Stars of the Day:
AAA: Ryan Spilborghs, Brad Nelson, Joey Butler
Lo-A: Victor Payano, Will Lamb / Zach Cone, Jhonny Gomez, Rougned Odor, Jordan Akins
Roy Oswalt is expected to pitch at the Dell Diamond Saturday. I saw his AA debut, a 15-strikeout complete-game masterpiece on May 25, 2000. At the time, his manager was current Texas bench coach Jackie Moore. Moore was then 61, and I wondered if Round Rock would be his final gig before retirement. Oswalt's pitching coach for his first month in AA was Burt Hooten, followed by none other than Mike Maddux. AAA: Round Rock 8, at Memphis 9
Record: 23-30, -7.0
Neil Ramirez (7.57 ERA) allowed five runs during a 39-pitch 1st and three more in the 2nd. After two of the first three reached safely in the 3rd, he was done. Like Martin Perez, Ramirez has struggled to establish his control in the 1st inning:
Ramirez on average:
1st inning: 22.5 pitches, 19% BB+HBP rate
Other innings: 16.5 pitches, 9% BB+HBP rate
Perez on average:
1st inning: 21.8 pitches, 22% BB+HBP rate
Other innings: 15.6 pitches, 8% BB+HBP rate
Sean Green stranded Ramirez's two runners. All told, Ramirez allowed six hits (including a grand slam and two-run homer), four walks and two wild pitches. He struck out two.
The Express pulled to within one with none out in the in the 7th but managed only one runner thereafter. Joey Butler (.301/.421/.532) walked twice and hit a three-run homer, his tenth. Brad Nelson went 3-4 with a double, his seventh homer and a walk, and Ryan Spilborghs walked twice and singled.
Round Rock placed Julio Borbon (groin) on the DL and swiped outfielder Val Majewski from Frisco.
High-A: Myrtle Beach 0, at Potomac 3 (suspended in 4th)
Rain suspended the contest. They'll finish today and follow with a seven-inning nightcap. Roman Mendez wasn't especially sharp (4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 SO) but did strike out rehabbing Nationals outfielder Mike Morse on a slider.
For his recent heroics, Jake Skole was named Carolina League Player of the Week. He batted .500/.600/1.000 with two homers and four walks. Low-A: Hickory 9, at Delmarva 0
Record: 25-25, -11.0
Victor Payano (3.10 ERA) had a career day, striking out a personal-high 11 batters and shutting out the Shorebirds for seven innings. Rehabbing Oriole Brian Roberts singled and walked against the 6'5", 19-year-old lefty. Everyone else combined for two hits, a walk and HBP.
Roberts on Payano: “He had pretty good stuff. I was actually thoroughly impressed with his maturity his command and his stuff at this level. I thought he threw the ball well and I thought he actually used everything well. So it was good to see somebody with pretty good stuff.” (Full story: bit.ly/JV6uoH)
Will Lamb (5.67 ERA) preserved the shutout by retiring six in a row, two via strikeout. Lamb didn't face Roberts.
DH Zach Cone mashed his eighth homer, singled twice and walked. After a slow April, he's hitting .300/.357/.556 in May. CF Jordan Akins (.234/.264/.403) tripled, walked and stole his sixth base, while Johnny Gomez went 2-2 with a double and three walks.
Rougned Odor's .364/.500/.727 earned the Sally League's Player of the Week award. Odor clubbed five doubles and a homer. Last night, Odor walked twice and singled. Five Years Ago Yesterday
Eric Hurley lost his duel with Luke Hochevar, allowing seven runs on three homers and six other baserunners. Bakersfield scored 16 on just 11 hits against a sloppy High Desert squad; John Mayberry clubbed his 14th homer. Kasey Kiker was named the Midwest League's Pitcher of the Week. Kiker fanned 17 in his first two starts. Those were the days. Today's Starters
AAA: Martin Perez
AA: Justin Grimm
Hi-A: Nick Tepesch
Lo-A: Jerad Eickhoff
Newberg Report (newbergreport.com)