Rogers Loses Heartbreaker

Chad Rogers was a late round selection in 2010 and had his professional career postponed while recovering from a shark bite injury. He's been a predator on the mound since debuting at Dayton the next year. He's kept a sub-two ERA at the AA level since a midseason promotion last year and is now bucking for another move to AAA.

Pensacola lost the opener of a five-game home series to Montgomery Wednesday by a score of 2-1. Chad Rogers had another outstanding start, but an unearned run pinned the loss on him. He threw six innings without an earned run while allowing four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Chris Manno and Kyle Lotzkar combined for three scoreless innings to end the contest. Offensively the fish were unable to cross the plate until a solo home run by Tucker Barnhart in the ninth. Steve Selsky, Ryan LaMarre, and Barnhart each reached safely twice via a hit and walk.

Thus far this season Rogers has done the same thing he's been done since the Reds drafted him in the 28th round in 2010 and that is effectively get batters out. The only thing that has slowed him down was a leg injury from a shark attack while surfing which postponed his professional debut until 2011. The Reds started him out with a full season at Dayton then and he's kept a sub-three ERA since. In 2013 after five starts he's sitting on a 2-1 record with a 1.47 ERA/0.815 WHIP and he's commanded his pitches for a K/BB ratio of 36/8 in 30+ innings.

It's hard to tell what expectations the Reds had of the right-handed Texan when they selected him in the late round out of Galveston College, but it's safe to say that Rogers has exceeded them. He's a finesse pitcher with a sharp slider and a fastball that spends most of its time in the low 90's. He's also effective at keeping the ball down with almost as many ground outs as airborne and only two of his pitches have left the yard this year.

After high school Rogers collected a championship ring with Richland (TX) Community College where he was one of their leading hitters. Despite that he's always been a pitcher first. The only uncertainty was whether that would be in relief or starting. He came out pen at Dayton his first season before Cincinnati moved him into the Bakersfield rotation last year. They were careful to limit his innings earlier but he's throwing more than six per start this season which is about as many as can be expected of any minor league pitcher.

Rogers will turn 24 in August is he's worked his way into a position to force a promotion to AAA somewhere around that time frame. Competition gets tougher as one rises higher in the system but consistently getting batters out at each level is always an effective way for advancement, regardless where they were drafted. It will be interesting to see how well Rogers answers the call in the next challenge which will likely come in the not-so-distant future.

Other Organizational News:

The Reds dropped the rubber game of their series in St. Louis by a score of 4-2. Brandon Phillips plated both Cincinnati runs with a double in the sixth and solo home run in the ninth. Joey Votto reached from a walk and a hit and scored once. Jay Bruce added a couple of hits including a triple that failed to produce a run. Donald Lutz got his first MLB start and went 0-4. On the mound Homer Bailey started off well enough, yielding only a solo home run to Carlos Beltran before he ran into trouble in the sixth and took the loss after allowing four runs in five-plus innings. Logan Ondrusek threw two innings of scoreless relief.

Louisville had an off-day and will travel to Buffalo to open a four-game set on Thursday.

Bakersfield took the lead with a four-run eighth inning and held on for a 6-4 win at San Jose. Starter Tanner Robles got no decision after allowing two runs in four innings. Pat Doyle relieved him with three scoreless frames for the win and Brian Pearl entered to retire the final batter in the ninth for the save. Marquez Smith scored twice after walking and hitting a solo homer that tied the game in the sixth. The four-run rally was started with two outs and included three singles and three walks. For the second game in a row Chris Berset reached safely three times with a couple of hits and a walk while Kyle Waldrop and Dominic D'Anna added a couple of singles. Juan Duran reached with from both a single and a walk and scored both times.

Dayton came back from a three run deficit to win 11-7 at Clinton. Junior Arias led the way with three hits and three RBI including a two-run homer in the seventh inning. Zach Vincej had a couple of hits and an RBI that tied the game in the fourth. Seth Mejias-Brean reached with a walk and a three-run double in the fifth. Nick O'Shea and Joe Hudson both reached safely via a walk and hit and combined for five runs. Robert Stephenson was lifted after five innings over which he allowed four runs, but that was good enough to get his first win of the season.

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