After an April he'd like to forget, Mariners third baseman Alex Liddi has found himself in May with Triple-A Tacoma. The 22-year-old hit just .210/.292/.358 in 81 April at-bats but has come around to hit .293/.375/.598 thus far in May.
Coming into yesterday's game with Nashville, Liddi had been in a bit of a dry spell, with just three hits in his last six games. He pulled out of it by going 3-for-6 with two doubles and four RBIs. Though Liddi's a righthanded batter, lefty pitchers have given him fits this year, holding him to 6-for-40 (.150) line. Liddi went 0-for-2 yesterday against Nashville starter Chase Wright, a lefty, but he feasted on the succession of righthanders coming out of the Sounds' bullpen after Wright was knocked out in the fourth.
Tacoma pounded out 15 runs on 17 hits in the game, so Liddi wasn't the only Rainier to have a big night. Among the others leading the way was Mariners' top prospect Dustin Ackley, who reached base four times, going 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and two walks. The 23-year-old second baseman leads the Pacific Coast League in walks with 35, and like Liddi, he's come alive after a slow start. Ackley's hitting .326/.425/.579 in 95 at-bats for the month of May, upping his season line to .268/.381/.442.
AROUND THE MINORS
• Continuing with the theme of players bouncing back from tough starts, Yankees center fielder Melky Mesa hit a nightmarish .128/.209/.256 over 87 plate appearances in April with Double-A Trenton. The 24-year-old has gotten on track in May though, as he's hitting .315/.390/.548 in 81 plate appearances so far and went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a stolen base last night. He also struck out once, something the aggressive-swinging Mesa has continued to do frequently even when he's been hitting well. Mesa has gone down on strikes in almost exactly one-third of his at-bats this year, 51 out of 151, giving him the third highest total in the Eastern League.
• Blue Jays catcher Travis d'Arnaud missed a couple weeks in late April and early May with a concussion. He was hitting just .188/.235/.313 in 48 at-bats at the time he went down, but d'Arnaud's been nearly unstoppable since re-joining Double-A New Hampshire's lineup on May 8. He's had eight multi-hit performances in 13 games, while hitting .512/.592/.854 in 41 at-bats, since coming back. D'Arnaud was at it again Tuesday, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and a home run, his third of the year. The 22-year-old improved to .337/.410/.562 in 89 at-bats for the season.
• Though he may not have the most electric stuff you'll find, Yankees righthander Adam Warren has been a consistent performer at every level. A fourth-round pick in 2009, the 23-year-old has turned himself into one of the Yankees better pitching prospects, and he's gotten off to a 3-1, 3.57 start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Warren went eight innings for the second time this year yesterday against Indianapolis, holding the Indians to one run on three hits. Walks have been an issue at times for Warren this year, as he ranks fifth in the International League with 25, but he was on the mark yesterday, issuing only one free pass. On the down side, he struck out just four hitters yesterday and has just 31 in 53 innings this year, despite having a low-90s fastball.
• Braves righthander Randall Delgado had cruised through his first nine starts for Double-A Mississippi, going 4-1, 2.37 heading into Tuesday's outing against Tennessee. He hit a pretty big bump in the road yesterday though. Delgado actually held the Smokies scoreless for three innings, but then the wheels came off. Delgado gave up five runs in the fourth and five more in the fifth before being pulled. In all, he gave up 10 runs (all earned) on 10 hits, with two strikeouts and no walks. He also allowed three home runs after having allowed just two all season. Delgado's ERA jumped to 3.86 in 53 2/3 innings for the year.
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