BAPR Plus: July 30

Joba Chamberlain is headed to the Scranton bullpen in a tuneup for a callup to the big leagues. Edinson Volquez keeps winning and walking guys in Triple-A and there were strong pitching performances throughout the minors on Sunday.

Triple-A

Edinson Volquez was almost knocked out of Sunday’s start in the first innings, as he gave up three runs before recording his second out. But he wiggled out of the jam after allowing only one more run, struck out the side in the second and didn’t allow another run as he picked up his third win in three starts since being promoted to Oklahoma. There still are some reasons to be concerned about Volquez, as he’s walked 11 in 18 innings since the promotion. Jason Botts went 4-for-4 to lead the Redhawks while Adam Jones doubled and stole a base for Tacoma.

Rick Ankiel cranked his 30th home run on Sunday, pulling him within two of minor league leader Craig Brazell. Ankiel also briefly became a professional wrestler on Saturday night along with teammate Tagg Bozied and hitting coach Rick Eckstein–don’t worry, since wrestling is fake Ankiel was never in danger of getting hurt. Jim Masilak has all the details on the home run and the wrestling match in a fine feature.

The Yankees are moving Joba Chamberlain to the Scranton bullpen to see if he’s ready to help out the big league club as a setup man. Chamberlain was scheduled to start on Monday. Instead he’ll pitch an inning of relief, take a day off and pitch again on Wednesday. If he shows he can get quickly acclimated to being a reliever a call to New York won’t be far behind. The Yankees told the Scranton Times-Tribune that Chamberlain’s long-term future is still as a starter. Philip Hughes showed he’s ready to return to the big leagues with 6 2/3 scoreless innings against Rochester. And to finish off the Scranton focus, Donnie Collins has a good column about Ian Kennedy. He points out that Kennedy’s success in his first Triple-A start came despite the fact that he didn’t crack 90 mph with any pitch.

Jake Fox is back in the minors after a brief stopover in the majors. He cranked a home run in his second game with Iowa and Sean Gallagher allowed only two hits in five shutout innings as Iowa beat Salt Lake.

Virgil Vasquez allowed only three hits in six innings as Toledo beat Richmond.

Double-A

Tyler Von Schell homered twice and Julio Cordido had four hits including a home run and 7 RBIs for Connecticut. The Defenders beat Portland 20-13 as both pitching staffs seemed to take the day off. Both team’s starters (Charlie Zink and Dave McKae) gave up 10 or more runs.

Radhames Liz touched 98 on the stadium radar gun as he fanned 10 in a convincing win over Binghamton.

Carlos Carrasco threw six shutout innings for Reading to beat Trenton.

Chris Volstad struck out six in 7 2/3 innings in his Double-A debut, but he was overshadowed by Jacksonville starter James McDonald. The sleeper prospect struck out 11 in seven innings while giving up one run. McDonald has now struck out 132 batters in 105 innings and 28 batters in 22 2/3 innings since being promoted to Double-A. He’s 3-1, 1.19 since being promoted to Jacksonville.

If you’re looking for the best prospect matchup of Sunday you probably focused on North Little Rock, Ark. Franklin Morales outdid Nick Adenhart as Morales threw a complete-game shutout in Tulsa’s 7-1 win. Adenhart gave up six runs, three of which were earned, in 5 2/3 innings.

Brad James hasn’t had any problems with the jump to Double-A. The righthander has allowed only one run in two of his three Double-A starts. He was a tough luck loser on Sunday however as Frisco’s Luis Mendoza improved to 12-1 with 5 2/3 shutout innings. Corpus Christi was shutout for a second straight game as the Hooks dropped their sixth straight.

Jack Egbert struck out 12 in seven scoreless innings to pick up his 11th win while Montgomery wasted a fine start by James Houser (six innings, no runs, eight strikeouts).

It was a similar story in nearby Huntsville. Huntsville starter Derek Miller struck out seven in seven shutout innings as he helped make a tough-luck loser out of Carlos Fisher (7 innings, 1 run, three Ks).

Justin Upton hit his 13th Double-A home run and 18th overall of the season as Mobile beat Mississippi.

High Class A

Brad Corley homered as Lynchburg beat Myrtle Beach. Tommy Hanson gave up two runs in seven innings for Myrtle Beach. Jordan Schafer doubled again for the Pelicans. The center fielder’s last six hits have all gone for extra bases (five doubles and a home run).

Henry Sosa has quickly gotten acclimated to high Class A. The righthander has allowed no more than two earned runs in his last six starts. He struck out eight in six innings as San Jose beat Lake Elsinore.

Only in the California League will you see a pitcher improve to 10-1 with a 5.55 ERA. That’s what Inland Empire’s Marlon Arias did on Sunday.

Eric Young Jr. tripled twice as part of a four-hit day and Chris Nelson had three hits including his 14th home run in Modesto’s 11-6 win over Bakersfield. Nelson is hitting .351/.421/.709 in July.

Low Class A

Jose Pina struck out eight in seven innings while allowing one run as Peoria beat Dayton.

Nate Starner was even better. He struck out eight in seven shutout innings to lead Lansing to a 3-0 win over Clinton.

It clearly was a day of pitching performances around the Midwest League. Quad Cities Tyler Herron allowed only six hits in six shutout innings to beat Burlington.

Catcher Jordan Newton didn’t get to West Michigan until last June, after struggling last year in the New York-Penn League. The 2006 sixth-round pick out of Western Kentucky had his best weekend as a pro. After getting three hits Saturday, Newton hit a pair of home runs on Sunday as West Michigan beat Cedar Rapids.

Short-Season/Rookie Leagues

Colten Willems, the 2006 Nationals’ first-round pick, allowed two hits in five shutout innings for Vermont. The Nationals’ 2007 first-round pick Ross Detwiler gave up his first pro runs in his third start. Detwiler gave up three runs in six innings in a Gulf Coast League game.

Rehabbing Hayden Penn threw three scoreless innings in a Gulf Coast League game.

Michael McCardell struck out nine in five innings. The Kutztown product gave up only two hits and allowed no runs. The Twins’ sixth-round pick is now 4-1, 2.45 overall in 33 innings.

Matt Bush gave up his first pro run and picked up his first pro win as the Arizona League Padres beat the AZL Rangers.

Minors |

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