlantic League.

Gilbert clubbed four of the five HRs he hit for the week against the Reading Phillies on Saturday and Sunday, and went 8-for-23 for the week (May 2-8) with 6 RBI overall. Gilbert is the current Eastern League leader in slugging percentage at .609.

Bryce Harper only hit one HR for the same timeframe but hit .500 (12-for-24) with four doubles and four RBI and is in the midst of a 12-game hitting streak that has pushed his batting average to .371. The 18-year-old was the #1 pick overall in the 2010 draft

Apr 292011
 

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE 7-14, 6th Place IL North, 7 games back

Good Carlos Maldonado .333/.429/.458 in 9G
Bad Boomer Whiting 2-for-7 in SB attempts, .483OPS
Interesting Josh Wilkie 13K in 10.1IP

HARRISBURG 10-9, 1st place E.L. West, 1/2 game ahead

Good Tyler Moore .326BA, .674SLG last 10G
Bad Derek Norris .154/.303/.192 in 9G
Interesting Ryan Mattheus 1.08ERA, 2SV in 8G

POTOMAC 8-11, 3rd Place C.L. North, 4 games back

Good Jeff Kobernus 9SB, 0CS, 10R in 19G
Bad J.R. Higley .136/.269/.227 in 7G
Interesting Pat Lehman 5SV, 0.58WHIP in 7G

HAGERSTOWN 12-9, T3rd Sally League North, 2½ games back

Good Bryce Harper .323/.425/.645, 5HR in 19G
Bad Chris McKenzie 12.46ERA, 17BB in 13IP
Interesting Chris Manno 0.68WHIP, 17K in 10⅓ IP
Apr 142011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Postponed vs. Pawtucket, 2:00 p.m.
(Doubleheader)
Yunesky Maya (0-0, 9.64) and
Ross Detwiler (0-0, 1.05) vs.
Kyle Weiland (0-1, 12.00) and
Matt Fox (1-0, 1.50)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 4-3 @ Trenton, 7:05 p.m. Erik Davis (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Shaeffer Hall (0-0, 7.20)
Potomac Nationals Lost 3-2 (10 inn.);
Won, 3-2 (7 inn.)
OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Suns Lost , 1-0; Won, 6-4 @ Lexington, 7:00 p.m. Matt Grace (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Tanner Bushue (1-0, 6.00)

Syracuse 0 Pawtucket 0 - POSTPONED

The Syracuse Chiefs’ first home game of the season against the Pawtucket Red Sox was postponed due to rain. The game will be played as part of a doubleheader Thursday starting at 2 p.m.

New Britain 4 Harrisburg 3
∙ Meyers (L, 1-1) 4⅔IP 9H 4R 4ER 0BB 5K
∙ Arnesen 3⅓ IP 2H 0R 2BB 1K
∙ Lombardozzi 2-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI
∙ Rhinehart 1-3, R, HR, RBI, BB

Despite three solo homeruns from Bill Rhinehart, Steve Lombardozzi and Adam Fox, the Senators weren’t able to overcome New Britain as they got swept in the final game of the series by a score of 4-3. While this game was closer than the first two, the Sens lost the three games by a 15-6 margin. On a positive note, the team had nine hits in the game (a season high), the most impressive coming from Lombardozzi who hit a double in the third and a solo homerun in the fifth, breaking an 0-for-17 slump at the plate.

Winston-Salem 3, Potomac 2 (10 inn.) — GAME ONE
∙ Demny (ND) 5⅔ IP 3H 1R 1ER BB 3K
∙ Olbrychowski 2IP 1H 0R 0BB 2K
∙ Souza 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI
∙ Hood 1-3, R, BB
Potomac 3, Winston-Salem 2 — GAME TWO
∙ Clegg (ND) 4IP 4H 2R 2ER BB 3K
∙ Lehman (S,1) 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
∙ Souza 2-3, R, 3B, SB, RBI
∙ Soriano 2-3, 3B, RBI

See Sue’s take in Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 1 Lexington 0 — GAME ONE
∙ Selik (W, 1-0) 5IP 4H 0R 2BB 5K
∙ Eusebio (S, 1) 2IP 0H 0R B 3K
∙ Rogers 2-3, 2-2B, RBI
∙ Moore 1-3, 2B
∙ Martinson 1-3, 2B

Cameron Selik turned in another strong start, throwing five shutout innings, to which Wilson Eusebio added two more for a 1-0 shutout and Hagerstown’s sixth straight win to open the season. Mills Rogers led the hit parade with two doubles and an RBI, while Wade Moore and Jason Martinson also doubled in three at-bats.

Lexington 6, Hagerstown 4
∙ Applebee (L, 0-1) 4⅔ IP 6H 5R 5ER 2BB 5K 2HR
∙ Brown 1⅓ IP 3H 1R 1ER 0BB 1K
∙ Harper 1-4, R, HR, RBI
∙ Sanchez 1-3, R, BB
∙ Oduber 1-3, BB, SB

A four-run rally with two outs in the bottom of the fifth set the Suns down for a 6-4 tally and a doubleheader split. Bryce Harper hit his regular-season home run with a solo shot in the top of the third. Both managers were ejected during the game for arguing. The series concludes today in Lexington before Hagerstown returns to Municipal Stadium tomorrow for the Home Opener.

Apr 112011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup (’10 Record @ Level)
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 2-0 @ Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m. Craig Stammen (2-0, 2.25) vs.
Brian Bass (4-4, 3.26)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 4-3 vs. New Britain, 7:00 p.m. Erik Davis (1-0, 3.60) vs.
Liam Hendriks (6-3, 1.93 @ A+)
Potomac Nationals Won, 7-6 (10 inn.) vs. Winston-Salem, 7:05 p.m. Paul Demny (6-10, 4.23 @ A) vs.
Cameron Bayne (12-9, 3.60 @ A)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 7-6 @ Lexington, 7:00 p.m. Taylor Jordan (0-1, 13.50) vs.
TBD (0-0, -.–)

Syracuse 2 Leigh Valley 0
∙ Milone (W, 1-0) 7.0IP 5H 0ER 0BB 4K
∙ Wilkie (H, 1) 1.0IP 0H 0ER 0BB 3K
∙ Kimball (S, 2) 1.0IP 1H 0ER 0BB 1K
∙ McConnell 1-3, 1R, 1-2B
∙ Bynum 2-4, 2K
∙ Brown 1-4, R, 1-3B

The Syracuse Chiefs won their second straight game with a 2-0 shutout victory over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs thanks to stellar pitching. Tom Milone, pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just five hits while walking no batters and striking out four. Both Wilkie and Kimball relieved him, collectively pitching 2 complete innings and allowing only one hit while striking out four. The two Chief’s runs were scored by McConnell and Brown who had a double and a triple respectfully.

Bowie 3 Harrisburg 4
∙ Atilano 5.0IP 4H 2ER 2BB 2K
∙ Rodriguez 1.0IP 2H 0BB 2K
∙ McCoy (W, 1-0) 0.2IP 0H 0ER 0BB 0K
∙ Fox 1-3, R, 1BB
∙ Gilbert 2-4, R, 1BB

In today’s game, Harrisburg proved that they will not give up, as for the second game in a row, the Sens starting pitcher allowing two runs in the first few innings. The Sens rallied back in the 8th inning to tie the game at 2-a-piece. While Bowie scored a run off of Erik Arnesen in the top of the 9th, the Senators proved determination, scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth to win the game in walk off fashion. Starting pitcher, Luis Atlano pitched five complete innings, allowing two earned runs off of four hits and 2 walks, while striking out two. Fox and Gilbert were the batters of the game, collectively going 3-7, scoring two runs and getting two walks.

Potomac 7 Lynchburg 6 (10 inn.)
∙ Holder (ND) 6IP 6H 3R 3ER 2BB 3K
∙ Demmin (H, 1) 1IP 0H 0R 1BB 1K
∙ Hague 2-5, R, BB, 2B, 2RBI
∙ Souza 2-5, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI

See Sue’s take in Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 7 Rome 6
∙ Hansen (ND) 5IP 7H 2R 2ER BB 5K
∙ Jenkins (W, 1-0) 1⅓ IP 1H 0R 0BB 1K
∙ Kelso 3-5, R, RBI
∙ Harper 2-4, R, BB, RBI
∙ Rogers 2-5, SB, 2RBI

A four-run rally in the Top of the 9th secured a series sweep and a 7-6 win for the Hagerstown Suns. Two walks helped the rally, but Bryce Harper’s RBI single, Randolph Oduber’s Homer Simpson HBP, and a two-run single from Mills Rogers were the key hits in the ninth. Chris Jenkins got the win in relief while starter Bobby Hansen turned in five innings of work with two runs allowed on seven hits and a walk. He also struck out five.

Mar 122011
 

Going into the bottom of the ninth, there was a good chance that a top prospect might end the game with a walkoff. After all, Bryce Harper was the third batter due. An error and a sacrifice, brought up the chosen one with a runner on third and one out. Three pitches later he was walking down the line, courtesy of an 0-2 fastball to the right tricep.

Alberto Gonzalez would be intentionally walked when he wouldn’t bite on the first two offerings. After the two managers changed the matchup, up came Derek Norris, who took a strike then blasted the next pitch to the warning track for a very long game-winning single and a 6-5 Nats win.

The knock made a winner out of Yunesky Maya, who pitched the final four innings, allowing just one unearned run on two hits and three walks. He also struck out three, the last coming on nice, sharp curve.

According to multiple tweets from the beat writers, Washington announced that Harper had been sent to minor-league camp, officially optioned to Hagerstown. That, of course, does not necessarily mean that that’s where he’ll start the regular season. Also sent down were Atahualpa Severino, Tim Wood and Ryan Mattheus.

Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos started the game at their usual positions, but both went hitless in three at-bats. Espinosa helped turn a double play while Ramos did not have any baserunners attempt a steal against him.

Chris Marrero drove the ball to the wall the opposite way (the first I’ve seen in a very long time) in his sole plate appearance for a double, the wind aiding it but not causing it. He was then pinch-run for by Destin Hood, who chased down a long foul fly to left to end the top of the ninth.

With the win, the Nats improve to 9-5 for the spring and return to Jupiter to face the Florida Marlins tomorrow afternoon. The game will be televised via MLB.tv and can be heard on MLB Gameday and XM Radio.

Mar 122011
 

A three-run outburst in the ninth made the score look respectable at 7-6, but the Nats were flat again in Viera last night. It’s a bit disturbing for fans of the big boys because last night’s lineup featured what will likely be very close to the Opening Day lineup, as they were missing only Danny Espinosa and Adam LaRoche from the eight position players.

But this is a site that focuses on the future, so let’s get to how the kids did…

  • Bryce Harper collected his fifth RBI of the spring with a ninth-inning single and was 1-for-2 on the night. He also committed the cardinal sin of getting thrown out at third for the third out on an infield single by Ryan Zimmerman.
  • Chris Marrero was 0-for-1 with a run scored, but struck out with the bases loaded to end the eighth.
  • Derek Norris was 0-for-2 with a strikeout. No baserunners tried to steal against him.

The loss drops the Nats to 8-5 for the Spring, as they host the Yankees this afternoon, another game which will be televised on MASN live and on tape delay on the MLB Network.

Mar 092011
 

While perhaps misused on defense, there’s no denying the offense of Danny Espinosa, who reached base four times and drove in four runs in an 8-4 romp of the Nats over the Marlins this afternoon in Jupiter.

The 23-year-old singled, doubled, and smacked a two-run HR to raise his spring batting average to .455 and his RBI total to 10, while also turning a double play. He also scored two runs.

Prospects Bryce Harper and Chris Marrero each came off the bench to stroke RBI singles, the fourth and second of the spring respectively, while Steve Lombardozzi popped out in his lone at-bat, the second of the spring. Marrero handled all four defensive chances, while Lombardozzi had none.

Pitchers Ryan Mattheus, Josh Wilkie and Brad Peacock were in the bullpen, but none of them saw game action. Jason Marquis was the starter and threw four scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out three.

With the win, the Nationals improve to 7-3 for the spring. The squads split tomorrow, with one team returning to Viera to host a split-squad Mets team in the other and another travelling to Kissimmee to visit Houston tomorrow night. There is no radio or TV for the Mets game, while the Astros game will be broadcast by the Houston affiliate KBME and can be accessed via MLB Gameday or XM Radio.

Mar 072011
 

Bryce Harper came to bat twice in the eighth inning and twice he delivered a double to right field as part of a nine-run eighth as the Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 14-9 this afternoon.

The second double of the inning gave Harper his two RBI and extended the Nationals lead from 11-8 to 13-8. He would attempt to steal third with two outs on the very first pitch to the next batter, coming around to score after a wild pitch and Kevin Barker double. Harper is now batting .308 for the spring.

Other notable prospects…

  • Danny Espinosa once again got the start at second base and went 2-for-5 with 3 RBI and a strikeout.
  • Derek Norris struck out in his lone plate appearance.
  • Yunesky Maya started, but struggled in his 2⅔ innings, allowing a run on a home run (five hits total), walking one and striking out one.
  • Cole Kimball went 2 innings and allowed a hit but struck out three
  • Ryan Mattheus allowed a run on two hits while pitching the ninth inning. He struck out one.

With the win, the Nationals improve to 5-3 and travel to Port St. Lucie tomorrow to face a split-squad Mets team. Brian Broderick, Atahualpa Severino & Adam Carr are expected to pitch in relief.

Mar 062011
 

Former prospect Ross Detwiler will be the talk of an otherwise abysmal game for the Nationals, who were shut out by the Atlanta Braves 5-0 on Sunday. Detwiler struck out five in his three innings of work and allowed one unearned run on one hit, all of which make a strong case for the 25-year-old as the #5 man in the rotation.

Just three Nats reached base — Michael Aubrey on a third-inning walk, Laynce Nix on a fifth-inning single, and Brian Bixler on a ninth-inning single. All three are longshots to make the Opening Day roster.

Danny Espinosa got the start again at second base but went 0-for-3 with strikeouts. Wilson Ramos also started at catcher and went 0-for-2 with a strikeout. Defensively, Espinosa was the key cog in an 8-4-2 relay to gun down Jason Heyward.

Bryce Harper came off the bench and struck the ball well, but his sinking liner to left field was snagged by Martin Prado. Harper fielded both singles hit his way but had no official defensive chances.

With the loss, the Nationals drop to 4-3 for the spring and host the Astros tomorrow.