Daily Dish: Aug. 28


See also: Weekend Dish
See also: Today’s Baseball America Prospect Report

The Mariners have reason to feel good about trading Jamie Moyer, for now anyway. The early returns on righthander Andy Baldwin, acquired along with righty Andrew Barb in the Aug. 19 trade with the Phillies, have been very encouraging.

Baldwin, the Phillies’ fifth-round pick in 2004 out of Oregon State, has yet to allow a run in his first two starts for high Class A Inland Empire. He held Bakersfield to six hits and no walks over eight innings Sunday, striking out three. That performance came five days after he yielded just one hit over seven shutout frames in his 66ers debut against High Desert.

“After a guy gets traded, he often pitches well in his first start. He did that and I wanted to see it again,” Inland Empire manager Gary Thurman told the San Bernardino County (Calif.) Sun. “And we saw it again.”

Baldwin, who entered the season with a less than stellar career record of 9-18, 4.89 in 239 innings between short-season Batavia and low Class A Lakewood, seemed to turn a corner this season at high Class A Clearwater. He went 8-8, 4.04 with 100 strikeouts and 22 walks in 147 innings, making him a target for a trade.

Baldwin is not overpowering, but when he’s on he does a good job keeping hitters off balance and inducing ugly swings.

“He’s got a lot of movement with his fastball,” his catcher, Omar Falcon, told the Sun. “They swing but they don’t get the barrel of the bat on the ball. It’s easy to call a game when he’s throwing like that.”

–AARON FITT

25 Ks Prove No Obstacle for Kernels

When you strike out 25 times as a team, you are not typically going to win. But low Class A Cedar Rapids did it yesterday as the Kernels prevailed 3-2 over Beloit in 19 innings.

The Kernels were completely baffled by Beloit starter Alexander Smit as the lefthander continued his second half surge. The Dutchman did not allow a hit in seven innings and struck out 11 and walked four. Since the all-star break, the lefthander is 5-0, 2.15 with a 96-32 strikeout-walk ratio in 71 innings.

The Snappers did not give him much support, however, and took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Cedar Rapids shortstop Marco Albano led off the frame and reached second on a two-base error by right fielder Eli Tintor. Albano scored to tie the game when third baseman Dallas Morris followed with an RBI single.

Both teams would add a tally in the 11th, and the game remained knotted at two until the 19th when Morris singled home designated hitter Bradley Coon to end the game.

Morris, who went 3-for-8 and drove in all three Kernels runs, was the offensive hero. Second baseman Josh Davies and right fielder Jordan Renz each fanned five times, doing more then there share to contribute to the 25 whiffs.

–MATT MEYERS

QUICK HITS

• It appears that the Devil Rays’ Delmon Young is finally going to get his wish. With Jonny Gomes poised to be placed on the disabled list and Ty Wigginton headed to Triple-A Durham for a rehab assignment, Tampa Bay appears set to call up Young and put him in the starting lineup on Tuesday night in Chicago. Young is hitting .316/.341/.474 in 342 at-bats for Durham with eight home runs and a 65-15 strikeout-walk ratio.

• Brewers righthander Yovani Gallardo continues to put together what could be considered the best season by any pitcher in the minors. Though he could not finish it off, the 20-year-old, carried a shutout into the ninth inning for Double-A Huntsville but was replaced after allowing the first three runners to reach base. He still earned his 11th win of the year to improve his record to 11-5, 1.89 in 152 innings between high Class A Brevard County and Hunstville. Gallardo’s 185 strikeouts are the most in the minors.

Billy Butler has left to help Team USA qualify for the Olympics, but Double-A Wichita keeps on raking. The Wranglers clinched a playoff berth with an 11-4 victory against Springfield and all their big name hitting prospects got into the action. For the second straight year, left fielder Chris Lubanski is improving as the season progresses. Lubanski went 4-for-6 with his 14th and 15th home runs of the season. Since the all-star break, Lubanski is hitting .325/.420/.583 with 10 homers. Center fielder Mitch Maier was 3-for-5 with his 13th home run of the season while third baseman Alex Gordon was 3-for-4 with two walks and his 29th homer.

• Billings shortstop Chris Valaika went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Sunday night against Ogden, ending his Pioneer League record 32-game hitting streak. Valaika had last gone hitless on July 21, which had ended a nine-game hitting streak at the time. The previous record had been held by Ricardo Nanita, which hit safely in 30 straight games with Great Falls in 2003. “I already voted for (Valaika) for MVP,” Orem manager Tom Kotchman told the Billings Gazette. “You don’t have to be a Phi Beta Kappa to figure that one out. Not only does he have 32-game hitting streak, but he’s also up there in RBIs. If he doesn’t get MVP, there’s something wrong.”

• Reds first round pick Drew Stubbs missed a week of action after suffering a concussion due to a collision with Billings right fielder Michael McKennon. Stubbs returned to action on Aug. 24, and has gone 5-for-14 with a home run since returning to the field. For the season, Stubbs is hitting .255/.367/.402.

• Padres third-rounder Cedric Hunter has dominated the Rookie-level Arizona League, but he saw a streak of his own end on Saturday. Hunter went 0-for-5 against the Rangers, snapping a streak of reaching base safely in his first 48 games of the season. Hunter is hitting .368/.463/.483.

• Blue Jays righthander Dustin McGowan, 24, is back in the bullpen at Triple-A Syracuse and he recorded his first career pro save Sunday in the SkyChiefs 2-1 win against Ottawa. McGowan, who has made 118 appearances in the minors and 38 in the majors, is 4-5, 4.46 with 85-38 strikeouts-walks in 83 innings for Syracuse.

• Rookie-level Danville outfielder Larry Williams tied Rafael Furcal’s club record (set in 1998) with his 88th hit of the season. Williams, 21, is hitting .342/.394/.447.

Contributing: J.J. Cooper, Matt Eddy, Chris Kline

Minors | #2006 #Daily Dish

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