Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-5
(11 inn.)
@ Durham,
7:05 p.m.
Maya (0-3, 7.45) vs.
Archer (4-1, 4.06)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-1 vs. Altoona,
7:00 p.m.
Broderick (1-2, 5.34) vs.
Sadler (3-2, 3.50)
Potomac Won, 3-2 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Won, 5-4;
@ Rome,
5:00 p.m.
Pineyro (1-2, 4.58) and
Pena (2-2, 4.43) vs.
LaFreniere (2-0, 4.50) and
Scoggin (2-2, 4.98)

Norfolk 6 Syracuse 5 (11 inn.)
• Young 5⅓ IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 4K
• Davis 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Perez 3-6, R, 2B
• Kobernus 2-6, 2R, SB
• Rhymes 2-5, BB, 2RBI

After taking a two-run lead with single runs in the 6th and 7th, the Chiefs gave it back with a three-run 8th but tied the Tide with a two-out Will Rhymes RBI single in the 9th. Alas, Norfolk got to Mike Crotta (the seventh Syracuse pitcher) in the 11th for the deciding run, 6-5. Chris Young got the start and gave up just two runs on six hits and one walk (all season lows) with four strikeouts. Eury Perez scored the tying run with the second of his three singles, which led the Syracuse hit column. Jeff Kobernus and Micah Owings both scored two runs, with Kobernus swiping his 13th bag, which would lead any league without Billy Hamilton (17).

Binghamton 6 Harrisburg 1
• Clay (L, 3-1) 7IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 2K, 2HR
• Lehman 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Rendon 2-4, BB, 2K
• Hood 2-4, 2B, 2K, OF assist at 2B

Harrisburg was one hit shy of Binghamton, but outhomered 3-0 and outscored 6-1. Caleb Clay took the loss, giving up six hits and four runs, three coming via two home runs allowed. He walked one and struck out two. Anthony Rendon both went 2-for-4 and struck out twice as the Senators were a woeful 1-for-14 with RISP and 11 runners left on. Pat McCoy gave up the third big fly and the final two B-Mets runs in the 8th. Pat Lehman, activated from the DL after Marcos Frias was struck by a line drive on Saturday night, pitched a scoreless 9th.

Potomac 3 Carolina 2
• Hill 7IP, 2H, R, ER, 2BB, 7K, HR
• Mirowski (BS, 2;W, 2-2) 2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 3K
• Burns 2-4, R, RBI, BB, SB
• Taylor 2-5, RBI

For the second time in less than a week, Billy Burns and Michael Taylor teamed up for the walk-steal-walkoff as Potomac edged Myrtle Beach, 3-2 to take the series 2-1 and close out the homestand 5-2. The steal was Burns’s Carolina League-leading 14th while Taylor’s single was his second of the game, but just the third P-Nat hit from scoring position as the P-Nats struggled to plate their nine hits and six walks, not to mention three Pelican errors. Taylor Hill gave up just two hits over seven innings, but one was a solo shot. He walked two and struck out seven. Richie Mirowski got the win with an unearned run over the last two frames, allowing two hits and a walk but setting down three on strikes.

Hagerstown 5 Augusta 4 — GAME ONE
• Turnbull (W, 2-0) 5IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 3K, 2HR
• Hudgins (H, 2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Benincasa (SV, 5) 1IP, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• Miller 3-3, 2R, 2-2B, HR, 3RBI
• Schill 2-3, RBI

Brandon Miller doubled and scored twice, homered once, and drove in three runs as the Suns edged the Braves, 5-4 in what was to be the first of two in Rome, GA yesterday afternoon. Kylin Tunrbull got the win, but continues to give up the long hits, allowing seven total with five going for extra bases (two homers, two doubles, and a triple) as he gave up four runs and walked one with three strikeouts in his second start since being demoted from Potomac. Will Hudgins pitched a scoreless 6th for his second hold while Robert Benincasa walked two and struck out three in the 7th for his fifth save.

Hagerstown vs. Augusta — GAME TWO (PPD.)
The rains came back and postponed game two. They’ll try to get in two tonight, weather permitting.

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.

19 thoughts on “Monday’s News & Notes”

  1. Which National would need to be injured for Jeff Kobernus to be called up. Mind you, I don’t want the injury; I am just wondering if there is any scenario other than the calendar turning to September that would give Kobernus a taste of the Show.

    1. With the Nationals? A car or plane accident or Mike Rizzo having a stroke. Otherwise, his best chance to see the majors before September is via a trade.

      That may sound harsh, but I couldn’t find an in-season, 25-man period (April-August) addition to the Nats 40-man roster since 2009 that involved a position player without prior MLB experience. Even taking that off the table, you’re talking about the likes of Carlos Maldonado, Brian Bixler, Corey Patterson, Elijah Dukes, etc.

      As always, I’d love to have my pessimism proven wrong, but there is a definite pattern here.

      1. Agreed. The only possibility would be a season ending injury to Espinosa or Lombardozzi that puts either one of them on the 60-day DL, which I believe grants a roster examption until the end of the season.

  2. Is there a point where the Nationals have to start paying more attention to Billy Burns? I am sure when they drafted him they viewed him as an organizational guy but he seems to be on a similar trajectory as Lombardozzi (outplaying his “abilities”). The guy has a 14% walk rate to go along with an 85% success rate stealing bases and a slash line of .309/.404/.377 which is weighed down by his 2011 stats from Auburn.

    I have not seen him in person so I can’t be sure if his defense is any good or not but thus far in his minor league career he has looked like a sleeper to me.

    1. Defense is very good. Haven’t seen him make too many throws, but like most LF-CF types, anything better than below average is a plus. Unfortunately, just as pitchers who don’t throw 95 have a tough hill to climb in the Nats org, so it also goes for contact-speedster types versus power hitters (this, unfortunately, also applies to Kobernus).

      He’s a hell of a lot of fun to watch, though and could work as a bench player… just more likely elsewhere.

      1. Yeah I was figuring his ceiling with the Nats would be occupying the role that Bernadina is occupying now.

  3. I don’t think that it’s coincidence that Koberus is playing OF for Cuse. If Werth’s ankle forced the Nats to DL him, I could see the Nats juggling their roster to bring up Kobernus. Perez is the only minor league OF on the Nats 40 man roster. If the Nats think Kobernus could help them more than Perez, they could move Christian Garcia to the 60 day DL and bring up Kobernus. While not likely, it is possible.

    1. Unless I missed something Corey Brown is still on the 40 man roster as well. I like the year Kobernus is having but to me he has to keep it up for another month and a 2nd time through the league before it is anything more than an extended hot streak. For 3 years in a row prior to this season he posted BABIP of .331, .330 and .330. This year is .426 so far. If you regress that to his career norm that takes his batting average from .376 to .280 which, not coincidently is right around what he has hit the past 3 season as well (.279, .282 & .279). He has been making contact at about 3-4% higher rate this year while also seeing a slight uptick in his walk rate so maybe he is putting it together. The extra 3-4% contact rate could make a smaller jump in BABIP conceivable but maybe something in the range of .345 – .350. I would not be shocked to see him slow down and finish the season somewhere in the .300 batting average range but I think some people (not targetting anyone in this comment section) might need to lower their expectations.

      1. Put more simply, if Brown were healthy right now, there wouldn’t be a conversation about Kobernus. That’s not a shot, but merely a continuation of the theme that Rizzo doesn’t put prospects on the 40-man during the season, especially if/when he has guys with MLB experience that he can “burn.”

  4. I noticed Kobernus played LF for Cuse lately. Although it probably has more to do with getting Will Rhymes and Kobernus both in the lineup.

    Anyone know the situation with Shawn Pleffner? I remember he wasn’t even listed on Hagerstown’s team and now he is batting cleanup hitting .300, which is by far the most production we are getting out of any Firstbaseman at any level.

    Also consider me in the Mike McQuillian fan club! He might not look like much but I like his results.

    I’d like to see both of these guys get moved up to Potomac and play. Billy Burns and Rendon are the only other position players worthy of a bump up in level at this point, but both would be going to very crowded positions at the next level.


    I know Rizzo like athletic Middle infielders and flame thrower pitchers, but it might be time to grab a few 1B and C in this draft to help fill out the organizational depth chart.

    1. Pleffner is a little long in the tooth for Low-A (in large part, though because he was hurt in 2011, the year he was drafted) and probably wouldn’t be on the watchlist were it not for how thin the Nats are at 1B, which I also agree needs to be restocked along with catchers (everybody goes on and on about how “deep” the org is, but that’s overvaluing the abundance of guys with a backup ceiling; the one true catching prospect that’s age appropriate for the level is Pedro Severino).

  5. Word is draft is lean in June
    Pfeff is below 500 ABs in his minor league career
    He is aided by masher Miller in hags. Like Brandon !

  6. MASN is reporting that Trevor Holder has been released and replaced by Bill Bray.

    1. Many on here speculated it was a cost saving signing after Strasburg and Storen that year. Nats spent more on signing 12th rounder Nate Karns then Holder

    2. Folks who are on the “Twitters” ought to look up Geoff Morrow and Mick Reinhard’s takes. I briefly thought about a post unto itself, but decided against it because it might be misconstrued as being too pro-player or preachy.

      I’ve never been big on blaming a prospect that didn’t work out for his draft position or the bonus he received. Maybe you can get your panties in a bunch about going for a “signability” pick, though the landscape was much different in 2009.

      Any player drafted at any point can refuse to sign, and many do. I don’t think people need reminding (but I’ll do it anyway) how the Nats were perceived then as the Astros are now: An organization in shambles, even if there are plenty of signs that the worst had passed.

      Indeed, there’s probably a very good chance that the teams that tried to work the new CBA by going after seniors in rounds 4-10 to “save up” bonus money (try not to think about the collusive nature of that, if you can) are going to have fans in 2016 bitching about 4th or 5th-round picks flaming out.

      I think this just falls under the category of a reminder that the game is still business, and just like in “the real world,” there’s a gap between the kinds of things that get said in one circumstance (“You’re a valuable part of this __________”) and the actions when the proverbial rubber meets the road, be it hours, days, weeks, or months later.

  7. Shame to see Holder cut, yet another example of how unfair minor league baseball can be. I honestly feel there is a decent number of potential major league caliber player who never get there shot, because they dont have the great stuff, or the sexy swing. Not saying Holder was gonna be one of thoes guys, but he ertaitnly showed some positive signs this year and last. Good luck Mr. Holder, whever the future may take you

    1. Yes, its interesting they would let a player like Holder, a high round draft pick, who has been performing well, go. I thought they were going to give him a shot. Maybe if he had been left-handed …

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