Apr 232011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Postponed @ Scranton-W/B, 1:05 p.m. Tom Milone (1-1, 2.08) and
Craig Stammen (0-0, 3.09) vs.
Kevin Millwood (rehab) and
D.J. Mitchell (0-1, 5.40)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 3-2 vs. Trenton, 7:00 p.m. Brad Meyers (2-1, 3.07) vs.
Steve Garrison (0-1, 4.38)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 6-4 @ Salem, 6:05 p.m. Marcos Frias (1-1, 0.71) vs.
Pete Ruiz (0-0, 9.00)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 17-1 vs. Hickory, 6:35 p.m. Bobby Hansen (1-0, 1.64) vs.
TBD

Syracuse-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre — PPD
Twice this past week, Syracuse was the sole affiliate to get in a game, but the rains got them last night. Thus, there’s a doubleheader in Scranton-Wilkes/Barre this afternoon.

Harrisburg 3 Trenton 2
∙ Peacock 7⅓ IP 2H 0R 0BB 9K
∙ VanAllen ⅔ IP 0H 0R 1BB 0K, IR-S: 1-0
∙ Valdez 3-4, R, 2B, RBI, SB
∙ Norris 1-3, R, 2B
∙ Moore 1-4, 3B, RBI

While Trenton tried to come back in the 9th inning, scoring a pair, it was not enough to overcome the three runs that the Senators put on the board in the first three innings. The three runs came collectively from an RBI single from Jesus Valdez in the 1st inning, back-to-back doubles from Derek Norris and Tim Pahuta in the 2nd, and a Valdez double and Tyler Moore triple in the 3rd. Starting pitcher Brad Peacock won his second game of the season, pitching seven and 1/3 innings allowing only two hits with no walks, while striking out nine. Pena earned the save, but it was not an easy one, pitching the ninth inning, allowing two hits and two earned runs off a Bradley Suttle home run.

Salem 6 Potomac 4
∙ Holder (L, 0-2) 5IP 9H 5R 5ER 0BB 3K
∙ Wort 2⅔ IP 2H 0R 2BB 3K
∙ Kobernus 3-5, RBI
∙ Leon 2-5, R, 2B
∙ Higley 1-3, 2B, 2RBI

Both teams got 13 hits on the night, but Salem came through in the clutch, scoring five times with two outs in a 6-4 win. Potomac got runners into scoring position 20 times but collected just three hits and left 13 men on base. Starter Trevor Holder struggled once again, allowing five runs in five innings on nine hits, but managed to keep the ball inside of Lewis-Gale Field. Jeff Kobernus led the hitters with a 3-for-5 night, followed by Sandy Leon’s 2-for-5 effort.

Hagerstown 17 Hickory 1
∙ Jordan (W, 4-0) 6IP 4H 0R 1BB 3K
∙ Swynenberg 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 1K
∙ Harper 3-3, 3R, 2B, HR, 2BB, 6RBI, SB
∙ Kelso 3-4, R, 2B, 2BB, 4RBI
∙ Moore 2-4, 2R, 2B, 2BB, 3RBI
Oduber 0-6, R, BB, 5K

Bryce Harper put any doubts about his health to rest with a career night of 6RBIs, two coming off a 4th-inning HR that cleared everything in right-centerfield, as Hagerstown blasted Hickory 17-1. Starter Taylor Jordan flirted with perfection, retiring the first 14 batters before allowing a two-out single in the 5th. He would leave after six scoreless innings, with four hits and one walk allowed and three strikeouts. Blake Kelso and Wade Moore also shined in the laugher, going 3-for-4 and 2-for-4 respectively and both doubling and drawing two walks.

Apr 082011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup (’10 Record @ Level)
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 8-5 @ Buffalo, 5:05 p.m. Ross Detwiler (1-0, 1.80) vs.
Jenrry Mejia (0-0, 1.13)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 5-0 vs. Bowie, 7:05 p.m. Ryan Tatusko (12-3, 2.63) vs.
Steve Johnson (7-8, 5.09)
Potomac Nationals Did Not Play vs. Lynchburg, 7:05 p.m. Danny Rosenbaum (3-2, 2.09) vs.
Arodys Vizcaino (0-0, 4.61)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 3-2 @ Rome, 7:05 p.m. Matt Grace (1-2, 6.41 @ GCL/NYPL) vs.
TBD (0-0, -.–)

Editor’s note: We’re trying a slightly different format this year. The bullet points will highlight the SP, one or two outstanding RPs, and the game’s top two or three batters. When there’s some related tidbits, we’ll add sentence or two in italics. The mission is to keep this succinct and manageable, so there may be times when not every prospect gets a mention.

Syracuse 8 Buffalo 5
∙ Maya 4.2IP 8H 5ER 2BB 2K 1HR
∙ Kimball (W, 1-0) 1.1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
∙ Balester (H, 1) 1.2IP 2H 0R 0BB 2K
∙ Bynum 2-4, R, 1HR, 5RBI
∙ Bixler 2-4, R, 1-2B

Both the Syracuse Chiefs and the Buffalo Bisons scored all of their runs in the 4th and 5th innings. In fact, all five of Buffalo’s runs came off Chief’s starter, Yunesky Maya. Syracuse put eight runs up on the board, paced by 5 RBI (including a 3-run HR) from Seth Bynum, and was enough to give the Chiefs the win. The team got both stellar relief pitching (4 innings of shutout baseball), and the key hit when it mattered (3-for-6 with RISP).

Roger Bernadina was out of the lineup due a family issue and is expected out for a few games. Matt Chico appeared in relief while Josh Wilkie appeared in the ninth for the rulebook save. Chris Marrero went 0-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.

Harrisburg 5 Bowie 0
∙ Meyers (W, 1-0) 5IP 4H 0R 0BB 9K
∙ Rodriguez 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 3K
∙ Moore 2-4, R, 2RBI
∙ Lombardozzi 0-2, 2R, 2BB

Pitching was the story last night, as Brad Meyers tossed five shutout innings, allowing only five hits and striking out nine. The bullpen, including Henry Rodriguez, Pat McCoy and Ryan Mattheus followed suit with four more goose eggs, one hit allowed and six more strikeout. No Harrisburg pitcher issued a walk. The Baysox moundsmen could not say the same, walking eight batters. Moore and Lombardozzi were the key hitters of the game, collectively batting 2-6, while scoring 3 runs from 2 walks and collecting 2 RBI.

Derek Norris went 0-for-2 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored. The OF was a veteran contingent of Jesus Valdez, Jonathan Tucker, and Buck Coats.

Hagerstown 3 Rome 2
∙ Selik (ND) 5IP 4H 0R 0BB 4K
∙ Graham (SV, 1) 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
∙ Harper 2-4, SB, CS, RBI
∙ Oduber 1-3, 2R, BB, SB

Bryce Harper wasted no time in making his presence felt, driving in Randolph Oduber in the top of the 1st after the “Groovin Aruban” had drawn a walk and stolen second. Former reliever Cameron Selik got the start blanked the Rome nine for five frames and left with a 2-0 lead. Former starter Taylor Jordan was touched for two runs in the 6th to tie the game. Wade Moore walked, stole second, took third on an error and trotted home on a Jason Martinson single for what what proved to be the gamewinner in the top of the 7th. Ben Graham closed out the game with two innings of one-hit relief for the save.

Michael Taylor’s shift to the OF is now official, as he took CF, flanked by Oduber and Harper in LF and RF, respectively. David Freitas was the cleanup hitter and caught while Mills Rogers was the first baseman.

Mar 112011
 

The Nationals split a pair of 6-5 games, winning the afternoon game versus the Mets in Viera and losing the nightcap against the Astros in Kissimmee.

Prospects saw mainly late-inning defensive action in Viera, as none started and five came off the bench: Eury Perez, Destin Hood, Stephen King, Steve Lombardozzi, and Bryce Harper.

Only Harper came to bat, lofting a flyball to LF after getting hits in four of his last five at-bats. Harper fielded both singles hit to him but had no official chances. Hood committed a 9th inning error to help extend the pain of a four-run late rally by the Mets while King threw out the last batter on a grounder to third to end the game.

In the evening, Danny Espinosa got the start at 2B, then shifted over to SS where he got one defensive chance. Offensively, he was 1-for-5 with an RBI, a stolen base and a strikeout. Wilson Ramos started behind the plate but went 0-for-3 with a walk and threw out one runner.

Other notable prospects…

  • Derek Norris was the DH but was hitless in four at-bats.
  • Chris Marrero started at 1B and went 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored.
  • Eury Perez played both LF and CF but had no defensive chances and went 0-for-1
  • Stephen King played 3B and had the same day as Perez
  • Jhonatan Solano followed Ramos and snagged two popups but didn’t get an at-bat
  • Destin Hood played LF and caught a flyball
  • Steve Lombardozzi played one inning at 2B and got a putout on sacrifice bunt play
  • Cole Kimball pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one hit, with no walks and no strikeouts
  • Atahualpa Severino took the loss on an unearned run (see below) on two hits and two walks over the final 1⅓ innings

Finally, your obligatory Bryce Harper roundup. The phenom played the final three innings and made his mark in three ways. The first was with dazzling catch at the wall in the bottom of the 7th. The second was a legged-out a double on a flare to LF in the top of the 8th. Alas, the third way came as he sailed a throw past both cutoff men on a double to the RF corner to enable the game-winning run, which he had initially stopped by running down the ball, to cross the plate in the bottom of the 9th.

Harper is now hitting .375 (6-for-16) and is still considered a candidate for the second round of cuts, which are expected within the next day or two.

With the split, the Nationals are 8-4 for the Spring and rematch against the Astros in Viera tonight at 6:05 p.m., a game which will be televised by MASN.

Feb 082011
 

Picking up where we left off yesterday, here’s 16 through 30 on the Baseball America Top 30 list for 2011…

16. Tom Milone, LHP
17. Adrian Sanchez, 2B/3B
18. A.J. Morris, RHP
19. Michael Burgess, OF
20. Elvin Ramirez, RHP
21. Jeff Kobernus, 2B
22. Jason Martinson, SS
23. Danny Rosenbaum, LHP
24. Tyler Moore, 1B
25. J.P. Ramirez, OF
26. Ryan Tatusko, RHP
27. Brad Meyers, RHP
28. Trevor Holder, RHP
29. Adam Carr, RHP
30. Hassan Pena, RHP

As mentioned yesterday, there were 14 holdovers — Norris, Espinosa, Marrero, Kobernus, Burgess, Hood, Perez, Meyers, Morris, Brad Peacock, Hassan Pena, Lombardozzi, J.P. Ramirez, and Rosenbaum. Burgess and Morris have since been traded, which means that there 16 newcomers to the list. Here’s the breakdown of they came into the system:

2010 Draft — Harper (1), Cole (4), Solis (6), Hague (14), Ray (15) , Martinson (22)

2010 Acquisitions — Ramos (5), Tatusko (26), Elvin Ramirez (20)

2010 IFA — Maya (11)

2009 Draft — Holder (28)

2008 Draft — Milone (16), Moore (24)

2007 IFA — Sanchez (17)

2006 Draft — Kimball (7), Carr (29)

As you can see, there’s a reason why the Nationals jumped from #24 to #14 and it’s not just Bryce Harper. Almost half of the Top 30 has been drafted or acquired under the Rizzo front office, and more than a third were brought in last year alone. That’s in quite stark contrast to Bowden’s Reign of Error, particularly the ’06 draft, which is has yet to produce a single major-leaguer (Marrero, Pena, and Brad Peacock join Kimball and Carr as ’06ers, so there’s still a little bit of hope). Thus, even without the #1 pick overall, there’s reason to believe that things can continue to improve with a deep draft this June and the Nationals possessing three of the first 34 picks.

As Brian Oliver pointed out last week, there are still reasons to be concerned. The list is roughly 50/50 in terms of pitchers and position players, but there are more relievers than starters. It tends to skew older, in part because the ’07-’08 drafts were more college-oriented, but also in part because the ’06 draft was such a perfect failure. Espinosa is poised to become just the second homegrown bat since the club set up shop in Washington — that’s two position players in six drafts, three in seven if you want to count Desmond. And until Jordan Zimmermann or Stephen Strasburg pitches a full season, John Lannan remains the team’s best homegrown starter.

But if folks are looking for reason to hope, take a look at BA’s projected 2014 lineup for Washington. Now, a lot of things have to go right  (this is taking-the-tartar-sauce-while-you-go-after-the-whale optimism) for this to happen, but with a week to go until pitchers and catchers report, hope springs eternal, right?

C – Wlson Ramos
1B – Derek Norris
2B – Danny Espinosa
SS – Ian Desmond
3B – Ryan Zimmerman
LF – Jayson Werth
CF – Eury Perez
RF – Bryce Harper
#1P – Stephen Strasburg
#2P – Jordan Zimmermann
#3P – A.J. Cole
#4P – Sammy Solis
#5P – John Lannan
CL – Drew Storen