Perhaps by days’ end we’ll have word on what the owners will impose upon the players after weeks of leaking specious offers to the press in a thinly veiled attempt to turn the baseball-starved public against the MLBPA. Assuming, of course, there will be places for them to play.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 9 Syracuse 5 – 2018
• Valdez 6⅔ IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 7K, 2HR, BK
• Gott (L, 0-1) 1⅓ IP, 3H, 5R, 4ER, BB, 2K
• Wilson 3-4, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Falu 2-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Sierra 2-5, RBI
Any doubts that Syracuse hasn’t reverted to the mean should be removed with last night’s six-run meltdown in the 10th for its sixth straight loss, 9-5 to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Phillips Valdez pitched into the seventh and let in three runs, two via the longball, on five hits and a walk. He fanned seven. Trevor Gott set the side down in order in the top of the 9th and retired just one of five batters faced (on a sac fly) in the 10th to take the loss. Jimmy Cordero was only slightly less ineffective as he gave up back-to-back doubles before getting the last two outs. The Chiefs got two runs back in the 10th on their 12th hit of the night (an Irving Falu double) and a wild pitch. Jacob Wilson led the hit column with two singles and a double and drove in two. Valdez would leave the Nats via free agency in the 2018-19 offseason and make his MLB debut with the Rangers, posting a 3.94 ERA in 16 appearances last summer. He’s since DFA’d twice (Oct 2019, Feb 2020) from Texas and Seattle and is now in the Boston system.
Harrisburg 4 Trenton 1 – 2015
• Bacus (W, 2-1) 5IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Harper (H, 3) 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Severino 2-4, R, 2B
• Difo 2-5, R, 2B
Harrisburg overcame an early 2-0 deficit to complete the sweep of Trenton with a 4-2 win and extend their winning streak to five games. Dakota Bacus got the “W” with five innings pitched, allowing both Thunder runs on three hits and a walk while striking out two. Led by Bryan Harper, three relievers combined for four scoreless innings to seal the deal. Pedro Severino and Wilmer Difo both singled, doubled, and scored a run to lead the Senators offense. Severino signed as an NDFA in December 2010 and toiled in the GCL for two seasons before coming to Low-A in 2012. Once he made it north of Florida, he climbed up the ladder steadily, going from Hagerstown in 2013 to Syracuse in 2016. Alas, he would ride the AAA shuttle as the backup to the backup backstop until his options ran out last March. He played 2019 for Baltimore, appearing in a career-high 96G and batting .249/.321/.420 with 13HR and 44RBI.
Potomac 11 Salem 4 – 2016
• Crownover 4IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 1K
• Estevez (W, 1-4) 2IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 2K
• Mendez (SV, 1) 3IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Marmolejos 3-6, R, 2B, 3RBI
• Read 2-3, R, BB
• Stevenson 1-2, 4R, 3B, 4BB, 3SB (23, 24, 25)
After blowing a 3-2 lead in the 5th to fall behind 4-3, Potomac torched Salem relievers for eight unanswered runs in the final three innings to take this one, 11-4. Matt Crownover labored through four innings (80 pitches) and let in the first two Red Sox runs on four hits and two walks with a single strikeout. Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez was the beneficiary of the P-Nats’ four-run 7th for a win despite coughing up the lead with two runs over two innings. Gilberto Mendez closed out the game with three scoreless for the save. Andrew Stevenson drew four walks, stole three bases, and scored four runs to lead the 12-hit, seven-walk attack. Crownover was the Nats’ 6th Rd. pick in ’15 made it to Potomac by June 2016 and got the bump to Harrisburg a year later. Like many before him, the jump from High-A to AA proved to be a bridge too far, and the southpaw was sent back to Woodbridge where he famously closed out his career with a no-hitter in August 2018.
West Virginia 8 Hagerstown 7 (11 inn.) – 2019
• Peguero 6IP, 4H, R, ER, BB, 5K, HR, HBP
• Williamson 2⅔ IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Brasher (BS, 1; L, 1-1) 2⅓ IP, 4H, 4R, 0ER, 2BB, 2K, 1-1 IR-S
• Pineda 3-5, R, HR, 3RBI, 3PB (14,15,16)
• Lara 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI
• Rhinesmith 2-5, R, 2B
It’s probably a good thing that Francys Peguero doesn’t have to pick up a bat. Because he might just use it on his teammates, who blew a 5-1 lead after six innings in an 8-7 Suns loss to the Power in extra innings. Peguero notched his sixth quality start with one run allowed on a home run and four hits total over six innings. He walked one and fanned five in his eighth no-decision. The tying run came in on Israel “El Tamiz” Pineda’s first passed ball of the night in the 9th. The 19-y.o. sieve would repeat the feat in the 10th and then let in the go-ahead run in the 11th on passed ball no. 3. The decision went to Jared Brasher, who gave up four hits and four runs as well as one inherited runner over two and a 1/3rd innings, for his first blown save and first loss. We hardly knew ye Ryan Williamson, but mostly because you missed not one but two seasons to Nats’ elbow. Williamson finally made his debut in the GCL in 2018 and got to Low-A last summer, where he was a mediocre 3.84/3.73/1.30 and was among the cuts made last month.
Batavia 7 Auburn 2 – 2014
• Ott 5IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Mooneyham 2IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 2K
• Yrizarri (BS, 1; L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 3H, 5R, 0ER, BB, K
• Vettleson 1-2, R, 3B, BB, RBI
• Abreu 1-3, R, 3B, BB
The Muckdogs went to town in the bottom of the 8th, scoring all seven runs as they evened the home-and-home opening series with a 7-2 victory over the Doubledays. We’re now into short-season territory, so to adjust expectations, this is as far down as I’ll go to keep from having to write up players like Deibi Yrizarri, a Venezuelan NDFA who peaked at Auburn in 2014 at the age of 19 after a strong DSL campaign in 2013 (5-3, 1.99/2.55/1.10 in 68IP) and was eventually released in July 2015 at the age of 20.