Apr 022014
 

After Sandy Leon was a no-show for the Mayflies Senators media day yesterday, it was no mystery as to which catcher on the Washington 40-man roster would get the call today. This afternoon, the Nationals officially placed C Wilson Ramos on the 15-Day DL and recalled Sandy Leon from Harrisburg.

In a related story, veteran minor-league catcher Brandon Bantz was signed to a minor-league deal today as well. Bantz spent 2013 with the Mariners organization, splitting time between AA Jackson and AAA Tacoma, with a one-game sojourn to Seattle last June 8th, which was his MLB debut. Combined, Bantz hit .219/.282/.307 in 59 minor-league games, but was released at the end of spring training this year.

Rotoworld.com is reporting that Bantz has been assigned to Syracuse, which is in line with previous catcher shuffles. If this turns out to be the case, journeyman Jeff Howell will be reassigned from the Chiefs to the Senators to take Leon’s place on the Harrisburg roster.

As always, if/when the corresponding moves are announced, this space will be updated.

Mar 312014
 

Coming on the heels (i.e. roughly 29 minutes later) of the Senators announcement, the Syracuse Chiefs also announced its 2014 Opening Day roster (watchlist players in bold, notables in italics):

PITCHERS INFIELDERS OUTFIELDERS CATCHERS
Xavier Cedeno Emmanuel Burriss Brian Goodwin Jeff Howell
Manny Delcarmen Brandon Laird Jeff Kobernus Jhonatan Solano
Christian Garcia Brock Peterson Tyler Moore
Taylor Hill Will Rhymes Eury Perez
Warner Madrigal Zach Walters Steve Souza
Ryan Mattheus
Omar Poveda
Tyler Roberston
Josh Roenicke
Danny Rosenbaum
Daniel Stange
Ryan Tatusko
Blake Treinen


As has become common in AAA, there are a lot of new faces on this team. Yes, there are 14 players who played here at some point last year, but only about seven of them had any significant playing time. Eight of these 25 were acquired this past offseason, and just nine of these players were drafted by the Nationals.

Last year, it was the infield. This year, all eyes will be on the (listed) outfield(ers), and on Brian Goodwin and Steve Souza in particular. Despite Perez being the superior fielder, he’ll most likely spend time in left field to give Goodwin developmental time, and all signs point to Souza continuing to work in right field (130 of 151 games in the OF).

Obviously, Moore and Kobernus will be plugged in at 1B and 2B respectively as well as LF and DH to keep them ready for a possible callup to DC where they’d most likely be used as bench players

The Chiefs have announced a starting rotation of Rosenbaum, Tatuskso, Treinen, Hill, and Poveda. If you’re wondering where Sammy Solis is, so am I — none of the affiliates have announced their DLs yet.

On to the Suns…

Feb 132014
 

Now that we’ve taken a swag at the position players, it’s to time to project the four full-season pitching staffs. This is only the third time I’ve attempted this and I’m reminded every time I work the board why I resisted trying this in the first place: It’s really difficult.

The previous two times, I hedged by “overpicking” — naming more guys than the typical 12-man staff. This year, I decided just to go with the gut and stop at 12. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I think a guy at given level will be released (though that’s always a concern with picking the “A” teams) it just means I’m on the fence about where he fits in the organization’s plans, which I’m not privy to (and if I were, it wouldn’t be guessing!)

I also skipped anybody coming off surgery or that I believe has had surgery or was hurt. This is simply prudent: The only way we know a guy is healthy is when he pitches. Thus, by exension, I’m not designating anybody on the D.L. as I did a year ago.

With the caveats spelled out, let’s review how I picked the 2013 Syracuse pitchers…

STARTERS SWINGMEN RELIEVERS
Yunesky Maya Ryan Tatusko Erik Davis
Ross Ohlendorf* Fernando Abad* Pat Lehman
Tanner Roark Pat McCoy
Jeff Mandel Hassan Pena
Matt Torra* Cole Kimball
Ryan Perry
Bold = On 40-Man Italics = Non-Roster Invitee * = ’12-’13 MLFA


Missing on roles doesn’t bother me much because pitchers are moved in and out of the bullpen all the time in the minors, which is part of what the farm is for — finding a role that suits a pitcher so he can contribute when the big club calls him up.

One of the two that I got entirely wrong started at AA (Lehman) and never made it up, the other was released (Pena). All things considered, this is probably as good as it gets for an exercise like this. Still, I’m aware of some the ones I got right were just barely… McCoy and Perry, for example, were demoted in April and June respectively; Cole Kimball was in Viera until late June.

Finally, here’s my projection for the 2014 Syracuse staff, without the cushion of extra picks or the track record of spring training usage:

STARTERS SWINGMEN RELIEVERS
Taylor Jordan Ryan Tatusko* Aaron Barrett
Nathan Karns Matt Swynenberg Tyler Robertson*
Danny Rosenbaum Daniel Stange*
Chris Young* Zack Jackson*
Blake Treinen Neil Holland
Bold = On 40-Man Italics = Non-Roster Invitee * = ’13-’14 MLFA


Obviously, I feel the least amount of confidence in the starters… Taylor could win the #5 starter’s job in DC… Young could be released before the Ides of March… Rosenbaum could be converted to relief in an effort to buy more time for Sammy Solis to develop… not to mention any number of possibilities resulting from how the “Big Nats” pitching staff is constructed.

Next up: The 2014 Harrisburg Senators.

UPDATE: Karns was traded literally while this was being written. Given the nature of such a post (a speculative prediction), I’m leaving it as is until more details of the trade are available.

Jan 152014
 

The Harrisburg Senators and Washington Nationals have announced a four-year extension of their player development contract through the 2018 season. This is the second affiliate to extend during this offseason, both months in advance of the September deadline to renew before open negotiations (typically the last two weeks of September).

The Senators have been a Nationals affiliate the longest of the five teams located north of Florida, having been an Expos affiliate since 1991, and should effectively quash any idle talk of the Nationals switching to the Richmond Squirrels, which is usually an indication that such folks have never been to both places for a game.

The PDCs of the Nationals’ “A” teams — Auburn (SS), Hagerstown (Low-A), and Potomac (High-A) — expire after the 2014 season. Two years ago, the Nationals extended three* affiliates during spring training, and renewed with Hagerstown in October 2012.
* or four; there’s conflicting information regarding whether the 2010 extension for Potomac was for two or four years

As passed along yesterday, there is turmoil in Hagerstown (plans to relocate to Fredericksburg) and Auburn (five GMs since 2010) which makes their PDC renewals less-than-certain. Potomac, which has been planning to build a new ballpark for more than since last decade, seems a little safer given its proximity to DC and strong attendance despite playing in one of the worst facilities in affiliated baseball.

Dec 182013
 

Photo Credit: Syracuse Chiefs Official Twitter Feed

The Syracuse Chiefs and Washington Nationals announced a four-year extension of their player-development contract through the 2018 season. Perhaps not coincidentally, the move comes less than three months after what BallparkDigest.com called a “housecleaning,” as former GM John Simone was ousted following the retirement of his father, Tex.

The move will obviously bolster the financial prospects of the franchise, which has been struggling financially (claiming a $505,146 loss for the 2013 season) and at the gate (345,047 claimed paid attendance, the lowest since its current ballpark opened in 1997).

While the move may be positioned as “how much the Nationals organization values the Chiefs and the Syracuse community,” it’s also about ensuring that the Nationals would not be the odd man out in the next affiliate dance in September 2014. As Adam Kilgore wrote yesterday:

“If the Nationals tried to find a new affiliate, they could be stuck with an undesirable, far-flung city. Teams and Class AAA affiliates match up in the fashion of musical chairs, and some organizations are left with choices they loathe – the Mets, for example, use Las Vegas against their wishes.”

Prior to this move, just four of the eleven* remaining International League teams were eligible to swap affiliations following the 2014 season, with six already extended through 2016 and a seventh, the Charlotte Knights, extended through 2020 in conjunction with its new ballpark set to open next April.
* The Gwinnett Braves are wholly owned by Atlanta while the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRilders are co-owned by the Yankees and Mandalay Enterprises.

Nov 082013
 

For the second straight summer, Syracuse admirably achieved its primary mission of providing the Washington Nationals with replacements for injured or underperforming players. They also fulfilled a secondary function of providing a place for the latter to either get back on track (Tyler Moore) or get reps to try to work through their injuries issues (Danny Espinosa).

From that point of view, the 2013 Chiefs were successful. Like it or not, that’s the role for AAA nowadays — a place to play for “inventory” to stay active and a “finishing school” of sorts for certain prospects (typically, but not exclusively position players). That the Nationals have fielded also-rans for three straight seasons is irrelevant in this philosophy.

With that “said,” we embark on the final 2013 season review with the usual comparison against the league, then a focus on the Top 10 who were 27-and-under (i.e. league-average age) and had significant playing time, which this year works out to 17 or more innings pitched for pitchers, 111 or more plate appearances.

HITTING AB R H HR BB SO AVG OBP SLG GPA* SB
Syracuse 4824 600 1256 114 395 1094 .260 .320 .395 .243 123
Lg. Avg. 4792 609 1223 107 485 1087 .255 .328 .384 .244 111

* GPA = Gross Production Average

PITCHING IP ERA R/G WHIP HR BB SO H/9IP BB/9IP K/9IP K/BB
Syracuse 1251⅔ 4.10 4.56 1.391 104 444 999 9.3 3.2 7.2 2.25
Lg. Avg. 1261 3.86 4.23 1.355 107 485 1087 8.7 3.5 7.8 2.24


At first glance, it looks like this team should have done better than a last-place finish, albeit in a strong division. The Chiefs were better than the league in average, HRs, slugging on offense, walks issued, HRs surrendered. Sure, the ERA was a notch below, but… oh wait: 143 errors in 144 games (tied with Indianapolis)? The worst fielding percentage in the I.L. (.974)? The most unearned runs (86)? Never mind.

Obviously, poor defense aside, the two most glaring exceptions to the around-the-league-average theme are batting walks (tied for 12th fewest) and pitching strikeouts (tied for 11th fewest). Not taking walks is always going to help out the opposing pitchers. Likewise, not getting K’s increases the odds of contact, which was a double handicap because the team was not adept at converting batted balls into outs.

If there is something I’m glad to be wrong about, it’s that the Nationals haven’t gotten older at this level as I thought they might a year ago. Even with the likes of 32-y.o. Yunesky Maya (who pitched the second-most innings), the team’s pitchers were only slightly older than the league average (27.6 vs. 27.3) and the hitters were actually younger (26.6 vs. 26.9), thanks to a pair of 23-year-olds (Zach Walters, Eury Perez) playing nearly every day.

Which brings us to those age-appropriate bats… (Full statistics for the team can be found here.)
here.

Name Age PA Position(s) G @ Pos Fld% Err GPA ISO
Zach Walters 23 521 SS/3B 104/27 .981 38 .258 .264
Chris Marrero 24 450 1B 97 .990 9 .249 .132
Corey Brown 27 438 CF/LF/RF 61/22/21 .973 6 .265 .208
Eury Perez 23 433 CF/LF/RF 69/15/9 .979 4 .257 .122
Jeff Kobernus 25 412 LF/2B/CF/3B/RF 50/15/12/11/8 .992 2 .262 .070
Danny Espinosa 26 313 2B/SS 41/35 .965 12 .198 .070
Carlos Rivero 25 239 3B/1B/SS/LF/RF 42/10/6/5/1 .950 12 .208 .048
Tyler Moore 26 200 LF/1B 21/19 .987 3 .324 .266
Jhonatan Solano 27 148 C 38 .997 1 .180 .065
Josh Johnson 27 111 3B/2B/LF/RF 16/9/8/1 .975 2 .323 .125


The good news is that seven of these ten are home-grown. The bad news is that just two of them aren’t repeating the level. Those two, of course, are Jeff Kobernus and Zach Walters, who will be competing in 2014 to achieve what Tyler Moore and Steve Lombardozzi did in 2012: establish themselves as MLB bench/role players.

Unfortunately, that path seems blocked for Corey Brown (who’s now out of options) while Eury Perez has languished at AAA and has but one option left and would seem destined to follow in Brown’s footsteps. Time ran out for Chris Marrero, who was removed from the 40-man last month, and became a free agent earlier this week. Likewise for Carlos Rivero, who went from nearly making the club out of spring training to getting demoted to AA after his production dropped dramatically (.783 OPS in ’12 to .588)

On to the pitchers…

PLAYER AGE G/GS W-L, SV ERA IP H BB SO WHIP HR HBP WP
Danny Rosenbaum 25 28/28 7-11, 0 3.87 158⅓ 167 67 102 1.478 10 8 8
Tanner Roark 26 33/11 9-3, 2 3.15 105⅔ 85 20 84 0.994 6 3 2
Caleb Clay 25 14/13 5-2, 0 2.49 83 68 14 51 0.988 5 3 3
Erik Davis 25 45/0 3-7, 15 3.10 52⅓ 55 20 54 1.433 4 0 2
Ryan Perry 26 12/8 1-4, 0 7.93 42 54 23 27 1.833 9 1 3
Xavier Cedeno 26 39/0 2-0, 4 1.31 34⅓ 23 16 45 1.136 2 1 5
Tyler Robertson 25 26/1 2-7, 0 3.04 26⅔ 33 8 24 1.538 2 0 2
Cole Kimball 27 23/0 0-0, 1 8.06 25⅔ 31 14 25 1.753 4 0 6
Michael Broadway 26 18/0 1-1, 6 2.28 23⅔ 16 7 26 0.972 2 0 1
Fernando Abad 27 17/0 1-0, 0 1.06 17 17 2 12 1.118 0 0 0


Here is where you see how AAA has become the place to “house inventory” — even with an age-28 cutoff, a significant number of innings went to guys that were acquired, signed, or claimed since last November. And it’s not hard to see what the parent club was looking for in reserve: left-handed relievers.

Danny Rosenbaum, who was taken then returned by Colorado in the Rule 5 draft, was the only lefthanded starter all season long and one has to wonder: If he sticks around next year, is there any chance he’ll be converted to relief to increase his chances of pitching in DC? Or will he be given the Corey Brown treatment and continue to start, with neither the hamburger or the pay on Tuesday?

Methinks the latter will be the case and the example of Tanner Roark will be the justification, as he too was asked to eat innings in 2012 (147⅔ in 26 starts) started 2013 in the Chiefs ‘pen, then shifted back to starting and did both for the parent club, winning seven of his first eight decisions and logging 53⅔ innings for a team that was chasing a playoff spot.

As I did a year ago, I expect the Nationals to promote a handful of the Harrisburg pitchers and use FAs to plug the gaps at both AA and AAA until the prospects are ready. It’s WAY too early to say much more than that, esepcially in light of the trades that have been made over the past couple of offseasons.

OBLIGATORY TOP FIVE
That four of these five are already on the 40-man makes this easy. Justifying the two pitchers is a little harder, given that they turned 26 and 27 last month. But this is what I have to pick from, and the guy not on the 40-man could very well be added to somebody’s 40-man next month (again). Plus, as the old saw goes, he is lefthanded and throws strikes, so…

1. Zach Walters
2. Jeff Kobernus
3. Eury Perez
4. Danny Rosenbaum
5. Erik Davis

Sep 032013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-2 END OF SEASON N/A
Harrisburg Won, 1-0 END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac Lost, 7-6; Lost, 16-5 END OF SEASON N/A
Hagerstown Lost, 4-3 END OF SEASON N/A
Auburn Postponed vs. Mahoning Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Selsor (0-5, 4.17) and Giolito (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Sulser (2-2, 2.06) and Mathews (0-2, 2.80)



Buffalo 4 Syracuse 2
• Rosenbaum (L, 7-11) 7IP, 9H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 6K, HR
• Cedeno 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Kobernus 2-4
• Van Ostrand 2-4, RBI

Syracuse fell behind 3-0 after three innings and couldn’t come up with the clutch hit, falling 4-2 to Buffalo in the season finale. Danny Rosenbaum lost for the 11th time, allowing all four Bison runs on nine hits, including a home run. The 25-y.o. southpaw struck out six and walked none. Jeff Kobernus and Jimmy Van Ostrand both went 2-for-4 to lead the Chiefs’ 10-hit attack, which included just one hit in eight chances with RISP.

Harrisburg 1 Richmond 0
• Gilliam 4⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, 4BB, 6K
• Mirowski (W, 2-0) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 1K, 3-0 IR-S
• Holland 1IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K, HR, 2-2 IR-S
• Howell 3-4, RBI
• Souza 2-4, 2B

The Senators pitching has been its hallmark all season long and it showed in a 1-0 win over Richmond to secure the E.L. West Division title. Starter Rob Gilliam gave up both Squirrel hits over four and 2/3rds and walked four while striking out six. Richie Mirowski, Pat McCoy, Neil Holland, and Tyler Herron combined for four and a 1/3rd no-hit innings of relief, retiring 13 of 14 batters with no walks and six K’s. Jeff Howell plated the lone Harrisburg run with an RBI single in the 6th while going 3-for-4 overall. Harrisburg will travel to Erie for Games 1 & 2 on Wednesday with the remaining games in Harrisburg in the best-of-five playoff series. A.J. Cole, Taylor Hill, and Nathan Karns were announced as the starters for the first three games, respectively.

Frederick 7 Potomac 6 — COMP.
• Demny 5IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 6K
• Martin (BS, 3) 1IP, 1H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, K
• Rauh (BS, 2; L, 4-2) 2IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Ramsey 3-5, 2R, 2B
• Taylor 2-3, R, 2BB, 2SB (49, 50)
• Keyes 2-5 2RBI

The P-Nats couldn’t hold the 4-3 lead they took on Sunday night, giving up two in the bottom of the 6th and 7th innings as they fell in the completion, 7-6. Neither Rafael Martin nor Brian Rauh could hold a one-run lead, “earning” blown saves for both with Rauh taking the loss. Starter Paul Demny had gone five innings with three runs allowed on four hits and three walks with six strikeouts. Michael Taylor singled twice, walked twice, and swiped two bases to lead the Potomac offense.

Frederick 16 Potomac 5 — GAME TWO
• Mooneyham (L, 0-3) 3⅓ IP, 8H, 8R, 8ER, 4BB, 2K, HR
• Dupra 3IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 4K
• Miller 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Taylor 2-4, 2-2B, SB
• Dykstra 2-3, 2B

Brett Mooneyham got rocked for the third time in three starts since his promotion from Hagerstown, as Potomac fell 16-5 in the second game. The Keys struck for four in the 1st and seven in the 4th to knock out Mooneyham, who was charged with eight runs on eight hits and four walks over three and a 1/3rd innings. Middle relievers Colin Bates and Greg Holt were also touched for eight runs combined. The P-Nats registered 11 hits and five doubles in the loss. Like the Sens, the P-Nats also announced their playoff rotation, with Sammy Solis taking the hill on Wednesday, Blake Schwartz on Thursday, and Matt Purke (if necessary) on Friday. As a double-half winner, Potomac will host the entire first round of the divisional series.

Kannapolis 4 Hagerstown 3 (10 inn.)
• Turnbull 5IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Bacus (H, 1) 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Meza (L, 3-1) ⅔ IP, H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K, HR
• Ramos 2-5, 2B
• McQuillan 2-5, R, 2B, RBI

Jacob May’s solo shot off Christian Meza with two outs in the 10th completed the Kannapolis comeback victory over Hagerstown, 4-3. The Suns had built a 3-0 lead with single runs in the 2nd, 4th, and 8th innings on an RBI double by Mike McQuillan, and RBI singles by Will Piwinica-Worms and Estarlin Martinez. Kylin Turnbull turned in five scoreless innings of one-hit ball, walking one and fanning three. Bryan Harper got the blown save, letting in the tying runs and failing to retire any of the four batters he faced. Game One of the Sally League Northern Division Series will be tomorrow night in Charleston, WV. Games Two and Three (if necessary) are scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Neither the Suns nor the Power have announced robable pitchers thus far.

Auburn vs. Mahoning Valley — PPD
Rain postponed last night’s game to tonight, forcing a doubleheader tonight to cram the final three games into two days.

Sep 022013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-4 vs. Buffalo,
2:00 p.m.
Rosenbaum (7-10, 3.81) vs.
Weber (7-5, 2.71)
Harrisburg Lost, 7-3 @ Richmond,
12:05 p.m.
Gilliam (3-6, 4.64) vs.
Gloor (9-7, 3.87)
Potomac Winning, 4-3
(Susp., 6th)
@ Frederick,
12:30 p.m. (Comp. DH)
Mooneyham (0-2, 10.13) vs.
Berry (10-7, 3.82)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-3
(5½ inn.)
@ Kannapolis,
1:05 p.m.
Turnbull (6-5, 3.81) vs.
Bucciferro (3-5, 2.59)
Auburn Won, 10-0 vs. Mahoning Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Selsor (0-5, 4.17) vs.
Sulser (2-2, 2.06)
GCL Nationals Won, 7-2 END OF SEASON N/A



Buffalo 5 Syracuse 4
• Tatusko (L, 5-8) 5IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 4K
• Lowe 2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 5K
• Brown 2-4, R
• Kobernus 1-2, R, 2BB, 3SB

The Bison scored twice on sacrifice flies in the 5th to take a 4-2 lead and held off the Chiefs for a 5-4 win. Ryan Tatusko took the loss with four runs allowed on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts over five innings. Every Syracuse batter hit safely for a total of 10 hits, with Corey Brown the sole Chief to have multiple safeties. Jeff Kobernus reached base three times on a single and two walks and stole three bases to break the 40-steal mark for the third consecutive season.
Roster moves: LHP Ian Krol, RHP Erik Davis recalled to Washington; C Sam Palace activated from the 7-Day DL.

Richmond 7 Harrisburg 3
• Treinen 5IP, 1H, R, ER, 0BB, 7K, HR
• Grace (L, 6-3) 3BF, 1H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 0K
• Holland 1IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K, HR, 2-2 IR-S
• Souza 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• Rivero 1-3, R, HR, RBI

The Squirrels went nuts against the Sens ‘pen in the 6th, scoring five times to break a 1-1 tie as Richmond handed Harrisburg a 7-3 defeat. Matt Grace took the loss, unable to retire any of three three batters he faced while Neil Holland let in both inherited runners and two of his own in the innings. Billy Burns walked and stole two bases and came in on a groundout for the first Harrisburg run while Carlos Rivero and Steve Souza Jr. hit solo shots in the 8th and 9th innings to account for the Harrisburg runs. Blake Treinen pitched five innings of one-hit ball, giving up a leadoff homerun then setting down 15 of the next 16 batters (seven on strikes) but got the no-decision. Erie and Bowie were rained out, thus the Sens’ magic number to clinch the division remains at one.
Roster moves: C Sandy Leon recalled to Washington; C Jeff Howell reassigned from Syracuse

Potomac 4 Frederick 3 — SUSP.
• Demny 5IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 6K

Play was called with the P-Nats leading the Keys 4-3 in the bottom of the 6th. The game will be resumed this afternoon followed by the regularly scheduled, nine-inning game. Roster moves: IF Cutter Dykstra activated from TIL; C Cole Leonida placed on the DL

Kannapolis 5 Hagerstown 3 (5½ inn., rain)
• Encarnacion (L, 10-9) 5IP, 10H, 5R, 4ER, 0BB, 8K
• Norfork 1-3, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Severino 2-2

Rain ended this one after five and a 1/2 with the Intimidators overtaking the Suns with a two-run fourth for a 5-3 win. Kannapolis struck first with three in the bottom of the 2nd while Hagerstown tied it in the 4th on a two-run double by Khayyan Norfork and an error. The Suns got sloppy in the bottom half of the frame, with a dropped third strike with two outs extending the inning and an error on a bunt single to the next batter setting up a two-run single. Pedro Encarnacion gave up all five runs (four earned) on ten hits for his ninth loss. He walked none and struck out eight. Hagerstown had four hits in six “ups” with Pedro Severino collecting two of them while going 2-for-2. The loss combined with a doubleheader sweep by West Virginia gave the Power the second half Sally North division title.

Auburn 10 State College 0
• Orlan 4IP, 1H, 0R, 3BB, 5K
• Cooper (W, 2-1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K, HBP
• Lippincott 2-3, 2R, 2BB
• Yezzo 2-4, 2R, HR, 3RBI
• Foat 1-5, 2R, HR, 5RBI

Four Auburn pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout while the offense exploded twice for big innings for a 10-0 win. R.C. Orlan turned in four innings of one-hit ball, walking three and striking out five in his final start. Andrew Cooper got the win as the first man out of the ‘pen, retiring six of seven batters faced (hitting the other) with three strikeouts. Bryan Lippincott reached base four times with two singles and two walks to lead the 13-hit attack, which included a three-run shot by James Yezzo in the four-run 4th and a grand slam by Matt Foat in the six-run 8th.

GCL Nationals 7 GCL Red Sox 2
• Suero (W, 1-0) 5IP, 1H, R, ER, 3BB, 7K, HBP
• Sylvestri 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-4, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
• R. Encarnacion 1-3, 2R, 2BB, RBI
• Gordon 2-4, R, RBI

The G-Nats did precisely what you’d expect a team that went 49-9 in the regular season to do: Win the league championship.

Sep 012013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 2-1 vs. Buffalo,
6:30 p.m.
Tatusko (5-7, 4.20) vs.
Romero (4-8, 5.88)
Harrisburg Won, 12-3 @ Richmond,
2:05 p.m.
Treinen (6-7, 3.72) vs.
Snodgrass (11-4, 3.79)
Potomac Won, 7-5 @ Frederick,
6:00 p.m.
Demny (2-2, 3.38) vs.
Howard (3-2, 3.32)
Hagerstown Lost, 4-1 @ Kannapolis,
5:05 p.m.
Encarnacion (10-8, 3.43) vs.
Olacio (5-11, 4.61)
Auburn Lost, 7-4 vs. State College,
2:05 p.m.
Orlan (1-5, 3.93) vs.
Bautista (1-4, 4.61)
GCL Nationals Won, 10-3 @ GCL Red Sox,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD



Syracuse 2 Pawtucket 1
• Clay 6IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Krol (W, 1-1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Kimball (SV, 1) 1IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Rahl 1-3, BB, SB, OF assist at HP (9th)
• Brown 1-4, RBI
• Marrero 1-4, HR, RBI

A solo shot in the 5th, 20 consecutive batters retired, and an outfield kill in the 9th were the keys to the Chiefs 2-1 win over the PawSox. Chris Marrero’s 11th HR proved to be the gamewinner in the pitcher’s duel. Caleb Clay got his 6th no-decision for Syracuse despite pitching his ninth quality start, letting in a run on two hits in the second inning, then retiring the last 14 batters he faced. Ian Krol and Mike Crotta each pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th and 8th innings to make it 20 in a row. Pawtucket struck for three singles in the 9th against Cole Kimball, who earned his 1st save for Syracuse thanks to Chris Rahl gunning down the tying run at the plate after the third hit of the inning.

Harrisburg 12 Richmond 3
• Karns (W, 10-6) 7IP, 6H, R, ER, BB, 7K, HR; 1-4, RBI
• Perry 2IP, H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, K
• Souza 3-5, R, 2-2B, 3RBI, HBP, SB(20)
• Hague 3-5, 2R, BB, 3RBI
• Bloxom 2-4, 2R, 2BB, 2

An eight-run 5th and seven strong innings from Nathan Karns powered Harrisburg past Richmond, 12-5. The 3-4-5 combo of Steve Souza Jr, Justin Bloxom, and Ricky Hague combined to go 8-for-14 with five runs scored and six RBI as the Senator offense notched 13 hits total. Karns became the third 10-game winner in the organization, giving up a run on a HR (14th in the minors, 19th overall), six hits, a walk, and seven strikeouts. With a 6-1 Erie loss to Bowie, Harrisburg’s magic number to clinch the E.L. West was reduced to one.

Potomac 7 Frederick 5
• Purke (W, 5-3) 5IP, 5H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Benincasa (SV, 17) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Taylor 4-4, 2R, 2-2B, HR, BB, SB, 5RBI, OF assist at 2B
• Keyes 3-5, 2-2B

Michael Taylor reached base five times, scored twice, drove in five, stole a base, threw out a runner, and saved 15% on his car insurance in a 7-5 Potomac win over Frederick. Kevin Keyes doubled twice and Justin Miller singled twice as the P-Nats rackek up 13 hits. Matt Purke tossed five scoreless innings, allowing five hits, no walks, and setting down five on strikes for win no. 5. The Keys rallied for five against the P-Nats relievers, “forcing” Robert Benincasa to work on back-to-back nights for another save, his 17th for Potomac.

Kannapolis 4 Hagerstown 1
• Johansen (L, 0-2) 4⅔ IP, 7H, 4R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K
• Pena 2⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Pleffner 2-3, BB
• Perez 1-3, 2B

Jake Johansen’s second start was slightly better than his first, but with an AWOL offense, the result was another “L” — 4-1 to Kannapolis. The Suns mustered just four hits against the Intimidators, with Shawn Pleffner collecting two of them. Johansen allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits and three walks while fanning four. West Virginia and Lexington were suspended with the Power leading 1-0 in the 3rd, but with the Sally League playoff format, Game One will be in Charleston regardless of whether there is a double-half winner.

State College 7 Auburn 4
• Simms (L, 0-3) 3⅓ IP, 10H, 6R, 6ER, 0BB, 3K, WP
• Joyce 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K, HBP
• Masters 2-3, R
• Foat 2-4, 2RBI

State College scored six times in four innings before Auburn answered with two as the Spikes went on to a 7-4 win. John Simms was charged with all six runs on 10 hits, though he walked none and struck out three over three and a 1/3rd innings. Matt Foat and David Masters both had two singles, as did the rest of the lineup, which only walked once as the final two Doubleday runs scored with the help of two errors and a passed ball.

GCL Nationals 10 GCL Red Sox 3
• J. Rodriguez 5IP, 6H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 2K
• Derosier (W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 1R, BB, 0K
• Walsh 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K
• R. Encarnacion 3-4, 2R, HR, 3RBI, OF assist at 1B
• Mejia 3-4, 2R, RBI, SB, 2E
• Bautista 2-4, RBI

After falling behind 3-0 in the top of 7th, the G-Nats sent 10 men to the plate in the bottom of the 7th. Eight of them scored. An inning later, two more circled the bases as the G-Nats defeated the G-Sox, 10-3 in Game One of the GCL Finals. Randy Encarnacion connected for a three-run homer, joining teammate Bryan Mejia in going 3-for-4 with two runs scored as the G-Nats pounded out 12 hits total, nine in the final two frames. Jefry Rodriguez got the start and gave up two runs, one unearned, on six hits and a walk while striking out two. Matt Derosier got the win with one run allowed over two innings. Jake Walsh closed out the game with two scoreless innings.

Aug 312013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 2-1 @ Pawtucket,
6:05 p.m.
Clay (5-2, 2.57) vs.
Webster (8-4, 3.68)
Harrisburg Won, 6-2 @ Richmond,
7:05 p.m.
Karns (9-6, 3.37) vs.
Westcott (5-11, 3.87)
Potomac Won, 5-3 @ Frederick,
6:00 p.m.
Purke (4-3, 4.82) vs.
Clark (1-6, 9.60)
Hagerstown Won, 8-2 @ Kannapolis,
7:05 p.m.
Johansen (0-1, 7.71) vs.
Lopez (4-3, 2.62)
Auburn Won, 6-3 vs. State College,
6:05 p.m.
Barrientos (1-5, 7.26)
Simms (0-2, 4.38) vs.
Herget (6-0, 3.07)
GCL Nationals Won, 6-1 vs. GCL Red Sox,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD



Pawtucket 2 Syracuse 1
• Mandel 5⅔ IP, 6H, R, ER, 0BB, 6K
• Davis (L, 3-7) 1⅓ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• Perez 2-4, R, SB
• Espinosa 2-4

The PawSox rallied with two out in the bottom of the 9th to edge the Chiefs, 2-1. Erik Davis, who had gotten the last two outs in the 8th, issued a two-out walk. A stolen base put the gamewinner into scoring position and a single to center cashed him for the walkoff. Starter Jeff Mandel gave up just a run on six hits while striking out six but got the no-decision. All seven Syracuse hits were allowed by MLB rehabber Clay Buchholz in his three and a 1/3rd innings as the Pawtucket bullpen pitched five and 2/3rds of no-hit relief.

Harrisburg 6 Richmond 2
• Ray (W, 5-2) 5IP, H, R, ER, 2BB, 9K, HR
• Mirowski (H, 7) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Martinson 2-3, R, HR, BB, 2RBI
• Head 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Souza 0-1, 2R, 4BB, 3SB

Harrisburg struck for three in the 9th to pull away from Richmond for a 6-2 win. Robbie Ray threw five innings of one-hit, one-run ball, surrendering his 13th longball of the year in the 4th, while walking two and fanning nine. Jason Martinson’s two-run homer in the 2nd got the Sens on the board first while Carlos Rivero’s two-run single capped off the 9th. Meanwhile, Erie took the second game of a doubleheader against Bowie to clinch a playoff berth. The Sens lead the Seawolves by one game with three left to play, but would lose the division on the first tiebreaker, having lost 8 of 15 meetings between the two teams.

Potomac 5 Winston-Salem 3
• Schwartz 6IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 2K
• Bates (W, 5-4) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, HBP
• Manuel 2-4, R
• Taylor 1-3, 2R, 2BB, 2SB
• Keyes 1-2, 2RBI

Potomac scored two runs early and three runs late to take the final game of the series vs. Winston-Salem, 5-3. Making his final regular-season start, Blake Schwartz turned in another quality start of three runs on seven hits and a walk but failed to become the first 12-game winner for the P-Nats since Tommy Milone in 2009. Colin Bates got the win with two goose eggs in the 7th and 8th innings, while Robert Benincasa worked around a hit in the 9th for his 16th save. Michael Taylor singled once, walked twice, stole two bases, and scored twice to lead the Potomac offense.

Hagerstown 8 Kannapolis 2
• Dickson (W, 5-3) 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 9K
• Meza (H, 2) 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Renda 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB
• Norfork 2-4, 2R, BB
• Perrott 2-5, R

The Suns put up three crooked numbers and scored in four innings total as they lapped the Intimidators, 8-2. Starter Ian Dickson struck out nine and walked none in six innings, allowing both Kannapolis runs on four hits. Every Hagerstown batter hit safely with Tony Renda and Khayyan Norfork both reaching base three times on two hits and a walk. West Virginia, which clinched a playoff berth on Thursday, won to keep pace as the two teams remain tied for the 2nd half title at 40-25.

Auburn 6 Mahoning Valley 3
• Ullmann (W, 2-2) 5⅔ IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 5K
• Hollins (SV, 5) 3⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K, 1-0 IR-S
• Yezzo 2-4, RBI
• Dent 1-3, 2RBI
• Lippincott 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI

Auburn scored one in the 1st, two in the 3rd, and three in the 6th as they doubled up Mahoning Valley, 6-3. Starter Ryan Ullmann pitched into the sixth, giving up all three Scrapper runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five to earn the win. L.J. Hollins closed out the game with three and a 1/3rd scoreless innings for his fifth save. James Yezzo led the hit column with a 2-for-4 game as the Doubledays scored six times on just seven hits and two walks.

GCL Nationals 6 GCL Pirates 1
• Silvestre (W, 1-0) 6IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 6K
• Webb 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 2HBP
• Ward 2-3, R, 2B, HR, BB, 3RBI
• Difo 2-3, R, BB

Drew Ward’s two-run double capped a four-run 5th as the G-Nats dispensed with the G-Pirates, 6-1 to advance the to GCL League Championship. Ward also homered and drew a walk, collecting two of the G-Nats’ four extra-base hits. Hector Silvestre pitched six one-hit innings without issuing a base on balls and set down six on strikes to earn the “W.” Joey Webb followed with two scoreless but not painless frames, as the 28th-round pick plunked two batters. David “Yes, my brother is Wilson” Ramos lost the shutout in the 9th, surrendering a leadoff triple and a pair of two-out singles.