Yesterday I posted a preview for Tri-City and Casper at the Rockies Farm Report. I probably should have pointed it out to you before Juan Nicasio pitched so well in his Dust Devils debut so you knew to expect that.
Colorado Springs: W 4-2
Troy Tulowitzki had two hits in his first AAA rehab appearance and Franklin Morales got through five rough innings with only two runs given up in the Sky Sox win. Morales allowed eleven baserunners, including eight hits and three walks. Morales gave up four doubles in the first two innings, but Salt Lake only scored one run in each and then settled down mostly for his last three. The Sky Sox scored two runs themselves in the first when Tulo doubled in Clint Barmes and then scored on a Nick Adenhart balk. They scored the final pair in the seventh when Edwin Bellorin doubled in Cory Sullivan and then scored himself on a Jonathan Herrera single. Cedrick Bowers and Steven Register combined to pitch four scoreless innings in relief of Morales.
Tulsa: W 10-5
Tony Blanco has been one fantastic minor league player this season. Yesterday he added four more extra base hits, two doubles and two homeruns and five RBI to his 2008 tally. Chaz Roe pitched seven strong innings and Matt Miller, Jeff Kindel, Daniel Carte and Eduardo Cornejo each added two hits in the romp. Dexter Fowler only had one single, but it was good enough to keep his eleven game hit streak going.
Modesto: W 3-2
One time Rockies draft pick Scott Maine allowed two runs in the twelfth off four singles as the Nuts got the walk-off win. I'm glad the D-backs aren't getting quite the same value from that former Rockies pick that they got from Micah Owings. Esmil Rogers pitched well, allowing just one run inn six and two-thirds innings off five hits with five strikeouts. Rogers is pretty much the same pitcher he was a season ago in Asheville, only more consistent and with better endurance. I could see some progression here, and he's got the stuff to translate well to higher levels. It makes for an interesting question to rank the Rockies many right handed starters in a hierarchy. You have a handful of pitchers with bona fide out pitches like Chacin, Aneury Rodriguez, Rogers, Connor Graham, Shane Lindsay and now it seems Nicasio, and then you have the control specialists like Greg Reynolds, Brandon Hynick, Alan Johnson and Cory Riordan. Chaz Roe falls kind of between the two camps but certainly needs included in the debate.
I think I personally have to rank Chacin on top. Reynolds still is #2, particularly if he can continue to pitch like last night, but I kind of picture Aneury and Esmil right behind him and ahead of the Roe/Hynick/Johnson trio at Tulsa. I'd probably put those three in the next tier, with Lindsay somewhere around there and then I'm liking Graham and Nicasio a bit better than Riordan right now. Anyway, I guess my point is that I think it's important that we don't overlook the strong pitching in Modesto this season (and that includes the Harris/Johnston/et al bullpen) that has succeeded in making the Nuts a .500ish team despite the abysmal offense. It's a great story and a great collection of arms there.
Asheville: L 4-13
The Tourists made up the bulk of the South All-Star team, so the South's big loss is more or less a T's big loss. Jhoulys Chacin gave up a two run homer in his one inning and Randall Taylor gave up another one in his one third of an inning, but otherwise the T's All-Stars did okay in the meaningless exhibition.
Tri-CIty: W 5-1
Josh Banda hit a three run homer in the sixth and Rhadames Nazario added a solo shot to push the Dust Devils to an opening night win. Juan Nicasio looked particularly sharp with five and two thirds innings. He allowed two hits and a walk and struck out seven. After the sixth, the Dust Devils apparently wanted to get home quickly, that or just provide a breeze to the fans, as Edgar Tejeda of the Canadians struck out eight of the ten batters he faced, plunking Patrick Rose to disrupt his perfection.
Casper: W 5-3
While Jeff Fischer remains winless in his professional career, the Ghosts are a perfect 1-0 after pulling out the thirteen inning road victory last night. Fischer pitched into the eighth, and his new sinker was apparently working for him as he turned in a 12/6 GO/AO rate, with the one major blemish being a seventh inning homerun. James Sims, Leuris Gomez and Orlando Sandoval each had three hits for the Ghosts. Eliezer Mesa, Wilin Rosario, Shane Lowe and Carlos Martinez each had two as the offense was pretty well spread around to everybody besides Chadler Jacobsen. Isaiah Froneberger had an interesting two innings of relief, striking out six, but also allowing three hits, walking three (one intentionally) and throwing two wild pitches.