Prospect Watch: With six viable starters already at the major league level and Josh Johnson getting closer to heading out for in-game rehab work, lefty Robbie Erlin is something of a forgotten man in the organization. However the 24-year-old is still probably a viable big-league starter if given the chance. After a rough first start, he has come back with three solid efforts in a row, including today’s strong showing. He needed only 79 pitches to get through six innings of one-run ball. …Marcos Mateo picked up a multi-inning save for the Chihuahuas. He entered with the tying run on first and two outs in the eighth and promptly got a strikeout to end the frame. In the ninth, he erased a leadoff error on a grounder by shortstop Mike McCoy when he induced a groundball for a double-play, and then finished the game with his 13th strikeout of the year. Brought in on a minor league contract after he was dominant in the Dominican Winter League, the big-bodied 31-year-old has given up one run on only four hits in 10 innings of work in El Paso. … Rymer Liriano and Austin Hedges, the number 3 and 4 prospects in our offseason rankings, continued their respective hot streaks. Liriano was 1-for-2 with a walk and a hit batter and swiped his third base of the year. Hedges extended his hitting streak to six games with a double. Anyone who forecast an OPS over 1000 for the defensively gifted catcher as we draw near to the end of the season’s first month is looking remarkably prescient.
For further reading on the El Paso Chihuahuas, see the El Paso Times.
Midland RockHound 3 – Missions 2 (12 innings)
Prospect Watch: After scoring a pair in the first inning, San Antonio’s offense was unable to push anything else across as they went just 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position for the day. Center fielder Travis Jankowski collected four more hits in the game, pushing his on-base percentage up to .441. The left-handed hitter now has a 13-game hitting streak and is pacing the Texas League with eight stolen bases. … Justin Hancock turned in his third consecutive quality start, giving up two runs over six innings. The righty gave up a season-high nine hits and needed 101 pitches, but kept the ball on the ground and got help from Hunter Renfroe, who threw out the would-be go-ahead run in the sixth. It will be interesting to see how long Hancock can continue to outperform his peripherals. … Tayron Guerrero had another rough outing, giving up four hits and the game-winning run. The tall righty now sports an 8.10 ERA through six outings.
For further reading on the San Antonio Missions, see the San Antonio Express-News.
Storm 10 – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 2
Prospect Watch: The Storm scored early and often as they cruised to a rare laugher over the Quakes. Eight different starters scored for Elsinore while Kyle Gaedele and Marcus Davis each drove in three in the game. … Left fielder Nick Schulz snapped out of a mini-slump, blasting a pair of doubles among his three hits and a walk on the day. He had come in hitless over his previous 13 at-bats, but nudged his OPS back above 800 with today’s effort. … Righty Ronald Herrera, still only 19 years old through next weekend, was brilliant as he limited the Quakes to a pair of singles over six innings while he recorded seven strikeouts. The Venezuelan, who was acquired in the Kyle Blanks trade almost a year ago, is sporting a 3.27 ERA through four starts with 17 strikeouts in 22 innings.
For further reading on the Storm please see the Southwest Riverside News Network.
South Bend Cubs 7 – Tincaps 1
Key Statistics: 2B Felipe Blanco 1-for-2, 2B, BB;
Prospect Watch: It was a tough day for the TinCaps , whose only hit came with two outs in the third inning, and whose only run was courtesy of three walks and a passed ball. Blanco, who also drew a walk, had been in an 0-for-10 slump before Sunday’s game after having reached base safely in every game since moving into the starting lineup following Josh VanMeter’s injury. … Bryan Verbitsky, who was the club’s third round draft choice out of Hofstra in 2013, worked another scoreless frame in a non-save situation. Although nominally the club’s closer, the righty has had few opportunities to close out tight ballgames so far. The hard-throwing righty has given up seven hits and recorded six strikeouts in six one-inning appearances.
For further reading on the TinCaps, see the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette.
For the box scores of all the games please go to the MiLB.com scoreboards.