The Brewers are one of four organizations to station its top two prospects at Triple-A to begin the season. Milwaukee’s duo of Ryan Braun, 23, and Yovani Gallardo, 21, though, are younger than all the other tandems. The challengers: Ryan Sweeney and Josh Fields (White Sox), Adam Jones and Jeff Clement (Mariners) and Matt Garza, Glen Perkins and Kevin Slowey (Twins).
Braun, a third baseman drafted fifth overall out of Miami in 2005, began ripping the ball in spring training (.353/.405/.912 in 34 at-bats) and hasn’t yet stopped. Because incumbent third baseman Corey Koskie is out with post-concussion syndrome, Braun had a very real shot at the big league job, but shaky fielding undermined his impressive hitting. Encouragingly, he’s made just one error thus far with Nashville, and he’ll push veterans Craig Counsell and Tony Graffanino aside when he’s ready. [...] Continue Reading »
Joey Votto is finally heating up, former power pitcher Rick Ankiel is showing he has significant power at the plate as well and the Augusta GreenJackets continue to be baseball’s most successful pitching staff.
The ex-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons beat up on the current Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees on Tuesday night. As Chad Jennings explained, nine of the 10 Ottawa starters on Tuesday night played for Scranton last year before the Phillies swapped affiliates during the offseason. They were more than enough to send the Yankees to their sixth straight loss. [...] Continue Reading »
This week’s installment considers transactions made between April 14-20.
Last week’s transactions available here.
Placed on temporarily inactive list: OF Dave Krynzel
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Dustin Nippert, 3B Brian Barden
Placed on minor league disabled list: SS Octavio Ojeda, SS Matt Oxendine
Rehabilitation assignment: OF Carlos Quentin (Triple-A Tucson)
Quentin was shelved with a small labrum tear in his left shoulder he suffered in spring training.
Recalled: RHP Peter Moylan
Selected to major league roster: LHP Steve Colyer
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Macay McBride
Placed on minor league disabled list: LHP Lee Hyde, 2B J.C. Holt, OF Matt Young
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Ryan Basner, RHP Phil Stockman, LHP Francisley Bueno
Holt, the Braves’ third-round pick in 2004, has made slow progress but did steal 35 bases last year, good for third in the Carolina League. He suffered a hamstring injury. The well-traveled Colyer was the Dodgers’ second-round pick in 1997; he’s been traded for Cody Ross and Vance Wilson. Moylan signed with the Twins out of Australia in 1996 but was released two years later. He didn’t pitch professionally in the U.S. from 1998 to 2005, but that didn’t stop him from making the majors with the Braves last season. [...] Continue Reading »
Royals shortstop Tyrone Wilson was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball for failing to take a drug test, a violation of the drug testing agreement.
We can’t remember a prior case of a player being suspended for refusing to take a drug test, but we’re looking into it.
The Royals selected Wilson, a three-sport star at Southern High in Durham, N.C., in the 16th round of last year’s draft. Because he did not make a full-season team’s roster, his suspension takes effect June 23, Opening Day for the Rookie-level Arizona League Royals.
Rangers catcher Taylor Teagardenâ€™s fast start to 2007 hit a speedbump yesterday when he went on the disabled list with elbow soreness.
Teagarden, who was hitting .324/.511/.588 with a pair of home runs and nine RBIs in 34 at-bats at high Class A Bakersfield, has battled minor elbow pain throughout Aprilâ€”the same elbow the 23-year-old had Tommy John surgery on in November of 2005.
Teagarden was expected to be examined by team doctors in Texas today.
On another note, righthander Edinson Volquez seemed to take a step in the right direction during his last start for the Blaze. But frustration mounted when Volquez got into it with the home plate umpire in the fifth inning of Bakersfieldâ€™s 7-5 loss to Modesto and was subsequently ejected.
Volquez allowed three runs on just one hit, walked five and struck out four. Overall, the righthander is now 0-1, 8.05 with a 20-14 strikeout-walk ratio in 19 innings.
Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is coming to life. The speedy center fielder had a pair of doubles and a triple in Double-A Altoona’s 8-7 loss to Bowie on Monday, and now has five hits over his last two games.
Just for fun, we brought up Tigers center fielder Cameron Maybin’s wheels to get to the bottom of just who was the faster guy. [...] Continue Reading »
Indians lefthander Scott Lewis was rocked around at Double-A Erie on Monday, giving up five extra-base hitsâ€”including a first-inning, three-run home run to Sea Wolves second baseman Michael Hollimonâ€”in just three innings of Akronâ€™s 9-4 loss.
Lewis, who led all the minors with a 1.48 ERA at high Class A Kinston last season, allowed five runs on seven hits in the abbreviated outing and according to Akron pitching coach Greg Hibbard, is still a work in progress despite the gaudy numbers.
â€œPhysically and delivery-wise there are some things weâ€™re working on,â€ Hibbard said. â€œOne thing he wants to get better at is throwing his curveball for strikes more, heâ€™d like to throw his changeup more to get outs. Heâ€™s using them both and heâ€™s not afraid to throw them . . . heâ€™s just not real confident that theyâ€™re going to get outs. [...] Continue Reading »
Phillies lefthander Matt Maloney got hit around on Monday, allowing five runs on six hits and walking four over five innings in Double-A Readingâ€™s 8-6 win against Harrisburg. But Maloney still picked up the win, and continued to do a little hitting of his own.
The 22-year-old lefthander went 1-for-3 with a double at the plate, and is now hitting .300 and slugging .800 with a pair of doubles and a homer in 10 at-bats.
â€œHeâ€™s been hitting, which has been fun to watch,â€ Reading manager P.J. Forbes said. â€œIt just adds another dimension to what he can to, how he can help this ballclub win. Heâ€™s a bulldog on the mound and he doesnâ€™t lose that mentality when he steps in the box. [...] Continue Reading »
It was a typically busy Monday around the minors as we say good-bye to Philip Hughes, watch Ryan Braun continue to crush the ball and find West Michigan protesting their loss.
Andy Sonnanstine was a true tough-luck loser on Monday. The Durham starter allowed one run in seven innings (a Kory Casto home run), but Columbus starter Joel Hanrahan was even better. Hanrahan shut out the Bulls for five innings then handed things over to his bullpen. Winston Abreu and Chris Booker finished out the shutout in the Clippers’ 1-0 win. [...] Continue Reading »
The Phil Hughes era is about to begin. After getting swept by the archrival Red Sox over the weekend and watching rookie starters Jeff Karstens (4.1 IP, 7 R) and Chase Wright (3 IP, 4 R on four consecutive homers) get shelled, the Yankees have decided to call up the minors’ top pitching prospect and will start him Thursday against the Blue Jays.. [...] Continue Reading »
Augusta keeps winning, Jeff Larish drove in six runs and the Red Sox continue to have plenty of reasons to wish they had never ended up in Lancaster.
Mike Hessman homered twice, but it was his double that finally broke open the game in 16th inning as Toledo outlasted Durham. At nearly five hours, it was the longest game in Durham Bulls Athletic Park history. [...] Continue Reading »
ALTOONA, Pa.–We always try to take you as inside the game as we possibly can at Baseball America, but this time we’re going to try something a little different . . . you know, with the blog and all.
We’d like to take you inside Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen’s head as he led Double-A Altoona to a walk-off, 8-7 win against Harrisburg on Sunday.
With the score tied 7-7, McCutchen led off the bottom of the ninth with a double to right center. And he takes us through that at-bat . . . with the extra-base hit coming on a 1-0 count against Senators’ 27-year-old lefthanded Gerald Plexico.
“I pretty much knew the pitcher was going to stay away on me. So I had to get that mindset to go to right field exclusively and make the adjustment if I had to on the inside pitch. [...] Continue Reading »
READING, Pa.–Itâ€™s been a struggle for Trevor Crowe in his first full season in the Eastern League.
Though he spent a small chunk of time trying to learn second base for the Aeros last season, Crowe is back where he belongsâ€”in the outfield.
The only problem is the player who profiles to one day belong on top of the Indians lineup in the big leagues has scuffled through the first two weeks of the season, hitting just .140/.271/.180 in 50 at-bats.
â€œThe bottom line is his job should be moving Grady Sizemore out of the leadoff spot,â€ Akron manager Tim Bogar said. â€œThat should be his focus. And if thatâ€™s the case, heâ€™s got to start bunting the ball more, hitting the ball the other way and try not to hit home runs all the time. I told him the other day he was going to run into 10, 12, 15 home runs this summer, so donâ€™t try to make it happen now. Heâ€™s got to take what theyâ€™re giving him right now while heâ€™s trying to figure things out.â€ [...] Continue Reading »
HIGHS: Tigers righthander Virgil Vasquez was brilliant in Toledoâ€™s 10-2 rout of Durham, punching out 10 over six shutout innings. Vasquez allowed just four hits and walked one . . . First base, third base, designated hitter or catcher, it doesnâ€™t matter for Diamondbacksâ€™ utilityman Jaime Dâ€™Antona. Somehow, someway, the D-Backs are going to have to find room for this bat pretty soon. Dâ€™Antona collected another three hits in Tucsonâ€™s 9-5 win against Fresno and is now hitting .500/.569/.796 in 54 at-bats . . . Ditto for the Astros and outfielder Hunter Pence. Pence, who proved he could play all three outfield spots in the Arizona Fall League, has also been hitting up a storm for Round Rock. Pence went 2-for-4 in the Expressâ€™ 6-5 loss to Oklahoma and is now hitting .328/.394/.547 in 64 at-bats . . . Mets righthander Philip Humber allowed a run on seven hits over seven innings in New Orleansâ€™ 4-3 loss to Albuquerque. Humber struck out three and did not issue a walk. [...] Continue Reading »
HIGHS: It didnâ€™t get any hotter than the Portland offense on Friday as the Beavers defeated Sacramento, 17-3. Craig Stansberry went 3-for-6, Luis Cruz doubled three times and Jack Cust homered twice in the rout . . . But then again, thereâ€™s Tucson infielder Jamie Dâ€™Antona. No, Dâ€™Antona didnâ€™t have any hits in the Sidewindersâ€™ 2-1 win against Salt Lake. But he did walk three times and is now hitting .490/.567/.796 in 49 at-bats . . . Blue Jays righthander Josh Banks allowed a pair of runs on two hits over seven solid innings in Syracuseâ€™s 8-2 win against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre . . . And Shawn Riggans and Joel Guzman both homered in Durhamâ€™s 9-8 win against Columbus. Guzman went 2-for-5 and is now hitting .241/.232/.333. [...] Continue Reading »
The commissioner’s office announced this afternoon that Twins righthander Anthony Swarzak, 21, had been suspended 50 games for testing positive for “a drug of abuse,” in violation of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program.
Drugs of abuse as defined in baseball rules do not include steroids or other performance-enhancing substances, but instead amphetamines and illegal drugs such as cocaine or marijuana. [...] Continue Reading »
While less than 10 percent of the minor league season has been played out, there’s already plenty of information floating around to grasp onto. Prioritizing players from our Top 100, here are ten noteworthy items from low Class A:
1. Dodgers’ lhp Clayton Kershaw isn’t invincible
With Chad Billingsley being sent straight from Rookie-level Ogden to high Class A three years ago, some people expected Kershaw to skip over low Class A as well, but it appears that last year’s seventh overall pick has some work to do before he’s ready to move up. After walking only five batters in 37 innings last summer, Kershaw opened the 2007 season by walking nine batters in his first 7 1/3 innings. He also struck out nine and allowed just three hits, so he’s likely just experiencing growing pains–in Kershaw’s defense it’s been around 40 degrees with 20 mph winds in both of his starts. Kept off the mound by back-to-back rainouts, Kershaw is scheduled to start at home tonight. [...] Continue Reading »
Righthander Humberto Sanchez had Tommy John surgery Wednesday, making him the fourth Yankees pitching prospect to have a significant elbow procedure since the conclusion of the 2006 season.
Sanchez, the organization’s No. 3 prospect, joined fellow righthanders J.B. Cox (eight), Chris Garcia (14) and Mark Melancon (15) on the disabled list.
Garcia had offseason surgery to reinforce a torn ligament, while Melancon had Tommy John surgery last November. Both are expected to miss the season. Cox also had elbow surgery–though not Tommy John–and is also expected to miss the season.
Another righthander, Joba Chamberlain (five), opened the season on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring and has yet to pitch. He’s expected back in a week or two.
The Huntsville Stars had no singles among their hits Thursday night and drew 15 walks in a nine-inning game. Rather than an easy victory, though, the Stars were beaten 10-4 by visiting Jacksonville.
Three Suns pitchers–lefty Alvis Ojeda, righthander B.J. LaMura and ex-big leaguer Matt Riley–combined to have “one of those nights,” as pitching coach Danny Darwin put it. Darwin, who’s been around the pro game since signing with the Rangers as an amateur in 1976, said he’d never seen a combination of 15 walks and just four runs in a game. [...] Continue Reading »
Through his first 10 Triple-A innings, Yankees righthander Phil Hughes had struck out “just” seven batters, walked four and allowed seven earned runs. His effort Wednesday in his third start of the season went a long way toward erasing any misplaced doubt.
Hughes fanned 10 Syracuse batters in six innings, walking none and giving up just two hits. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre won the game 4-0.
“He didnâ€™t pitch as bad as his numbers showed in his first two starts,” Scranton pitching coach Dave Eiland said. “His first start was pretty good, and with his last start he was a lot a better than the previous one.” [...] Continue Reading »
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