Last Night In Woodbridge

It doesn’t count as a quality start, but the efforts of Ian Dickson and Matthew Spann last night are as good as it gets for a two-pitcher effort. The Potomac duo combined on a seven-hit shutout — the first of 2014 for the P-Nats — in a 4-0 win last night in Woodbridge.

Dickson, who was making his first start of the season after seven relief outings, allowed just three hits and a walk over four innings as he kept the veteran Frederick lineup (redundant, I know) off-balance with a mix of fastballs and changeups. More importantly, he retired the first batter in all five innings.

The P-Nats would draw first blood in the 1st with a leadoff double by the Groovin’ Aruban (Randolph Oduber) and one-out triple by Oscar Tejeda. Brandon Miller was responsible for three runs, the first one via the bat as he ripped one to the 5/6 hole that Keys 3B Jason Esposito stopped and threw out Miller while Tejeda charged in from third base.

The second Miller run was one he prevented with his right arm in the 3rd inning as he gunned down Tucker Nathans trying to score from second on a two-out, groundball single to right field by Lucas Herbst.

The third run came in the 6th as Miller beat out an infield hit to third to extend the Potomac lead to 3-0. Potomac would get its fourth and final run in the 8th on a Stephen Perez walk, steal of second, and Tejeda’s two-out single for his second hit and second RBI of the night.

Matthew Spann took over for Dickson in the 6th and gave up back-to-back singles before getting a flyball to medium center, which Narciso Mesa airmailed past the cutoff man, perhaps too eager to show that he’s a worth successor to the CF arms that came before him (Michael Taylor, Chris Curran).

Spann would erase the threat with a double-play ball with a 6-3 DP by Perez, the second of five batters Spann set down in a row before giving up a leadoff double and a one-out single in the 8th. Spann would go self service this time, striking out the next two batters to end the threat and catching all three Keys looking in the 9th to earn the save.

With the win, Potomac improves to 17-10 and opens up a 4½ game lead over second-place Lynchburg in the Carolina League North. John Simms (0-0, 1.80) make his second start tonight for the P-Nats with Brady Wager (2-2, 6.12) taking the hill for Frederick.

Tuesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 8-4 vs. Durham,
7:00 p.m.
Poveda (1-3, 8.17) vs.
Romero (2-4, 4.50)
Harrisburg Lost, 8-2 vs. Richmond,
7:00 p.m.
Purke (0-5, 9.30) vs.
Marte (1-1, 5.85)
Potomac Won, 4-0 vs. Fredreick,
7:05 p.m.
Simms (0-0, 1.80) vs.
Wager (2-2, 6.12)
Hagerstown Won, 6-5 OFF DAY N/A


Syracuse 8 Durham 4
• Roenicke 4IP, 3H, 0R, 3BB, 3K
• Jackson (W, 2-0) 2⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K, 1-0 IR-S
• Souza 3-5, R, HR, 3RBI
• Johnson 2-5, R, RBI
• Burriss 2-4, 2R, 3B

Steve Souza drove in three while going 3-for-5 in his return to AAA as the Chiefs doubled up the Bulls, 8-4. Josh Roenicke got the start and pitched around three walks and three hits for four scoreless innings before giving way to Tyler Herron. Durham spoiled the 26-y.o.’s AAA debut with four runs in the 5th before Zach Jackson bailed him out and pitched two more scoreless for the win. Josh Johnson (2-for-5) and Emmanuel Burris (2-for-4) both had multiple hits as Syracuse tallied 10 hits total.
Roster moves: OF Jerry Scott Hairston activated from 15-Day DL, recalled to Washington, OF Steve Souza optioned from Washington; LHP Xavier “Carry On” Cedeno placed on 7-Day DL, retroactive to May 2, RHP Tyler Herron reassigned from Harrisburg.

Richmond 8 Harrisburg 2
• Espino (L, 0-1) 4IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 4K
• Bates 3IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 1K
• Ramsey 3-3, RBI, SF
• Dykstra 2-4

Spot starter Paolo Espino seamlessly kept the first-inning woes of the Senators intact as the Flying Squirrels pounced for four runs early and cruised to an 8-2 win. Espino gave up six runs total on seven hits and a walk while striking out four. Caleb Ramsey and Cutter Dykstra combined for five of the eight Harrisburg hits with Ramsey notching the lone RBI on a sacrifice fly in the 5th.
Roster move: C Wilson Ramos added to roster as MLB rehab; RHP Rob Gilliam placed on 7-Day DL.
Potomac 4 Frederick 0
• Dickson (W, 1-2) 5IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Spann (SV, 1) 4IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Tejeda 2-4, R, 3B, 2RBI
• Perez 1-3, 2R, BB, SB

Officially, no quality start, but some strong pitching nevertheless Last Night In Woodbridge.
Roster moves: OF Will Piwnica-Worms placed on 7-Day DL, RHP Rafael Martin assigned from XST

Hagerstown 6 Lexington 5
• Silvestre (W, 1-0) 5IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Medina 2-3, RBI, SF
• Wooten 1-3, R, 2RBI
• Martinez 1-1, 2R, 2B, 3BB, 2SB, CS

Hector Silvestre threw five no-hit, no-run innings as the Suns built a 4-0 lead before holding off a late Lexington charge for a 6-5 win. Silvestre, working on three days’ rest, allowed just one walk and struck one to earn his first win of the season. Estarlin Martinez drew three walks, scored twice and stole two bases to lead the Hagerstown offense. Jake Walsh was awarded his third save despite giving up single runs in the 8th and 9th innings.
Roster move: C Wilson Ramos removed from roster as MLB rehab.

Last Night In Hagerstown

Ed. Note: Julie Goldberg, a veteran minor-league team employee for several teams over the past nine seasons — including the Hagerstown Suns in 2005 and the Potomac Nationals currently — gives us this dispatch from the Legends-Suns game last night in Hagerstown.

Photo Credit: Joshua Mitchell via Twitter
Hagerstown, MD – The Hagerstown Suns put on a balanced offensive show in a 10-8 win over the Lexington Legends Sunday evening at Municipal Stadium. The win improves the Suns’ record to 21-7 in 2014 and keeps them 5½ games ahead of the Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division standings.

Seven of Hagerstown’s batters got at least one hit during the game, led by Wilson Ramos, who was making his first rehab start since going on the disabled list for the parent club on April 1st. Ramos went 2-for-3, with a home run and three runs batted in.

The Suns got their offense going early against Legends LHP Cody Reed. After shortstop Wilmer Difo reached on an error, he scored on Ramos’s base hit to score the game’s first run in the bottom of the 1st.

The Legends tied the game in the 2nd and the Suns retook the lead in the 3rd. Following walks to Rafael Bautista and Difo, Ramos put the Suns up by a score of 4-1 with a three-run home run over the right field wall.

It was a back-and-forth battle in the middle innings as the Legends answered with two runs of their own in the 4th inning off of Suns’ RHP Lucas Giolito. In the bottom half of the inning, Hagerstown first baseman John Wooten led off with a solo home run. The Suns tallied two more runs in the 4th after Willie Medina reached on an error and then later scored. Bautista was then hit by a pitch and scored the Suns’ third run of the inning on Difo’s sacrifice fly to extend the Hagerstown lead to 7-3.

The Suns added to their lead in the 5th inning after right fielder Estarlin Martinez walked to lead off the inning.He later scored on Medina’s sacrifice fly. With the bases loaded in the 6th inning, Isaac Ballou scored on Drew Ward’s force out at second base. Martinez then drove in Difo on a sacrifice fly to make the score 10-5.

Lexington would then tack on two unearned runs in the seventh and another unearned run in the 8th before RHP Ryan Ullman closed out the game in the 9th inning. Ullman pitched the final 3 2/3 innings to record his third save of the season.

Giolito pitched five innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five and improved his record to 2-0 on the season.

Hagerstown closes out their homestand tonight against Lexington with first pitch at 6:35 p.m.

Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 1-0 vs. Durham,
7:00 p.m.
Roenicke (0-2, 6.08) vs.
Andriese (1-2, 4.22)
Harrisburg Lost, 15-2 vs. Richmond,
7:00 p.m.
Gilliam (0-0, 5.09)TBD vs.
Snodgrass (1-0, 0.93)
Potomac Won, 11-3 vs. Fredreick,
7:05 p.m.
Dickson (0-2, 6.23) vs.
Beal (0-0, 4.41)
Hagerstown Won, 10-8 vs. Lexington,
6:35 p.m.
Silvestre (0-0, 2.08) vs.
Tenuta (2-2, 2.73)


Syracuse 1 Toledo 0
• Hill (W, 4-1) 9IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 5K, 102-67 P-K
• Solano 1-3, R, HR, RBI

The battery of Taylor Hill and Jhonatan Solano powered Syracuse to a 1-0 shutout of Toledo. Hill went the distance with just three hits and a walk allowed while striking five. Solano provided the lone Chief run with a solo shot in the 7th. Hill retired 17 batters from the 3rd to the 9th before Emmanuel Burriss’s error ended the streak. The 25-y.o. “northpaw” ended the game with the tying run at 2nd and the go-ahead at 1st with a whiff of 36-y.o. Mike Hessman, the active minor-league leader in HRs with 395.

Reading 15 Harrisburg 2
• Rivero (L, 1-5) 3⅔ IP, 7H, 7R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K
• Grace 1⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 2-2 IR-S
• Bloxom 2-3, R, 2B, BB
• Latimore 1-2, R, 2BB, HR, 2RBI

Reading scored six in the 3rd and the last six runs of the game in a 15-2 blowout of Harrisburg. Felipe Rivero was strafed for seven runs on seven hits and two walks while losing for the fifth time in six starts. Five of the Fightins runs were unearend, “thanks” to four errors by the Senators, who now have 37 in 27 games. Justin Bloxom (2-for-3, BB) and Quincy Latimore (1-for-2, 2BB) both reached base three times to lead the Harrisburg offense.

Potomac 11 Winston-Salem 3
• Bacus 4IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 4K
• Mendez (W, 1-0) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Sanchez 4-5, R, 3B, RBI (10G hit streak)
• Oduber 3-4, R, 2B, BB
• Pleffner 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI

Oscar Tejeda’s grand-slam highlighted a five-run 8th as Potomac earned a split of the four-game series with an 11-3 smackdown of Winston-Salem. Khayyan Norfork, Shawn Pleffner, and Pedro Severino also went deep as the P-Nats saw seven of their 14 hits go for extra bases. Dakota Bacuse made his second start and went four innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk while fanning four. Gilberto Mendez got the win with two perfect innings of relief. Adrian Sanchez remains on fire, going 4-for-5 to extend his hit streak to 10 games and raise his BA to .267 after a 2-for-35 start.

Hagerstown 10 Lexington 8
• Giolito (W, 2-0) 5IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 5K, HR
• Ullmann (SV, 3) 3⅔ IP, 4H, 3R, 0ER, BB, 3K
• Ramos 2-3, R, BB, HR, 3RBI
• Wooten 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Martinez 1-1, R, RBI, 2BB, SF

Julie Goldberg is our latest guest writer and recaps what happened Last Night In Hagerstown.
Roster move: C Wilson Ramos added to roster for MLB rehab.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 14-3 vs. Toledo,
2:00 p.m.
Hill (2-1, 2.35) vs.
Hardy (1-1, 5.65)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-0 @ Reading,
5:05 p.m.
Rivero (1-4, 5.06) vs.
Biddle (2-3, 3.62)
Potomac Lost, 9-5 @ Winston-Salem,
2:00 p.m.
Bacus (1-1, 2.08) vs.
Wendelken (3-1, 3.81)
Hagerstown Won, 7-1 vs. Lexington,
5:05 p.m.
Giolito (1-0, 2.95) vs.
Reed (0-1, 135.00)


Syracuse 14 Toledo 3
• Treinen 1IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K, HBP
• Laffey (W, 3-0) 7IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 2K, HR
• Komatsu 3-5, R, HR, BB, 3RBI
• Goodwin, 2-3, 4R, HR, 2BB, 3RBI
• Hood 2-4, 2R, 2-2B, BB, 3RBI

Like a Florida municipal ledger, the official scorebook was filled with crooked numbers as the Chiefs plucked the ‘Hens, 14-3. Blake Treinen started but was scheduled for just one inning as the Nationals continue playing Patriot games with the rotation. Aaron Laffey got the win in the laugher with seven innings of six-hit, two-run relief though he walked four and struck out two. Every Syracuse batter reached base, thanks to ten walks issued by Toledo pitchers and 12 hits racked up by the Chiefs lineup, with Erik Komatsu getting the benefit of “the reverse GBI curse” with a 3-for-5 game with a walk, a homer, and three RBI. As tweeted and mentioned in the comments yesterday, Taylor Jordan is not listed among the probables for the next four games (though May 7), which is consistent with the current vacillation between Wednesday or Friday for Doug Fister’s return to DC.

Reading 5 Harrisburg 0
• Schwartz (L, 0-5) 5⅔ IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 4K, 2HR
• Bates 1⅓ IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K, 1-0 IR-S
• Taylor 2-2
• Bloxom 1-4, 2B

A 38-minute rain delay in the 5th interrupted what had been a strong start by Harrisburg’s Blake Schwartz, who had given up a run on inside-the-park job when Michael Taylor slipped and fell on the warning track in the 3rd. When play resumed, Reading lit up the Senator starter for three more runs and stung Colin Bates for one run in the 5-0 shutout. Does it get worse? Of course it gets worse. Taylor, who had been 2-for-2, left the game in the 5th with a possible leg injury, as Harrisburg radio guy Terry Byrom noted Taylor flexing his left knee after the play (H/T Dave Sottile of the Patriot-Times). Justin Bloxom was the only other Sens batter to hit safely, connecting on a 7th inning double.

Winston-Salem 9 Potomac 5
• Mooneyham (L, 2-2) 1⅓ IP, 5H, 7R, 3ER, 3BB, 0K, 0HR, HBP, E
• Harper 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• S. Perez 2-3, 3B, BB, RBI, SB
• J. Miller 2-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI
• Sanchez 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

Brett Mooneyham’s inability to throw strikes that don’t become hits resurfaced last night as Winston-Salem pummeled the 24-y.o. southpaw for seven runs on five hits over just an inning and a 1/3rd en route to a 9-5 win over Potomac. Mooneyham walked “only” three, but two of those came with the bases loaded. He also hit a batter. Offensively, five of the P-Nats’ nine hits went for extra bases, including triples by Stephen Perez and Randolph Oduber, who led the RBI column with two. Perez and Justin Miller both went 2-for-3 with a walk to lead the Potomac hit parade.

Hagerstown 7 Lexington 1
• Pivetta (W, 4-2) 5IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Cooper (H, 2) 3IP, 5H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Ballou 2-3, R, 2B, 2RBI, 2BB, CS
• Yezzo 2-4, R, 3B
• E. Martinez 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

Hagerstown hammered away at Lexington for scores in five of the first six innings in a 7-1 victory. Nick Pivetta won his team-best fourth game with five scoreless innings, giving up a walk and three hits while fanning six. The underage Drew Ward was the “beer man” as the only Sun without hit on the night, ending his 10-game hit streak but drawing a walk to maintain his 12-game on-base streak. Isaac Ballou singled, doubled, scored once, walked twice, and drove in two from the leadoff spot to pace the 13-hit, four-walk attack.

Saturday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 2-1 vs. Toledo,
2:00 p.m.
Treinen (0-0, 0.87) vs.
VerHagen (0-3, 4.39)
Harrisburg Won, 9-4 @ Reading,
6:35 p.m.
Schwartz (0-4, 6.08) vs.
Garner (2-1, 3.13)
Potomac Won, 4-3 @ Winston-Salem,
7:00 p.m.
Mooneyham (2-1, 3.32) vs.
Recchia (2-2, 2.95)
Hagerstown Lost, 12-4 vs. Lexington,
5:05 p.m.
Pivetta (3-2, 4.57) vs.
Rico (0-3, 6.62)


Toledo 2 Syracuse 1
• Tatusko (L, 1-4) 6IP, 5H, R, ER, 2BB, 6K, HR
• Robertson 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Hood 2-3, BB, SB
• Peterson 2-4, R, 2B
• Burriss 2-4

Ryan Tatusko spun his fourth straight quality start yet lost for the third time over that stretch as the Mudhens pecked the Chiefs, 2-1. The 29-y.o. veteran gave up just one run on a solo shot in the 6th and five hits total over six innings. He walked two and struck out six while lowering his ERA to a team-best 2.20. The clutch hit eluded Syracuse as they went 1-for-10 with RISP left on 10 men. Destin Hood reached base three times with a pair of singles and a walk and stole a base to lead the Syracuse attack, followed closely by Brock Peterson and Emmanuel Burriss, who both went 2-for-4.

Harrisburg 9 Reading 4
• Fister 3⅔ IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 5K
• Holland (W, 2-1) 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 5K, 1-0 IR-S
• Jeroloman 2-4, 2R, HR, 2RBI
• Martinson 2-5, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Keyes 2-5, R, 2B, HR, RBI

Harrisburg dialed long distance four times in a 9-4 romp over Reading to take their fourth decision in five games. Rehabbing Doug Fister struggled towards the end of his outing, needing 76 pitches to get 11 outs. He was charged with two runs on two hits and three walks but struck out five. Neil Holland picked him, stranding a runner and throwing two and a 1/3rd scoreless innings to get the win. Michael Taylor, who was discovered by WaPo’s James Wagner last night, Brian Jeroloman, Jason Martinson, and Kevin Keyes each went deep and combined for seven of the Senators eleven hits.
Roster moves: RHP Doug Fister assigned from Washington for MLB rehab; OF Quincy Latimore activated from 7-Day DL.

Potomac 4 Winston-Salem 3
• Pena 5IP, 9H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 0K, HR
• Spann (W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Tejeda 3-4, R, 2B, BB
• Pleffner 2-4, BB, 2RBI

Potomac fell behind 3-0 early but chipped away with a pair of runs in the 5th and single runs in the 7th and 8th to overcome the Dash, 4-3. Ronald Pena gave up all three Winson-Salem runs on nine hits and two walks over five innings in a no-decision. Four relievers combined for four scoreless innings, with Matthew Spann getting the win, his first, in his Carolina League debut while Robert Benincasa earned his sixth save. Oscar Tejada led the Potomac hit parade with a 3-for-4 night. The P-Nats drew eight walks but struggled to make the Dash pay, going 3-for-16 with RISP and leaving 14 men on base.
Roster moves: OF Randolph Oduber reassigned from Harrisburg; RHP Brian Rauh placed on 7-Day DL, retroactive to April 30.

Lexington 12 Hagerstown 4
• Johansen (L, 2-1) 1⅓ IP, 7H, 8R, 6ER, 3BB, K, HR
• Suero 5⅔ IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 6K, 2HBP, 2-2 IR-S
• Yezzo 4-4, R
• Difo 3-5, 2-2B, 3RBI
• OF assists: Ballou, E. Martinez

The Legends put a hurt on Jake Johansen with a six-run 2nd as the cruised to 12-4 beating of Suns. Johansen was knocked from the box after just an inning and a 1/3rd, having been torched for eight runs (six earned) on seven hits and three walks while striking out one. James Yezzo (4-for-4) and Wilmer Difo (3-for-5) combined for seven of the 14 Hagerstown hits, as the Suns stranded 10 runners.
Drew Ward extended his hit streak to 10 games and on-base streak to 11 with a single in the 1st.

Sickels On The Hitters

You can dismiss it as a byproduct of injuries, but the fact remains: More than half of the position players on the current Washington 25-man roster are homegrown. This time five years ago, you could fit the number of homegrown position players on a unicycle.

Sure, I’m being melodramatic, but the larger, implied point is that the Nats have come a long way in terms of player development in a very short time. The trick will be maintaining that ratio while still remaining a contender.

There are just 15 bats in the 2014 book by Sickels — the least it’s been since 2010 (hey, that rhymes). What’s probably more troubling, though, is that nine (9) of those are outfielders. There’s just one 3B, two SS, one C, and one 2B. The other guy? Matt Skole, who’s probably going to be a 1B after all.

Before we break down the 15, let me pass along Sickels’s principles on hitters:

Controlling the strike zone isn’t strictly not striking out (Sickels likes a batter to walk about 10% of his PAs) but also comparing BBs to Ks, which means a guy that doesn’t walk a lot is tolerable if he also doesn’t strike out much, and there are plenty of guys that both strike out a lot and walk a lot, but there are very few good hitters that don’t walk much and strike out a lot.

Sickels likes to look at OPS+ and a variation of Bill James’ secondary average in relation to his batting average. His formula is basically doubles, plus twice the number of triples, plus three times the number of HRs, plus walks, plus the difference between SBs and CS, all divided by at-bats. The point? That a low-average guy that either hits for serious power or gets on base a lot is just as valuable if not more than a high-average batter with less power.
…Offensive speed is how well the player runs the bases, not how fast. The best baserunners are smart and fast, but as many of us have seen, they’re usually one or the other but rarely both.

Defensively, Sickels freely admits that he has to rely on the scouts heavily because the more advanced defensive metrics (e.g. Zone Rating) simply aren’t available for the minors, noting that range (which ZR measures) is developmentally more important than reliability (which fielding percentage measures).

Here they are, listed from high-to-low letter grade first, alphabetically second:

Brian Goodwin – B (B+) Drew Ward – B- Osvaldo Abreu – C
Tony Renda – B- (C+) Rafael Bautista – C+ Isaac Ballou – C
Matt Skole – B- (B) Eury Perez – C+ (C+) Randy Encarnacion – C
Steve Souza – B- (C+) Drew Vettleson – C+ (B-) Destin Hood – C (C+)
Michael Taylor – B- (C) Zach Walters – C+ (C+) Pedro Severino – C


As you’ve probably already deduced, the three bolded players are the ones not listed in the BA Prospect Handbook. Kids from the D.R. rarely register until they make some noise in the GCL, which they did and got them put on the site watchlist.

Now, for some tidbits from the book…

…As hinted in the previous post, Osvaldo Abreu is another “SLEEPER ALERT!!” as Sickels cites his speed and strike-zone judgment, which is similar to what I wrote this past offseason, though I had the built-in bias of having previously selected him as a “DSL Guy” in 2013.

…The final “SLEEPER ALERT!!” is Rafael Bautista (also a 2013 “DSL Guy”) but a stronger emphasis on his speed and defensive skills, and a little less enthusiasm for his K rate, which has increased thus far in 2014 with Hagerstown.

…Like many of us, Sickels is of two minds when it comes to Brian Goodwin — could be an All-Star in the National League… or the Atlantic League, but gives him the benefit of the doubt (and reverts his letter grade to “B”).

…Sickels, who predicted Renda’s increase in doubles in 2013, shares the belief that Tony Renda can continue to exceed the expectations of scouts, though he cautions that the true test will be AA and warns that he must stay healthy (this was written after his most recent injury) to do so.

…Ward has 70-grade power and cautioned folks to not get too caught up in the one (1) HR that Ward hit last year in the GCL, projecting the 19-y.o. to eventually be a 25+ HR guy. Since the book went to press, Ward has hit three HRs and boasts a .500+ SLG%

And with that, we conclude the annual review of John Sickels’s prospect book, which you can purchase here. My recommendation is to buy the PDF, which you can search and annotate.

Good, Bad, Interesting – Vol. 3

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 12-14, T5th place I.L. North, 3 games behind

Good Ryan Tatusko 2.36/3.88/0.82 in 5G
Bad Erik Komatsu .121/.318/.152 in 14G
Interesting Jhonatan Solano .957OPS, 3HR & 12 RBI (active team leader all categories)


HARRISBURG SENATORS 7-17, 6th place E.L. West, 7½ games behind

Good Michael Taylor .467 SLG%, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 6 SB
Bad Gabriel Alfaro 11.91 ERA, 2.65 WHIP in 8 appearances
Interesting Matt Skole 7BB, 32K in 23G


POTOMAC NATIONALS 14-9, 1st place C.L. North, 4½ games ahead

Good Dakota Bacus 1-1, 2.08 ERA, 0.69 WHIP in 6 relief outings
Bad Brandon Miller .165BA, 27K
Interesting Brandon Miller 16 walks, 6 singles, 0 doubles, 0 triples, 7 home runs


HAGERSTOWN SUNS 19-6, 1st place Sally North, 5½ games ahead

Good Drew Ward .354/.440/.585, 3HR, 22RBI (T2nd in Sally Lg.)
Bad Dixon Anderson 6.33/4.98/1.36 4HB in 5 appearances
Interesting .981 FA, 44% CS, 19E — Best in the Sally Lg.

Friday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-3 vs. Toledo,
7:00 p.m.
Tatusko (1-3, 2.36) vs.
Lobstein (0-3, 7.84)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-3; Won, 4-3 @ Reading,
7:05 p.m.
Fister (MLB Rehab) vs.
Garner (2-1, 3.13)
Potomac Lost, 3-2 @ Winston-Salem,
7:00 p.m.
Pena (2-0, 6.43) vs.
Ortiz (0-2, 4.15)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-3; Won, 4-3 vs. Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Johansen (2-0, 5.21) vs.
Junis (1-2, 2.78)


Syracuse 4 Toledo 3
• Poveda 7IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 6K
• Jackson (W, 1-0) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Cedeno (SV, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Laird 3-4, R, RBI
• Hairston 1-3, R, BB, RBI

In a see-saw contest, Syracuse scored last with a run in the 8th to edge Toledo, 4-3. Omar Poveda pitched seven full innings with three runs allowed on five hits and two walks while striking out six but got the no-decision. Zack Jackson pitched a scoreless 8th and picked up the win when Brandon Laird’s third single of the night plated Jhonatan “The Onion” Solano for the go-ahead run. Xavier “Carry On” Cedeno struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.

New Britain 6 Harrisburg 3 — GAME ONE
• Purke (L, 0-5) 4IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 3K, 2HR
• Espino 3IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 5K, HR
• Jeroloman 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI
• Hague 1-3, R, 2B, RBI

The long ball continues to haunt Harrisburg pitchers with three more surrendered in a 6-3 loss to New Britain in the opener. Matt Purke served up another three-run shot in the 1st and solo shot in the 2nd to account for all four runs he gave up in his fifth loss in as many starts. Paolo Espino finished the game but wasn’t any more effective, allowing two runs over three innings. Brian Jeroloman’s two-run blast capped off the Senators three-run 5th, following Ricky Hague’s RBI double.

Harrisburg 4 New Britain 3 — GAME TWO
• Cole 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 5K
• Grace (W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 0K
• Ramsey 2-3, R, 2B, BB, SB
• Taylor 1-3, R, 2B, RBI, SB

A daring double steal by set up the gamewinner as the Senators rallied for three in the final frame for a 4-3 win and a doubleheader split. Doubles by Brandon Bantz and Michael Taylor sandwiched around an error scored two to tie it at 3-3, forcing New Britain to walk Caleb Ramsey to set up a double play. Instead, Taylor and Ramsey took off and took away the play. Cutter Dykstra tapped one to short that the Rock Cats SS threw high to the plate, enabling Taylor to duck and score the gamewinner. Matt Grace got the win, allowing a run on a walk and two hits. Starter A.J. Cole went the first five, giving up two on a walk and five hits while striking out five.

Winston-Salem 3 Potomac 2
• Simms 5IP, 4H, R, ER, 2BB, K
• Dickson (BS, 2; L, 0-2) 2IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Tejeda 2-4, R, 2B
• Miller 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI

Winston-Salem scored three unanswered runs, including two in the 7th for a 3-2 win over Potomac. John Simms made his A+ debut with the start and turned in five innings of one-run ball with four hits and two walks allowed and one strikeout. Ian Dickson took the loss and the blown save, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk over two innings. Oscar Tejeda led the hit column with a 2-for-4 night while Brandon Miller smacked a two-run homer, his seventh, which is good for a second-place tie on the Carolina League leaderboard.

Hickory 7 Hagerstown 3 — GAME ONE
• Voth (L, 0-2) 5IP, 6H, 5R, 1ER, 0BB, 5K
• Ullmann 1IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 1K
• Difo 2-4, SB (10)
• Ballou 1-2, R, BB, 2RBI, HBP

Hickory’s four-run 2nd snapped an early 1-1 tie as the Crawdads snapped the Suns six-game streak with a 7-3 decision in the opener. Austin Voth remains winless, charged with five runs (one earned) on six hits and no walks while setting down five on strikes. Isaac Ballou drove in two of the three Hagerstown runs with a two-run single in the 4th

Hagerstown 4 Hickory 3 — GAME TWO
• Silvestre 2⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Thomas (BS, 2; W, 1-2) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 2BB, 0K
• Ward 4-4, R, HR, RBI
• Chubb 1-3, 2B, RBI

The Crawdads threw it away in the final frame, as two errors led to the final Suns run for a 4-3 win that evened up the twinbill. Hector Silvestre made his first start in nearly three weeks, going two and 2/3rds innings with two hits, no walks, and no runs let in. He struck out one. Dixon Anderson was the first man out of the ‘pen and stranded two runners but gave up two runs over three and a 1/3rd innings. Still, Anderson was in line for the win, thanks to Drew Ward’s third HR as part of a 4-for-4 night. Justin Thomas gave the lead back in the top of the 7th with a run on two hits and two walks and got the “W” nevertheless.

Catching Up On Transactions (UPDATED)

Transactions for NPP 2
A series of transactions were made today by the affiliates. Here’s a rundown of who went where and a few words about why…

SYRACUSE
• OF Destin Hood reassigned from Harrisburg
• OF Eury Perez placed on 7-Day DL
• OF Scott Hairston assigned for MLB rehab

HARRISURG
• OF Randolph Oduber reassigned from Potomac
• RHP Warner Madrigal reassigned from Syracuse

POTOMAC
• OF Will Piwnica-Worms reassigned from Syracuse

With so many transactions in such a short period of time, it’s difficult to assess their permanence. Brian Dupra, for example, was putting up strong numbers — enough for me to assess that perhaps his recent move from Potomac to Harrisburg would not be what it ultimately was: an up-and-back maneuver until the more experienced Warner Madrigal was ready.

Thus, with all due respect to Hood, I have to consider that his placement in AAA might be short-lived as well; it has been only 19 games, after all. Oduber has also bounced back and forth between High-A and AA before and I haven’t seen anything thus far that convinces me that he won’t return to Potomac again — especially if Scott Hairston is on the verge of starting a rehab assignment, as reported in the Washington Post earlier this week, in which case we could see Hood and Oduber returned to AA and A+ respectively and Tyler Moore optioned yet again when Hairston is deemed healthy again.

UPDATE: Syracuse has announced that Eury Perez has been placed on the 7-Day DL with a foot injury while Scott Hairston will begin a rehab assignment tonight.