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Minor Gets On The Board
Braves lefthander Mike Minor has been somewhat up-and-down in his first month of the season with Double-A Mississippi. He tossed seven shutout innings and allowed just two hits on April 19. In his next outing, Minor gave up seven runs in 4 2/3 innings, but they were all unearned thanks to his defense making three errors behind him. He then allowed eight earned runs in 10 innings over is next two starts, but he also struck out 21. Minor had one of his good nights last night in Chattanooga, tossing six scoreless innings to pick up his first professional win as the Braves blanked the Lookouts 5-0, improving to 1-3, 4.17 in 36 2/3 innings. Minor struck out eight, adding to his Southern League-leading total of 54. (He also leads the SL in walks with 21 after handing out three last night.)
Minor faced serious trouble only once, when the Lookouts put runners on the corners with no outs in the fifth. A pick-off followed by a strikeout helped him get out of the jam.
"It feels really good, actually," Minor told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "The last couple of outings I've felt good, but I've had one bad inning and couldn't come out of it. I thought I was going to lose it again in the fifth, but I picked a guy off and struck a guy out and struck another guy out."
Stassi Powers Up
The Athletics anted up $1.5 million to sign catcher Max Stassi as a fourth-round pick last year. So far, Stassi has been holding up his end of the deal. The 19-year-old went deep last night for the sixth time this year with low Class A Kane County as part of a 2-for-5 night. Stassi has shown his youth with a Midwest League-high 44 strikeouts in 117 at-bats, but he's been holding his own at the most demanding position on the field, hitting .274/.344/.496. His six long balls rank fourth in the MWL, with the three players ahead of him all being at least 22 years old. Stassi could also be headed to a Prospect Hot Sheet near you, as he's homered twice and added three doubles since last Friday.
Fautino Back On The Hill
Righthander Fautino de los Santos has rarely been heard from since blowing through two Class A stops in the White Sox system in 2007, going a combined 10-5, 2.65 and earning a trip to the Futures Game. Traded to the A's in the Nick Swisher deal after that season, de los Santos logged just 35 innings over the last two years after needing Tommy John surgery in 2008. After a prolonged rehab period, de los Santos finally got back on the mound for high Class A Stockton last night, making his 2010 debut by coming out of the bullpen in the seventh inning of the Ports' game against Modesto. He didn't take long to knock off any rust, retiring all six hitters he faced and striking out two of them.
Bleich Adds To Rock Cats' Misery
Yankees lefty Jeremy Bleich picked up his first win for Double-A Trenton since April 10 last night, allowing only one run on three hits over 6 1/3 innings at New Britain. Bleich, the Yankees' supplemental first-round pick in 2008 from Stanford, has battled control problems this year, having walked 25 in 36 1/3 innings, but he's otherwise been mostly effective in starting 2-2, 3.96. His ERA was inflated by one bad start in which he gave up seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. That's a vast improvement from the 3-6, 6.65 line he posted in 13 Double-A starts last year.
For the Rock Cats, the loss was their fifth straight and 15th in their last 17 games, dropping their record to a minor league-worst 6-25. The Rock Cats have talent in their lineup with Ben Revere, Rene Tosoni, Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee, but have struggled for offense, ranking last in the 12-team Eastern League in runs (94), 11th in runs per game (3.03) and 11th in average (.228).
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