Crabbe Getting Back on Track at Bakersfield

Many of the top pitching prospects in the Reds system are in the AA Pensacola rotation. While Daniel Corcino and Tony Cingrani are making strong cases for promotions some recent rough outings for Tim Crabbe have sent him back to Bakersfield. He's won his first two starts with the Blaze and is looking to resume his advancement within the Cincinnati organization.

Bakersfield built an early three run lead at Visalia Saturday night. After the Rawhide got to within one, they put up two three-run innings and held on for a 10-6 win. Steve Selsky had three hits and drove in the first two runs on a two-out single in the first. Niko Vasquez had two hits including a solo home run. Danny Vicioso added a solo homer in the eighth.

On the mound Tim Crabbe made his second start of the season for the Blaze. He picked up the win after pitching five innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits while striking out four. Blaine Howell threw two scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 3.12. Pat Doyle pitched the final two innings and gave up three runs. The two teams will play the rubber game of a three-game series on Sunday.

Crabbe has spent most of this season at AA Pensacola before returning to Bakersfield earlier this month. The right-hander entered the Reds organization from a fourteenth round selection in the 2009 draft out of Westmont (CA) College. He began his career later that year at Billings with an ERA slightly below 5 in 14 starts in the hitter-friendly California League. The next season he had a 4.26 ERA at Dayton. He remained there to start the next season in the Dragon bullpen and eventually moved up to the Bakersfield rotation. He finished with a mid-3 ERA in his first go-around in the Cal League with a 1.288 WHIP. That performance left him on the fringe of breaking into lists of top Reds prospects before the start of this season.

He kept an ERA below four at Pensacola for much of this season until some rough outings inflated it close to five and prompted a return to high-A. In his first outing with Bakersfield he made a strong statement that his demotion was premature by throwing eight innings of one-run, three-hit ball with six strikeouts and one walk. Last night's start left him with a 2-0 record and 2.08 ERA over 13 innings at with the Blaze this season.

Crabbe stands 6'4"/195# and pitches right-handed. He throws a mid-90's fastball with a polished slider. That has enabled him to strike out more than one batter per inning pitched in 81 minor league outings. Many felt that he was a steal for the Reds when they found him waiting in the fourteenth round. He's now 24 years old and trying to get back on track for moving up in the Reds system. There has been some work developing a changeup and curve for a third pitch. If that does not materialize he take his two primary pitches to a relief role.

Control issues have plagued him this season as his BB/9 innings increased from 3.7 in 2011 to 6.4 with Pensacola. Still, a mid-90's fastball and MLB-ready slider will keep him in Cincinnati's plans for the future. If he can reduce walks he will again continue to advance back up chain somewhere.

Other News from the Farm:

Todd Redmond made his Reds debut a successful one by throwing seven scoreless innings as the Bats shut out visiting Pawtucket 4-0. The right-hander allowed five hits whiles striking out eight and walking one. The big hit of the night was a three-run home run by Didi Gregorius in the sixth. He and Henry Rodriguez both had two hits in the game. Rodriguez is hitting .333 in fifteen games since his promotion from Pensacola.

Pensacola scored two in the seventh for a 4-2 win at Mobile. Ryan LaMarre had two hits including a solo home run. Brodie Greene added two hits and scored the go-ahead run. J.C. Sulburan allowed two runs while pitching five innings and tripled at the plate. Drew Hayes threw a scoreless inning and picked up the win. Justin Freeman had 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the save.

Billy Hamilton Theft Watch:

Hamilton did not start the game but he did drive in the final run with a pinch hit single. He was forced out at second to end the inning. He is still at 112 steals in 91 games. Dayton was blown out at home by Kane County in a 9-1 contest. Kyle Waldrop had three hits and drove in the only Dragon run. Wes Mugarian allowed eight runs in four innings and took the loss.

Billings allowed four runs in the sixth inning before losing at Orem 7-3. Robert Stephenson had another nice outing by allowing only one run on three hits in five innings. Sean Lucas was tagged for four earned runs in two innings for the loss. Brandon Dailey and Seth Mejias-Brean continued swinging hot bats and had two hits each for the Mustang offense.

The AZL Reds allowed five runs in the sixth inning before losing 7-3 to the visiting AZL Angels. Avain Rachel and Jhimmy Lopez had two hits each for the Reds. Amir Garrett the start and allowed two runs in two innings. He was relieved by Jose Williams who allowed three (one earned) in 3+ innings for the loss.

The DSL Reds built up an early lead and cruised to a 10-2 over the visiting DSL Cubs1 team. Rusbel Farinez had four hits and scored four times. He's now 5-10 over his last two games to raise his average over .300. Julio Torrealba allowed four hits in five shutout innings to pick up the win.

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