Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 8-5 @ Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
Laffey (5-3, 3.93) vs.
Drabek (4-4, 4.19)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-3 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Won, 12-11 vs. Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Simms (0-3, 4.50) vs.
Light (1-2, 5.06)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-1;
Won, 11-5
vs. Delmarva,
6:35 p.m.
Silvestre (1-2, 3.63) vs.
Vader (7-1, 3.09)
DSL Nationals OFF DAY vs. DSL Rojos,
10:30 a.m.

Syracuse 8 Buffalo 5
• Tatusko 5IP, 4H, 5R, 5ER, 5BB, 2K, HR
• Stange 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Souza 2-3, 2R, 2B, 2BB, RBI
• Laird 2-4, R, 2RBI
• Leon 2-4, 2B, BB, 2RBI

Brandon Laird’s two-run single capped off a four-run rally in the 9th as the Chiefs roared back from a 5-1 deficit to win, 8-5. Syracuse scored the last seven runs of the game as the offense pounded out 12 hits, with five batters notching multiple hits. Ryan Tatusko struggled with his control (90P-45K), walking five and giving up a three-run homer as the Bison got to him for all five runs in the 3rd. The 29-y.o. veteran went five innings and allowed four hits total. The bullpen combined for four shutout innings to enable the comeback. Manny Delcarmen got the win for holding Buffalo scoreless in the 8th, while Warner Madrigal struck out two in the 9th to earn his first career AAA save.

Akron 6 Harrisburg 3
• Espino (L, 1-3) 4IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K
• Grace (W, 2-1) 2⅓ IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 3K, 2-1 IR-S
• Taylor 2-3, R, HR, BB, RBI
• Canham 2-4, R

If only Michael Taylor could pitch… The Senators weren’t so fortunate with their second spot starter — still no official explanation — as the RubberDucks took the series finale, 6-3. Filling in for A.J. Cole, who sources have told me is actually experiencing some soreness, Paolo Espino was touched for three runs on three hits and three walks over four innings to take his third loss. Taylor extended his current hit streak to 12 games with a single and his E.L.-leading 15th HR and took a walk to lead the Senators offense, which was held to eight hits total.

Potomac 12 Salem 11
• Dickson 4⅓ IP, 7H, 7R, 7ER, 4BB, 5K, 2WP
• Suero (W, 1-1) 3⅓ IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K
• Renda 3-5, 2R, 3B, 3RBI
• Leonida 1-2, 2R, HR, RBI, 3BB
• J. Miller 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI

The P-Nats won a slugfest Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge.

Kannapolis 5 Hagerstown 1 — GAME ONE
• Lopez (L, 0-1) 3IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 2K
• Orlan 3IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K, HR
• Ballou 1-3, R, OF assist at 2B
• Kieboom 2-3, 2-2B, RBI

Hagerstown dropped its third straight, and sixth of seven games, with 5-1 loss to Kannapolis in the opener. The Intimidators struck for three in the 1st against Reynaldo Lopez in his second start of the season. Lopez would go two more scoreless before giving way to R.C. Orlan, who was run into the wall for two runs in the 6th. The bats were held to just five hits total, with Spencer Kieboom’s second double of the game plating the sole Sun run to break up the shutout bid.

Hagerstown 11 Kannapolis 5 — GAME TWO
• Cooper 4IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 0BB, K, HR, WP
• Webb (W, 1-0) 3IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 4K
• Ballou 2-4, 2R, 2RBI
• Difo 3-4, 2R, RBI, SB
• Wooten 2-4, R, 3B, 3RBI

The Suns broke out for eight runs in the 4th to finally take one from Kannapolis, 11-5 and prevent another doubleheader sweep. The top third of lineup combined to go 7-for-12 with five runs scored and six RBI while Drew Ward homered for the fourth time. Andrew Cooper was unable to go the requisite five innings, giving up all five Intimidator runs on nine hits, including a HR. Joseph Webb got the win with three scoreless innings, allowing a hit and two walks while striking out four.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
After the usual Sunday off, the DSL schedule begins its six mornings a week grind with four home games against the Rojos, Red Sox, Giants and Rockies, hitting the road for Wednesday and Thursday to visit the Boston and Colorado affiliates.

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.

17 thoughts on “Monday’s News & Notes”

  1. Danny Espinosa must be a really good guy, or be very talented at blackmailing his managers. I’ve never seen a player play such awful baseball for such extended periods of time. I remember Johnson always speaking very highly of Espinosa’s commitment and intensity while he was batting around .100, but clearly very little of the effort is paying off. The more games that go by, the more clear it becomes that he’s simply not a major league quality batter. His glove is great, but that’s ok when he’s batting .240. When he’s batting .118/.193/.263 with a 42% strikeout rate, as he has over the past month, it’s time for a demotion.

    It’s especially painful to watch as we have two perfectly capable players in Souza and Walters tearing the cover off the baseball in Syracuse. Surely Souza could fill Frandsen’s super-utility role better than Frandsen is (who’s also batting .200/.245/.300 over the past 30 days), and Walters could play 3B, shifting Rendon back to 2B.

    1. Not a major defender of Danny, but I believe the thinking is:

      – Walters is not a strong defensive player, and while was not given much of an opportunity, he did not hit that well either when given the chance.

      – Souza plays OF, and with Zimmerman coming back this week and with Harper following him shortly, where do you play Souza? Sounds like RZ is playing LF; so, Span is going to lose at bats soon, and the Nats want Souza to play everyday.

      Espinosa just kills me, but his defense is special, and the Nats really lack better middle infield options.

      1. “Espinosa just kills me, but his defense is special, and the Nats really lack better middle infield options.”


        1. Espy’s d isn’t THAT good to justify his bat playing everyday. He has 4 errors and I was ticked yesterday when he didn’t range for that pop up in right field. Batting sub .200 he needs to be Ozzie Smith.

          Replace him with Walters! Get the bat, live with the glove. Use Espy as a late inning d replacement.

      2. Walters 2013-14: .220/.289/.488
        Espinosa 2013-14: .181/.230/.321

        And even thought it’s an extremely small sample size, Walters’ defense actually rated above average across about 50 innings in the majors.

        Even if you compare them in AAA last year, Walters is still distinctly better:

        Walters: .253/.286/.517
        Espinosa: .216/.280/.286

        To cap it off, Walters is 2.5 years younger than Espinosa. We know what we have in Espinosa after almost 450 games and 1800 plate appearances, and that player isn’t very good. Walters’ potential is more uncertain. Giving Zach regular playing time can’t hurt. It’s nearly impossible to be worse than Espinosa right now (I’ll politely remind you of his .114/.186/.253 and 43% strikeout rate over the past month).

        Remarkably, our pitchers are even out hitting Espinosa! This year they’re hitting .172/.198/.215. And they only strike out 32% of the time! I don’t think his defense is a sufficient argument for keeping him. He had a lucky April which has made his numbers look much better than they are. If anything, he’s been worse than last season. Rendon, while no defensive wizard, is actually quite good at 2B (he rated as slightly above average last season). Plus, Walters can also play SS in a pinch.

    1. Goodwin has a .359 OBP in his first taste of AAA ball – he’s not going anywhere after just 54 games. You don’t do that to a prospect. So for now Taylor has no place to go, because the three outfielders at AAA are Goodwin, Souza (who is raking) and the forgotten man, Destin Hood – who is also raking to the tune of .339/.392/.527 (.919 OPS) in his first taste of AAA. But that’s OK, because a 32.7% K rate (and four previous years of underwhelming stats) says that Taylor has work to do to prove that he’s no fluke.

      And with Zimmerman looking like a 1b/OF option, McLouth improving and under contract through 2014, and Hairston actually hitting well there is no room at Nats Town for an OF without even considering Harper coming back next month. Bet on Tyler Moore heading back to AAA for daily work at 1b (with Brock Peterson moving to DH/3b) when Zimmerman comes off the DL. I expect that they will see if Zimmerman can play 3b, possibly moving to LF against LHP (or to 1b with Hairston in LF) to see if his sidearm motion holds up. An IF of LaRoche, Rendon, Desmond and Zimmerman to go with Werth, Span and a platoon in LF starts to look like a real MLB offense – if the defense holds up.

      1. Then I suppose we have to promote Souza to make room for Taylor in Syracuse’s OF!

        I’ve been impressed with Taylor’s recent adjustments. He’s cut down on his Ks significantly in the past month or so. April was a bit scary, where he struck out a bit over 40% of the time. But since then, he’s hasn’t been whiffing as much. Across May and June he’s struck out “only” 27% of the time.

        But look at the keep-Espinosa-in-Washington arguments here. His defense alone is justification for him to start with the Nats. Taylor, by all accounts, is also an extremely good defender. Even if he can’t sustain his torrid pace in Syracuse (and I don’t think he will, otherwise we’d be talking about the next Mike Trout), his defense alone will make him an extremely valuable player.

        If he can keep up this pace for another month, we’d be crazy not to give him a taste of AAA to start the second half of the season.

  2. I’m heading up to Hagerstown now. I’m going to the game tonight and making a day of it. Any suggestions for what to do in the area? I’m thinking about outlet shopping and maybe walking around the downtown area.

  3. Oops! Was typing on my phone and made a typo on my email address for my previous comment.

    1. That’s about what I’d recommend – prolly more on the outlets than downtown Hagerstown.

  4. Luke: cut-n-paste error the Potomac score was 12-11 not 8-1. I was all excited to see just one run allowed and then I saw Dickson’s awful line (4ip, 7ER) and thought something was amiss 🙂

  5. Luke…..exactly WHERE was Cole’s soreness? He is something special from what I have heard…please keep us updated….

  6. Chris Manno back with Nats? He tweeted back where I belong and his profile is changed back to Nationals from Reds. Anyone hear anything?

    1. His twitter, which used to read “Pro Baseball Player for the Cincinnati Reds and a Brooklyn Boy” now reads “Pro Baseball Player for the Washington Nationals”. Sounds like he’s back.

      1. According to BA’s Transaction Log he was released by the Reds. I would assume the Nats have resigned him.

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