Prospect Of The Day
While his trade from the Yankees to the Pirates has meant only a change in IL teams thus far, righthander Ross Ohlendorf has signaled with his performance that he may be a key part of Pittsburgh’s rotation next season. In six starts since joining Indianapolis, Ohlendorf has gone 3-3, 3.24 with 35 strikeouts and eight walks in 41 2/3 innings. Last night he allowed only one run to Durham in eight innings of work, striking out six and allowing just five hits and a walk. The 6-foot-4 righthander has sat at 95 mph with plus sink as an Indian, topping out at 97, and has shown improved command of his slider and splitter. Ohlendorf, 26, may be the perfect complement to the Pirates’ lefty-heavy rotation this September and into next season.
Durham CF Fernando Perez (Rays) went 4-for-4 with a double (17), a walk and two runs scored. All four hits came against Ohlendorf (Princeton), whom Perez (Columbia) might remember from their Ivy League days. Both were 2004 draft picks . . . Syracuse LF Travis Snider (Blue Jays) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and his first stolen base at the Triple-A level, off the Rochester battery of Kevin Mulvey and Jeff Christy . . . Lehigh Valley RHP Carlos Carrasco (Phillies) struck out eight Pawtucket batters in 6 1/3 innings, walking two and allowing five hits, but he also gave up two unearned runs. While the 21-year-old sports an ERA of 2.10 through five Triple-A starts, keep in mind that more than half his runs allowed (eight of 15) have been unearned. Carrasco’s runs allowed per nine innings is 4.50 . . . Columbus 3B Leonard Davis (Nationals) went 2-for-4 with a homer (four), a double (nine) and three RBIs, proving once again that he doesn’t care which position he plays, he just hits. He’s also played second base and left field . . . Louisville CF Drew Stubbs (Reds) went 2-for-3 with a run, and RBI and a walk . . . Twenty-five-year-old Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RHP Alfredo Aceves (Yankees), a veteran of the Mexican League, notched six shutout innings against Buffalo. He struck out eight and walked two to improve to 2-3, 4.12 in 43 2/3 Triple-A innings . . . Though Buffalo LHP Scott Lewis (Indians) pitched nearly as well as Aceves did—giving up just two runs in eight innings while striking out eight—he dropped to 1-2, 3.50. The 2004 third-round pick from Ohio State led the minors with a 1.48 ERA in 2006.
What To Watch For Today
The Battle of the Behemoths takes place in Durham, where Indianapolis RHP Jimmy Barthmaier (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) meets RHP Jeff Niemann (6-foot-9, 280 pounds).
PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE
Prospect Of The Day
Las Vegas center fielder Xavier Paul (Dodgers) has quietly put together a very solid season, batting .313/.375/.461 with nine home runs in 425 at-bats at the top of the 51s’ order. The lefthanded batter, a fourth-round pick out of Slidell (La.) High in 2003, went 3-for-4 yesterday at Colorado Springs, with two doubles (26), a walk and two runs scored. Paul, 23, has struggled against lefthanded pitchers this season (.261/.316/.318), but he’s hit well enough on the road (.306/.371/.472) to suggest his production is not simply a mirage created by Cashman Field.
Still playing second base and still hitting like crazy, Las Vegas’ Blake DeWitt (Dodgers) went a perfect 5-for-5, all singles, with two runs and two RBIs. He’s batting .306/.366/.486 in 111 at-bats since coming down to Triple-A . . . On the day the Redbirds were eliminated from the playoffs, Memphis 3B David Freese (Cardinals) went 2-for-4 with a home run (25) and three RBIs. The increased power is a welcome sign, as Freese hit just 17 homers in the Cal League last year . . . New Orleans LHP Jon Niese (Mets) seemed unfazed in drawing his toughest Triple-A assignment to date: a start a Albuquerque’s Isotopes Field. The 2005 seventh-round pick struck out eight batters and walked four in five innings of work. Niese, 21, allowed only two runs in improving to 5-1, 3.00 in six starts . . . Sacramento CF Aaron Cunningham (Athletics) went 3-for-4 with a home run (four) and two RBIs. The River Cats clinched a playoff spot over the weekend . . . Tucson RHP Max Scherzer (Diamondbacks) struck out seven and walked two in 5 1/3 innings, throwing 94 pitches and allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits . . . Though Brandon Wood’s (Angels) Bees defeated the Sidewinders 4-1, the Salt Lake SS registered four swinging strikeouts in four at-bats, the first three against Scherzer . . . But the rough performance of the day goes to Nashville 3B Mat Gamel (Brewers). In making his Triple-A debut, the 23-year-old lefty batter went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and committed his first fielding error. If it’s any consolation, Gamel’s strikeouts came at the hands of three Round Rock righthanders with big league experience: Runelvys Hernandez, Joe Borkowski and Chad Paronto.
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