Short Season Dish: Latos Solid In Two NWL Starts

Prospect Of The Day

Returning from an oblique injury, Eugene righthander Mat Latos (Padres) has had two outstanding starts in his first two outings in the Northwest League. Latos went 6 1/3 innings on Thursday, allowed one earned run and struck out eight. He should be a good prospect to watch, as he was our No. 3 prospect in the Padres’ system prior to the beginning of this season.

Prospect Nuggets

Sticking with Eugene, right fielder Dan Robertson (Padres) was named the Northwest League’s Most Valuable Player yesterday. Robertson was a 33rd-round draft pick this summer after spending a year at Oregon State and he is leading the league in hitting (.373) and is third in the league in RBIs (41). Robertson proceeded to go 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI on Thursday. . . Eugene suddenly finds itself with a bevy of prospects. While Robertson and center fielder Blake Tekotte (Padres) have been there all season, Latos and third baseman James Darnell (Padres) are the recent additions. Padres’ higher ups must love to see Eugene have games like it has the past two nights. In addition to Latos’ and Robertson’s performances, Tekotte went 1-for-4 with two runs and an outfield assist, while Darnell went 2-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI. For more on Darnell and Latos, check out our latest Hot Sheet. . . Mets’ shortstop prospect Wilmer Flores joined Brooklyn and snapped out of a slump, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. First baseman Ike Davis (Mets) has had a rough season in the NY-P, but he went 2-for-4. . . Salem-Keizer righthander Mike Loree (Giants) was the loser in a showdown against Latos. He allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings, walked an uncharacteristic two and struck out five. Offensively, third baseman Conor Gillaspie (Giants) went 2-for-4 with an RBI. . . Boise shortstop Ryan Flaherty (Cubs) has been slumping of late, but he went 3-for-4 with a home run and a double on Thursday. . . Righthander Nick Barnese (Rays) won his fourth game of the season for Hudson Valley, allowing two runs in six innings and striking out seven. First baseman Michael Sheridan (Rays), a fifth round selection this summer, led the offense by going 3-for-3 with a double and a triple. . . Vermont lefthander William Atwood (Nationals) threw six shutout innings, scattered four hits and struck out eight. The South Carolina product moved to 2-1. At the plate, catcher Derek Norris (Nationals) went 2-for-4 with his ninth home run of the year. Meanwhile, shortstop Danny Espinosa (Nationals) went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, and 2007 second-rounder Jake Smolinski (Nationals) went 3-for-3 with a triple and two runs. . . Ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte (Yankees) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 20th save of the season and lowered his ERA to 0.91. Venditte has pitched his last 8 1/3 innings without allowing a hit or walking a batter and he has a scoreless innings streak of 16 1/3 in his past 14 outings.

What To Watch For Today

Spokane takes its strong pitching into the hitter’s mecca of Boise and righthanders Wilfredo Boscan (Rangers) and Chris Carpenter (Cubs) go head-to-head. The two teams play each other in the season’s final six games, with Spokane needing a win in any game to clinch the East Division over second place Boise.