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.

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.

Sickels On The Pitchers

As I feared when I first heard his book would be delayed, the arrival of John Sickels’s Prospect Book has been buried with the season in full swing, the Potomac homestand, and the recent flurry of player moves. The rain has already slowed things down, the P-Nats are on the road, but aside from a few points in the year, predicting when transactions will occur is next-to-impossible.

In other words, this is my chance and I’m taking it!

For the third straight year, I’ll do two posts, starting with this one for the pitchers.

For the first time in a few years, the Nats have more pitchers (18) ranked than position players (15), which I think can be attributed to the natural ebb and flow as well as trades. I think some folks will be more concerned about the number of ranked prospects falling from 39 to 33, but whenever I look back at previous editions of Sickels’s book, it’s usually been in that range.

Sickels has the following guiding principles when it comes to pitchers…

…AA is the ultimate test for finesse pitchers, a.k.a. the

…K/BB ratio is a strong bellwether

…K/IP ratio can indicate “stuff” but not necessarily velocity

…H/IP ratio is a good complement to K/IP, but should be taken with a grain of salt given the variances in defense [and scorekeeping]

…HR rate — all things being equal, young pitchers that don’t give a lot of HRs are better than those that do

In some circles, there’s an acronym known as TINSTAAPP, which stands for There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect, which you’ll still hear every now and then (Jonah Keri includes it in this longform piece for Grantland in 2012 in which former National Edwin Jackson is the story peg). My personal belief is that it’s fallen out of favor because of the work of John Sickels and other baseball writers who have shown that TINSTAAP is a too-convenient excuse for “baseball men” to hide behind poor decisions (drafting or usage).

Without further ado, here’s a look at the 18 pitchers (2013 grade, if available, in parentheses):

Lucas Giolito – A- (B) Dakota Bacus – C (C) Nick Pivetta – C
A.J. Cole – B+ (B) Robert Benincasa – C (C) Matt Purke – C (C+)
Felipe Rivero – B- (B-) Christian Garcia – C (B-)
Jefry Rodriguez – C
Aaron Barrett – C+ (C) Neil Holland – C (C)
Blake Schwartz – C
Jake Johansen – C+ Richie Mirowski – C
Blake Treinen – C
Sammy Solis – C+ (B-) B. Mooneyham – C (C+)
Austin Voth – C

Names in bold are in Sickels’s book but not Baseball America. Not much of a shock that there are so few, given the 33 in one book vs. 30 in other. Now, for some tidbits…

…Giolito was ranked #12, Cole #33 in his Top 50 Pitching Prospects List.

…Sickels moved Cole up from a B and now puts his ceiling as a No. 3 starter

…Holland’s lack of plus velocity shouldn’t impede him from possibly becoming a ROOGY at the MLB level

…Add Sickels to the “haters” who think Johansen may eventually become a reliever

…Likewise for Solis and Mooneyham

…Purke is the analog to Giolito in terms of drafting and rehabbing a hurt pitcher

…Voth is one of three “SLEEPER ALERT!!” Nationals in 2014 which is a tag applied to Blake Treinen a year ago.

Up Next: The Batters.

Thursday’s News & Notes

Ever Seen The Rain

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY vs. Toledo,
7:00 p.m.
Poveda (0-1, 9.82) vs.
(Below 2-0, 3.79)
Harrisburg Postponed vs. New Britain,
5:30 p.m.
Purke (0-4, 9.37) and Cole (2-1, 3.63) vs.
Rogers (0-3, 9.33) and Duffey (AA Debut)
Potomac OFF DAY @ Winston-Salem,
7:00 p.m.
TBD vs. Buccifero (1-2, 3.20)
Hagerstown Postponed vs. Hickory,
5:05 p.m.
Voth (0-1, 3.24) and Silvestre (0-0, 3.00) vs.
Bostick (0-1, 3.79) and Ledbetter (1-2, 9.98)


Syracuse — OFF DAY
Yesterday was Syracuse’s first scheduled off day of 2014, as they return to NBT Bank Stadium for a pair of four-game sets against the Toledo Mudhens and the Durham Bulls.

Harrisburg vs. New Britain — PPD
A second day of heavy rain postponed last night’s game to a Saturday-night doubleheader at Metro Bank Park on May 17th and pushed back Blake Schwartz another day as A.J. Cole is expected to start the second game of tonight’s doubleheader.

Potomac — OFF DAY
After rain shortened Potomac’s second homestand, their third road trip of 2014 takes them to the house of horrors that is BB&T Park for a four-game series against the Dash. Since it opened in 2010, the P-Nats have lost 29 of 40 regular-season games there including all ten in 2012.

Hagerstown vs. Hickory — PPD
By midafternoon even Stevie Wonder could see that the rain was going to shorten the three-game series between the Suns and Crawdads to today’s doubleheader. They’ll make up the lost game next week in Hickory with a doubleheader on Thursday, May 8.

Wednesday’s News & Notes

rain for npp 3

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 3-2 OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Postponed vs. New Britain,
7:00 p.m.
Purke (0-4, 9.37) vs. Rogers (0-3, 9.33)
Potomac Postponed OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Postponed vs. Hickory,
5:05 p.m.
Voth (0-1, 3.24) and Silvestre (0-0, 3.00) vs.
Bostick (0-1, 3.79) and Ledbetter (1-2, 9.98)


Indianapolis 3 Syracuse 2
• Hill (L, 3-1) 5⅔ IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 5K, 2HR, HBP
• Gonzalez 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 1-0 IR-S
• Laird 2-3, R, HR, 2RBI
• Peterson 1-3, R, BB

Both teams lived and died by the long ball as Indianapolis outhomered Syracuse 2-1 to take the game 3-2 and the series 3-1. Brandon Laird smacked a two-run shot in the 2nd to answer Andrew Lambo’s solo shot in the bottom of the 1st. The Indians would strike again in the bottom the 6th with their second home run as Chris McGuiness did not miss a 3-0 fastball from Taylor Hill. Two batters later, Hill was lifted, having surrendered all three runs on seven hits, no walks, and five strikeouts to suffer his first loss of the season. The Chiefs managed just five hits total, with Laird the only multihit batter with a 2-for-3 game and Brock Peterson the only other starter to reach base twice (1-for-3, BB).

Harrisburg vs. New Britain — PPD
Harrisburg will have to wait another day or two to notch their second two-game win streak as the rains postponed yesterday’s game to create a doubleheader tomorrow night, a move that acknowledges the forecast of continued heavy rain today and tonight and possible flooding.

Potomac vs Lynchburg — PPD
The P-Nats and Hillcats were washed out for a second straight night and will have to play five games in three days to make them up when Lynchburg returns to Woodbridge next month. Today is a scheduled day off as Potomac heads to North Carolina for a four-game series against Winston Salem. Roster move: RHP Brian Dupra reassigned from Harrisburg.

Hagerstown vs. Hickory — PPD
The Suns pulled the plug on this early and shifted this morning’s game to tonight in the hopes that perhaps they can make this one up here as opposed to next week when Hagerstown visits Hickory from the 6th to the 8th.

Tuesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 6-5 (10 inn.) @ Indianapolis,
11:05 a.m.
Hill (3-0, 1.80) vs.
Wilk (2-1, 4.37)
Harrisburg Won, 9-0 vs. New Britain,
7:00 p.m.
Purke (0-4, 9.37) vs.
Rogers (0-3, 9.33)
Potomac Tied, 0-0
(suspended, Top 2)
vs. Lynchburg,
5:00 p.m. (DH)
TBD and TBD vs.
TBD and TBD
Hagerstown OFF DAY vs. Hickory,
6:35 p.m.
Voth (0-1, 3.24) vs.
Bostick (0-1, 3.79)


Syracuse 6 Indianapolis 5 (10 inn.)
• Treinen 4IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 2K, HBP
• Laffey 4IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 3K
• Delcarmen (BS, 2; W, 2-1) 2IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, K, WP
• Rhymes 3-5, R, SB
• Burriss 2-4, R, BB
• Lozada 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI

Syracuse broke a 1-1 tie with a four-run 5th, capped off by Jose Lozada’s two-run HR, his first of the 2014 season. Indianapolis rallied for three in the 6th against piggybacking reliever Aaron Laffey and one in the 9th against would-be closer Manny Delcarmen to tie it at 5-5. Brock Peterson’s RBI single in the 10th reclaimed the lead and Delcarmen held it on his second chance in the 10th to give the Chiefs a 6-5 victory. Blake Treinen got the start and turned in four innings of one-run ball with three hits, one walk, and two strikeouts allowed. Will “Don’t Call Me Buster” Rhymes continues to swing a hot bat (12 hits, .429BA over last 7G) with a 3-for-5 night, followed by Emmanuel Burriss and Lozada, who both went 2-for-4.
Roster moves: RHP Ryan Mattheus recalled to Washington (unofficial, but reported by multiple online sources); RHP Taylor Jordan optioned from Washington, OF Will Piwnica-Worms reassigned from Potomac.

Harrisburg 9 New Britain 0
• Gilliam 4⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 4K, HBP
• Dupra (W, 1-0) 3⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 3BB, 3K
• Keyes 3-5, R, 3B, 2RBI
• Skole 3-5, R, 2B
• Bantz 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI

In a role reversal, Harrisburg scored early and often and did not have their efforts washed away in a 9-0 win over New Britain. Matt Skole and Kevin Keyes both went 3-for-5 with a run scored while veteran Brandon Bantz matched Keyes’s RBI tally of two while going 2-for-4 with a douvble and a run scored. Rob Gilliam started and went four and 2/3rds scoreless innings with two walks and four strikeouts. Brian Dupra got the win in relief as he made his AA debut with three and 1/3rd scoreless innings with three walks and three strikeouts. Tyler Herron pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to complete the shutout, the first for the Senators this season.
Roster moves: RHP Ryan Perry placed on the 7-Day DL, RHP Brian Dupra promoted from Potomac.

Potomac 0 Lynchburg 0 (SUSP.)
It was dollar Monday (and perhaps F.P. Santangelo Groupie Night?), but the P-Nats and Hillcats couldn’t make it past the top of the 2nd as rain halted play with one out and a runner on 2nd. They’ll try to finish it tonight, but with heavy rain in the forecast, odds are more likely we’ll see a couple of doubleheaders next month when the Hillcats return to the Pfitz.
Roster moves: RHP John Simms, LHP Matthew Spann promoted from Hagerstown.

Hagerstown — OFF DAY
The Suns return to the Muni riding a six-game win streak after taking the last two from Augusta GreenJackets and sweeping the West Virginia Power for four games. Weather permitting, they’ll begin a three-game series against Hickory and round out the seven-game homestand with four games against the Lexington Legends, starting on Friday.
Roster moves: LHP Hector Silvestre activated from the 7-Day DL, RHP Michael Sylvestri assigned from XST.

Simms, Spann Promoted To Potomac (UPDATED)

Moving On Up for NPP
The Hagerstown Suns have announced that two relievers — RHP John Simms and LHP Matthew Spann — have been promoted to the Potomac Nationals. Taking their place on the Suns roster are LHP Hector Silvestre, who was activated from the 7-Day DL, and RHP Michael Sylvestri, who was activated from XST.

Simms was 0-0 with three saves and a 0.98 ERA in five appearances with two walks and 20 strikeouts over 18&#8531 innings for Hagerstown. The 22-year-old was twice drafted by the Washington Nationals: in the 39th Rd. of the 2010 Draft out of College Park HS in The Woodlands, TX and in 11th Rd. of last June’s draft out of Rice University. He posted an 0-3, 5.79 record for Auburn last summer but had terrific peripherals (2.2BB, 10.0K per 9IP), which earned him a spot on this site’s 2014 Watchlist.

Spann was the PTBNL in the strange saga of waiver-wire claim David DeJesus last summer, which earned him an entry as one of the Notable Arms on the aforementioned Watchlist. He was 2-0 with two saves and a 1.20 ERA in four appearances with four walks and 15 strikeouts over 15 innings for the Suns.

Potomac has had 11 pitchers on the roster since LHP Nick Lee and RHP Pedro Encarnacion were placed on the DL last week, which will bring them back to the usual complement of 13 pitchers. A corresponding move to reduce the Potomac roster to the 25-man limit has not yet been announced. If/when it is, this space will be updated.

UPDATE:
The Potomac Nationals announced the following roster moves this afternoon…

  • RHP Doug Fister removed from roster as MLB rehab
  • RHP Brian Dupra reassigned to Syracuse
  • OF Will Piwinica-Worms reassigned to Harrisburg

As noted last year, there are cases such as these in which the word promotion is not used because it’s pretty clear that the roster move is a needs-based assignment. This is not an indictment of the player but merely a reflection of that judgment (sometimes the clubs’ media folks themselves will use the word “transfer”). Sadly, this could also mean that I’m wrong about Spann and Simms, but that bell has already been rung.

This latest set of moves does appears to be a ripple effect from the placement of Bryce Harper on the parent club DL, which means that an OF from Harrisburg is likely on his way to Syracuse to replace Steve Souza, who was recalled to take Harper’s spot. If/when that news is received, I’ll update this space again.

UPDATE #2: The Syracuse Chiefs and Harrisburg Senators are announcing the following moves…

  • RHP Ryan Perry placed on the 7-Day DL
  • RHP Brian Dupra promoted from Potomac to Harrisburg
  • OF Will Piwnica-Worms reassigned from Potomac to Syracuse

Obviously, there’s some conflicting information here, which we’ll have to sort out tomorrow.