PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE
Prospect Of The Day
Awash with young outfield talent, the Athletics may need to bring on a clairvoyant to sort through the likes of Carlos Gonzalez, Travis Buck, Ryan Sweeney, Matt Murton and Chris Denorfia. And now that he’s in Triple-A, you can add Sacramento right fielder Aaron Cunningham (Athletics) to that list. The 22-year-old went 3-for-5 yesterday with two doubles, two runs and an RBI in the River Cats’ 18-hit, eight-run assault on Las Vegas. Since joining the Cats on Friday, Cunningham has gone 5-for-10 with three doubles, a home run, five walks and one strikeout. He batted .317/.386/.507 for Double-A Midland.
Memphis RHP Mitchell Boggs (Cardinals) surrendered just two runs on four hits in six innings, while striking out four and walking two. But the Redbirds’ offense managed just four hits—and no runs—in nine innings, which saddled Boggs with his third loss. His 3.58 ERA, though, still ranks second in the PCL . . . Colorado Springs LHP Franklin Morales (Rockies) walked a season-high eight batters (in five innings) to pull within one of Matt Palmer, the PCL leader with 70. (Palmer also leads the league with 137 strikeouts.) Morales allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out five. The Sky Sox prevailed 6-5, so he did not factor in the decision . . . Las Vegas’ Blake DeWitt (Dodgers), the club’s first-round pick in 2004, played second base most of the time in ’06, but not at all in ’04, ’05 or ’07. DeWitt, Los Angeles’ Opening Day third baseman, has started the past seven games at second for the 51s, perhaps increasing the Dodgers’ options in ’09, as they may have to contend with the free agent losses of everyone in their infield not named James Loney. DeWitt went 3-for-5 yesterday.
What To Watch For Today
New Orleans RHP Bobby Parnell (Mets) moves to Triple-A, joining fellow ex-Binghamton Met Jon Niese, and he makes his Zephyrs debut at Memphis tonight. A ninth-round pick in 2005 from Charleston Southern, the 23-year-old Parnell had mixed results at Double-A: 10-6, 4.30 with 91 strikeouts, 57 walks in 14 home runs in 127 2/3 innings. On the bright side, he boasted a 1.52 ground-to-fly ratio.
Prospect Of The Day
The pitcher who went 4-6, 5.02 in 24 starts for Ottawa in the 2007 IL seems like a distant memory. In a new locale and pitching with a renewed sense of command and purpose, Lehigh Valley lefthander J.A. Happ (Phillies) struck out 10 Buffalo batters in six shutout innings yesterday. The league’s strikeout leader with 137 in 123 innings, Happ walked only one batter and allowed just two hits, though the IronPigs would go on to lose 4-3 in 10 innings. The lefty from Northwestern has reached double digits in strikeouts three other times this season, with a high of 13 on May 9 against Columbus.
Norfolk 1B Mike Costanzo (Orioles) was 2-for-4 with a home run (11), a double (22) and two RBIs. He also committed his 20th error, his seventh at first base. The other 13 have come at his natural position of third base . . . The Indians have scaled back Buffalo LHP David Huff’s workload, as he hasn’t thrown more than five innings or 81 pitches in a start since July 6. He made just 11 starts last season as he dealt with elbow soreness. Huff, a supplemental first-round pick in 2006, struck out six and walked one in five innings yesterday, allowing one run on three hits to Lehigh Valley . . . Indianapolis CF Andrew McCutchen (Pirates) went 1-for-4 with a double (23), walk, a run and an RBI in a 6-4 win against Rochester. Indians 3B Neil Walker went 2-for-4, capping a 4-for-12 series against the Red Wings.
What To Watch For Today
A showdown of one-time No. 1 overall picks will transpire in Lehigh Valley—but it’s not David Price versus Luke Hochevar. Oddly enough, RHP Bryan Bullington (Indians) and RHP Kris Benson (Phillies) both were selected by the Pirates at the top of the draft, in 2002 and 1996, respectively. One of the newest Pirates, Indianapolis RHP Dan McCutchen, throws at Rochester today at noon, while Pawtucket RHP Michael Bowden (Red Sox) also makes a noon start, at home against Charlotte.
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