Friday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-4 @ Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Lannan (0-1, 22.50) vs.
Cochran (1-0, 3.60)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-1 vs. Reading,
7:00 p.m.
Rosenbaum (1-0, 1.50) vs.
Buchanan (1-0, 0.00)
Potomac Lost, 1-0 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Hansen (0-1, 18.00) vs.
Pacheco (0-0, 0.00)
Hagerstown Lost, 8-1 @ Lakewood,
7:05 p.m.
Turnbull (0-0, 6.75) vs.
Stewart (0-1, 1.69)

Lehigh Valley 5 Syracuse 4
• Maya (L, 0-1) 4IP, 3H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 2K, HR (GS)
• Severino 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Moore 2-4, 2R, 2HR, 3RBI
• Brown 1-3, 2BB, SB

Tyler Moore smacked his 3rd and 4th home runs in his first two at-bats to give the Chiefs a brief 3-0 lead after 3½ innings. But a grand slam in the bottom of the 4th gave the IronPigs a 5-3 lead that Syracuse couldn’t overcome as Lehigh Valley took the game, 5-4. Yunesky Maya suffered the loss, giving up all five runs on just three hits and two walks while striking out two. Three relievers combined for four scoreless innings to keep it close, but the offense ground to a halt in the late innings as the last 10 Chiefs to bat went down in order after Corey Brown’s two-out single in the 6th.

Reading 4 Harrisburg 1
• Mandel (L, 0-1) 6IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 5K
• Perez 1-3, CS
• Leon 1-3, RBI

For the second straight outing, Jeff Mandel turned in a quality start, giving up two run on three hits and two walks over six innings. But unlike last Saturday, there was no offensive explosion late, as the R-Phils took Game One of the series, 4-1. Harrisburg was held to just five singles, and six baserunners total. Sandy Leon drove in the sole run with the last of three straight safeties with one out, but misjudged Josh Johnson’s warning-track flyout to right field and was doubled off to end the rally. Jeff Kobernus went hitless to end his streak at seven games.

Myrtle Beach 1 Potomac 0
• Winters 6IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 7K
• Wort 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Taylor 1-4, 2B, CS(4)
• Sanchez 1-3, SB
• Nicol 1-3

The wind may have been blowing in, but there was a breeze blowing out as the two teams’ pitchers combined to strike out 23 batters as the Pelicans got the best of the pitcher’s duel with a 1-0 walkoff win in the 9th. Cameron Selik was the hard-luck loser, giving up a leadoff single, sacrifice and an intentional pass before fanning the #5 batter for the second out. Kevin Keyes was unable to track down the dying quail on the LF line that proved to be the gamewinner, a ball that some players argued was foul, as it went off his glove for an error and the runner on second scored. Potomac opens its home schedule with a three-game set this weekend against the Lynchburg Hillcats.

Lakewood 8 Hagerstown 1
• Meyer (L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 3H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 2K, WP
• Holt 3⅓ IPm 1H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 2K, HR, IR-S 1-1
• Martinson 1-4, R, BB, 3K
• Skole 1-3, BB

Alex Meyer couldn’t make it out of the first inning, giving three hits and two walks while striking out two before he was lifted, as the Lakewood BlueClaws scored six en route to an 8-1 win. Greg Holt followed Meyer out of the ‘pen and was greeted with a two-run homer but shook it off to retire the next 10 batters he faced. The offense, however, was held to just six singles and stranded nine baserunners. Jason Martinson and Matt Skole each reached base twice safely via a hit and a walk, but Martinson whiffed three times to bring his total to 13 in eight games played. UPDATE ON GOODWIN: Citing a source, Byron Kerr is reporting that Brian Goodwin’s injury is to the quadriceps, not the hamstring. This is potentially good news since quads are generally quicker to heal.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

28 thoughts on “Friday’s News & Notes”

  1. Nothing is working for the minor-league system yet. Injuries are keeping some of our best on the sidelines, and Bryce Haper has been exposed, for now. It’s a good thing that he wasn’t brought north with the big club. At least Rick Ankiel has been hitting well. Hopefully he can bring that power up to DC.

    Has Tyler Moore been playing any more in the outfield? He is starting to seem like someone who might make his MLB debut this year. Let’s just hope it isn’t in place of an injured Adam LaRoche, because he is carrying the Nats so far.


    1. Tyler Moore has yet to play a regular-season game in the OF. Ever. Quite frankly, I don’t see it happening. I’d love to be wrong, but there’s a reason for him playing 1B.

      I wouldn’t worry about Harper. This is one of the reasons why he’s in AAA — to learn how to hit near-MLB lefties. He’s not the first LH slugger to struggle against them and he won’t be the last.

      1. I think Luke kind of said that Marcus … that’s what he probably learns to adjust and adapt to before he starts to hit. He really hadn’t reached that point in AA last season. He did manage to improve in the AFL.

        A good example is former 1st rounder Corey Brown who now appears to have finally figured it out and is starting every game for the Chiefs.

  2. Yeah, Moore’s HRs are impressive, but what most excites me is the 3 BBs he’s taken this season. If he can reverse his plummeting walk rate, and get it back to around where it was in 2009 (8.4%), I think he has potential to be a useful MLB player. Last year he only walked 30 times in 561 plate appearances (5.3%), which simply won’t work when striking out a lot (career 24% K rate). But so far he’s been a different player- 3 BB and 4 K in 29 plate appearances. Hopefully it’s not just due to a small sample size, and Moore has worked hard on improving his plate discipline.

    1. It’s always important to remember to not get too excited until the entire league sees a player or pitcher at least once (e.g. Burgess, Michael 2010).

      1. Hi Luke. You mentioned Burgess. I haven’t been following, but how have he and the rest of the players the Cubs got for Gorzo been doing? Just curious.

        1. Burgess spent yet another year in Hi-A in ’11, hitting 20HRs — not bad for a league that’s typically low-scoring — and posting a line of .225/.323/.427 but struck out 111 times. He’s now in AA (Southern League) and starting strong in terms of AVG (.333) and OBP (.417) but has no XBH thus far.

          Graham Hicks spent most of ’11 in the Midwest League (Low-A) but threw just 58⅓ innings, pitching just 7⅔ of them after July 4. He lowered his Low-A ERA from 5.26 to 4.01 from ’10 to ’11.

          A.J. Morris missed all last season with shoulder surgery. He’s back in Hi-A and has given up five runs and six hits in three innings.

  3. Not prospect-related, but it will be interesting to see how Lannan does in his second start for SYR today.

    1. Imploded in the fifth per usual after facing 5 batters he was lifted. Allowed 4 earned runs ( 8 total). Arneson had to bail him out and did. Playing Seth Bynum at shortstop surely doesn’t help a pitcher like Lannan’s … and Corey Brown also made a run scoring error in left-field.

      Lannan looks like he is about even with Maya but behind Atkins and Roark. If Rosenbaum gets promoted he looks like he would be ahead of Lannan.

  4. Harper’s struggles aren’t unexpected. He struggled at the beginning of his stay at AA and despite all the media pieces never really dominated at that level. Moore’s increased walk rate can also be attributed to the fact that pitching in AAA is more consistent and so is the umpiring.

    Harrisburg’s home opener is confusing in that Valdez started and Rahl sat despite the disparity in offensive numbers between the two. For a club that needs offense it is surprising. Baserunning blunders by young players killed their chances at a win.

  5. I’m liking what I’m seeing from Corey Brown. If he keeps this up, he should make it to DC before Harper does.

    1. +1, even though I think it is a bit of a long shot. He had a hot spring training, is raking now, and the Nats need a CF. With Ankiel set to come back, Brown may not get a shot for a month or two…

    2. They are playing Brown every day as they would a promising prospect. That didn’t happen last season.

  6. Has Taylor really been caught stealing 4 times already? That seems odd to the point of being ridiculous. Anyone have any color to this?

  7. With Ankiel about to rejoin Nats, odds would seem to be that Nady gets reassigned. D Johnson said he was keeping Lombo on 25 man and would get him 300 AB’s. Lombo is currently on pace for 138 AB’s. I believe Bernadina is out of options but is struggling. Hopefully Lombo can get more work that he’s been given so far; be it in DC or SYR.

  8. Guys help me I am really trying my best to understand this system. I love my Nats and will continue to support them but i have to ask a question down on the farm. What happen to all my lefty set up guys, closers, middle men. Van Allen , Smoker seem to be having a tuff time. We traded a guy that I thought had big league potential named Manno for Jonny Gomes(nice) It seems we really got weak this year from the left side of the mound. Talk to me people

    1. I wish Manno the best but I still don’t understand the Manno obsession around here. Rizzo likes power arms look at our current bullpen and rotation, look at the players Rizzo has drafted and look at the players Rizzo has traded away. Manno doesn’t fit that mold so I don’t know if he was ever in the long term plans. Also it’s a small sample size but Manno has struggled thus far in AA.

      A left reliever prospect to watch is Severino:

      Hector Nelo is another relief prospect to watch:

      1. Well, he was fan favorite, got talked up a lot in the comments, and racked up huge strikeout numbers. When the rest of the LHRPs are generally older and have less sexy numbers, that’s the shine that people are attracted to. Like you said, he’s not doing well so far in AA, but even if he were, so what? It’s not going to unring that bell.

        And just we can close the loop and move on… “Dolla” is in AAA Louisville, hitting .222/.300/.222 in 20PA.

      2. Given Burnett’s issues its why the decided to tender Gorzelanny and keep him on.

        Severino has been on the 40-man for at least 4 years … has yet to crack the majors. Turnbull could end up relieving … and there’s Smoker. McGreary may still wind up in there somewhere? There’s Applebee, McCoy, Testa, Meza … But LHRP appear to be a weakness in the system?

        IMO any trades made (LaRoche, Lannan, Bernadina, etc) might be made for left-handed pitching prospects; probably A level with high ceilings as a result.

  9. Harper 1 for 12 vs lefties w 1bb and 5k in AAA to start the year. Needs more at bats in the minors to be effective in the majors.

  10. Davey said he told Lombo that he didn’t consider Lombo a utility player. But there it is. No choice for now, I guess. If Espi’s BA continues below the Mendoza … But Espi’s OBP is okay so far and then there’s all that power. Anyway, Espi’s probably got 2012 to try to figure it out.. … I wonder what Lombo would prefer for 2012: play utility in the Bigs or full time for another year in AAA. As a fan, I enjoy his play with the Nats, even if limited to util.

  11. Marcus I am a nat fan not a Manno fan but lets be serious , he has thrown 3 inning s with 3 Ks and gave up only 1 Hit. I looked into the game where runs were giving up and they were his runs on base and when a new pitcher came in he threw 2 wild pitches , so lets give manno some props. after all he left here in low A and low and behold he is in double A , now to the main issue , our farm systems needs to hvae Purke,Solis and other leftys to put up. when you say power arms a guy like Manno sits 89-92 . Purke and Solis are a touch higher.

    1. Luke,

      Cool all props given to him and I said I wish him the best and noted that his double A numbers were a small sample size. It’s just often people point to the Manno trade as some huge mistake Rizzo made and I still don’t see it as a big deal. Here’s an interesting blog post that relates to Manno:

      The comments section is more interesting than anything else at that link.

      You’re comparing Manno to our lefty starters but he’s a reliever. From what I’ve read he sits in the high 80’s and can touch the low 90’s. He’s a good pitcher but I don’t think he’s a power arm out of the bull pen which is what Rizzo seems to like. Smoker, McCoy, and Severino are guys you should compare him too. I’m actually surprised Patrick McCoy isn’t listed on the Watch List?

      1. He was on the 2011 Watchlist but struggled last season, particularly with the gopherball. Keeps pitching like this, he’ll be on the 2013 Watchlist.

  12. Ok sorry guys just a word on Manno this blog loved him and I agree it was a bit overdone. he is not the second comimg of Sandu Koufax, oooooooo I am old if I can remember that. But here is what you have 2010 in college 86-88 2011 pros 87-89 now this year I hear from scouts 90-92 . This really tells me something that he is still a young body kid, now guys i am not saying this just for Manno , I am saying whenever you project a player. Some guys I have scouted have topped out in high scholl or college, some like manno are just young body guys that get stronger as they get older. I love that Manno is under the radar, and I love what Luke said , I wish him the best. I am told by everyone in Hagerstown , from the ground keepers to the coaching staff that is a a great teammate and great young man, so I wish him the very best well said Luke

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