Aug 042014
 

Ripple
With the promotion of Steve Souza from Syracuse to Washington to replace an allegedly injured Nate McLouth, also comes the promotion of CF Michael Taylor from Harrisburg to take Souza’s place on the Syracuse roster.

Now, obviously it’s possible that both moves could be reversed in two weeks when McLouth is eligible to be activated, but it seems awfully convenient coincidental that the Nats waited until after the non-waiver trade deadline to make any of these moves. Washington GM Mike Rizzo is as brilliant as he is stubborn, and we could very well be seeing both traits on display here.

It’s been a topic of debate in the comments as to where Brian Goodwin is and/or what has happened to him. Officially, he’s on the DL (and without explanation), which, to remind the newcomers here, does not necessarily mean that a player is injured. But common sense — a misnomer, as Mark Twain once said because it’s so rarely found — does suggest that Goodwin is indeed hurt. It’s one thing to stash a guy for a week, but as of today it’s been a month.

Thus, the rumor that Goodwin has suffered a separated shoulder (via the comments) doesn’t seem all that implausible. Of course, that is the function of rumor — to fill in the gaps of knowledge when there is no official information. But if it’s true — and there is precedent in the example of Matt Purke, who went missing in the summer of 2012 only to be revealed during the 2012-13 offseason that he had undergone shoulder surgery — then we may be seeing an injury allow one prospect to leapfrog another again, just as we did with Tyler Moore and Chris Marrero.

The Senators and Chiefs also announced the following moves…
• RHP Josh Roenicke released
• RHP Scott McGregor reassigned from Harrisburg to Syracuse
• IF Ricky Hague and RHP Sam Runion activated from the 7-Day DL

It’s possible that Roenicke’s release was at his request; at the time he was signed he reportedly had a June 15 opt-out clause. Though it seems more likely that he was released outright with a two in-season FAs backfilling the gaps.

As always, if there are further moves related to this story, look for this space to be updated.

Jun 162014
 

Shuffling The Deck
Posting from the road office in Nashville, Tennessee… The shuffling of rosters at the Class-A All-Star Breaks has begun, though it’s up and down the ladder:

SYRACUSE
• LHP Matt Grace reassigned from Harrisburg
• RHP Rafael Martin reassigned from Harrisburg
• RHP James Simmons reassigned from Harrisburg
• RHP Ryan Mattheus, OF Destin Hood placed on 7-Day DL (Hood retroactive to 6/15)
• IF Jose Lozada activated from the 7-Day DL
• RHP Ryan Tatusko placed on 3-Day TIL

POTOMAC
• RHP Austin Voth promoted from Hagerstown

AUBURN
• RHP Phillips Valdez reassigned from Hagerstown
• LHPs Cory Bafidis, David Napoli reassigned from Hagerstown

In a season chock-full of needs-based moves, it’s hard to tell how many of these moves are permanent. Best guess: Voth stays in High-A where pitching is needed while at least two of the Harrisburg-to-Syracuse moves will be undone a la Brian Dupra last week. Likewise, I’d posit that at least one of the Hagerstown-to-Auburn moves will be reversed as this appears that the Nationals want these guys available and/or working with coaches.

UPDATE: One move that is permanent is that of Ryan Tatusko, who I can confirm has been sold to the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball League as noted in the comments. He will rejoin former teammate and former Nationals farmhand Caleb Clay (H/T Geoff Morrow, Mick Reinhard).

May 162014
 

Transactions for NPP 3
Another day, another series of transactions. Here’s the rundown…

SYRACUSE
• OF Eury Perez recalled to Washington, placed on 60-Day DL
• C Sandy Leon optioned from Washington
• RHP Christian Garcia activated from 7-Day DL

HARRISBURG
• RHP Omar Poveda demoted from Syracuse

POTOMAC
• RHP Blake Schwartz demoted from Harrisburg

HAGERSTOWN
• LHP Sammy Solis reassigned from Harrisburg
• LHP Justin Thomas reassigned to XST (Auburn)

The Eury Perez move is a means to an end to get Greg Dobbs onto the 40-man roster, as has been reported ad infinitum (and whole lot of other places, too, Skipper). I suspect a few more moves may be coming, as it seems odd to have three catchers and three outfielders on the Chiefs roster.

The demotions of Poveda and Schwartz are being judged as such because of the poor performances thus far. Schwartz’s turn to pitch is not until Sunday and yesterday’s rainout coupled with an off day on Monday means Potomac is not hurting for starting pitchers just yet. The continuation game on Tuesday and doubleheader on Wednesday are another matter, but the timing doesn’t seem to sync, especially if the brass decide to move Sammy Solis from the Suns to the P-Nats in time for his next scheduled turn on Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

Another move from Potomac is forthcoming, but has yet to be announced. Most likely: a pitcher (there are 14 active as of this writing) being placed on the DL with a strained rosteruem (pronounce it phonetically ;-).

As always, if/when that news comes, this space will be updated.

May 042014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 14-3 vs. Toledo,
2:00 p.m.
Hill (2-1, 2.35) vs.
Hardy (1-1, 5.65)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-0 @ Reading,
5:05 p.m.
Rivero (1-4, 5.06) vs.
Biddle (2-3, 3.62)
Potomac Lost, 9-5 @ Winston-Salem,
2:00 p.m.
Bacus (1-1, 2.08) vs.
Wendelken (3-1, 3.81)
Hagerstown Won, 7-1 vs. Lexington,
5:05 p.m.
Giolito (1-0, 2.95) vs.
Reed (0-1, 135.00)


Syracuse 14 Toledo 3
• Treinen 1IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K, HBP
• Laffey (W, 3-0) 7IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 2K, HR
• Komatsu 3-5, R, HR, BB, 3RBI
• Goodwin, 2-3, 4R, HR, 2BB, 3RBI
• Hood 2-4, 2R, 2-2B, BB, 3RBI

Like a Florida municipal ledger, the official scorebook was filled with crooked numbers as the Chiefs plucked the ‘Hens, 14-3. Blake Treinen started but was scheduled for just one inning as the Nationals continue playing Patriot games with the rotation. Aaron Laffey got the win in the laugher with seven innings of six-hit, two-run relief though he walked four and struck out two. Every Syracuse batter reached base, thanks to ten walks issued by Toledo pitchers and 12 hits racked up by the Chiefs lineup, with Erik Komatsu getting the benefit of “the reverse GBI curse” with a 3-for-5 game with a walk, a homer, and three RBI. As tweeted and mentioned in the comments yesterday, Taylor Jordan is not listed among the probables for the next four games (though May 7), which is consistent with the current vacillation between Wednesday or Friday for Doug Fister’s return to DC.

Reading 5 Harrisburg 0
• Schwartz (L, 0-5) 5⅔ IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 4K, 2HR
• Bates 1⅓ IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K, 1-0 IR-S
• Taylor 2-2
• Bloxom 1-4, 2B

A 38-minute rain delay in the 5th interrupted what had been a strong start by Harrisburg’s Blake Schwartz, who had given up a run on inside-the-park job when Michael Taylor slipped and fell on the warning track in the 3rd. When play resumed, Reading lit up the Senator starter for three more runs and stung Colin Bates for one run in the 5-0 shutout. Does it get worse? Of course it gets worse. Taylor, who had been 2-for-2, left the game in the 5th with a possible leg injury, as Harrisburg radio guy Terry Byrom noted Taylor flexing his left knee after the play (H/T Dave Sottile of the Patriot-Times). Justin Bloxom was the only other Sens batter to hit safely, connecting on a 7th inning double.

Winston-Salem 9 Potomac 5
• Mooneyham (L, 2-2) 1⅓ IP, 5H, 7R, 3ER, 3BB, 0K, 0HR, HBP, E
• Harper 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• S. Perez 2-3, 3B, BB, RBI, SB
• J. Miller 2-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI
• Sanchez 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

Brett Mooneyham’s inability to throw strikes that don’t become hits resurfaced last night as Winston-Salem pummeled the 24-y.o. southpaw for seven runs on five hits over just an inning and a 1/3rd en route to a 9-5 win over Potomac. Mooneyham walked “only” three, but two of those came with the bases loaded. He also hit a batter. Offensively, five of the P-Nats’ nine hits went for extra bases, including triples by Stephen Perez and Randolph Oduber, who led the RBI column with two. Perez and Justin Miller both went 2-for-3 with a walk to lead the Potomac hit parade.

Hagerstown 7 Lexington 1
• Pivetta (W, 4-2) 5IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Cooper (H, 2) 3IP, 5H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Ballou 2-3, R, 2B, 2RBI, 2BB, CS
• Yezzo 2-4, R, 3B
• E. Martinez 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

Hagerstown hammered away at Lexington for scores in five of the first six innings in a 7-1 victory. Nick Pivetta won his team-best fourth game with five scoreless innings, giving up a walk and three hits while fanning six. The underage Drew Ward was the “beer man” as the only Sun without hit on the night, ending his 10-game hit streak but drawing a walk to maintain his 12-game on-base streak. Isaac Ballou singled, doubled, scored once, walked twice, and drove in two from the leadoff spot to pace the 13-hit, four-walk attack.

Apr 062014
 

The Nationals have recalled Tyler Moore from the Syracuse Chiefs for the second time in three Aprils. He will take the place of OF Scott Hairston on the Washington Nationals 25-man roster. Hairston was placed on the 15-day DL with what Nats officials say is a left oblique strain.

Perhaps not coincidentally, an MRI was performed on Ryan Zimmerman’s ailing right shoulder after being removed from last night’s 6-2 loss to Atlanta. Given that Zimmerman is the primary backup to 1B Adam LaRoche, the timing of this move allows Moore to assume that role should Zimmerman require a trip to the DL. Until 2012, 1B was the only position Moore played defensively.

A corresponding move by the Syracuse Chiefs has not yet been announced. Via Twitter, Syracuse media officials announced that the Chiefs would play with 24 players in today’s scheduled doubleheader. Both Syracuse (RI) and Harrisburg (CT) will be traveling to New England for a three-game series from Monday to Wednesday. Potomac is idle on Monday, while Hagerstown remains at home.

Thus, it’s possible for a series of moves to be made following this afternoon’s games to backfill Moore’s spot (and any others should Zimmerman be placed on the DL as well). A similar shuffle occurred last April after an injury to Eury Perez.

Aug 022013
 

Moving On Up for NPPThe Potomac Nationals announced today that OF Billy Burns has been promoted to Harrisburg. Taking his place on the P-Nats roster is OF Brandon Miller, who was also promoted from Hagerstown.

Burns becomes the ninth P-Nat to get the bump this season, but just the second position player. He’s currently riding a 24-game hit streak, which has been aided by a recent propensity to get hit by pitches as he’s twice left the game without an official at-bat, which is one of the exceptions of the hitting-streak rule (10.24b).

For the season, Burns is hitting .308/.417/.387 with 51 stolen bases and 68 runs scored, which is first and tied for second respectively in the Carolina League. Burns was drafted in the 32nd round of the 2011 First Year Player draft out of Mercer University (Georgia) and has played the past two seasons at Auburn and Hagerstown.

Most notably, Burns resumed switch-hitting last season after abandoning it in college, a rather odd decision for an undersized outfielder (listed very, very generously at 5’9″) whose primary weapon is his speed. In the past few weeks, he’s been spotted trying to reduce his reliance on small-ball in favor of turning gap hits into doubles and triples, which he’s obviously had some success doing (five 2B three 3B in July).

Brandon Miller will take his place in Woodbridge, but will presumably continue to play right field where he can leverage his throwing arm as some 14 Sally League runners have walked off the field when trying to take the extra base against the former catcher. Miller has led the Suns all year long in HRs (18), RBIs (72), and strikeouts (135), totals that currently place him tied for fourth, second and tied for second in the Sally League batting leaderboard.

Replacing Miller on the Suns roster is utilityman Wes Schill, who was activated from the Hagerstown DL (placed on it eight days ago). Likewise, Brian Goodwin, who had missed the previous three games with a “stomach ailment” per Dave Sottile of PennLive.com was placed on the 7-Day DL to make room for Burns in Harrisburg.

May 272013
 

Transactions for NPP 3Some serious gamesmanship by the Washington Nationals as they’ve gone to unusual measures to confuse the folks trying to read the tea leaves on tomorrow’s starter for the parent club. To wit, Nathan Karns, who is on the 40-man roster, was listed as the starter for Harrisburg Senators for today in yesteday’s media notes; today, it’s Caleb Clay, who was supposed to go to the bullpen with the promotion of Rob Gilliam.

Meanwhile, Chris Young, who is not on the 40-man roster, was lifted after one inning yesterday, though he was spanked like Ana Steele rocked for three runs on three hits, including his ninth home run allowed in seven starts. With Jeff Mandel and Tanner Roark used for four innings apiece, a pair of relievers were sent to Syracuse, which is not necessarily related, of course.

Here’s a rundown of the moves made thus far today (some previously reported)…

SYRACUSE
• LHP Xavier Cedeno recalled to Washington
• RHP Cole Kimball activated from the 7-Day DL
• RHP Michael Broadway reassigned from Harrisburg

HARRISBURG
• RHP Taylor Jordan reassigned from Syracuse
• IF Josh Johnson placed on the Temporary Inactive List (death in the family)

POTOMAC
• OF Billy Burns activated from 7-Day DL
• OF J.R. Higley transferred to Hagerstown

As of this writing, the rosters for Syracuse, Harrisburg, and Hagerstown are not full, thus there are myriad moves that can be made.
If any are made in the next 24 hours, this space will be updated.

May 212013
 

Catching Up On TransactionsThe Big Nats bullpen getting hammered like a Kennedy at an open bar the past two nights has forced the front office to dip into minors for help, creating a series of transactions. Here’s a recap plus a couple releases relayed via the latest BA transactions post

WASHINGTON
• RHP Yunesky Maya recalled from Syracuse
• LHP Fernando Abad selected, added to the 40-man roster

SYRACUSE
• OF Eury Perez optioned from Washington
• RHP Ryan Perry placed on 7-Day DL, retroactive to May 19

HARRISBURG
• RHP Rob Gilliam reassigned from Potomac

POTOMAC
• RHP Rob Wort activated from 7-Day DL, reassigned from Harrisburg
• OF J.R. Higley promoted from Hagerstown
• RHP Cameron Selik reassigned from XST
• LHP Sammy Solis reassigned from XST

HAGERSTOWN
• OF Estarlin Martinez activated from 7-Day DL
• IF Wilmer Difo reassigned from Potomac
• IF Hunter Bailey reassigned to XST

AUBURN
• LHP Christian Meza reassigned from Potomac
• RHP Brian Dupra reassigned from Potomac

RELEASED
• RHP Adam Olbrychowski
• RHP Dean Weaver

LHP Sammy Solis is expected to make a rehab start tonight in Frederick, which will necessitate another move or two for Potomac. OF Billy Burns is eligible to come off the 7-Day DL tomorrow, so don’t be surprised if Higley’s stay is just a day (hey, that rhymes!) and/or if a starter is placed on the 3-day temporary list retroactively (e.g. Rob Gilliam) and replaced by Solis tomorrow or Thursday.

Ultimately, it’s probably a good bet that RHP Pat Lehman will recover from his Hellenic flu and replace whichever Syracuse pitcher ultimately stays in DC to replace the (broken) right-handed Ryan Mattheus. I’d also wager that somebody, somewhere will be disappointed that Erik Davis is probably not going to be that pitcher. Even Stevie Wonder can see that the moves of Maya and Abad are indication that the Nats are willing to risk losing one of them if a designation for assignment is needed.

If you sense any cynicism or hesitation, it’s because every year I learn something new about how the transaction rules can be exploited work. I believe the retroactive placement of Perry on the DL is a clue that perhaps the plan is merely to skip him for one start. Jeff Mandel, for example, has not pitched since last Friday and would be the favorite to replace Perry, who had been scheduled to start on Thursday.

As always, if/when the Nationals make corresponding moves, this page will be updated.

UPDATE: The Potomac Nationals have announced a series of eight transactions, six of which (in red) were not previously reported.

As expected, Sammy Solis was added to the roster. Less of a surprise: Rob Gilliam being sent back to Harrisburg (which will require a corresponding move). Brian Dupra and Christian Meza being sent to Auburn might just be a procedural move, but unfortunately, could be a clue that one or both might get released. In the short term, the additions of Rob Wort and Cameron Selik should help shore up the P-Nats’ biggest weakness — the bullpen — while allowing both men to get back up to speed (can we keep ‘em until the 1st half title is won?) in preparation for their return to AA.

May 042013
 

Transactions for NPP 3With the activation of 3B Ryan Zimmerman, IF Anthony Rendon has been optioned back to Harrisburg, setting off a chain of moves (some of which were previously reported in this morning News & Notes, but repeated here for the sake of clarity)…

SYRACUSE

  • OF Erik Komatsu promoted from Harrisburg
  • OF Jimmy Van Ostrand reassigned to Harrisburg
  • C Jeff Howell activated from Temporary Inactive List (TIL), reassigned to Harrisburg

HARRISBURG

  • C Kris Watts placed on the 7-Day DL
  • IF Anthony Rendon optioned from Washingtonn
  • IF Francisco Soriano reassigned to Potomac

POTOMAC

  • RHP Taylor placed on the TIL

The TIL maneuver was used several times last summer, typically with starters that had just pitched and would not be missed anyways. Compared to the “Hellenic Flu” that Kris Watts just caught, this is much more honest. Ultimately, I’m expecting another Potomac player to be removed from the roster and/or sent to XST.

As usual, we learn of releases via the weekly transaction post from BA, which saw the Nats setting loose 21-year-old Gregori Baez, who hit the wall with a 1-1 mark, a 9.64ERA and 2.25WHIP in 9⅓ innings over three starts for Auburn last summer.

Aug 072012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-4;
Lost, 4-3
vs. Buffalo,
7:00 p.m.
Maya (9-8, 3.54) vs.
McHugh (1-3, 3.75)
Harrisburg OFF DAY @ Richmond,
7:05 p.m.
Wang (1-2, 3.52) vs.
Heston (7-4, 2.39)
Potomac OFF DAY @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Meyer (1-0, 0.53) vs.
TBD
Hagerstown Lost, 3-1 OFF DAY N/A
Auburn Lost, 3-1 vs. Jamestown,
7:05 p.m.
Encarnacion (3-1, 4.42) vs.
Hope (1-3, 4.17)
GCL Nationals Won, 5-3 @ GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
Vasquez (2-6, 3.86) vs.
Villegas (4-2, 6.45)
DSL Nationals Lost, 6-3 vs. DSL Cubs2,
10:30 a.m.
Valdez (2-1, 6.27) vs.
Torrez (5-1, 1.04)

Syracuse 5 Buffalo 4 — GAME ONE
• Duke (W, 12-5) 6IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 8K, 2HR
• Pena (SV, 4) 1IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, K
• Perez 2-3, 2R, BB, RBI, SB, E
• Hoffpauir 1-3, 2B, RBI

A two-run 5th and a three-run 6th pushed Syracuse past Buffalo for a 5-4 win in game one. Zach Duke turned in a quality start, working around two solo shots and giving up three runs total on five hits and a walk while striking out eight to earn his I.L.-leading 12th win. Eury Perez singled twice and scored twice to lead the Chiefs offense.

Buffalo 4 Syracuse 3 — GAME TWO
• Arnesen (L, 2-3) 2IP, 3H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Atkins 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Perez 1-4, 2B, RBI (17-gm hit streak)
• Hoffpauir 1-2, R, 2B, BB, RBI

The tying run was left on third as the Chiefs rallied for three in the 7th but lost to the Bison in the nightcap, 4-3. Spot starter Erik Arnesen, who was working on just two days’ rest, tired in the second and gave up all four Buffalo runs. Eury Perez extended his hit streak to 17 games with an RBI double in the 7th. Roster moves: OF Jesus Valdez activated from the TIL, C Carlos Maldonado outrighted from Washington, LHP Atahualpa Severino designated for assignment.

HARRISBURG SENATORS — OFF DAY
After a 3-3 homestand, the Senators make a quick trip to the scenic (no, not really) confines of Richmond for three games against the Flying Squirrels before returning on Friday for a six-games-in-seven-days homestand against Binghamton and Akron.

POTOMAC NATIONALS — OFF DAY
Anthony Rendon is expected to play today when the Potomac Nationals open the second leg of their road trip with three games against Myrtle Beach. Roster move: C Jeff Howell transferred from Syracuse.

Lexington 3 Hagerstown 1
• Rauh (L, 1-2) 6IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 5K, 2WP
• Holt 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Burns 2-3, BB, CS
• Nieto 1-2, R

After blowouts in the first two games, the series finale was a pitcher’s duel, but Lexington completed the sweep of Hagerstown, 3-1. The game featured five double plays and three outs at home plate, including two on double plays by the Suns. Brian Rauh took the loss with two runs allowed on two hits and two walks over six innings. Hagerstown outhit Lexington 5-4, with Billy Burns reaching base three times with two singles and a walk. Roster move: C Jeremy Mayo transferred from Syracuse and placed on the 7-Day DL. Again.

Brooklyn 3 Auburn 1
• Fischer (L, 1-3) 5IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 3K, 2HR
• Boyden 3IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Pleffner 2-4
• McQuillan 1-4, R

Brooklyn completed its three-game sweep of Auburn with a 3-1 win, handing the Doubledays their first series sweep and three-game skid of the season. David Fischer gave up all three Cyclones runs, including a pair of solo shots in the fourth, on six hits and a walk while striking out three. Auburn loaded the bases with three straight singles to open up the game, then got just one run and two more hits the rest of the game. Shawn Pleffner, who had been activated from the DL just prior to the game, led the hit column with a 2-for-4 game.

GCL Nationals 5 GCL Cardinals 3
• Estevez 3IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Hudgins (W, 3-3) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Heredia (SV, 1) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 1-0 IR-S
• Nix 2-3, R, 2B, 2RBI, SB
• Lippincott 2-3, 2R, 3B, BB, RBI
• Severino 2-4, 2B, RBI

With three strong innings from Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez, and a pair of two-run rallies, the G-Nats opened up a 4-0 lead and held off the G-Cards for a 5-3 win. Estevez struck out six and allowed two hits and a walk over three scoreless innings. Will Hudgins earned the win in relief while Inocencio Heredia got the last four outs for the save. Tony Nix led the offense with a 2-for-3 game, including a double, a stolen base, a run scored, and two runs driven in.

DSL Cubs2 6 DSL Nationals 3
• Ruiz 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Sanchez (L, 0-1) 2IP, 3H, 5R, 5ER, BB, K, HR
• Bautista 2-4, SB
• Aguero 1-3, R, 2SB

Raul Ruiz threw three scoreless innings in his D-Nats debut, but the DSL Cubs2 feasted on the first man out of the ‘pen for five runs in a 6-3 win. Ruiz gave up just a hit and struck out two. 17-y.o. Mario Sanchez was lit up for a three-run HR and five runs total in the 5th after pitching a scoreless 4th. 18-y.o. Raudy Read smacked his 8th HR, tied for second-best in the DSL, while 19-y.o. Rafael Bautista was the sole D-Nat to collect multiple hits with a pair of singles and a stole base, no. 36, which leads the DSL. Yesterday afternoon, the Nationals announced the signing of four International Free Agents. James Wagner of the Washington Post has the few details made available.