The minor league affiliates split the card on Wednesday, with Memphis and Palm Beach both picking up victories. Tough sledding continues for most of the farm, with Palm Beach being the only club boasting a record above .500.
Memphis Redbirds 10 @ Nashville Sounds 0
Daniel Ponce de Leon (SP) - 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
Tommy Edman (2B) - 3-5, HR, 4 RBI, BB, K
Tyler O’Neill (DH) - 3-5, HR, 3 RBI, K
Kramer Robertson (SS) - 2-5, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K
Memphis brought the thunder in Nashville, tallying three home runs and a pair of doubles.
The first dinger belonged to Tyler O’Neill, who is continuing his domination of the PCL after being sent down. The long ball was O’Neill’s 8th at AAA. Overall, he’s batting .316/.361/.754 through 15 games at the level, good for a 157 wRC+.
The second and third homers came courtesy of the middle infield. Kramer Robertson launched his first AAA home run in the fourth inning, scoring three and extending the Memphis lead to 5-0. Tommy Edman followed suit with a three-run home run of his own in the top of the sixth. Edman in particular looks to be benefiting from the livelier ball at AAA. His five home runs have him on pace to break his 2018 mark of seven, and his .207 ISO is nearly double anything he’s posted above Low-A. He’s drawn fewer walks, but the agressiveness hasn’t come at the expense of contact. Through 152 PA’s, he’s slashing .307/.347/.514 to go along with a 14.5% strikeout rate.
The win moves Memphis to 23-23. They’ll take on Nashville again tonight at 6:35pm CDT.
Tulsa Drillers 9 @ Springfield Cardinals 7
Williams Perez (SP) - 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Randy Arozarena (LF) - 3-5, 2B, HR, RBI, K
Elehuris Montero (3B) - 2-4, HR, RBI, K
Johan Mieses (RF) - 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB, K
The split card was very nearly a victorious 3-1 effort. Springfield led Tulsa 7-3 entering the ninth inning before a bullpen blowup scuttled the ship.
Early season waiver claim Merandy Gonzalez took over for Ronnie Williams to start the ninth. Gonzalez allowed a 0-2 home run to Carlos Rincon to begin the inning, closing the gap to 7-4. He responded with a strikeout, but suffered a pair of singles, a walk, and a home run before being pulled in favor of Roel Ramirez. Ramirez allowed a home run of his own against his first batter, extending the Tulsa lead to 9-7. He followed the long ball with a pair of strikeouts to end the disastrous inning.
Springfield never sniffed a rally, going down quietly with groundouts from Randy Arozarena and Conner Capel, as well as a strikeout from Johan Mieses.
Springfield drops to 18-28 after the loss to Tulsa. They open a series against Arkansas tonight at 7:10pm CDT.
Palm Beach Cardinals 8 @ Lakeland Flying Tigers 1
Tommy Parsons (SP) - 6.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Scott Hurst (CF) - 2-5, 3B, 2 K
Julio Rodriguez (C) - 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K
Lars Nootbaar (LF) - 3-4, 2B, 3 RBI, BB
Palm Beach didn’t suffer the same fate as Springfield, similarly powering past Lakeland but avoiding a bullpen implosion.
Righty Tommy Parsons was stellar in his fourth High-A start. Parsons, an undrafted signee, hails from Division 3 Adrian College in Michigan. He’s been a control artist in pro ball, never walking more than 4.3% of the batters he’s faced. Across nine starts between Peoria and Palm Beach, he’s running a 1.26 ERA over 57.1 innings. The minisucle ERA is backed up by a 7.22 K/9, 1.41 BB/9, and a 2.54 FIP.
Offensively, catcher Julio Rodriguez continued to produce at the plate on Wednesday. His name has come up more frequently around these parts as of late, usually as part of Ivan Herrera discussions. As far as low minors catching talent goes, Rodriguez isn’t a precocious teen like Herrera but he’s still interesting as potential backup, at the least. With the bat, Rodriguez is sporting a healthy .339/.397/.505 line as a 21 year old at Palm Beach. That’s propped up by a .388 BABIP, but should still be enough to clear the low offensive bar for catchers once the BABIP comes back to earth. Defensively, he has the edge over Herrera in controlling the running game. In 261 innings behind the dish in 2019, Rodriguez has thrown out a substantial 41.9% of would-be base stealers.
The win improves Palm Beach’s record to 28-17. They start a series against Charlotte this evening at 5:30pm CDT.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 7, Peoria Chiefs 2
Colin Schmid (SP) - 6 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Brendan Donovan (2B) - 1-4, HR, RBI
Brady Whalen (1B) - 1-4, 2B, K
Wadye Ynfante (RF) - 2-3, 3B
I’m running out of time before work, so this Peoria recap has to be quick. My apologies on the late start.
The Timber Rattlers jumped out to an early lead, tagging Chiefs starter Colin Schmid for two runs in the bottom of the first. Schmid settled down over the next three frames before getting caught up in a torrent of singles in the bottom of the fifth. A fielding error and wild pitch exasperated the singles problem, allowing four runs to come around to score during the frame.
Peoria hardly challenged the Wisconsin lead. The Chiefs first run came courtesy of a Malcom Nunez single up the middle, scoring Brady Whalen. The second run came on a Brendan Donovan eighth inning solo home run, his third of the season.
Peoria drops to 19-26 after the loss to Wisconsin. The series against the Timer Rattlers continues today at 11:05am CDT.
MEM: Evan Kruczynski
PEO: Kyle Leahy