Last Night In Woodbridge

A complete-game shutout for Brad Peacock

Power took a back seat to efficiency, as Brad Peacock struck out just four but went the distance on 99 pitches to record a five-hit shutout against the Wilmington Blue Rocks last night.

Sixty-four of those 99 pitches were for strikes, but more impressive: just five of the 27 outs were flyballs to the outfield, though the final one had folks holding their breath as Mike Burgess chased down a deep drive to right-center off Wilmington’s cleanup hitter Jamie Romak. Twelve of the 27 outs were on the ground, with Peacock dashing over to first three times on balls that first baseman Bill Rhinehart had snagged or knocked down, twice beating speedy lefthanded batters.

Peacock faced just four batters over the minimum, thanks in no small part to Chris Curran gunning down Eric Hosmer at second to lead off the fourth, and a round-the-horn double play in the sixth. He would retire the last 11 batters he faced and had five 1-2-3 innings en route to winning his third game of the season.

It was the first nine-inning shutout thrown by a Potomac pitcher since Michael O’Connor blanked the Kinston Indians on August 27, 2005.

Meanwhile, on offense, the P-Nats gave Peacock five runs of support on ten hits, highlighted by a two-out double by Nick Moresi in the first and two-out triple in the bottom of the eighth, which sat down Dan Leatherman who had been warming up to pitch the top of the ninth.

With the win, Potomac improves to 5-6 in the 2nd half and takes a 2-1 series lead against first-place Wilmington. Lefty Evan Bronson (3-5, 3.94) is scheduled to face off against Ivor Hodgson (4-6, 4.97) in the finale tonight.

Sunday’s News and Notes

Vermont wins its 8th straight, Suns out last Power to highlight Sunday’s action

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 10-2 vs. Buffalo, 7:00 p.m. Matt Chico (3-4, 4.24) vs.
Tobi Stoner (4-7, 5.28)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 5-2 vs. Richmond, 7:05 p.m. John Lannan (1-1, 4.85) vs.
David Mixon (8-4, 3.40)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 13-4 vs. Wilmington, 7:03 p.m. Brad Peacock (2-9, 4.52) vs.
Timothy Melville (2-9, 5.74)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 11-9 vs. West Virginia, 7:05 p.m. Mitchell Clegg (8-1, 2.60) vs.
Jason Erickson (5-4, 2.88)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 4-3 vs. Williamsport, 7:05 p.m. Chad Jenkins (1-1, 2.70) vs.
Eric Pettis (2-0, 0.53)
GCL Nationals Lost, 8-5 vs.
GCL Marlins
DSL Nationals OFF DAY @ DSL Marlins, 10:30 a.m. Adalberto Mieses (2-2, 3.52) vs.
Helpi Reyes (1-2, 3.63)

Syracuse Chiefs L, 10-2 vs. Buffalo
Starting Pitcher: Arnesen (L, 2-5) 4⅓ IP 7H 7ER 2BB 3K 1HR
Pitching Star: Wilkie 1IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
Hitting Star # 1: Maxwell 2-4, R
Hitting Star # 2: Davis 2-4
Notes: Despite being able to outscore their opponents dramatically in yesterday’s game, the same could not be said for the Chiefs today as they lost by a score of 10-2 versus Buffalo. Falling to 2-5, Arnesen took the loss, going 4⅓ innings, allowing a whopping seven runs on seven hits and two walks. The only pitcher to have a decent outing was Wilkie, who pitched a scoreless inning, surrendering a hit and a walk while striking out one.

Harrisburg Senators L, 7-2 vs. Trenton
Starting Pitcher: Milone (L, 6-4) 4+ IP 3H 2R 2ER 3BB 7K
Pitching Star: Kimball 2IP 0H 1R 0ER 2BB 3K
Hitting Star # 1: Pahuta  2-4, RBI
Hitting Star # 2: Solano 2-4, RBI
Notes: The Sens took an early 1-0 lead in the fifth, but couldn’t hold it as the Thunder struck for two in the fifth, one in the sixth, and two more in the seventh to go up 7-1. Harrisburg cut away at that lead in the 9th with one run but it was a little too late as Trenton took this one 7-2. Starter Tom Milone went four-plus innings giving up three hits, two runs and three walks in his fourth loss against six wins.

Potomac Nationals L, 13-4 vs. Wilmington
Starting Pitcher: Frias (L, 2-4) 2IP 7H 6R 6ER 1BB 1K 2HR
Pitching Star: Dill 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Jacobsen 2-3, R, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Lozada 2-4, R
They Call Me The Breeze: Moore 0-4, 4K
Notes: See Sue’s take on the smackdown in Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown Suns L, 5-2 @ Trenton
Starting Pitcher: Demny (W, 6-2) 5⅓ IP 5H 2R 1ER 1BB 6K
Pitching Star: Wort, R (H, 4) 1⅔ IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
Pitching Un-Star #1: Garcia 1IP 3H 3ER 1BB 1K
Pitching Un-Star #2: Vasquez ⅓ IP 2H 4R 3ER 1BB 1K
Hitting Star # 1: Kobernus 2-5, 2B, 3RBI
Hitting Star # 2: Ramirez 2-5 2R 1HR, 1RBI
Notes: Thanks to four runs in the fifth inning, Hagerstown grabbed an early lead and didn’t let go, beating West Virginia by a score of 11-9 (Although… it did get scary in the late innings!). Paul Demny earned his 6th win, pitching 5⅓ innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and a single walk. Pitching got a little ugly as Luis Garcia coughed up three runs on three hits and Wanel Vasquez managed only one out before giving up four runs (3 earned). Fortunately, however, the offense proved strong enough to overcome the poor relief pitching. Hitters of the day were Jeff Kobernus, who went 2-5 with a double and 3RBI, and J.P. Ramirez, who homered in the sixth inning — his eighth of the year.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 4-3 vs. Williamsport
Starting Pitcher: Jordan (ND) 5⅓ IP 5H 3R 2ER 2BB 5K 1HR
Pitching Star: Bates (W, 1-0) 2⅔ IP 1H 0R 0BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Freitas 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Moore 1-3, BB, RBI
Notes:  Despite Williamsport taking an early 3-0 lead, Vermont did not let that get to them, and bounced back, scoring a single run in the 4th, and three runs in the 6th to win the game by a score of 4-3, their eighth straight victory. Taylor Jordan got the no decision, going 5⅓ innings, allowing three runs (2 earned) on five hits and two walks. Colin Bates got the win, pitching until the ninth, allowing only one hit.

GCL Nationals L, 8-5 @ GCL Marlins
Starting Pitcher: Tyler Hanks 3IP 5H 1R 1ER 1BB 2K
Pitching “Star”: John Santiago ⅔ IP 1H 0R 1BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Roberto Perez 2-3, R
Hitting Star #2: Wander Nunez 2-4, R, RBI
Notes: The bullpen just couldn’t stop the bleeding after starter Tyler Hanks left the game, as four of the five relievers that followed him were charged with runs. The GCL Marlins posted a picket fence with single runs in the third through seventh innings before breaking out with a three-run inning in the bottom of the eighth to turn a 5-5 game into an 8-5 win. Two of three errors came in the fateful eighth, making all three runs unearned. The loss was the seventh straight for the G-Nats, who are now 2-8 in the GCL East Division.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
Notes: The D-Nats stand at 16-14, four games off the pace in the Boca Chica South Division, with home games this week against the Yankees1, Phillies and Orioles2 while visiting the Marlins, Mets1 and Giants.

Last Night In Woodbridge

A five-run first got the fireworks started a little early…

Eric Hosmer homered twice in his first two at-bats to lead the 19-hit assault against the Potomac Nationals, as the Wilmington Blue Rocks pummeled the Potomac Nationals 13-4 in Woodbridge, VA.

Starting pitcher David Lamb was outstanding, striking out 10 batters over 6⅔ innings and allowing just three hits as the Potomac nine looked helpless against his 94mph heater and…



What are you doing? This is a site for the Nationals prospects.

But they were awful, can’t I just write it front-runner style? You know, like they do on TV?


Aw, crap…


The fireworks started early last night in Woodbridge, as the visiting Wilmington Blue Rocks exploded for five runs in the first inning and put up three spots in the third and fifth innings en route to a 13-4 victory.

Marcos Frias’s first home start for Potomac in nearly two months was a disaster, as he allowed six runs on seven hits over two innings, including both Hosmer home runs. The Wilmington batters had no trouble with his arrow-straight fastball and laid off his secondary pitches, which were also flat.

Jesse Estrada, who followed Frias on the mound, was also no mystery to the Blue Rocks, as they battered him for six runs on eight hits over 2⅓ innings. Relievers Patrick McCoy, Clayton Dill, and Carlos Martinez did managed to stem the bleeding, combining for 4⅔ innings of relief with one run (a home run, naturally) on four hits.

As previously reported, Wilmington’s starter was dominant, working his mid-90s heater with a low-80s change and a high-70s curve to baffle the PNats. The 2008 fifth-rounder lowered his ERA to 1.55 and registered his seventh quality start in 10 appearances with Wilmington.

Potomac would score its four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, highlighted by a Steve Lombardozzi double for an RBI, a two-run single by Robby Jacobsen and a sac fly by Mike Burgess, giving the reported crowd of 9,250 something to cheer about before the team’s signature Fireworks show.


Unfortunately, the old saw “well, at least no one got hurt” did not apply either, as catcher Derek Norris took a foul tip to his left forearm in the first and left the game two innings later. Robert Daski of the News & Messenger reports that the team will take a wait-and-see approach to the injury. Norris has already spent two stints on the DL: The first for his left wrist, injured in Spring Training; the second for his beaning in May.

Saturday’s News and Notes

Three wins, four losses on Saturday in the Nats’ minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 5-3 vs. Buffalo, 6:30 p.m. Erik Arnesen (2-4, 4.08) vs.
Dillon Gee (7-5, 5.00)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 6-4 @ Trenton, 7:05 p.m. Tom Milone (6-3, 3.34) vs.
Hector Noesi (5-1, 1.90)
Potomac Nationals Won, 4-2 vs. Wilmington, 6:35 p.m. Marcos Frias (2-3, 5.75) vs.
David Lamb (3-2, 1.77)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 4-2 vs. West Virginia, 7:05 p.m. Paul Demny (5-2, 2.63) vs.
Kyle McPherson (5-6, 3.97)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 8-1 vs. Williamsport, 4:05 p.m. Taylor Jordan (1-0, 1.23) vs.
Kevin Angelle (2-0, 0.47)
GCL Nationals Lost, 2-1 vs.
GCL Astros
@ GCL Marlins, 12:00 p.m. TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 10-1 vs.
DSL Cubs2

Syracuse Chiefs L, 5-3 @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Starting Pitcher: Martis (ND) 5IP 4H 2R 2ER 2BB 0K 1HR
Pitching Star: Villone 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 0K
Hitting Star # 1: Orr 3-4, 2R, 2B, BB, HR, RBI
Hitting Star # 2: Botts 2-4, R, 2B
Notes: Syracuse scored two early in the 2nd, but Scranton kept up with them and scored two in the same inning to keep things square. In the 4th Syracuse took the lead scoring one run, but when the 6th rolled around Scranton was able to score three of their own to take the lead and the game from the Chiefs 5-3. Starting pitcher Shairon Martis pitched five innings, giving up four hits, two runs and two walks but received a no-decision the loss.

Harrisburg Senators L, 6-4 @ Trenton
Starting Pitcher: Thompson (L, 4-10) 5⅔ IP 9H 5R 5ER 2BB 2K 3HR
Pitching Star: Martin 2⅓ IP 2H 1R 1ER 1BB 5K
Hitting Star # 1: Coon 2-3, R, 2B, RBI
Hitting Star # 2: Espinosa 2-4, R, 2B, RBI 
Notes: The long ball was Aaron Thompson’s downfall, as all five runs he allowed scored via the home run, taking his league-leading 10th loss and raising his ERA to a second-worst 5.79ERA. He was staked to an early 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the first but allowed the Thunder to tie in the 2nd and go ahead with another two runs coughed up in the 3rd to make it 4-2. Harrisburg scored one in the 5th to cut the Thunder lead to 4-3, but that’s as close as they would get as the Trenton bullpen pitched three hitless and scoreless frames to nail this down at 6-4.

Potomac Nationals W, 4-2 vs. Wilmington
Starting Pitcher: Zimmermann 2IP 2H 0R 0BB 0K
Pitching Star: Alaniz 6IP 3H 2R 0ER 1BB 5K
Hitting Star #1: Norris 1-3, 2B, BB, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Lombardozzi 1-3, 2R, 2B, RBI
Notes: See Sue’s take in Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns L, 4-2 @ Lakewood
Starting Pitcher: Rosenbaum (L, 1-5) 6⅔ IP 7H 3R 1ER 3BB 6K  
Pitching Star: Morrison 1⅓ IP 1H 1R 0ER 0BB 1K
Hitting Star # 1: Ramirez 2-4, R, 2B
Hitting Star # 2: Souza 2-4
Notes: Dan Rosenbaum’s hard luck continues, as he took his 5th loss last night thanks to two unearned runs. He still managed to record a quality start, going 6⅔ innings and allowing three runs overall on seven hits and three walks while striking out six. The Suns offense also struggled, scoring just two runs on eight hits and stranding nine runners. Neither team was a defensive stalwart; the Blue Claws committing four errors, the Suns three.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 8-1 @ Lowell
Starting Pitcher: McCatty (W, 1-1) 5IP 1H 0R 3BB 3K
Pitching Star: Eusebio 3IP 2H 1R 1ER 2BB 2K
Hitting Star # 1: King  3-5, R, 2B, 4RBI
Hitting Star # 2: Moldenhauer 1-4, R, BB, HR, RBI
Notes: The Lake Monsters remain red hot, taking their 7th straight last night against the Lowell Spinners 8-1. Vermont’s pitching staff kept Lowell batters quiet throughout this one. Starter Shane McCatty went five innings giving up only one hit and three walks with three strikeouts in this one. The Spinners moundsmen weren’t so efficient, walking six to enable the Lake Monsters to score eight times on eight hits, though that included two doubles and a home run.

GCL Nationals L, 2-1 vs. GCL Astros
Starter/Pitching Star: A.J. Morris 4IP 1H 0R 0BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Jeremy Mayo 2-4, R
Hitting Star #2: Angel Montilla 2-4
Notes: It was a good old-fashioned pitchers’ duel in Viera, with a dozen doughnuts on the scoreboard before the GCL Astros pushed across a run in the top of the seventh. They would add another in the ninth to make it 2-0 before the G-Nats would stage a two-out rally to pull within one, but that would be the final: GCL Astros 2, GCL Nationals 1. Rehabbing A.J. Morris went four innings and allowed just one hit while striking out three.

DSL Nationals W, 10-1 @ DSL Cubs2 [Box score not available on]
Starter/Pitching Star: Silvio Medina (W, 2-2) 6IP 5H 0R 2BB 4K
Hitting Star #1: Edgar Gonzalez 2-6, R, 2B; OF assist
Hitting Star #2: Nelalexfred Ortega 2-6, R, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Bienvenido Valdez 3-6, R, RBI
Notes: After taking a 16-2 beating on Friday, the DSL Nationals put the boot to the head of the DSL Cubs2 by a 10-1 count. The top third of the order went 7-for-18 combined, while starting pitcher Silvio Medina tossed six scoreless innings to even his record at 2-2.

Last Night In Woodbridge

’08 teammates Zimmermann and Alaniz combine for eight strong innings to down the Blue Rocks 4-2

The Potomac Nationals returned home last night to host the Wilmington Blue Rocks for their traditional cash cow 4th of July festivities and sent the reported crowd of 5,908 home happy with a 4-2 win.

Jordan Zimmermann returned to Woodbridge for the first time since early 2008, pitching two scoreless innings in a rehab start from last year’s Tommy John surgery. The surprise #5 starter in the ’09 Washington rotation threw 25 pitches, 16 for strikes. His velocity appeared fine, but his location was a little lacking.

Zimmermann was quoted by Robert Daski in the News & Messenger as believing that he’ll be with the team for a total of three or four appearances, which would have him pitching on the road in Frederick and against Salem in Boston, then again in Woodbridge against the Kinston Indians on Wednesday, July 14th.

Adrian Alaniz, a teammate of Zimmermann’s in ’08 at Potomac, followed the righthander with six solid innings of relief, allowing just two unearned runs on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts.

The offense would leverage the mistakes of the Wilmington Blue Rocks pitchers to score a pair of runs in the third, with Dan Lyons and Steve Lombardozzi drawing walks and Derek Norris driving them in with a double over the head of the centerfielder to take a 2-0 lead.

They would take advantage of poor Blue Rocks defense in the fifth. With a runner on first and one out, Lombardozzi would lay down a bunt to the third baseman, who threw wide of first, enabling the runner to score and Lombardozzi to take second. After a passed ball and a walk, Mike Burgess bounced a hard grounder over the Wilmington first baseman for an RBI single that would give the PNats a 4-1 lead.

They would return the favor for the game’s final run in the top of the 8th as a two-out error and triple broke up a streak of eight batters set down by Alaniz, but Zach Dials snuffed any hopes of a comeback by striking out the side in the 9th to earn the save.

With the win, Potomac improves to 4-5 in the second half, 1½ games behind Wilmington and Frederick for the Northern Division lead. The two teams will meet again tonight, with Marcos Frias taking the hill for the PNats against John Lamb for the Blue Rocks.

Friday’s News and Notes

News & Notes from Friday’s action in the Nats minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 7-0 @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre,
7:05 p.m.
Shairon Martis (5-5, 4.07) vs.
Zach McAllister (6-5, 4.24)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 7-2 @ Trenton, 7:05 p.m. Aaron Thompson (4-9, 5.63) vs.
D.J. Mitchell (6-3, 4.70)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 4-2 vs. Wilmington, 6:35 p.m. Jordan Zimmermann (rehab) vs.
Buddy Baumann (2-0, 1.97)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 8-7 (10 inn.) @ Lakewood, 11:05 a.m. Dan Rosenbaum (1-4, 2.14) vs.
Joshua Zeid (5-2, 3.07)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 7-3 @ Lowell, 5:05 p.m. Shane McCatty (0-1, 5.40) vs.
Roman Mendez (1-2, 6.55)
GCL Nationals Suspended vs.
GCL Mets
vs. GCL Astros, 12:00 p.m. Tyler Hanks (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Francis Ramirez(1-0, 2.70)
DSL Nationals Lost, 16-2
vs. DSL Giants
@ DSL Cubs2, 10:30 a.m. Silvio Medina (1-2, 3.33) vs.
Amaury Paulino (1-0, 0.84)

Syracuse Chiefs W, 7-0 vs. Lehigh Valley
Starter/Pitching Star: Jones (W, 1-2) 8IP 1H 0R 0BB 4K
Hitting Star # 1: Mench 2-3, 1R,1-2B, 1HR, 2RBI, 1BB
Hitting Star # 2: Botts  2-4, 1R, 1-2B, 2RBI,
Notes: Syracuse had control of this one all the way to the end, starting pitcher Jason Jones did an amazing job, pitching eight scoreless innings while giving up just one hit, no walks and striking out four. The Chiefs began their scoring in the top of the 1st with one run and added two in the 4th, three more in the 8th and one more in the 9th to sweeten the win all the more as they cruised to the 7-0 victory.

Harrisburg Senators L, 7-2 vs. Trenton
Starting Pitcher: Kown (L, 2-4) 2⅓ IP 6H 7R 7ER 3BB 3K 1HR
Pitching Star: Spradlin 3⅔ IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star # 1: Martinez 2-4, R, SB
Hitting Star # 2: Lowrance 2-4
Notes: In this one, Harrisburg outhit Trenton but did not outscore them. The Sens kept the game scoreless until the bottom of the 3rd when the Thunder rolled, scoring a whopping seven runs. Harrisburg was able to score two runs, one in the 5th and one in the 8th to make this one look less of a blow out. Starter Andrew Kown went 2⅓ innings giving up six hits, all seven runs, three walks and one home run.

Potomac Nationals L, 4-2 @ Winston-Salem
Starter/Pitching Star: Holder (ND) 5⅓ IP 6H 1R 1ER 0BB 3K
Pyrotechnician: VanAllen (BS, 3; L, 1-3) ⅔ IP 3H 2R 2ER 0BB 0K 0HR WP 1-1 IR-S
Hitting Star #1: Rhinehart 1-3, R, 2B
Hitting Star #2: Burgess 1-4, R, HR, RBI
Notes: Trevor Holder pitched into the sixth with a 1-0 lead, but reliever Cory VanAllen was a welcome sight to the Dash batters, who uncorked a wild pitch and gave up a single and double before retiring a batter. The Dash would go up 3-1 before Mike Burgess answered with a solo home run in the top of the seventh to make it 3-2. Back-to-back two-out doubles in the bottom half of the seventh gave Winston-Salem the insurance run for a 4-2 win.

Hagerstown Suns L, 8-7 @ Lakewood (10 Innings)
Starting Pitcher: Smoker (ND) 4IP 6H 5ER 4BB 3K
Pitching Star: Erb 2IP 1H 0R 0BB 1K
Reversion To The Mean: Garcia (L, 1-1) 4BF 3H 1R 1ER 1BB 0K
Hitting Star # 1: Kobernus 2-3, 2BB, 2RBI
Hitting Star # 2: Nieto 2-3, R, BB, RBI
Notes: Lakewood started the scoring with one in the 1st and added four more in the bottom of the 2nd. Hagerstown answered with six of their own scoring two runs in each of the 4th, 5th and 6th innings. Lakewood wouldn’t stay down though as they added another run in the 5th to put them back on even ground. The Suns regained the lead in the 8th at 7-6. A throwing error on a steal of second set up a sac fly to enable Lakewood to, um, claw back to even at 7-7. Luis Garcia did not retire a batter in the tenth, as all four batters he faced reached base for the 8-7 walkoff win.

Vermont Lake Monsters, W, 7-3 vs. Lowell
Starting Pitcher: McKenzie 4IP 3H 2R 2ER 1BB 2K
Pitching Star: Graham (W, 1-0) 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Freitas 2-5, BB, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Moore 2-3, 2B, 2BB, RBI
Notes:  Despite Lowell taking an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first, Vermont bounced back and fought hard to earn a 7-3 victory. McKenzie got the no-decision, going four complete innings, allowing two runs off three hits and a walk. He also struck out two. Ben Graham got the win, pitching two scoreless innings, allowing only one base runner via a walk. David Freitas and Wade Moore were the players of the games, going collectively 4-8, with three BBs and three RBIs.

GCL Nationals vs. GCL Mets — Suspended
Notes: The two teams will finish things when they next meet on July 7th.

DSL Nationals L, 16-2 vs. DSL Giants
Starting Pitcher: “Slim” Diaz (L, 2-3) 3⅓ IP 5H 5R 4ER 1BB 4K
Pitching Star: None
Hitting Star: Jean Valdez 2-2, R, 2B
Notes: An eight-run sixth turned a 6-1 beating into a 14-1 laugher as the DSL Nationals eventually fell 16-2. D-Nats pitchers amazingly only gave up four extra-base hits, but perhaps that was the shock of D-Giants seeing the ball over the plate as they also walked ten batters.

Halfway There… Hagerstown Edition

A look at the Suns at the midway point of the 2010 campaign

The Potomac edition was lost in the changeover, but here’s our Hagerstown guy’s report on the Suns. And don’t forget to visit his blog Musings about Sports and other important items

Former Suns

Trevor Holder (23)
Holder walks few, but seems to be right off the non-Strasburg Washington template: college pitcher, good control, average velocity. Nothing special, nothing negative to say either. If he can keep the level of control as he moves up, I can see him as maybe a 4 or 5 starter…

Jack McGeary (21)
McGeary was starting to show signs of removing the rust from not pitching in 2008. Two bad outings inflated his numbers, but his curve was so much better than 2009 that it looked like a different pitcher. Tommy John surgery ends his 2010 season and leaves unanswered questions.

Glenn Gibson (22)
Once touted prospect has good K numbers, but the fastball was all too often straight and fat and the 8+ ERA was the expected result.

Suns Pitchers

Paul Applebee (22)
Fringy stuff limits the ceiling.

Patrick Arnold (21)
Could be a late bloomer, but seems to be stuck in no man’s land between hard thrower and sharp control pitcher

Mitchell Clegg (23)
Nice numbers,but misses few bats.Looks like long relief is his best role long term

Paul Demny (20)
Ranges from dominant to dominated.Either strikes out a lot or very few. Has shown enough flashes to be intriguing and stay on the radar.

Shane Erb (23)
Hittable and walking batters is no way to go through life, son

Luis Garcia (23)
Almost unhittable in his last five outings, Garcia was awful at Potomac. [Ed. note: “Awful” is kind]

Kyle Morrison (23)
His nice strikeout numbers (52 K in 43 innings) give me hope for him despite having pedestrian stats otherwise.

Daniel Rosenbaum (22)
Pitch-to-contact lefty, throws strikes and keeps the ball down. Poor run support is the reason for the bad W/L numbers.

Josh Smoker (21)
Horrible numbers, but occasionally fires a game that is interesting enough to make you think that he is turning things around. A 2011 return to Hagerstown might be what he needs for a full comeback.

Wanel Vasquez (23)
Ummm, no.

Dean Weaver (22)
Doesn’t throw as hard as his body frame indicates that he should, but looks solid enough as a bullpen arm that moves through the system

Rob Wort (21)
Worth following as a sleeper, strikes out more than a man an inning and has been used some as a closer.

Graham Hicks (20)
If he adds some velocity when he fills out, could be a sleeper. Not a power arm, but has nice control.

Suns Hitters

Justin Bloxom (22)
A blistering June puts Bloxom on the radar screen, but all of his homers came in June as well. I have seen this film before with Bill Rhinehart and Tyler Moore, so I’m not too excited yet.

Jeff Kobernus (22)
For a guy with zero homers, I think Kobernus will develop power. Bigger question is health: He strikes me as having the body type of a player that will struggle a lot with hamstring/leg injuries

Sean Nicol (23, DL)
Nicol looks to me to be an organizational soldier type, I just don’t see him hitting enough as the competition increases.

Francisco Soriano (23)
Think Michael Martinez with a little more speed and a hair more pop. Where’s Martinez? There’s your answer. Versatility will help him move up, much as it has Martinez.

Brett Newsome (23)
Not enough playing time for this soon-to-be 24-year-old. If you cannot find it here, then where?

Justino Cuevas (21)
Zero pop + average speed = non-prospect

Steven Souza (21)
A bad June balances out a May that showed hopeful signs. Power is up this season as is RBI (season total to date higher than all of last season), but I just am uneasy about hitching to this wagon as a prospect. I still think that he could be the type of player that will play better against higher levels of competition.

Sandy Leon (21)
Leon is a solid defensive catcher with little power. I see him as similar to the Jhonathan Solano’s that move up and down the system according to need. One of those types eventually make it as the big league backup, but none are real prospects.

Adrian Nieto (20)
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the season. Some is not Nieto’s fault as Sandy Leon has gotten the lion’s share of playing time, to my surprise. Nieto has yet to hit a homer as a professional and isn’t strong enough defensively to overcome the lack of a bat. I do think he has room to improve and I like his arm as a plus feature. Nieto was thought to be a good hitting catcher coming into the ’08 draft, but his swing seems to be slower than I expected.

J.R. Higley (22)
Love the arm and defensive skills,but the bat has struggled. Higley has some power and I think he gains more as his body fills in. Upside: 4th outfielder with some power

Destin Hood (20)
Athletic and will develop more power,Hood looks to me to be the best position hope on this team. He has good speed, but has been caught stealing six of eight tries. The fix could be as simple as some extra instruction. Good enough defensively, but he won’t have the power of Michael Burgess, though I like him more as an all around player.

Eury Perez (20)
Speed to burn, but bad breaks in the outfield and an average (to be generous) arm make me wonder what the hype from the fans is all about. Perez’s game (and future) will be all about his plate contact. Maybe he can be Nyjer Morgan but he could also be Pedro Powell. Either way, I think he was overrated before the season.

J.P.Ramirez (20)
Love the power. Take that away and you have an organizational soldier. Defensively, he can only be a left fielder in the National League and even then, he is below-average with the arm and leather. Ramirez is vulnerable to gas high and junk low, but the bat gives you hope and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see Ramirez mature his plate discipline and be sent to an AL team in a few years.

Good, Bad, Interesting… Vol. 12

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

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

46-36, 2nd place IL North, ½ game back

Good Shairon Martis, 5-3, 3.44ERA since May (0-2, 6.75 in April)
Bad Chase Lambin, Syracuse All-Star (DOB: 7/7/79)
Interesting Whiting .270 BA, .397 OBP 12 steals in 31 games; .253 BA / .352 OBP in last three seasons at A+

38-42, 4th place, 13½ games behind

Good Rafael Martin 1-1, 2.16ERA. 1.02WHIP in June
Bad Danny Espinosa 70K in 71G, 34K in June
Interesting Edgardo Baez .301/.366/.377; .254/.314/.406 in ’09

3-4 2nd Half; 34-43 Overall

Good Patrick McCoy 1-1, 1.98ERA, 1.17WHIP in June
Bad Michael Burgess .183/.280/.312 in June; .313/.394/.509 in May
Interesting N/A

3-5 2nd Half; 39-39 Overall

Good J.P. Ramirez .322/.361/.467 in June; .228/.283/.402 in May
Bad Shane Erb 22R, 20BB, 31H in 22G (5.20ERA, 1.87WHIP)
Interesting Luis Garcia 1-0, 2.13ERA since demotion; 0-0, 10.38ERA at Potomac

11-3, 1st Place Stedler Division of NY-Penn League

Good Matt Swynenburg 2-0, 0.56ERA, 0.56WHIP in 3 starts
Bad Wilson Eusebio 8BB in 8⅓ IP
Interesting Marcus Jones .289/.341/.553 in 11G; .210/.248/.280 for Hagerstown in 28G

2-6, 5th place GCL East Division

Good Adrian Sanchez .424/.457/.606
Bad Estarlin Martinez 10K in 19AB
Interesting N/A

16-13, 4th place B.C. South Division

Good Bienvenido Valdez .288/.374/.438
Bad Yamaicol Tejeda 1-for-20 with 8K
Interesting Nelalexfred Ortega 7E, 12SB, 15BB, 14K in 26G

Thursday’s News and Notes

Six wins against one loss in Nats’ minors on Thursday

Best wishes to our foreign correspondent, who’s off today celebrating Canada Day.

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 4-2 @ Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m. Jason Jones (0-2, 6.75) vs.
Brian Mazone (5-7, 3.68)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 4-1 @ Trenton, 7:05 p.m. Andrew Kown (2-3, 3.77) vs.
Lance Pendleton (6-3, 3.70)
Potomac Nationals Won, 5-2 @ Winston-Salem, 7:00 p.m. Trevor Holder (0-1, 4.11) vs.
Terry Doyle (3-3, 3.81)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 6-4 @ Lakewood, 11:05 a.m. Josh Smoker (1-8, 6.88) vs.
Matt Way (7-4, 3.35)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 10-4 vs. Tri-City, 7:05 p.m. Chris McKenzie (1-0, 5.40) vs.
Hunter Cervenka (0-0, 1.08)
GCL Nationals Suspended vs.
GCL Cardinals
@ GCL Mets, 12:00 p.m. Kelvin Lopez (0-0, 4.00) vs.
Carlos Vazquez (1-0, 5.06)
DSL Nationals Won, 14-0; Won, 6-2
vs. DSL Orioles2
@ DSL Giants, 10:30 a.m. “Slim” Diaz (2-2, 3.13) vs.
Luis Angeles (3-2, 1.71)

Syracuse Chiefs W, 4-2
Starter/Pitching Star #1: Mandel (W, 4-3) 7IP 10H 2R 2ER 0BB 7K
Pitching Star #2: Garate (SV, 1) 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Whiting 2-4, R, 2B, SB, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Botts 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
Notes: A two-run Chase Lambin got things started in the 1st while the Chiefs tacked on single runs in the 2nd and 5th innings to cruise to a 4-2 win over the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Starter Jeff Mandel went seven full innings, scattering 10 hits and allowing just two runs while striking out seven. Victor Garate finished the game with two scoreless innings for his first AAA save of ’10.

Harriburg Senators L, 4-1 @ Trenton
Starting Pitcher: Detwiler (L, 0-1) 4IP 5H 3R 3ER 2BB 4K
Pitching Star: Carr 3IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
Hitting Star: Pahuta 1-3, BB, RBI
Notes: Doubles with men on in both the first and second innings against Ross Detwiler put the Senators in a 3-0 hole that the offense couldn’t overcome, as Harrisburg lost 4-1. Eight different starters got a base hit, but just once consecutively, as Jesus Valdez get thrown out at home plate to limit the Sens to just one run.

Potomac Nationals W, 5-2 @ Winston-Salem
Starter/Pitching Star: Bronson (W, 3-5) 7IP 7H 2R 2ER 0BB 5K
Hitting Star #1: Johnson 1-4, R, BB, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Peacock 1-3, 2B, BB, SB
Notes: Potomac broke a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over Winston-Salem, collecting three triples among its seven hits. Speaking of seven, that’s how many innings starter Evan Bronson went in limiting the Carolina League’s top-scoring lineup to just two runs on seven hits and no walks. Veterans Zach Dials and Dan Leatherman followed Bronson for an inning apiece the hold and save, respectively.

Hagerstown Suns W, 6-4
Starting Pitcher: Hicks (ND) 6IP 7H 2R 1ER 0BB 3K
Pitching Star: Arnold (W, 2-2) 2IP 0H 0R 3BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Kobernus 3-5, 2R
Hitting Star #2: Bloxom 2-3, R, BB, RBI
Hitting Star #3: Hood 2-4, R, 2B, BB, RBI
Notes: A two-run ninth-inning rally put the brakes on a four-game skid as the Hagerstown Suns won 6-4 @ Lakewood. Brett Newsome delivered what turned out to be the gamewinner with a one-out double that sent Justin Bloxom and Destin Hood homeward bound. Starter Graham Hicks left in a position to win after pitching six innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. No soup for Wanel Vasquez, who coughed up a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to allow the BlueClaws to tie the game at 4-4.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 10-4
Starting Pitcher: Hansen 5IP 3H 1R 1ER 1BB 2K
Pitching Star: Herrera 2IP 2H 1R 1ER 1BB 4K
Hitting Star #1: Jones 2-5, 2R, 2HR, 6RBI
Hitting Star #2: Moore 2-3, 2R, SB, 2BB, RBI
Hitting Star #3: Freitas 2-5, 2R, 2B
Notes: It was the Marcus Jones show in Burlington, as the DC native connected twice for a three-run home run to pace the Lake Monsters to a 10-4 win, Vermont’s fifth straight. Starter Bobby Hansen picked up the win with five innings pitched and one run allowed on three hits.

GCL Nationals vs. GCL Cardinals, Suspended (Rain)
Notes: The game will be resumed on July 6th, with the GCL Nationals leading the GCL Cardinals 3-0

DSL Nationals W, 14-0 vs. DSL Orioles2 (G1)
Starter/Pitching Star: Wirkin Estevez (W, 3-2) 5IP 4H 0R 0BB 8K
Hitting Star #1: Bienvenido Valdez 3-5, R, SB, 3RBI
Hitting Star #2: Jean Valdez 2-3, 2R, BB, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #3: Victor Chavez 1-3, R, BB, 2RBI
Notes: Six errors enabled the DSL Nationals to score two touchdowns and two extra points 14 runs on just 10 hits as the DSL Nationals pummeled the DSL Orioles2 by a 14-0 count. Starter Wirkin Estevez pitched five scoreless innings and struck out eight.

DSL Nationals W, 6-2 vs. DSL Orioles2 (G2)
Starting Pitcher: Anthony Marcelino (ND) 4IP 1H 1R 1ER 2BB 2K
Pitching Star: Wander Suero (W, 1-2) 2IP 2H 1R 1ER 0BB 4K 1HR
Hitting Star #1: Jose Arismendy 1-2, BB, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Yamaicol Tejeda 1-1, R, 2BB, 2SB
Hitting Star #3: Nelalexfred Ortega 1-2, 2R, 3SB, RBI
Notes: The D-Nats went to town on the Orioles2 battery, stealing six bases with just one pickoff en route to a 6-2 win. The D-Birds also committed another three errors, making that nine on the day, as the DNats plated six runs on just five hits.

Wednesday’s News and Notes

Vermont sweeps to highlight the Nats Minors on Wednesday

Syracuse Chiefs L, 9-4 @ Buffalo               
Starting Pitcher: Chico (L, 3-4) 4⅔ IP 10H 8R 6ER 3BB 4K 1HR
Pitching Star:  Severino 1⅓ IP 0H 0R 1BB
Hitting Star #1: Maxwell 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Orr 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
Notes: Padilla, with two doubles and four RBI’s helped Buffalo defeat the Chiefs by a score of 9-4. Matt Chico took his 4th loss, pitching 4⅔ innings, allowing a whopping eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits and three walks. Justin Maxwell was the Chief’s offensive player of the game, going 2-4 and scoring 2 runs

Harrisburg Senators L, 7-4 @ Portland
Starting Pitcher: Lannan (L, 1-1) 6IP 10H 6R 6ER 2BB 1K
Pitching Star: Kimball ⅔ IP 0H 0R 1BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Coon 2-5, R, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Baez 2-4, 2B, 2RBI
Notes:  Lannan, preparing to return back to Washington, took his first AA loss, going six complete innings, and allowing six earned runs on 10 hits and two walks. Harrisburg got on the board early, scoring first in the 2nd inning with a pair and another run in the 3rd thanks Coon’s 5th homerun of the season, but unfortunately, they did not score last as Portland scored two in the 3rd, four in the 5th, and a final run in the eighth inning.

Potomac Nationals L, 4-2 @ Winston-Salem
Starting Pitcher: Peacock (L, 2-9) 4⅔ IP 5H 3R 3ER 3BB 2K 1HR
Pitching Star: Dill 2IP 2H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star: Johnson 2-3, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
Notes: A three-run fifth proved to be too much for the PNats to overcome, as the Winston-Salem Dash took game one of the three-game series by a score of 4-2. Starter Brad Peacock took his 9th loss, going 4⅔ innings and allowing three runs on five hits, including a home run.

Hagerstown Suns L, 3-2 @ Lakewood
Starting Pitcher: Clegg 5⅔IP 5H 2R 2ER 2BB 3K
Pitching Star: Garcia 1⅓ IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Bloxom 1-4, R, BB
Hitting Star #2: Ramirez 1-3
Notes: Hagerstown got on the board early with one run in the top of the 1st and was hoping to build on that lead. But Lakewood had other plans as they scored two runs of their own in the bottom of the 6th inning. Hagerstown then proceeded to tie things up in the next inning thanks to a Bloxom solo homer  and was hoping to score more, but it remained tied until the 9th. In the bottom of the 9th Lakewood was able to score the winning run as they downed the Suns 3-2. Starting pitcher Mitchell Clegg pitched 5⅔ innings giving up only five hits, two runs and two walks with the loss.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 8-0 vs. Tri-City
Starting Pitcher: Swynenberg (W, 2-0) 6IP 3H 0ER 2K (ERA 0.56) (16 innings = 1 earned run)
Pitching Star:  Bates (S, 2) 3IP 1H 0R 1BB 4K
Hitting Star #1: Moldenhauer 2-4, 2R, BB, 2HR, 3RBI
Hitting Star #2: Miller 1-3, R, BB, HR, 3RBI
Notes:  Home runs and excellent pitching from Vermont proved to be the difference in the game as the Lake Monsters defeated Tri-City by a score of 8-0. Swynenberg earned his 2nd win, going six complete innings, allowing only three hits while walking none. So far this season, in 16 innings, he has only allowed one earned run. Bates replaced him in the 7th and completed the game, allowing only one hit and one walk. Moldenhauer had a great game at the plate, going 2-4.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY

DSL Nationals W, 3-2 @ DSL Phillies
Starter/Pitching Star: Antonio Guzman (W, 2-2) 7+IP 2H 2R 2ER 1BB 4K
Hitting Star: Bill Pena 2-4, R, RBI
Notes: Inocencio Guzman nearly blew a 3-0 lead, but got through the 8th with lead intact at 3-2 and pitched a scoreless ninth to get the save. Starter Antonio Guzman went seven-plus and allowed just two hits to even his record at 2-2. Catcher Bill Pena led the offense with a 2-for-4 game.