BAPR Plus: April 10

Today’s look around the minors includes Yovani Gallardo’s Triple-A debut, Adam Miller’s long awaited first start of 2007 and an impressive start by Nationals prospect Emiliano Fruto.

Triple-A

Yovani Gallardo may have been a little too excited for his first Triple-A start. Gallardo left the ball up which led to seven hits and four runs in five innings, but he did strike out seven as well.

Homer Bailey’s a big enough deal for Reds fans that a day after his first Triple-A start, the reviews are still coming in. As noted yesterday, Bailey was very effective (one hit in five innings), but Louisville pitching coach Ted Power told the Dayton Daily News that Bailey’s command was only adequate and he struggled to locate his curveball. Most importantly, Power said Bailey has some work to do before he’s ready for the majors.

Adam Miller had to wait five days to make his first start of the season thanks to snow outs. His 2007 debut came in less than ideal conditions, as the temperature hovered right around freezing in Buffalo. As 300 or so fans shivered in the stands, Miller struggled but still picked up the win as he threw six innings.

Emiliano Fruto (Nationals) left Monday’s Louisville-Columbus game with a no-hitter and Mike Bacsik carried that no-hitter into the ninth, but the Clippers still lost thanks to Bubba Crosby’s RBI single in the ninth. Fruto’s changeup is his best pitch, but he saved it for the second time through the order on Monday. When he started using it, the Bats hitters were helpless, as C.L. Brown writes.

Brandon Wood has gotten off to a slow start this season, although he did finally get going on Monday with two hits.

Mitch Talbot became the second Durham Bulls starter this week to carry a no-hitter into the sixth. And like Jason Hammel before him, he had to be pulled because of pitch limits. Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo knew what would come next, as Mike Potter writes.

“Tonight was nice, but I knew the fans were going to boo me again when I took [Talbot] out,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said.

Pawtucket’s Chad Spann broke up the no-hitter with a single in the eighth for the PawSox only hit of the game.
J.R. House (Orioles) homered twice for Norfolk on Monday.

Double-A

Dallas Trahern didn’t seem to mind a four-day wait to get his season started. The Tigers prospect pitched six scoreless innings, recording 13 ground ball outs, while Jeff Larish had three hits and a home run for Erie. Binghamton Mets starter Kevin Mulvey lasted only 1 1/3 innings.
Mike Megrew and Mark Hollimon put together one of the better pitching duels of the young season, as Xavier Paul drove in the only run of the game in the ninth.

Jeff Baisley hit two home runs for Midland, including the game-winner in the 12th inning.

High Class A

It was a battle of rehabbing righthanders in Fort Myers on Monday. Twins righthander Jay Rainville made his first start since 2005 as he recovers from surgery to repair a compressed nerve. He doesn’t yet have the low 90s fastball that he once had, but he’s hopeful it will come back by midseason. Jay Bruce took advantage to the tune of a double and a triple. While Rainville has missed time because of injury, he couldn’t compare to Sarasota starter Richie Gardner, who is trying to work his way back after missing most of 2006 and part of 2005.
Matt Antonelli, the Padres 2006 first-round pick, hit the first home run of his pro career, but Lancaster scored three runs in the eighth to rally to beat Lake Elsinore. While Lancaster won, Mike Rozier, a former big bonus signing by the Red Sox, continued to struggle as he was bounced after allowing seven runs in three innings.

Astros’ righthander Brad James went 6-2, 1.36 for low Class A Lexington last season, but didn’t get much notice. James, 22, doesn’t strike many guys out, but he does keep the ball in the park with extreme ground ball tendencies. He’s trying to get noticed this year by keeping up his ability to keep the ball in the park. James allowed only one hit and three walks in eight innings on Monday, while recording only one fly-ball out.

Indians lefty Cliff Lee will rehab with Kinston on Tuesday.

Low Class A

Bad weather meant the Fort Wayne Wizards had to wait five days to play their season opener, but Nate Culp didn’t seem to mind. The Wizards starter pitched six perfect innings, and relievers Grant Varnell and Rolando Vasquez were just as effective. Scott Van Slyke finally broke up the perfect game with an infield single in the ninth. Culp, a 2006 third-round pick out of Missouri last season, was extremely efficient–he threw only 47 pitches in six innings.
Rafael Dolis’ longest pro outing before Monday was a trio of three-inning stints in the Arizona League last season. His 2006 numbers (0-2, 8.28) were extremely ugly. But on Monday, the 19-year-old Cubs prospect was in command for Peoria. Dolis struck out eight while walking two and allowing two hits to lead the Chiefs to a 2-1 win.

You may not have heard of Jared Goedert, but the Indians’ 2006 ninth rounder is a pretty impressive athlete, and he showed at Kansas State that he can hit. The third baseman’s biggest question is his defense, but once again showed on Monday that his bat will play. Goedert hit two home runs in Lake County’s easy win over Greensboro. The Greensboro News-Record’s Rob Daniel explains Goedert’s night while also discussing banana republics and hunger strikes.

Seth Fortenberry was a double away from hitting for the cycle for the Charleston RiverDogs. As Henry Bright of the Charleston Post & Courier explains, he missed out on a gold watch from the Yankees when he was only able to get another single in his final at-bat.

The Rome Braves are 0-5, which makes sense considering they’ve scored only one run in each of the five games. White Sox prospect Justin Edwards was partly to blame on Monday. David Dawson looks at the slump. It’s worth clicking the link just to see the photo of shortstop Cole Miles’ selling out to try to catch a pop up.

Minors |

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