A pair of Scranton Yankees give the big league club something to think about, Jay Bruce is heating up (naturally), Ian Stewart and Greg Reynolds double-team the River Cats and Nick Adenhart keeps the Bees rolling.
Prospect Of The Day
It may be a cop out, but the first IL Prospect Of The Day distinction goes to a pair of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre righthanders—only one of whom is technically considered a prospect.
If the hand-wringing in the Bronx continues over the slow starts of Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes, the Yankees may look hard at Darrell Rasner, who improved to 4-0, 0.87, with six strong innings against Syracuse last night in the first game of a double-header. He struck out six and walked one, lifting his ratio on the year to 27-6, and he still hasn’t allowed a home run. The 27-year-old Rasner, who did not appear in our most recent Prospect Handbook because he had logged 52 big league innings, told The (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) Times Leader that control was key to his success.
"My curveball was very good today. The cutter was good and the ability to get ahead in the count and being aggressive (helped).”
The Yankees established a Scranton club record with their 17th April win, and after the first game, catcher Chris Stewart learned he had been promoted to New York to replace the injured Jorge Posada.
Whereas Rasner leads the league with four wins, Game No. 2 starter Jeff Marquez is on the bottom with four losses. The 2004 supplemental first-round pick was tattooed for 16 runs in his first 14 2/3 innings of the season, but he’s turned things around in his last two starts, going 11 innings with just four runs allowed, highlighted by his effort last night: 6 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 SO. Still, those two runs by the Chiefs were enough to win. He told the Times Leader:
“I’ve been working on my curveball and it was good today. All the pitches were pretty good. It was just two little hits that they capitalized on.”
This just in: Louisville CF Jay Bruce (Reds) is good. The 21-year-old connected for his fifth home run of the season (1-for-4, one run, three RBIs) yesterday, and he seems to really be getting the hang of this Triple-A thing. Over his past 10 games, Bruce has batted .368/.400/.711 with two doubles, a triple, three homers, 10 RBIs and three steals. He’s struck out nine times in those 38 at-bats, while drawing four walks . . . Speaking of home runs, Toledo 1B Jeff Larish (Tigers) belted No. 7 yesterday (1-for-4, one run, two RBIs) to move within two of the minor league lead . . . It’s tough to say a player batting .189 is streaking, but Indianapolis 3B Neil Walker (Pirates) now has hits in four straight games after his 1-for-4 performance Sunday. The 11th overall pick in 2004, Walker has struggled mightily in the early going—especially as a righthanded batter (.087/.160/.087 versus lefties)—but he already has eight extra-base hits in 21 games . . . Durham CF Fernando Perez (Rays) legged out his fourth triple of the season, placing him one behind Columbus’ Pete Orr for the IL lead. But despite his struggles at the plate (.275/.327/.396), he leads the league with 10 steals, and has been caught just once.
What To Watch For Today
The pitching match-up of the day will take place in Buffalo, where the visiting Yankees will throw LHP Kei Igawa (2-2, 2.93 in five starts) against recently-returned-to-action RHP Adam Miller (0-0, 0.00), the Indians top prospect . . . Twins RHP Kevin Mulvey (2-1, 1.16) faces Pawtucket—complete with a rehabbing Mike Lowell—in Rochester . . . White Sox RHP Jack Egbert (0-0, 2.25) makes his second Triple-A start for Charlotte.
PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE
Prospect Of The Day
When you’re hot, you’re hot. And Colorado Springs third baseman Ian Stewart is most definitely hot. The only Triple-A player to make two appearances on our weekly Prospect Hot Sheet, Stewart went 3-for-4 yesterday, with three runs scored and his third triple of the year, at home against Sacramento. For the season, the 23-year-old Stewart is hitting .313/.404/.650 with three doubles, three triples, six homers and 21 RBIs in 23 games.
The Sky Sox belted 17 hits to secure the 11-2 win. The battered Athletics lefty Gio Gonzalez for five runs on nine hits in five innings, and then scored six more times on the River Cats’ bullpen. Colorado Springs righthander Greg Reynolds was able to tame Security Service Field, keeping the ball on the ground (11 groundouts, seven fly outs) and Sacramento off the scoreboard in six of his eight innings. He improved to 1-2, 5.22, establishing a season high with five strikeouts along the way. While his K-BB mark still stands at a pedestrian 12-7 in 29 1/3 innings, he has generated 2.25 groundouts for every fly out with his two-seam fastball.
The second overall pick out of Stanford in 2006, Reynolds drew many positive reviews for his outing, in which he touched 94 mph and sat at 89. Check out The (Colorado Springs) Gazette for full details, but here’s two choice quotes:
"That was definitely my best game," the 6-foot-6 Reynolds said. "The difference was I was able to throw my breaking ball for strikes. I’ve had trouble this season with off-speed stuff."
"His changeup was working and his (two-seam fastball) was dropping big-time," Sky Sox shortstop Omar Quintanilla said.
With two hits Friday and one last night (a double), Portland LF Chase Headley (Padres) is showing signs of emerging from his early-season funk. He’s still hitting just .195 (8-for-41) over his past 10 games, but at least five of his eight hits have been doubles . . . Salt Lake RHP Nick Adenhart (Angels) is one of the parties most responsible for the Bees’ insane 21-1 start. He tossed eight innings at home against Fresno last night, using just 98 pitches, and allowing one unearned run on three hits. He struck out five, walked three and still has not surrendered a home run through 31 PCL innings. The 21-year-old Adenhart improved to 4-0, 0.87, and has allowed 18 hits in 31 innings . . . In his conversion from reliever to starter, Las Vegas RHP Jon Meloan (Dodgers) has gradually upped his pitch count to the low 90s (his 102-pitch effort April 16 excepted). But last night, those 92 pitches were only enough to get Meloan through four innings, as five walks and four hits were his undoing against Portland, who won for the first time after six straight losses.
What To Watch For Today
Salt Lake takes its 21-1 record and travels eastward to Memphis . . . Cubs RHP Sean Gallagher (2-1, 1.93) and his Iowa teammates travel to Fresno
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