Apr 172013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Postponed vs. Buffalo,
4:00 p.m.
Ohlendorf (2-0, 1.64) and
Tatusko (0-1, 5.40) vs.
Germano (1-1, 10.13) and
TBD
Harrisburg Lost, 4-3
(10 inn.)
OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Won, 3-2
(12 inn.)
@ Salem,
11:00 a.m.
Jordan (0-0, 1.50) vs.
Owens (0-0, 1.80)
Hagerstown Won, 11-2 vs. Lakewood,
12:05 p.m.
Mooneyham (1-0, 0.90) vs.
Brady (0-1, 5.79)

Syracuse vs. Buffalo — PPD
Rain continues to beguile Syracuse (not only that, Skipper, it’s really starting to annoy them) as the Chiefs had their third rainout in the past week. The game is scheduled to be made up this afternoon with a pair of seven-inning games at 4 p.m.

Reading 4 Harrisburg 3 (10 inn.)
• Demny 5⅔ IP, 10H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 5K, HR
• Krol 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 1-0 IR-S
• Leon 2-4, R, HR, BB, 3RBI, 2-5 CS-SB
• Hague 1-3, BB
• Nicol OF assist at 2B
• 1-for-10 w/ RISP

Sandy Leon’s two-run shot in the top of the 9th forced extra innings for Harrisburg, but the jubilation was short-lived as Reading needed just four pitches to win it in the 10th. Starter Paul Demny scattered 10 hits over five and 2/3rds innings and gave up just three runs (one via HR) with one walk and five strikeouts. The Leon homer, however, masked another poor showing on offense as the Senators collected just five hits total and left 10 men on base. Matt Swynenberg, Ian Krol, and Aaron Barrett combined to shut down the Fightins for three and a 1/3rd innings, allowing two hits, no walks, and four strikeouts. Marcos Frias gave up a triple and a single to the two batters he faced in the 10th to take the loss.

Potomac 3 Salem 2 (12 inn.)
• Ray 6IP, 4H, R, ER, 4BB, 4K, HBP, WP, 2PO
• Grace 3IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Mirowski (W, 1-0) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Dykstra 3-6, R, 2RBI
• Taylor 3-5, R, BB, SB
• Martinson 2-4, R, 2BB
• 3-for-15 w/ RISP, 12 LOB

Like the Phils in Reading, Potomac had numerous chances to score but needed extras to win in Salem. Cutter Dykstra’s RBI single in the 12th, his third hit of the contest and second two-out RBI, delivered the gamewinner as the P-Nats edged the S-Sox, 4-3. Starter Robbie Ray struggled some with his control (4BB, HBP, WP) but was more than good enough to win, letting in just one run on four hits over six innings. Michael Taylor (3-for-5, BB) and Carolina Lg. POTW Jason Martinson (2-for-4, 2BB) both reached base four times while Mark Grace and Richie Mirowski combined for five shutout innings following Salem getting the tying run in the 7th on a two-out wild pitch.

Hagerstown 11 Lakewood 2
• Pineyro ⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Dupra (W, 1-0) 5⅓ IP, 8H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 3K, WP
• Hudgins (SV, 1) 3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Pleffner 1-3, 2R, HR, 2BB, 2RBI
• Ramos 2-3, 2R, 2B, HR, 3RBI, SB, 2 OF assist (3B, 2B)
• Martinez 2-4, 3R, 2B, BB, RBI

Three home runs, including a grand slam by Brandon Miller, powered the Suns past the Blue Claws for an 11-2 win on Tuesday. Brian Dupra got the win in long relief, as the one hit allowed by Ivan Pineyro was literally off the starting pitcher, forcing him from the game (no word on the extent of his injury). “Help Me” Wander Ramos, activated from the DL before the game, was a three-way force: doubling and homering for three RBI and two runs scored, swiping a bag, and gunning down two runners from right field. Shawn Pleffner also went deep and drew two walks in his second game since being activated from XST. Will Hudgins got the save with three perfect frames and five strikeouts. Roster moves: C Andruth Ramirez placed on the 7-Day DL; OF Wander Ramos activated from the 7-Day DL

Apr 152013
 

RippleThe injuries to OFs Eury Perez in Syracuse, Steven Souza Jr. in Harrisburg, and J.R. Higley in Hagerstown (the latter two detailed here by MASN’s Byron Kerr) have created a ripple effect throughout the Nats’ minors.

Here’s the rundown on the transactions announced today by the Suns and, Senators, and P-Nats:

  • Taking Perez’s place on the Syracuse roster is Harrisburg OF-1B Jerad Head
  • OF Randolph Oduber and UT Francisco Soriano have been reassigned from Potomac to Harrisburg, taking the place of Head and Souza
  • IF Khayyan Norfork and OF Will Piwinica-Worms have been transferred from Hagerstown to Potomac, taking the place of Oduber and Soriano
  • IFs Hunter Bailey, Matt Foat, and Shawn Pleffner were activated from XST and assigned to Hagerstown, taking the place of Norfork and Piwinica-Worms
  • IF Carlos Lopez was placed on the 7-Day DL for Hagerstown
  • IF Blake Kelso was placed on the 7-Day DL for Potomac
  • UT Justin Miller was activated from XST and assigned to Potomac

With those moves, the four full-season affiliates roster are back to the 25-man limits.

This morning, Baseball America issued its weekly update on transactions, most of which were previously reported.

As usual, signings tend to be found here and not via MiLB.com. This time, it’s SS Kelvin Gutierrez, who appears to be an NDFA from Bates College. Absent a DOB, that’s a best guess.

Also of note are some of the players placed on the 7-Day DL, which include RHPs Rafael Martin and Shane McCatty, LHP Josh Smoker, and Cs Beau Seabury and Sean McCauley, who is listed as a coach for Potomac (and mentioned in last week’s update) could logically be inferred as this year’s Sam Palace (who’s on the Syracuse DL as of this writing).

UPDATE: Potomac issued its press release after this went to virtual press. Changes are in red.

Apr 142013
 

As predicted in this morning’s news & notes, the injury to Wilson Ramos has set off a chain reaction of roster moves:

  • C Wilson Ramos placed on the Washington DL
  • C Jhonatan Solano recalled to Washington from Syracuse
  • C Jeff Howell reassigned from Harrisburg to Syracuse
  • C Kris Watts activated from the Harrisburg DL
  • OF Steven Souza Jr. placed on the Harrisburg DL
  • OF J.R. Higley placed on the Hagerstown DL
  • C Andruth Ramirez activated from the Hagerstown DL

As of this writing, Potomac has not made any moves, which is the natural inference as there are currently three catchers on the Suns roster, not to mention the unknown severity of the wrist injury suffered by Eury Perez on a diving play in the 5th inning of yesterday’s game.

If/when such a move occurs (and I’m able to access the WordPress admin), this space will be updated.

UPDATE: OF Eury Perez has indeed been placed on the DL. As mentioned in the comments, there are two candidates in XST to replace him or Souza on the corresponding rosters of Syracuse and Harrisburg.

Apr 082013
 

Walking WoundedAs first reported by the Patriot News’ Geoff Morrow, Harrisburg 1B-3B Matt Skole has indeed gone on the D.L. with hairline fracture of his left wrist, as the Harrisburg Senators announced today, along with the corresponding move of activating veteran minor-league OF Jerad Head from extended spring training and assigning him to the AA club.

Skole was injured on Friday night when Bowie’s Ty Kelly collided with him on an infield single in the 8th inning.

On Sunday, Baseball America issued its weekly update on transactions, most of which had been previously reported, with the exception of two more signings…

…RHP Mike Broadway, originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 4th Round of the 2005 Draft, but released following a single season with the San Diego Padres at AA San Antonio, pitching in 33 games but posting a 6.35 ERA and 1.613 WHIP, though he struck out 45 in 39⅔ innings — the second straight season he had averaged 10+ K/9IP.

…C Sean McCauley, another local sign as the 2007 graduate of Osbourn High School appears to be resurrecting his professional career after three seasons (2007-2009) in the Kansas City Royals system.

Apr 022013
 

Catching Up On TransactionsAs expected, the latest transaction post from Baseball America was filled with releases and reassignments that have already been covered.

There were, however, two signings that I’ll pass along… but unfortunately there’s not a whole lot to tell.

• Signed RHP Fiyeral Charlis

• Signed OF Anthony Bryant

The presumption is that Charlis is a signee from the Dominican Republic, but there’s no mention of him on the Dominican Prospect League website — from which the Nats have had a couple of other previous IFA signings. Searches on multiple search engines have been like a Yukon Cornelius expedition.

As is always the case when a prospect shares the name of a football player (or two), sifting through the NFL results is tedious and time-consuming. Little can be found on Bryant beyond his stats and commenters confusing him with Anthony Garcia.
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Media days for all four affiliates will be taking place early this week (yesterday in Harrisburg, today in Hagerstown and Syracuse, tomorrow in Potomac). The Suns are expected to unveil new home jerseys (exepcted to be very similar to this) as well as a red Sunday-only jersey (likely the reverse).

As always, if/when there are any transaction-oriented news items discovered (e.g. who’s on the Harrisburg D.L.) in the next 24 hours, this post will be updated.

Mar 292013
 

Transactions for NPPLate yesterday afternoon, the Nationals announced the reassignment of 1B/LF Micah Owings and UT Carlos Rivero to minor-league camp. Both will presumably begin the season in Syracuse.

MLB.com beat writer Bill “No, I did not play Stevie’s Dad on Malcolm In The Middle” Ladson also had the news of another set of releases:

  • RHP Alex Kreis (Hagerstown)
  • OF Ray Kruml (offseason pickup)
  • LHP Brandon Mann (offseason pickup)
  • RHP Hassan Pena (Syracuse)

With less than a week to go before the minor-league season starts, it’s now a waiting game to see how the rosters shake out. Unfortunately, if there are any more releases, we’re back to relying on MiLB.com and Baseball America (warning: if you haven’t been to the site in a couple of days, it’s been redesigned) as the beat writers have (quite happily) left Viera for this afternoon’s cash cow vs. the New York Yankees.

I’m expecting rosters to be released on Tuesday and Wednesday (e.g. the 3rd is Media Day for Potomac). The past two seasons, the first roster to hit the streets, er, inboxes has been Harrisburg, which is quite apt this year since it’s the most anticipated roster of them all… Matt Skole, Brian Goodwin, Nathan Karns, and newly acquired Ian Krol, for example. Wait: Am I missing anybody?

As in years past, I’ll have a separate post for each roster with some analysis.

Mar 242013
 

We now interrupt your lazy Sunday afternoon for another transaction-oriented post.

The Washington Nationals announced late Sunday afternoon that out-of-options IF-OF Carlos Rivero passed through waivers and has been outrighted to Syracuse while RHP Christian Garcia was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a forearm tendon strain.

If there’s an underlying theme among these moves — minus Garcia — it’s that Nats GM Mike Rizzo is adamant that “surplus” players aren’t leaving without a decent return. Both Colorado and Detroit were looking to hold onto Danny Rosenbaum and Jeff Kobernus, respectively, but returned them because “the asking price was too high.”

It’s probably safe to deduce that the Nats were unable to trade Rivero for the same reason.

The Garcia move is retroactive to Friday, which would make the righthander eligible on April 6th. With zero exhibition appearances, his injury history, and the careful management of his workload last summer, estimates such as Adam Kilgore’s of Garcia missing the month of April seem rather plausible.

Mar 242013
 

Another day, another Rule 5 pick returned.

Multiple online sources are reporting that Colorado will return Danny Rosenbaum following the signing of veteran RHP Jon Garland. Rosenbaum was 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in six appearances for the Rockies this spring, the last of which came a week ago when the 25-year-old southpaw gave up a single and a walkoff home run in a 9-7 loss to the Giants.

He had been competing for the final bullpen spot — five of his six outings were in relief — in a group of relievers that included notables such as Chris Volstad and Manny Corpas.

Like Kobernus, he’s expected to be reassigned to minor-league camp, but it’s much less clear where he’ll begin the season. Last season was arguably his worst, beginning with 7-2, 1.94 in his first 13 starts, but finishing in a freefall of 1-8, 6.54 in his last 13 starts for an 8-10, 3.94 mark overall.

While often compared to former Nats farmhand Tommy Milone, a comp that seems largely based on size (both are shade taller than 6′ with a “sturdy carriage”) and dexterity and the soft-tosser perception. The reality is that Rosenbaum has always thrown harder than Milone (low-90s vs. high-80s), but with a little less control (2.5 vs. 1.5 BB/9).

Still, it’s a understandable linkage because both have shown the ability to get guys out without lot of flash while pitching deep into games (e.g. 171⅓ IP in 2011). Rosenbaum works off a heavy, sinking fastball, which has produced groundball rates of 50%-plus the past two seasons, including 56.7% last year, while mixing in a cutter as well as a changeup and a curve as his secondary pitches.

Like a lot of the AA and AAA pitchers, it’s difficult to predict where he’ll begin the season given the signings of multiple free agents. What’s probably more certain is that he’ll return to starting, given his durability and track record.

The watchlist and the LHPs page have been both been updated to reflect his return.

Mar 232013
 

So LongAs reported earlier today, we heard the Nationals had made some releases, just not who. Now, we know. Per Bill Ladson and MLB Trade Rumors, it’s the following minor-leaguers:

  • LHP Ryan Demmin (Potomac)
  • RHP Inocencio Heredia (GCL)
  • IF Stephen King (Harrisburg, Potomac)
  • LHP Bobby Lucas (Hagerstown)
  • LHP Blake Monar (Auburn)
  • OF Wade Moore (Potomac)
  • RHP Casey Upperman (offseason pickup)
  • LHP Andrew Wall (Auburn)
  • OF J.P. Ramirez (Hagerstown, Potomac)
  • UT Delwyn Young (offseason pickup)

I don’t think there are any real surprises here. Maybe Inocencio Heredia, who just turned 21 in December, but had spent parts of two seasons in the GCL (and of course, mea culpa, I overrated him enough to put him on the “Notable Arms”). Wade Moore had retired last summer and was contemplating a return to playing football, but saw his change of mind go unrewarded. Without going down the line, there were hints for the others.

Nevertheless, I’ll rephrase I wrote last year… before you comment, just remember that for some of these young men, it’s the end of the road. Some will try to hook on with another organization. A few will try to play their way back via the indys. But all of them will have to figure out what’s the next chapter in the lives, baseball or otherwise.

UPDATE: Last night, Baseball America made its weekly transaction post for the period of March 14-20 (the releases above are believe to have occurred on Thursday). The following two players were among the previously unreported cuts:

  • RHP Randy Consuegra (offseason pickup)
  • RHP Francisco Samuel (offseason pickup)

Both pitchers were reclamation projects that were signed last November.

Mar 232013
 

Well, it looks like yesterday’s reports were wrong: the Tigers have returned Rule 5 pick Jeff Kobernus to the Nationals.

Kobernus hung a line of .220/.298/.300 in 50ABs for Detroit in 21 games while attempting to make the 25-man roster as a utilityman. The 24-year-old made appearances in all three outfield positions, playing there for the first time since his collegiate days at California.

Officially, he’s been reassigned to minor-league camp but is expected to open the season in Syracuse after an injury-shortened 2012 in Harrisburg. He played in 82 games for the Senators and hit .282/.325/.333 with 42 SBs with a career-best .982 fielding average.

The watchlist and the second baseman page have been both been updated to reflect his return.