Las Vegas 51’s 6, Chihuahuas 3
Key Statistics: 2B Carlos Asuaje, 3-for-4, RS; 3B Casey McElroy, 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, RS, RBI; LHP Christian Friedrich, (L, 0-1) 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; RHP Tayron Guerrero, IP, K.
Prospect Watch: El Paso lost the opener of an 8-game homestand to Las Vegas to drop their record to 10-13 ... Third baseman Casey McElroy had three hits Monday evening, falling a homer short of the cycle. McElroy, 26, didn’t start the 2016 season on an active roster but is in the midst of a hot stretch for El Paso. Over his last three starts with the Chihuahuas, the former Auburn Tiger is 7-for-11, with three extra base hits. McElroy had a .736 OPS in Triple-A a season ago; very close to his career OPS of .739 in nearly 400 career minor league games. McElroy may not be a true prospect but he plays second and third and can handle the bat fairly well ... LHP Christian Fredrich was moved up from Lake Elsinore and made his first start for El Paso. Friedrich pitched fairly well, aside from a tough fourth inning in which he allowed a two-run home run. Friedrich only threw 69 pitches, 48 for strikes. Most of the El Paso starting staff has struggled this season so Friedrich should stick in the Chihuahuas rotation. El Paso ranks 15th in the 16-team PCL with a 4.90 ERA, although ironically they lead the league with two complete games, one coming in a rain-shortened game and the other in a seven-inning game.
For further reading on the El Paso Chihuahuas, see the El Paso Times.
Midland RockHounds 11, Missions 10
Key Statistics: SS Jose Rondon, 2-for-5, 3 RBI; LF Nick Torres, 2-for-5, RBI; 3B Gabriel Quintana, 3-for-5, (2) 2B, 2 RS, 3 RBI; C Ryan Miller, 3-for-4, 2 RS, (2) 2B, 2 RS; RHP Bryan Rodriguez, (L, 2-1) 3.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K; RHP Rafael De Paula, 2.1 IP, H, BB, 3 K.
Prospect Watch: The Missions lost a slugfest in the series finale to Midland and dropped three-of-four in the series, allowing 36 runs in the four-game set ... While the pitching struggles once again for the Missions, San Antonio pounded out five extra-base hit, including two doubles from catcher Ryan Miller. Miller, 23, spent most of April as Rocky Gale’s backup and didn’t receive many at-bats. Since Gale’s promotion to El Paso, Miller has received most of the playing time at catcher. Miller had a pair of doubles and two RBI’s Monday night. The backstop from Hemet went 6-for-11 in the series and raised his average to .314 ... Third baseman Gabriel Quintana had three hits, three RBI, and two doubles in a losing effort. Quintana is hitting .306 over his last ten games, although he’s drawn just one walk in that stretch. Quintana is hitting .258/.281/.452 in 18 games for the Missions in 2016. The biggest challenge for Quintana will be plate discipline, as he is walking in 3% of his at-bats so far this season.
For further reading on the San Antonio Missions, see the San Antonio Express-News.
Modesto Nuts 5, Storm 4
Key Statistics: LF Edwin Moreno, 2-for-5, 2B, RS; SS Javier Guerra, 1-for-4, BB; RHP Martires Arias, 3.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K; LHP Taylor Cox, 3 IP, H, 2K.
Prospect Watch: The Storm lost the opener of a Northern California road trip ... RHP Martires Arias struggled with command, allowing three walks and uncorking a wild pitch in his 3.1 innings of work. Arias, 25, was signed to a minor league free agent deal after a solid season in the Mets’ organization a season ago. Arias is nearly seven feet tall and like many tall pitchers, he has struggled to find a consistent release point. Arias has walked 11 in his last three starts, spanning just 8.2 innings. The Dominican righty has a 6.16 ERA through five starts ... Left fielder Edwin Moreno had a pair of hits, including a double in the loss Monday night. Moreno, 22, has had an uneven start to the 2016 season. Moreno was hitting .306 after the season’s first week but is mired in a 6-for-36 stretch. However, Moreno is sixth in the California League with five home runs and is only two off his career-high. Moreno has the talent to advance through the system but has a 28-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio that will need to be improved before he can be considered a true prospect.
For further reading on the Storm please see the Southwest Riverside News Network.
TinCaps 3, Clinton LumberKings 2
Key Statistics: CF Michael Gettys, 2-for-4, RBI, SB (13); 1B Brad Zunica, 2-for-4, HR (4), RS, 2 RBI; RHP Jacob Nix, 3 IP, H, BB, 2 K; RHP Enyel De Los Santos, 4 IP, 2H, 2 ER, 3 K; RHP Gerardo Reyes (W, 2-0) 2 IP, 2 BB, 2 K.
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps got a two-run shot from big Brad Zunica to steal a win on the road ... Speaking of Zunica, the TinCaps first baseman is now tied for the Midwest League with four homers. Zuniga, 20, was San Diego’s 15th rounder last June and has continued to flash big-time power. After a hot start, Zunica is hitting just .182 over his last ten games with 16 strikeouts in 33 at-bats. Still, Zunica’s power continues to make him a player to watch as the weather heats up in the Midwest ... RHP Jacob Nix pitched well once again, with three scoreless innings. Nix, hasn’t allowed a run in his last three starts (11 innings). Nix, 20, is having his innings capped this season but continues to get better every time he takes the mound.
For further reading on the TinCaps, see the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette.
El Paso: INF/OF Alex Dickerson promoted to San Diego, LHP Christian Friedrich, and RHP Brandon Morrow transferred to the Chihuahuas. INF Josh Satin was activated from the 7-day DL.
On the big league side, the Padres designated former El Paso reliever Michael Kirkman and promoted Alex Dickerson. Dickerson, 25, has been groomed as a platoon/bench bat in El Paso this season and has produced solid numbers. Dickerson is hitting a gaudy .352/.405/.549 in 22 games for El Paso.
Friedrich started Monday night for El Paso and took the loss. The former Rockie has a 3.21 start between El Paso and Lake Elsinore this season. Former big leaguer Brandon Morrow will continue to make his march towards a big league spot in the hitter-friendly environment of the Pacific Coast League. Morrow, 31, has struggled in four rehab starts for San Antonio and Lake Elsinore, pitching to a 7.36 ERA in 22 innings. Opposing batters are hitting .355 against the former first-rounder in his four starts.
Satin, 31, was signed to a minor league deal this off-season. The former Met hit .247/.347/.357 with Cincinnati’s Triple-A team a season ago. The former Cal-Berkeley Bear has 116 games of big league experience and can play first and third.
San Antonio: With Morrow’s promotion, RHP Bryan Rodriguez was sent back to San Antonio and took the loss Monday night. Rodriguez, 24, pitched a five-inning, rain-shortened shutout in his only start for the Chihuahuas. Between San Antonio and El Paso, the righty is 3-1, with a 2.84 in five starts this season.