No International League catcher has been as hot as Pawtucket's Ryan Lavarnway since he joined the Triple-A circuit on June 13. That's really saying something for a league that includes high-end prospects such as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Jesus Montero and Louisville's Devin Mesoraco.
The 23-year-old Lavarnway mashed his 10th Triple-A home run yesterday (in just his 31st game) as part of a 3-for-3 showing that also included a double (11th), a walk and three RBIs. He served as DH in the game (won by Pawtucket against Lehigh Valley 4-1) as Luis Exposito, another Red Sox catching prospect, started behind the plate.
Over the course of the past 10 days, Lavarnway has gone 15-for-27 (.556) with five homers and four doubles. His 1.859 OPS tops any other player in the full-season minors in that time. But Lavarnway's excellence at the plate goes beyond just the past few weeks. He earned a promotion from Double-A Portland by hitting .284/.360/.510 in 55 games for the Sea Dogs, for whom he hit 14 home runs. So with 24 combined homers, Lavarnway can reach 30 if he stays hot down the stretch.
AROUND THE MINORS
• Brewers shortstop Yadiel Rivera went 5-for-5 and hit for the cycle yesterday (while doubling up on doubles) for Rookie-level Helena. In the process he extended his hitting streak to 16 games. A ninth-round pick from Puerto Rico last year, Rivera hit just .194/.224/.262 in 103 at-bats for low Class A Wisconsin this season before settling in the Pioneer League. He's batting .331/.372/.587 through 121 at-bats, and he leads the PL in runs scored (26), ranks third in extra-base hits (16) and second in hits (40), RBIs (23) . . . and strikeouts (37).
• Rockies perennial shortstop prospect Hector Gomez plays for Double-A Tulsa this season, and while he's batting just .221 with a .671 OPS through 61 games, his bat has shown signs of life in July. Yesterday the 23-year-old Gomez went 4-for-5 and connected for two home runs (including a grand slam), a double and a career-high seven RBIs, which pushes his average to .302 (13-for-43) in July. Colorado will take the small gains where they can for a player who has battled injury throughout his career and who has batted just .255/.290/.418 in full-season minor league action since 2009.
• Triple-A Omaha righthander Luis Mendoza joined Dick Estelle as one of just two pitchers to throw a pair of nine-inning no-hitters in the Pacific Coast League in the past 95 years. Or did he? That decision ultimately rests with the PCL because of indecisiveness on the part of the game's official scorer.
At the very least, Omaha defeated Memphis 4-0 on the strength of a 118-pitch complete-game shutout by Mendoza, who struck out seven and walked four. Controversy stems from a ninth-inning play involving Memphis shortstop Tyler Greene and Omaha left fielder David Lough. The Memphis scorekeeper originally ruled an error when Greene lined a ball to left field that bounced off the glove of a leaping Lough. But after the game, the scorer changed the ruling to a double, thus leaving Mendoza with a one-hitter. About an hour after that, the call was once again reversed and Mendoza's no-hitter restored.
Mendoza threw an uncontested no-hitter for Oklahoma City on Aug. 14, 2009, as a member of the Rangers organization. This season, the 27-year-old Mendoza made the PCL all-star team and currently leads the league in ERA (2.30), WHIP (1.20) and opponent average (.230). However, he has to rank as one of the more unlikely two-time no-hit authors, seeing as he's not a strikeout pitcher (4.9 whiffs per nine in 376 Triple-A innings) and his control is merely good (3.0 walks per nine) and not great. Mendoza also has a historically high ERA in the big leagues. His 8.43 ERA ranks third worst in the expansion era among pitchers with as many as his 84 innings. In a sense, he's establishing his own version of the Mendoza Line.
A small chance remains that Mendoza could be stripped of his no-hitter. According to a Memphis Redbirds press release: "As explained in the league rules, should a team or scorer request a league review of a play, there could be additional action taken to either recommend or mandate a change."
As to Estelle, he pitched in the PCL for Tacoma in 1964-65 and for Phoenix in ’66 and ’68, all as a member of the Giants organization.
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog