AA – Hussey, Kandilas, Kennelly, Saupold, Welch

KennellyM17

Matt Kennelly hit safely in all 5 games this week.

San Antonio Missions’ John Hussey had 3 games out of the pen this week.  One was scoreless, one was a workmanlike outing when he allowed 1 run in 4 innings and struck out 5 and the third was a loss when he gave up 2 runs on 5 hits [1HR] over 3 innings.   His record now is 3-5 and 4.74ERA after 24 games.

David Kandilas has been sent back down to A ball with the Modesto Nuts but we thought we would list him here in AA for this week as this is where he played most of his games since our last report on him.  He played 17 games for the Tulsa Drillers but never quite settled in there going 11-62 [.177Avg].   On the plus side he did crank out 3 home runs, a triple and a couple of doubles in that time as well as 8RBI suggesting that he might get another look at AA before the season ends.   In his 3 games back at Modesto he went 3-9 with a RBI.   He is currently hitting .270 at A ball.

The Braves’ Matt Kennelly continues to impress and is on a 5 game hitting streak this week at Mississippi.  He is 8-23 [.348] and is hitting .304 for the season.  He is getting into a good number of games which suggests that the Braves like what he is doing.

Warwick Saupold collected his 5th win this week in his first outing since collecting win No. 4 on the 3rd July.  His win was a complete 7 inning game, only his 2nd CG for the season.  In his 7 innings he allowed 4 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks but what made it a standout game was his 8 strikeouts [in his 4th win 5 days earlier he also struck out 8 in 5 innings].  His next game was a no decision for him but was a quality outing none the less with only 1ER [3 runs total] on 6 hits over 6 innings.  His record is now 5-8 and 5.83ERA.

It was another frustrating week for Boston’s Stefan Welch who played in 5 games for the Portland Sea Dogs going 1-14.  He is hitting .230.

 

 

Trent Oeltjen Looking To Play In The Upcoming ABL

oeltjen3_WEB_8sqhe5vr_zm683803After having been released by the D’Backs back in May Trent Oeltjen signed on with the Italian League leading Unipol Bologna Major League team in the FIBS competition last month.

We would certainly not suggest that Trent’s illustrious pro career is over by any means although it is probably fair to say that his best years are now behind him and the signing with Bologna might seem like a semi retirement move.  However, many a player has had a late resurgence in the pro ranks and for this reason it is good to hear that Trent has his eye on playing in the ABL next season.   Not only will his presence help raise the profile of the Sydney Blue Sox but he will be no slouch at the plate for them if his stats from Italy are anything to go by.

His Bologna statistics are impressive:

.387 batting average (3rd overall)
.613 slugging (2nd overall)
.487 on base percentage (3rd overall)

So let’s hope he can return to Sydney for the coming summer season.   If other sports such as the AFL, Soccer and Rugby teach us anything it is that a National League needs success in Sydney to make it on the national stage.  Whilst we understand the ABL’s desire to support teams in cities such as Canberra, Adelaide and Perth as shown in the recent draft announcement, players of the calibre of Trent playing in Sydney will be good for the game as a whole.

 

Wow! 1,000,000 (One Million) Views !!!

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Today, July 16, 2014, we logged our one millionth article view!

Thank all of you for your support over the past few years, and your continued support in 2014.

We simply promise you more of the same!

High A – Adamson, Atherton, Battaglia, Van Steensel

A good start at Ft Myers for Todd

A good start at Ft Myers for Todd

Corey Adamson has been doing pretty well at the plate for the Lake Elsinore Storm and in his last 10 games he has hit safely in 7 of them, pounded out his 5th home run as well as a triple and two doubles, whilst going 12-38 [.316] and scoring 4 runs.

It has been a tough time for Tim Atherton.  No doubt as a result of his excellent performances with the Stockton Ports he was called up to AAA for a spot start the previous weekend.   Well it didn’t go well for him at all giving up 6 runs on 5 hits including 2 home runs in his first inning. It was a pretty rude welcome to AAA ball.   Needless to say he was yanked after that 1 inning and had to wear the loss.   We are not sure what went wrong considering how good he has been in the lower levels but we view with some concern the news that he was immediately put on the 7-Day DL.   As planned he is back at Stockton.  Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.

Cleveland’s Ryan Battaglia’s slump continues with the Carolina Mudcats.  Appearing in 3 games for 0-3 he has now gone hitless in his last 9 games.   Slumps are buggers to get out of so let’s hope he breaks the cycle soon.

The Twins’ Todd Van Steensel has appeared in 2 games so far for the Ft Myers Miracle since his promotion last week.   Would you believe it, both were scoreless affairs which means that combined with his record with Cedar Rapids he has now given up no runs in his last 9 outings.  Way to go Todd.

 

Low A – George, McGrath, Thorpe, Wade

An impressive return to Cedar Rapids by Logan Wade

An impressive return to Cedar Rapids by Logan Wade

Tampa Bay’s Darryl George had a better week hitting 6-18 including his 3rd home run on July 5th.   He has appeared in 6 games and hit safely in 3 of them.   Not world shattering but an improvement none the less.  He is now hitting.219 after 56 games and 201ABs.

In two games this week Boston’s Daniel McGrath earned his 4th win of the season when he threw 5.1 innings for 3 runs on 5 hits [1HR] and 3 walks whilst striking out a season high 8 hitters.   His previous best had been 6 Ks.   In the other game he was not quite as effective, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits over 5 innings including 2HRs and 4 walks.  They always say ‘walks will kill ya’ so he was lucky to get out of that one with a no decision.   His record now, after 11 games, is 4-4 and 3.65ERA.

Two games this week for the Twins’ Lewis Thorpe neither of which were anything notable as he lasted only 4 innings in both [a starter must throw at least 5 complete innings to be able to secure a win] and allowing 3 runs in both whilst striking out 5 in both.   His last game saw no walks which is a good sign.   His record after 7 games is 1-1 and 5.58ERA.

Logan Wade returned to the Cedar Rapids Kernels after 10 rehab games in the GCL.  He certainly made them sit up and take notice on his return with a home run and 4RBI in his 1st game, a double in his 2nd and combined 3RBI in the others.   Pretty good effort by Logan really, going 5-16 and now owning a .289 average.

SS-A – Holland, Perkins, Street

Sam Street wins his 1st pro game

Sam Street wins his 1st pro game

Eugene Emerald’s Sam Holland’s song of choice this week should be Meatloaf’s iconic ‘two out of three ain’t bad’.

That was how his week went – he had two very good scoreless outings out of the three appearances.  His other outing was not a disaster either – he gave up 2 runs [1ER] on 3 hits over 1.2 innings.   However in his 8 games so far this season at Eugene he has had 5 scoreless outings and his ERA lowered this week to a respectable 3.09.

Sorry Meatloaf [bad alliteration not withstanding] but we say 5 out of 8 ain’t bad.

Robbie Perkins‘ struggles at the plate continues with the Dust Devils’ catcher going 1-12 whilst striking out 5 times.   So after 12 games he is hitting .114.

Pirates’ recent Aussie signing, Sam Street, is off to a flying start to his pro career with 4 scoreless outings and a win in his 1st appearance for the Jamestown Jammers.

Sam, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 16th round, 491st overall pick, and signed on June 12 got the win in his 2 inning opener on June 26th.  Whilst he was essentially a starter at UTPA [University of Texas Pan-American] his sidearm delivery and low velocity (83-86 MPH) is more suited to relieving than starting and his 4 games this week were all out of the bullpen.   Baseball America did say he has the chance to be a future middle reliever.

Rays’ Manager Joe Maddon Still Likes Grant Balfour

Joe Maddon and Grant Balfour

Joe Maddon says Grant Balfour’s stuff is good

By Andrew Astleford/Foxsports

Reliever Grant Balfour had more issues Friday, allowing three runs and three hits with two walks in the ninth. It was the latest example of frustration in a year that has included plenty for the one-time All-Star.

“It’s embarrassing, really,” Balfour said Friday.

On Saturday, Maddon said Balfour’s problems are mostly confidence-related. Balfour is 0-3 with a 5.60 ERA in 35 1/3 innings this season, though he had gone five consecutive appearances without allowing a run before Friday.

“It’s just a matter in being confident in our stuff and going out there and letting it hang out and not being worried about the results,” Maddon said.

“Physically, he’s fine. The stuff is good.”

So what works when Balfour is pitching well? It’s a simple formula: Work ahead of hitters and avoid walks.

“When he’s on top of his game, I see him just go right after guys,” Maddon said. “He’s getting on top. He’s getting good counts, and he’s utilizing both pitches.

But primarily, he pitches his fastball and then spots the slider more than overusing the slider. I like when he pitches that way.”

Arizona Rookie League – Hargreaves, Leslie, McDonald

 

Todd started with a home run.  Photo:  Scott Lucas

Todd started with a home run. Photo: Scott Lucas

The Giants’ Ben Leslie is still struggling at the plate.  He has appeared in 2 games this July and is hitting 1-7, giving him an avg. of .167 after 5 games.

Todd McDonald was no doubt glad to eventually get into actual games for the Rangers this week and hit a home run for his first hit of the season going 1-3.   That should get him more playing time.

Red’s Elliott Hargreaves is on the 60-Day DL.  This is tough and frustrating for the Centre Fielder who only got to play in 4 games last year due to injury.

 

Balfour suffers his 3rd Loss

balfour12aBy Bill Chastain / MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG — Sean Rodriguez brought to life Friday night’s Tropicana Field crowd of 17,533 with a monster game-tying three-run homer in the seventh inning.

At that stage of the game, the Rays appeared on the verge of something special. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, Rodriguez’s blast was long forgotten once the Blue Jays scored three in the ninth to cap an 8-5 win.

The Rays lost for the second consecutive time while moving to 1-3 on the current homestand. Coupled with the Red Sox’s win over the Astros, the Rays fell back into the basement of the American League East.

The game stood tied at 5 when Grant Balfour came on to start the ninth for the Rays. Earmarked to be the team’s closer this season, Balfour struggled for much of the first half, prompting Rays manager Joe Maddon to change to a closer-by-committee situation for finishing out games. But recently, Balfour had been doing better.

Heading into Friday night’s appearance, Balfour had a 1.59 ERA in his previous 12 appearances, including Wednesday night’s success when he took over for Alex Cobb with two on and two outs and did not allow a run.

Former Tampa Bay icon Dan Johnson drew his fourth walk of the game to lead off the ninth. One out later, Jose Reyes doubled to right to bring Steve Tolleson to the plate.

Once the count was full, Tolleson blooped a two-run single down the right-field line. Melky Cabrera walked before Jose Bautista singled to right to drive home the third run of the inning and chase Balfour.

“I wasn’t attacking guys, I wasn’t getting ahead,” Balfour said. “… The first guy, I walked. You don’t want to walk the leadoff guy. For me, it was embarrassing. It was a bad effort on my part. I didn’t throw the ball well.”

Maddon said that the leadoff walk to Johnson really hurt.

“We just could not find the strike zone on Danny tonight,” Maddon said. “Of course Reyes hits a pretty big knock for them right there. They hit some balls softly that found spots. But that’s going to happen when you walk the leadoff guy. … So it came down to the leadoff walk.”

Johnson felt as though Balfour was still searching to find his release point when he drew the pivotal leadoff walk.

“I think it just came up at the right time at that point, where he was still kind of searching for it,” Johnson said. “So I think I lucked out by that. And then obviously we put a couple of good at-bats together, and then Tolly came through with that big hit.”

Balfour has allowed more runs in 23 appearances this season (22) than he did in 65 appearances in 2013 (20).

[More...]

 

Hendriks to start for International League at Triple-A All-Star Game

No wonder he is smiling

No wonder he is smiling

The International League today announced that Buffalo Bisons All-Star RHP LIAM HENDRIKS will start for the IL at the 2014 Cree Triple-A All-Star Game, Wednesday, July 16 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park (7:00 p.m.).

The game will be broadcast live on the MLB Network and be carried on the Bisons flagship radio station, ESPN 1520 AM.

Hendriks is the fourth Bisons pitcher to start in the Triple-A All-Star Game. Dorn Taylor (1990), Rick Reed (1991) and Roy Smith (1993) started for the National League affiliates when the teams for the Triple-A All-Star Game were determined by their Major League parent club (Bisons were affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates). Smith earned the win in the 1993 Triple-A All-Star Game in Albuquerque, NM with two shutout innings of work (1 H).

Hendriks is 7-1 with a 2.19 ERA in 14 starts and 16 appearances for the Bisons this season. He leads the Herd in wins, ERA (2nd in IL), innings pitched (94.1), strikeouts (74) and quality starts (8). Hendriks also leads the International League in WHIP (0.91) as well as fewest walks (0.70) and baserunners (8.77) per nine innings pitched. He has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 11 of his 14 starts on the season. In his last start, July 9 in Rochester, he allowed two runs over eight innings for his seventh win of the season.

Source: Buffalo Bisons

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