Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Pitching Matchup
(’17 Stats at the Level)
Syracuse Lost, 5-4 @ Rochester,
5:35 p.m.
E. Jackson (2-0, 1.77) vs.
Slegers (15-4, 3.40)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-4 @ Altoona,
6:00 p.m.
Estevez (4-1, 3.63) vs.
Hearn (4-6, 4.12 @ A+)
Potomac Won, 3-2 vs. Down East,
7:05 p.m.
Crowe (0-0, 2.61 @ SS-A) vs. Weickel (5-4, 3.01 @ A-)
Hagerstown Won, 6-2 @ Columbia,
7:05 p.m.
Stoeckinger (3-0, 4/73 @ GCL) vs.
Viall (0-3, 3.42 @ SS-A)

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 5 Syracuse 4
• Fedde 5IP, 4H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Long (L, 0-1) 2⅔ IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 0K, 0HR
• Dominguez 2-3, 2RBI
• De Aza 2-4, RBI

After coughing up four in the bottom of the 8th, the Syracuse offense tried to cover for its ‘pen with three runs in the top of the 9th but fell one run short for a 5-4 loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Erick Fedde tossed five scoreless innings in his season debut, allowing four hits, one walk, and striking out two. The loss went to Jaron Long (three runs on six hits), but the blame goes to Chris Smith, who walked the first three batters he faced and gave a up a two-run single to the fourth batter he faced before he was lifted to push his ERA to 108.00 for the season. Veterans Chris Dominguez and Alejandro De Aza combined for four hits and three RBI to pace the Chiefs offense.

Bowie 6 Harrisburg 4
• Reyes (L, 0-1) 4IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 4BB, 4K
• Harper 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Gamache 2-3, R, 2B, BB
• Abreu 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI

The Baysox put up four in the 2nd to take an early 4-0 lead and held off a late charge from the Sens to take the series finale, 6-4. Luis Reyes gave up five runs total on six hits and four walks over four innings to lose his AA debut. Bryan Harper made his first regular-season appearance since coming down with Nats’ elbow in 2016 with two scoreless innings, allowing one hit, no walks, and striking out one. Dan Gamache reached base three times with a double, walk, and a single while Osvaldo Abreu drove in two with a solo HR to lead off the 3rd and an RBI single in the 9th to lead the Harrisburg attack.

Potomac 3 Wilmington 2
• Mapes 5IP, 6H, R, ER, 4BB, 2K
• Klobosits (W, 1-0) 2IP, H, R, ER, 3BB, 0K
• Davidson 2-3, BB, SB
• Barrera 1-3, 2B

Potomac got the breaks late—two unearned runs in the 8th from a two-out Wilmington error, and a lucky bounce on a throw to the plate in the 9th—for a 3-2 walkoff win to give them a 2-2 series split with Wilmington. Tyler Mapes made his first professional outing since 2016 with an unsteady (four walks, six hits) five innings but managed to let in just one run. The “W” went to Gabe Klobosits, who walked three in two innings and gave up the tying run in the 9th. Austin Davidson walked once and singled twice. Tres Barrera doubled in the 9th and Jakson Reetz scored the winning run in his stead as the throw bounced off the mound and enabled him to just beat the tag to score the game-winner. Jack Sundberg hit the game-winning single.

Hagerstown 6 Rome 2
• Alastre 4IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 2K, HR, HBP, WP
• Troop (W, 1-0) 4IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Soto 4-5, R, 3B, HR, 4RBI, SB
• Antuna 2-5, 2B
• Franco 0-2, 3BB

Juan Soto finished a double shy of the cycle as the Suns scorched the Braves, 6-2 in the series finale. Tomas Alastre went the first four innings and gave up both Rome runs on three hits and a walk while fanning two. Alex Troop got the win in relieve with four scoreless innings, two hits and one walk allowed, and three whiffs. Soto drove in four total and stole a base while going 4-for-5 to lead the Hagerstown hit parade while Anderson Franco drew three of the eight walks issued by the Braves’ pitchers. Injury update: Cole Freeman returned to the lineup as the DH and went 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.

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.

20 thoughts on “Monday’s News & Notes”

  1. Very good to see Fedde start the season strong.

    Goodness, Juan Soto must hate Hagerstown, as he’s doing everything he can to get out of there as fast as possible! It’s good to see Antuna finally join the hit parade; still waiting on Garcia. Alex Troop is one I’ve been touting, so it’s good to see a strong outing from him to start the season. I had noted that the Suns seem to have seven or eight guys who could be considered “starters,” so this may not be the only time we see two guys going four innings there.

    1. Realize that it’s early, but Juan Soto…. Wow.

      Can’t wait to see the numbers he puts up if he stays healthy this year.

      If Soto does stay healthy, wouldn’t be shocked to see him finish the season in H’burg.

      1. Good call, especially since it appears that the plan is to “replace” Harper with “Robles-Soto.” Not a bad combo if they both ascend to their respective ceilings.

  2. The Nats handling of Austin Davidson has been strange, to say the least.

    He’s spent 153 games in Potomac now (1.5 full seasons and counting, after having played 136 games in Hagerstown (also 1.5 seasons). To be fair, he started his professional career really slowly, playing rather poorly in 2014-2015. But since 2016, his OPS has been right around .800 with some defensive usefulness (playing mostly at 2B).

    But what’s most strange is the dearth of 2B talent in Harrisburg. Kayyan Norfork (29 years old) and Stephen Perez (27) are the only 2B options there. The Nationals have to intentionally kept Davidson in Potomac, despite being one of the PNats’ best hitters over the previous two seasons. Shouldn’t we try to see what we’ve got in Davidson, because he can’t be any worse than Norfork or Perez…

    1. You’re singing my song. The times I’ve seen Davidson at Potomac, he’s always making good contact. I have no idea why they’re not giving him a chance ahead of Perez and Norfolk. Noll’s power is keeping him interesting as well.

          1. Maybe not that bad but it seems pretty obvious that the Nats are content to field too-old guys until the preferred players are ready. It’s always worth reminding folks that guys who’ve been at a given level for multiple seasons are *supposed* to be eating the lunch of the first-year players.

    2. Jacob Wilson, a Rule 5 pickup from the Cardinals, has been the starter at 2nd for Harrisburg this season.

  3. The Nats AAA and AA rosters are mostly made up of older players.

    In AAA, Robles, Stevenson and C Alex Dunlap (who is only on the Cuse roster because Severino and Solano are on the MLB roster) are the only one under 25 (there are 11 players born in 1988 or earlier).

    In AA, only Daniel Johnson was born after 1994. 13 players (more than have the roster) were born in 1991 or before; that’s a lot of per se non-prospects on a AA roster.

    1. I still consider the guys born in 1994, who will be turning 24 this year, to be on the still-a-prospect side of the ledger age-wise at AA. That includes Ward, Gutierrez, Abreu, and Reyes. Performance-wise, the still-a-prospect list from among these might be a bit shorter . . .

      It’s funny that Johnson got dinged by the guru types as being “old for the level” at Hagerstown last year but now is considered relatively young at AA. But it’s true.

  4. People who have caught my eye as the season starts –

    Austin Voth – His start was the highlight of the first week in the Nats minors, given the uncertainty of the Nationals’ fifth starter spot. Fedde delivered well, and the Nats clearly need options.

    Wil Crowe – Starts in Potomac with no experience in the organization. Either they really love the guy and he had a great off season, or they are overcompensating for an absent Romero.

    Blake Perkins – Even as Soto did not get promoted, Perkins did. A reward for his big jump in production last year, and a far less-hyped but really developing two way multi-tooled player.

    Jackson Stoeckinger – Left starter, more removed from surgery, and in the starting rotation in full season even as other draftees did not, or bigger names (Troop, Braymer) are working 3-4 inning auditions for the rotation out of the bullpen. So this is another underrated prospect to watch.

    Jeyner Baez –I was surprised not to see him get a shot at Hagerstown to start the year. Hopefully he is healthy and still getting a chance with the organization.

    Tomas Alastre – Clearly a fair-haired Latino arm in the organization, getting the bump over short season baseball to start in the rotation in Hagerstown while others stayed in Auburn or lower.

    Yasel Antuna – Gets the bump to full season despite poor defense last season. Makes his first error in game 4, at 2B, but they had the confidence to start him at SS. That says a lot about the good fall>spring he must have had.

    Gabe Klobosits – By now we all know about him, of course, but as a draft choice in the 30’s who is pitching high leverage at Potomac to start the year, he is a guy to root for and a credit to the pitcher-heavy draft strategy last year. There are a number of other arms we will see as the talent shakes out in A- and A+.

    1. Crowe and Klobosits may also be getting fast-tracked because of age. The clock is ticking faster on them as four-year college players (Crowe missed a year with TJ). They’re getting pushed for need as well, as there just aren’t a lot of higher-profile arms following in trace behind Fedde. The Nats really need to get at least two or three major-league arms out of the 2017 draft . . . at least from rounds 2-40. Looks like a massively embarrassing swing and miss on Romero already.

  5. No way would I throw in the towel on Romero yet. Too much invested in him, and Boras involved. Watch it play out.

    1. Agree, but if the Nats had a “do over” with their 2017 1st round pick, they would’ve gone in another direction. Romero is running out of chances.

      Will be interesting to see if the Nats hold him out until the short season leagues start.

      1. Not throwing in the towel, but it sure wasn’t a risk that I wanted them to take at the time. We’re told he was a “top 10 talent.” Perhaps a top 10 headache as well.

      1. I’ll bet Rizzo is fit to be tied with Boras about Romero! This pick is one that may end up making Rizzo look really bad.

    2. The word at spring training was that Romero is finished with baseball as far as the Nats are concerned.

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