Thursday’s News & Notes

The “A” teams both split a doubleheader

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-2 @ Durham,
10:35 a.m.
Hill (1-1, 7.04) vs.
Ames (0-0, 2.89)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-2 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Lost, 5-2;
Won, 11-3
vs. Frederick,
7:05 p.m.
Rodriguez (1-1, 5.63)
Alvarado (1-2, 10.80)
Hagerstown Lost, 1-0;
Won, 4-1
@ Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Bourque (0-0, 0.93) vs.
Davila (1-0, 4.76)

Durham 5 Syracuse 2
• Voth (L, 1-2) 4⅔ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 5BB, 1K, WP
• Adams 1⅓ IP, 1H, R, ER, BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Skole 1-4, R, HR, RBI, 2K
• Sanchez 1-2, R, 2B, BB

Syracuse fell back below .500 with a 5-2 loss to Durham. Austin Voth couldn’t go five innings, as he was knocked from the box after three runs in on five hits and five walks over four and 2/3rds innings. Austin Adams stranded two but saw his streak of scoreless appearances snapped with a run in the 6th. Matt Skole went deep for the fourth time with solo shot in the 6th while Adrian Sanchez walked and doubled to lead the Chief’s six-hit, one-walk offense. Roster move: Recalled LHP Matt Grace to Washington.

Reading 4 Harrisburg 2
• Fedde (L, 1-2) 7IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 5K, 2HR
• Orlan 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Ward 1-3, R, HR, RBI, BB
• Stevenson 1-3, R, 3B, BB

Erick Fedde was dinged for all four runs on two homers in a 4-2 Sens loss to the Fightins. The Nats top pitching prospect went seven innings and gave up four hits and two walks as he lost for the second time. Wander Suero and R.C. Orlan followed with a scoreless inning apiece. Andrew Stevenson walked and tripled while Drew Ward walked and homered as Harrisburg collected seven hits on the night.

Frederick 5 Potomac 2 – GAME ONE
• Reyes (L, 1-3) 6IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 6K, HR, WP
• Held 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Gutierrez 0-0, R, 4BB
• Gushue 1-2, 2BB, RBI

Frederick tried all they could to give this game away with nine walks in seven inning, but Potomac was a bit too gracious as they went 0-for-11 with RISP and lost the opener, 5-2. Luis Reyes allowed all five Keys runs on six hit and two walks over six innings while notching his third “L.” Sam Held pitched a scoreless 7th to close it out. Kelvin Gutierrez drew four walks in four PAs while Taylor Gushue drew two and went 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI but the P-Nats managed just five hits total.

Potomac 11 Frederick 3 – GAME TWO
• Silvestre (W, 3-0) 6⅔ IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K
• R. Pena ⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K, 1-1 IR-S
• Davidson 2-3, 3R, 2HR, 5RBI
• Gutierrez 2-3, R, HR, BB, RBI
• Lora 3-3, R, 2B

In Game Two, the P-Nats went from zed to Marcellus as they went medieval on Keys’ pitching with four HRs in an 11-3 demolition to split the doubleheader. Hector Silvestre came one out short of tossing a complete game, charged with all three Frederick runs on six hits over six and 2/3rds innings. He walked none and struck out three. Ronald Pena let in one inherited runner while getting the final out. Austin Davidson kicked off the barrage with a two-run shot in the 1st and closed it out with an Earl Weaver special. In between, Ian Sagdal went back-to-back with opposite-field HRs (grand slam for Sagdal) in a five-run 2nd. Edwin Lora led the 11-hit parade with two singles and a double.

Kannapolis 1 Hagerstown 0 – GAME ONE
• Sharp (L, 0-1) 6IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 8K, HR
• Y. Ramirez 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Banks 1-2, SB
• La Bruna 1-2

Sterling Sharp made one mistake as he was outdueled by former Nats farmhand Dane Dunning in a 1-0 Hagerstown loss to Kannapolis. A two-out solo HR was the game-winner off Sharp, who fanned eight, walked non, and gave up two hits total over six innings. Yonathan Ramirez tossed a scoreless inning to close it out. Nick Banks and Angelo La Bruna both singled while Tres Barrera walked to account for the three Suns baserunners allowed by the Dunning.

Hagerstown 4 Kannapolis 1 – GAME TWO
• M. Mills (W, 3-1) 5⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 6K, 3HBP, WP
• J. Mills (SV, 2) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, WP, 1-1 IR-S
• Franco 1-2, 2R, BB
• Tillero 2-3, 2-2B, 3RBI

The Suns got a run of the Mills pitching performance in the second game as the Intimidators fell, 4-1. McKenzie got the start, the win and was charged with the Kannapolis run on two hits and three hit batsman over five and 2/3rds innings. Jordan got the save and allowed his inherited runner to score over the final inning and a 1/3rd on one hit and no walks. Jorge Tillero doubled twice and drove in three to lead the Hagerstown attack.

Friday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 1-0
(7 inn.); PPD
vs. Norfolk,
6:35 p.m.
Voth (0-1, 12.79) vs.
Wright, M (0-1, 7.71)
Harrisburg Lost, 1-0 vs. Bowie,
7:00 p.m.
Williams (1-1, 4.09) vs.
Scott (0-0, 1.50)
Potomac Won, 8-2 @ Lynchburg,
6:30 p.m.
Baez (0-1, 7.88) vs.
Chiang (1-1, 1.46)
Hagerstown Suspended,
0-0 (Top 2nd)
vs. Delmarva,
3:35 p.m.
C. Pena (1-0, 4.00) vs.
Humpal (0-1, 2.65)

Syracuse 1 Toledo 0
• J. Turner 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Antolin (W, 2-1) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Bautista 2-3, R, CS
• Snyder 1-3, RBI, SB

A quintet of Syracuse pitchers made Brandon Snyder’s RBI single in the 1st stand up for 1-0 win in seven innings. Jacob Turner got the start and went an inning and 2/3rds with one hit allowed and two whiffs. Dustin Antolin followed with two scoreless for the win, Matt Grace got four outs for a hold, Trevor Gott pitched the 6th for a hold, and Austin Adams worked around a walk in the 7th for the save. Rafael Bautista singled twice and scored the lone run. Joey Butler got the fourth Syracuse hit. Rain postponed the second game until Monday, August 7th.

Hartford 1 Harrisburg 0
• Fedde (L, 1-1) 7IP, 5H, R, ER, 3BB, 8K; 1-2
• Lara 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• S. Kieboom 1-3
• Ward 1-4
The Yard Goats’ Yency Almonte outdueled Erick Fedde for 1 -0 shutout of the Senators. Fedde gave up the lone Hartford run on five hits and three walks over seven innings while striking out eight. Braulio Lara followed with two scoreless innings with one hit and one whiff. Harrisburg managed just five singles and one walk while striking out twelve times with no batter reaching base twice.

Potomac 8 Lynchburg 2
• Rodriguez (W, 1-1) 6IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 8K
• Schepel (SV, 1) 3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Lora 2-3, 3R, 2B, SB
• Davidson 2-5, 2B, 5RBI, CS
• Agustin 1-3, SAC, 2R, 2B, 3RBI, SB

Austin Davidson drove in five while Jefry Rodriguez tossed six strong innings as Potomac beat Lynchburg, 8-2. Davidson connected for a three-run double in the 3rd, and a two-run single in the 9th as the P-Nats made the most of nine hits and three walks, with a little “help” from two Hillcats errors. Rodriguez gave up both Lynchburg runs on seven hits over six innings. He walked none and struck out eight while winning his first game. Kyle Schepel closed it out with three scoreless innings for the save, his first of the season. Roster move: OF Victor Robles placed on the 7-Day DL, retroactive to April 19; LHPs Taylor Guilbeau, Grant Borne reassigned to Auburn; RHPs Jorge Pantoja, Sam Held reassigned from Hagerstown; OF Jack Sundberg assigned from Extended Spring Training.

Hagerstown 0 Delmarva 0 – SUSP.
Thunder and lightning stopped the Suns-Shorebirds game with two outs in the top 2nd and a score—which a game always has—of 0-0. They’ll try to complete this one to nine innings this afternoon, then play a seven-inning game afterwards. Roster move: LHP David Ramos, RHP Steven Fuentes assigned from Extended Spring Training.

Wednesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 3-2 vs. Toledo,
1:05 p.m.
J. Turner (0-0, 3.12) vs.
C. Bell (0-1, 1.69)
Harrisburg Won, 9-2 @ Hartford,
7:05 p.m.
Fedde (1-0, 0.00)
Almonte (0-0, 2.53)
Potomac Lost, 3-0;
Won, 6-0
vs. Down East,
10:35 a.m.
Silvestre (1-0, 6.30) vs.
Payano (0-0, 2.79)
Hagerstown Won, 6-4 @ Lakewood,
11:05 a.m.
M. Mills (1-1, 3.60)
S. Sanchez (0-1, 4.66)

Syracuse 3 Toledo 2
• Cole 5⅓ IP, 8H, 2R, 2ER, BB, K
• Gott (W, 1-0) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Joseph 2-3
• Sanchez 2-3, R, 2B

Adrian Sanchez doubled and scored on an error in the 8th as Syracuse edged Toledo, 3-2 in the series opener. A.J. Cole kept the ball in the yard, scattering eight hits over five and a 1/3rd innings for both Mud Hens runs. He walked one and struck out one. Trevor Gott was the winning pitcher while Rafael Martin earned the save; both pitched a scoreless inning in the 8th and 9th innings, respectively. Sanchez and Corban Joseph both went 2-for-3 to lead the Chiefs’ nine-hit offense, which also struck out 12 times.

Harrisburg 9 Hartford 2
• Long (W, 2-1) 7IP, 5H, R, ER, BB, 5K
• Valdez 2IP, 1H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Stevenson 5-5, 2R, 2-2B, 2RBI
• Lisson 2-5, 2R, HR, 4RBI

The Senators broke out for five in the 3rd then added two-spots in the 4th and 5th as the Senators railroaded the Yard Goats, 9-2. Andrew Stevenson singled three times and doubled twice for his second straight five-hit game, pushing his BA to .447 – second-best in the E.L. Jaron Long won for the second time in three starts, giving up just one run over seven innings on five hits and a walk. Mario Lisson’s grand slam started things off for Harrisburg’s 14-hit attack. Roster move: LHP R.C. Orlan reassigned from Potomac.

Down East 3 Potomac 0 – GAME ONE
• Reyes (L, 1-2) 5IP, 9H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Mayberry 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Sagdal 2-3
• Wiseman 1-3, 2B

Potomac twice loaded the bases in the final two innings but came up short both times in a 3-0, five-hit shutout by a trio of Down East pitchers. P-Nats starter and losing pitcher Luis Reyes allowed all three Wood Ducks runs on nine hits and two walks. Whit Mayberry followed with two scoreless. Ian Sagdal went 2-for-3 and was the sole Potomac batter to reach base twice. Victor Robles made his first appearance in five days with two ABs and four defensive innings played. He was not injured nor was his replacement Telmito Agustin, who took over in centerfield and was a hit by pitch.

Potomac 6 Down East 0 – GAME TWO
• Crownover (W, 2-0) 5IP, 7H, 0R, BB, 4K
• R. Pena 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Mejia 2-3, 2B, BB
• Lowery 1-3, R, HR, 3RBI
• Lora 1-2, 2R, 2B, SB

Jake Lowery’s Earl Weaver special in the 2nd was more than enough for the P-Nats to return the favor and blank the Wood Ducks, 6-0 in the nightcap. Matt Crownover (5IP) and Ronald Pena (2IP) combined on the seven-hit shutout, with a walk and five K’s between the two pitchers. Bryan Mejia reached base three times with a double, single, and a walk while Austin Davidson capped off the scoring with a two-run single in the 6th. Roster move: RHP Gilberto Mendez assigned to Potomac from Extended Spring Training.

Hagerstown 6 Lakewood 4
• Sharp 6IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 6K
• VanVossen (W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 4K
• Barrera 2-4, R, 2B, 2K
• Perkins 2-5, 2R, RBI, SB, CS
• C. Kieboom 1-3, R, 2B, 2RBI

Carter Kieboom’s two-run double highlighted a three-run 9th as Hagerstown held on for 6-4 win over Lakewood. Sterling Sharp lived up to his surname with an unearned run on four hits, no walks, and six K’s over six innings. Kyle Simonds lost the 3-1 lead, which made Mick VanVossen the winnings pitcher as he closed out the game with one run allowed over two innings. Tres Barrera and Anderson Franco both went 2-for-4 with a run scored while Blake perkins scored twice on two singles in five trips to the plate to lead the Suns’ 10-hit parade. Roster move: LHP Yonathan Ramirez assigned from Auburn.

Nats Trade for Hard-Throwing Reliever

Out-of-options southpaw sometimes gets it over the plate, too

If you’re left-handed, you get more chances. If you throw hard, you get more chances. And if you’re both, well, someone might trade for you, as the Nats did yesterday when they dealt RHP Jeffrey De La Rosa to Tampa Bay for LHP Enny Romero.

Truth be told, the Nats got Romero for a song: De La Rosa has been old for the level at both stops in the DSL and GCL the past two seasons and was—at best—ticketed for a stop in the NYPL this season.

The Nats will try to leverage Romero’s 96.7mph average fastball while lowering his walk rate, which is daunting because the 26-y.o. has averaged 5.0 BB/9 in 80⅓ MLB innings and 4.4 in 698⅓ MiLB innings. He’s also given up nearly a hit per inning for his career (713 in 810⅔IP).

If it works out, the Nats will have perhaps as many as three lefties for manager Dusty Baker to abuse out of the ‘pen. If it doesn’t, Romero could be the next Henry Rodriguez.

The gamble does also come at the cost of a 40-man slot and GM Mike Rizzo’s ego. The former will make it less likely for anyone not already on the 40-man roster to make the Opening Day roster. The latter will make it more likely that Romero will be held onto for far, far longer than he deserves (see two sentences ago).

Transaction Update

Back to the offseason grind, where we pass along the signings of journeymen with non-roster invitations and pretend that it’s meaningful:

• RHP Matt Albers
• RHP Joe Nathan
• RHP Vance Worley
• 2B Grant Green

[Crash Davis] They’re just happy to have the opportunity to see if they can help this ballclub win, and if they can’t make the Opening Day Roster, showcase themselves to the other 29 teams. [/Crash Davis]

Transaction Update

Yes, it’s so slow that we’re doing back-to-back transaction posts. Yesterday, the folks at Baseball America posted their latest, which contained two signings for the Nationals:

LHP Jordan Mills – It’s no secret that the Nats are loading up on lefties. What’s not clear is why Mills was cut loose by the Astros after a single season at High-A in which he posted a line of 3.81/5.16/1.77 in the notoriously hitter-friendly California Lg. Last summer, he pitched in the Can-Am Lg. with good nos. 6-0, 1.96 in 44 appearances (which is a lot considering it’s a ~90-game season).

IF-OF Mario Lisson – Lisson, who split time between Harrisburg and Syracuse in 2015, returns to the Nationals after spending 2016 in Mexican League. He turns 33 in May, so it’s pretty clear he’s a roster-filler first and an emergency fill-in second.

A Few More Minor-League Signs

minor leagues signs 2Baseball America released its latest transaction post, and with it comes a few more signings:

LHP Neal Cotts
Irving Falu
Alex Santana

Cotts and Falu are the classic minor-league deals with a non-roster invite to spring training, i.e. longshots who will most likely get mentioned here again when they are released in about eight weeks. They are insurance policies against injuries and folks to push the backups along with the younger players in camp.

It should come as no surprise to learn that Santana is the son of a former major-leaguer (Rafael), continuing the fetish fascination with legacy players. Santana was released at the end of spring training in 2016 by the Dodgers, who drafted him in the 2nd Rd. of the 2011 Draft. He had risen as high as Low-A, but despite his 6’4″, 200-lb size slugged just .324 in 64G at the level in 2015. He did not play professionally last summer, in which he turned 23.

Bak

Transaction Update

As expected, the post to refresh the site came a few hours too early, as Baseball America released its first transaction post of 2017.

Four pitchers were listed, three of which were not previously reported:

• RHP Pedro Gonzalez
LHP Josh Outman
LHP Stone Speer

It’s not clear which Pedro Gonzalez was signed, as there are multiple candidates choose from when searching baseball-reference.com (none of the most likely candidates have been pitchers).

Outman, who was released by the Pirates organization last August, hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2014. He spent 2015 in the Braves organization, though shoulder soreness limited him to just 8⅔ innings and nine appearances. He pitched 105 innings last season combined, 85 as a starter for independent New Britain (Atlantic League), 20 as a reliever for AAA Indianapolis.

Speer also spent time in the indys in 2016, pitching 18 innings over 18 appearances for Sussex County of the Can-Am League after missing all of 2015 (unable to confirm surgery).

Nats Make Some Minor-League Signs

As noted yesterday, the latest BA transactions post—first in nearly two weeks—was published yesterday. Here are Washington’s signees:

• RHPs – Dustin Antolin, Derek Eitel
• LHPs – Yoan Aponte, Braulio Lara
• C’s – Brian Jeroloman, Adderling Ruiz
• 2B – Corban Joseph

Antolin, whose full name (Dustin Kamakana Mai Ku’u Makualani Antolin) makes for a difficult time at the DMV, Aponte and Eitel appear ticketed for Syracuse as inventory while little can be found on Aponte, which leads to the inference that he’s low-tier IFA.

Jeroloman and Ruiz are re-signs and will likely continue in their roles as player and player-coach, respectively. Jospeh spent 2016 with the Orioles organization as a stopgap at AA and AAA and will likely do the same for the Nationals in 2017

Nationals Trade Pedro Avila for Derek Norris

Derek Norris for NPPAs semi-predicted in the penultimate post, the Nats have begun the plug holes via the trade route with the acquisition of former farmhand C Derek Norris from San Diego for RHP Pedro Avila.

Norris, who was traded away nearly five years ago to Oakland, will most likely split time with Jose Lobaton while Pedro Severino becomes trade bait or insurance, given his age and option status.

Avila, 19, rose quickly through the Nationals farm system making the jump from the DSL in 2015 to Low-A in 2016. He went 5-5 with 2.91 ERA in the first half, but 2-2, 4.18 in the second half, which is not uncommon for young pitchers in their first full season. The Venezueln teenager had been rated as the #23 prospect in the most recent listing by the MLB.com.