The farm system went 2-1 on Thursday. Everyone except Palm Beach was in play, as their game against St. Lucie was cancelled on account of rain.
On a side note, I’m heading up to Chicago later this afternoon. I’ve been to Wrigley before, but as a fairly new 21 year old, I haven’t experienced Wrigleyville yet. I’ll be there all afternoon Saturday (friends didn’t want to pony up for tickets), so if you have any tips or must-hit spots, drop a line in the comments.
Memphis Redbirds 8 @ New Orleans Baby Cakes 4
(SP) Austin Gomber - 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, HR
(RF) Adolis Garcia - 3-5, 2B, HR, RBI
(3B) Max Schrock - 1-4, 2B, RBI, K
(C) Joe Hudson - 3-4, 2B, HR, 4 RBI
I’m looking forward to Austin Gomber filling into the rotation at some point this season. He looked great on Thursday, in spite of the three runs over five innings. His curveball was on, both in a slower, loopier shape to steal strikes and a tighter, biting shape beneath the zone. I’d be interested to see him work in a Patrick Corbin mold, pumping up the usage of his breaking ball but varying the shape/speed to overcome being basically a two-pitch starter.
Meanwhile, Adolis Garcia appears to have read the offseason takes on his aggressive, swing happy game profile and said, “you ain’t seen nothin yet.” He’s pushed his profile to the extreme this year:
Adolis Garcia - May 2
Woof. Ever think you’d see a guy ISO .320 and not hit at least league average?
The win improves Memphis’ record to 15-12. They open a series against Nashville tonight at 6:35pm CDT.
Amarillo Sod Poodles 1, Springfield Cardinals 0
(SP) Evan Kruczynski - 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
(CF) Dylan Carlson - 1-3, BB
(SS) Kramer Robertson - 01, 3 BB
It’s hard to write up games when the team doesn’t give you anything to write home about. The offense mustered only three hits, with Chris Chinea’s double being the only extra bagger.
The lackluster punch is a shame really, given the sort of bounce back start that Kruczynski had. He pounded the zone on Thursday, throwing 51 of his 69 pitches for strikes, and generally looked like a more confident pitcher than he has in any outing this year. The first inning was his only shaky frame, as he looked to be fighting his mechanics a bit, but he settled into a groove from there on out. His fastball and slider were particularly effective, especially low in the zone. Curveball wise, he couldn’t find a feel for his breaker throughout the outing. The fringey offering has never been a featured pitch in his arsenal, but a big part of his success in the AFL came from dropping it in for easy strikes to get ahead and keep hitters from keying on his low-90’s heater. Here’s to hoping he builds on this outing.
The loss drops Springfield to a rough 9-18 record. It’s the rubber game against Amarillo tonight, 7:05pm CDT.
Peoria Chiefs 4, Dayton Dragons 3
(SP) Cole Aker - 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
(C) Ivan Herrera - 3-5, 3 RBI
(SS) Delvin Perez - 2-5, RBI, 3 K
(LF) Wadye Ynfante - 1-3, BB, K
Peoria took this one down to the wire.
The Chiefs took the first lead of the game, going up 2-0 on a Ivan Herrera RBI single in the bottom of the third. The Dragons got one back in the fifth, but that was all they could scrape together against starter Cole Aker.
After a game tying run in the top of the eighth, the two entered the ninth all knotted up. Fabian Blanco took over on the mound, surrendering a single and a double en-route to giving up the lead. Delvin Perez erased the deficit with a grounder up the middle in the bottom of the frame, before Herrera drove in the winning run in the bottom of the tenth.
Peoria sits at 11-13 after Thursday’s win. Game 1 of a series against Bowling Green tips off tonight at 6:35pm CDT.
Rising: Ivan Herrera (C)
What’s that? You thought there was only one 18 year old tearing up the Midwest League? Among players with at least 60 PA’s, Herrera ranks 8th in the circuit in wRC+, 12th in OBP, and 12th in ISO. That outpaces first rounders Brice Turang and Xavier Edwards, as well as wunderkind Wander Franco. Defensively, he’s made two errors in 127 innings behind the dish while throwing out 38.1% of base stealers and allowing no passed balls.
Falling: Delvin Perez (SS)
Post-hype. Prospect fatigue. Bust. Call it what you want, but the needle is pointing way down for Delvin Perez. The former first rounder still can’t find his offensive footing in pro ball, with no real hints of change on the horizon. Usually I squint to find reasons for hope, like Nick Plummer and his plate discipline, but there’s nothing to unearth here. The approach has gone in the wrong direction, the power is non-existent, and there’s not even hope for a positive BABIP regression to prop up his line. He just hasn’t filled out physically, period, and pitchers are taking advantage of the fact that they can challenge him in the zone with impunity.
MEM: Jake Woodford
SPR: Austin Warner
PMB: Edgar Gonzalez
PEO: Diego Cordero