Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Lost, 5-1 OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Lost, 6-2 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Lost, 4-3 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Won, 3-1 OFF DAY N/A

Columbus 5 Syracuse 1
• Valdez (L, 2-1) 5IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 5K
• Simms 2IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Gonzalez 3-3
• Hague 2-4, R

Syracuse never led this one as they dropped the series finale, 5-1. Phillips Valdez got the start and gave up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and two walks while striking out five to suffer his first loss. John Simms followed with two scoreless before Trevor Gott gave away two more runs in the 8th. The Chiefs collected eight hits but just one came in ten chances with RISP. Bengie Gonzalez led the hit column with three, followed by Matt Hague and Jose “Orange” Marmolejos with two apiece.

Portland 6 Harrisburg 2
• Grace 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Darnell (L, 3-3) 5IP, 5H, 4R, 2ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Ward 1-3, R, BB
• Walker 2-3, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI

The Sea Dogs never trailed as they tripled up the Senators, 6-2 to take the rubber match. After letting Matt Grace do his rehab work early then hit the showers, scheduled starter Logan Darnell put up one goose egg before Portland got to him for four runs over the next four innings. He finished with five hits and one walk allowed over five innings while taking his third loss. For the second straight game, the top half of the lineup was AWOL as the four (4) hits compiled came from just three players, with Adam Walker’s two-run HR breaking up the probably-should-have-been shutout. Roster moves: RHP Jefry Rodriguez recalled to Washington; OF Hunter Jones reassigned from Syracuse.

Buies Creek 4 Potomac 3
• Baez (L, 2-4) 7IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, BB, 3K
• Howard 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Kieboom 1-3, R, HR, BB, 3RBI
• Masters 1-3, R

Carter Kieboom connected for another multi-run HR, but it wasn’t enough to overcome an otherwise weak offense (four hits, one walk, 10 K’s) as the P-Nats were beaten, 4-3 to lose the series, 2-1. Joan Baez gave up all four Astros runs on six hits and a walk while fanning three over seven innings. Hayden Howard got through the 8th unscathed but Potomac went in order in the 9th for the fifth time. Kieboom, who walked in the 8th, was the sole Potomac hitter to reach base twice.

Hagerstown 3 Kannapolis 1
• Tetreault (W, 1-6) 6IP, 5H, R, ER, BB, 6K, HBP
• Stoeckinger (H, 1) 1+ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Fuentes (SV, 3) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K, 1-0 IR-S
• Upshaw 1-3, 2B, 2RBI
• Panaccione 1-3, R, RBI

Jackson Tetrault celebrated his 22nd birthday with his first Low-A win while Hagerstown won back-to-back games for just the third time this season, 3-1 over Kannapolis. Tetrault tossed six innings of one-run ball on five hits and a walk while striking out six. The O.J. (Other Jackson) and Steven Fuentes combined for three scoreless innings to earn the hold (Stoeckinger) and the save (Fuentes). Armond Upshaw drove in two with a double while Paul Panaccione singled in Yasel Antuna, who hit a one-out triple, for the Suns’ three-run 2nd that carried the day.

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.

24 thoughts on “Monday’s News & Notes”

  1. It’s been an interesting three days for Blake Perkins.

    Friday: 1 for 5, 3 K, 0 BB
    Saturday: 1 for 1, 0 K, 4 BB
    Sunday: 0 for 4, 3 K, 0 BB

    Altogether, it’s been a disappointing season for him. The signs of power he showed last year (8HR, 27 2B, .123 ISO) have completely disappeared this season (1HR, 9 2B, .058 ISO).

    He’s still young, but he’s regressed to the player we saw in 2015-2016.

    1. I don’t want to be too negative about anyone, but I’ve never been on the Perkins bandwagon, dating back to not liking the pick when he was drafted. They took him in the same draft where they took Stevenson, who was/is a very similar player. The power they projected for Perkins has yet to appear.

      I didn’t love the Stevenson pick, either, but at least he’s already become a fringy MLB player. The pick I really liked in that draft was Wiseman, who has been slow to develop, but who quietly is having a pretty decent year, with nine homers and a .497 SLG.

  2. Meanwhile, Carter Kieboom continues to rake. Interesting how a quick start to the season has resulted in completely divergent paths for Soto and Kieboom.

    Over the past 30 days, Kieboom has batted .411/.481/.667. While his power has been less than Soto, it’s a better average and OBP than Soto posted at any level.

    I wonder how much longer Kieboom lasts in Potomac. But more importantly, I wonder how much longer they keep him at shortstop. With Murphy still damaged goods, and perhaps permanently incapable of playing 2B, and Kendrick out for the season, Kieboom’s path the majors just got a lot clearer. Difo, too, started out as a SS before getting pushed to 2B.

  3. Happy Draft Day to all, by the way. My thinking is that the Nats probably want a fast-rising college arm in the first round, a la Crowe, as they don’t have much in the way of starter “prospects” in the mid-to-upper minors. Their 1st round pick last year has been an unmitigated disaster (as I feared), and except for Crowe and Raquet, they don’t have much to show thus far from the nine arms they took with the top 10 picks. (Very good to see Tetreault finally get a win, by the way.)

    I’m thinking the Nats will be hoping to get someone from the end of the second tier of college arms: Kowar (probably wishful thinking he’ll fall to pick 27), Beck (better be right on him since he’s senior age [junior status] and would need to move up quickly, like Crowe), Rolison, or Hjelle. A lot of mock drafts have them taking a high school pitcher, but I just don’t see how that fits with their needs right now. If none of the college arms of that level are still on the board, I’d prefer that they look for a polished college bat, like Seth Beer. I’ve seen one mock that has Travis Swaggerty falling to them, but that seems like wishful thinking to me.

    1. I think Rizzo will go for pitching for 8-9 of his first 10 picks, like 2017. And, they will be college guys, unless there is a sleeper HS guy the scouts have identified. If an outstanding catcher is available, the Nats need help there, too.

    2. This does seem a good time to wonder the next move with Romero a.k.a. ‘knucklehead’. Either he comes back after the All Star breaks or the Nats are looking for a return of their bonus money.
      To think they paid overslot for him is amazing.

    3. The Nats have only taken one high school pitcher in the first round in the Rizzo era — Giolito, who by all accounts was a special case (although he’s still trying to prove it). They took no HS pitchers in the upper rounds last year. They did take Luzardo in the 3d round in 2016. Based on this track record, I just don’t see how/why so many mocks are connecting them with HS arms.

      Of course the college arms are all over the map. Guys projected as late 1st rounders in some mocks show up in the 60s in others.

      We’ll see. If they take someone in the 1st round this year who can actually get on the field and stay there, they’ll be way ahead of 2017!

      1. To be clear, I don’t-don’t-don’t like drafting high school pitchers, all the more so in the 1st round. It is a total crap-shot, and one that doesn’t pay off often, particularly beyond guys taken in the first 10-15 picks.

        I would be happy with most any college starter besides Heimlich. I think there may be better value where the Nats are picking in the first round in college bats than college arms, but they have more of a need for fast-rising arms.

        1. I like Heimlich. I know he had an issue when he was a teenager, but the kid has paid his dues (the allegations are very murky, they go back to 2012 when he was 16, and he has kept his nose clean for 6 years). More importantly, has been lights out for two years (26-2); hands down the best pitcher in college baseball. I can see the Nats passing on him after taking Romero last year, but the Romero and Heimlich issues have nothing in common.

          Teams that pass on Heimlich are going to regret it. Unlike Romero, there is no on-going risk in taking Heimlich.

          1. If he’s lucky, St. Louis will draft him and assign him to State College, where the odds are pretty good he’ll get the same level of moral scrutiny.

          2. Heimlich would be a nightmare. He would have to register as a sex offender everywhere he goes as a visitor. I live in Corvallis and have seen him pitch. He is very good but that PR problem would be massive

          3. Not to go off on a Tangent, but that’s where I lived (same farmhouse as Randall Woodfield) most of my time in Oregon.

          4. Say what? This was a matter of sexual harassment or some type verbal abuse. He’s a first degree child molester–and the girl in question was only 4-years-old when the abuse started. He pleaded guilty–which you don’t do to such a serious allegation unless you ARE guilty.

            Romero before last year was Dudley Do-Right compared to this guy.

    4. One player regularly overlooked here is Kyle McGowin. I really don’t know what to make of him. He was bad last year, and based on his starting the season in Potomac, it seems the Nats gave up on him as a result. However, he’s been lights out since, and earned a promotion to Harrisburg. He’s not a prospect anymore at age 26, but the parallels between him and Roark are pretty remarkable.

      1. “I really don’t know what to make of him.” Agreed. He’s in his fourth season of significant time at AA. His K/9 numbers are up significantly in 2018, back to his 2016 AA numbers that got him his first AAA promotion. Perhaps he gets EJax’s rotation slot at Syracuse? Regardless, something that was clearly off with him over the last couple of years seems to have been “fixed.” His career AAA record is 7-18, which is indeed Roark-like!

      2. He started the season at Potomac because he was at extended spring training. I agree that McGowan looks like a different pitcher this year. His slider has been outstanding and he was recently named Eastern League pitcher of the week.

  4. I put him on a list of folks most likely to be promoted a week or so ago.

    The Nats do not trade for bags of balls. They saw something, which is why they’ve hung on to him.

    I don’t see Milone as long for the organization, either. But the Hellickson situation and JeffRod have some say on who ends up in ‘Cuse

  5. Luke, I know exactly where that is. I think you used to write for the GT, which is barely surviving these days.

    1. I’m surprised the GT is still around, likewise for the ADH. Yes, I did write for them back in the 90s before I finished up at UO. (Yeah, the commute sucked but that’s where the Mrs. found work).

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