Wednesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Lost, 5-3 vs. Pawtucket,
6:35 p.m.
TBD vs. Beeks (3-3, 2.56)
Harrisburg Won, 8-3 @ Reading,
7:15 p.m.
Estevez (0-3, 5.09) vs.
Suarez (2-2, 3.27)
Potomac Lost, 3-2 (10 inn.) @ Salem,
5:05 p.m.
Crowe (8-0, 2.56) and
TBD vs. Gonzalez (6-1, 3.13)
and De Jesus (0-1, 16.62)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-0 vs. Lakewood,
7:05 p.m.
Raquet (4-5, 2.26) vs.
Stewart (5-0, 1.25)

Pawtucket 5 Syracuse 3
• Milone 6⅔ IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 4K, HR
• Cordero (BS, 1; L, 2-1) ⅓ IP, 2H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB, 1K, WP, E
• Torres ⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 3-0 IR-S
• Sierra 2-4, R, 2-2B, RBI
• Decker 2-4, R, RBI

Jimmy Cordero retired just one of seven batters in the 9th to turn a 3-2 Syracuse lead into a 5-3 Chiefs loss, their fourth in a row. The implosion (2H, 3BB, 3R, WP, E) negated Tommy Milone’s third straight quality start as the 31-y.o. journeyman let in just two runs on seven hits over six and 2/3rds innings. Moises Sierra doubled twice while Jaff Decker singled twice to pace the Syracuse offense. Roster moves: RHP Brady Dragmire reassigned from Harrisburg; UT Adrian Sanchez optioned from Washington.

Harrisburg 8 Reading 3
• McGowin (W, 3-1) 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 11K
• Self 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Gamache 3-5, R, 2-2B, RBI
• Jones 3-4, 2R, 2B, BB
• Gutierrez 2-5, 2R, 3B, RBI

Taylor Gushue’s grand slam, Drew Ward’s two-run circle clout, and Kyle McGowin’s fifth straight quality start were the on the docket for the Sens’ 8-3 win over the Fightins. McGowin struck out a career-best 11 while giving up two runs on four hits and a walk over six innings for his third win. Harrisburg’s first three batters combined for eight hits, three doubles, a triple (Kelvin Gutierrez), five runs scored and two runs driven in, offsetting the 11 whiffs by the rest of the lineup (12 total). Roster moves: UT Khayyan Norfork activated from the 7-Day DL.

Salem 3 Potomac 2 (10 inn.)
• Sharp 7IP, 6H, 0R, 0BB, 4K, HBP
• R. Pena (BS, 1) 2IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 2K
• Mills (L, 0-2) ⅓ IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K
• Wiseman 2-4, R, 2B, BB
• Keller 1-3, 2BB

Potomac lost a 2-1 lead with two outs in the 9th and was walked off with one out in the 10th for a 3-2 loss. Sterling Sharp turned in seven scoreless innings and was rewarded with his sixth no-decision. Ronald Pena gave up single runs in the 8th and 9th for the blown save, his first, while Jordan Mills gave up two hits and the free runner in the 10th for his second loss. Rhett Wiseman walked, singled, and doubled while the C.L. Player of the Week (Alec Keller) reached base three times with two walks and a single to lead the P-Nats attack.

Lakewood 5 Hagerstown 0
• Romero (L, 0-1) 3IP, 5H, 5R, 5ER, 0BB, 3K, 2HR, 2HBP
• Johnson 3IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Flores 2-3
• Antuna 1-3, BB

The Suns didn’t shine as they were shut out for the 9th time this season, 5-0 by the BlueClaws. Seth Romero was lit up for all five Lakewood runs on five hits, including two two-run homers, but walked none and struck out three over three innings. Jared Johnson and A.J. Bogucki combined for five scoreless innings of relief but the Hagerstown bats were held to just four singles – two by Alejandro Flores and one each by Yasel Antuna and Nick Banks. Roster moves: LHP Jared Johnson reassigned from Auburn; LHP Jackson Stoeckinger demoted to Auburn.

Auburn Doubledays
No roster release yet, but give a few pageviews to the Auburn Citizen – not many local newspapers left that do original reporting of local professional baseball. They can found on the Twitters at @CitizenDdays.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of NationalsProspects.com. 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.

14 thoughts on “Wednesday’s News & Notes”

  1. If Fedde struggles and/or Hellickson isn’t ready to come off the DL by the time the Nats need a fifth starter again, where do they turn? As Luke noted, Milone turned in his third straight good start after being pretty bad for the first two months of the season. Jefry Rodriguez might get another look after his strong performance in relief of Hellickson. But my goodness, Kyle McGowin is having himself a year. He’s 26.5 years old, so he’s no “prospect,” but he has a 0.88 WHIP, .194 avg against, and a blistering 12.3 K/9. Right now he’s the Scherzer of the Eastern League.

    1. Voth.

      He’s had an up-and-down season, but mostly “up”. After his hot start to the season, he got rocked in 3 consecutive starts giving up 17 ER in only 6 IP. But he’s settled down since, turning in 4 straight quality starts with a 2.88 ERA over 25 IP and 22:8 K:BB.

      Jefry Rodriguez is another good bet.

      He’s also on the 40 man roster, and there isn’t much dead weight left anymore, with Marmolejos or Matt Reynolds probably being next on the chopping block.

      1. This morning, Rizzo was asked who will be the 5th starter next week, when the Nats don’t have off days allowing the Nats to get by with 4 starters, which presently includes Fedde.

        Rizzo hedged intimating that Hellickson may be back, but he also mentioned the following MILB starters in this order:

        – Voth
        – Jefry Rodriguez
        – Milone (acknowledging that a roster move would need to be made to promote him because Milone is not on the 40 man)

        Even with a the countless injuries, the Nats have been fortunate that the starter pitchers have been healthy and reliable. IIRC, since the Nats released AJ Cole early in the season, they have been able to stick with their same 5 man rotation for every start except for Fedde’s one May outing. If SS and Hellickson are out for a while, that could pose a significant problem.

      2. Yeah, definitely easier logistically speaking with Voth since he’s already on the 40-man. He really looked like he had figured things out during April but then had a rough May before righting the ship.

        I’m just pointing out that what McGowin is doing right now is off-the-charts good, at least at the level he’s doing it. Rodriguez is having a very good season — better than I thought he was capable of, to be frank — and yet McGowin is noticeably better than him in nearly every category.

  2. KW – I thought for sure that you would slam Romero’s outing!?!

    I agree on mcGowin. I don’t know if he has become a prospect, but if someone was going to suddenly ‘get it’ at an advanced age, this is what it would look like. Does anyone know if he has a new pitch, or explanation for the success?

    Time to bump him to AAA and see how that goes.

    1. McGowin does not have a new pitch. All of his pitches are working. He was getting a lot of outs in Reading last night with his slider and change up.

    2. Wally, I don’t want Romero to fail. I want him to do just well enough to become a trade asset so he can become someone’s headache.

  3. Dark times for the Jackson contingent.

    Stoeckinger gets demoted to Auburn.

    Tetreault was opportunely injured to prevent his own demotion.

    And Reetz has fallen into a huge slump (batting .143 over the past 10), regressing to his usual unimpressive career production.

    Then earlier this year, Cramer retired.

    Our only decent performer, Edwin, sensing the name-curse jumped ship, and has latched on with the A’s AAA team in Nashville.

    1. In a related note, it’s interesting to look at the status thus far of last year’s pitching-heavy draft class. Romero has Romero’d. Crowe and Raquet have both gotten good results but aren’t dominating in the manner hoped, probably contributing to them not getting promoted yet. Nevertheless, it seems like a “win” with the 2d rounder to likely have him in AA a year after being drafted.

      Next we have the solitary hitter, Cole Freeman, who looked liked a reach when drafted and is scuffling thus far (.220/.319/.308). One hopes he’s at least having a positive impact on Garcia and Antuna, and that he’ll find his stroke in the second half.

      Beyond this point, Hill and Troop have been hurt (and now Tetreault), while Tetreault, Stoeckinger, and Brasher have really struggled. Johnston has been up and down but is now getting a chance as a starter. Turner has yet to pitch. 31st rounder Jeremy McKinney is looking good, as was 36th rounder Gabe Klobosits before he got hurt.

      Among the hitters, Esthay and Scudder are the only ones in full-season A-ball, both struggling.

      I should note that it’s still early with all these guys. In general, the organization has shown patience with the vast majority of guys beyond what the stats seem to dictate. It will be interesting to see if any of the 2018 arms can push their way to Hags this year.

  4. Remember, he went to the AFL. So he’s been getting instruction from multiple sources, and was well thought of enough to headline the return in which the Nats also got a Austin Adams.

    He’ll be in AAA soon enough.

    1. Nats don’t seem to distinguish between AA and AAA much when it comes to promoting players to the big league level. Already this season, the Nats promoted Soto and Rodriguez from AA; Robles went from H’burg to the big club last year. The decision to promote players from AA to AAA seems to weigh more on where there is available spot/need on the AA or AAA roster as opposed to promoting as a step to reach the MLB level. IOW, McGowin doesn’t need to go to AAA for the Nats to consider whether he merits a MLB promotion, but Voth (or Milone) does/do get the MLB call, then McGowin may go to AAA.

  5. OK, so Fangraphs thinks there are eight players better than Soto? On which planet?

    We may have to stop talking about him here soon. I don’t think he’s coming back to the farm.

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