Sunday Pebble Report:

Colorado Springs: W 7-6

Poor fielding by Las Vegas permitted the Sky Sox to stay close for most of the game, allowing for some late dramatics to secure a win. Joe Koshansky hit his 29th homerun of the season in the bottom of the eighth to tie the contest at six, and then a sequence of three straight singles by Humberto Cota, Jeff Dragicevich and Chris Frey with two down in the bottom of the tenth gave the Sox a walk off celebration. Oscar Villareal had a solid five inning start, Valerio de los Santos was somewhat less solid in his one inning, giving up four of the six Las Vegas runs.

Tulsa: L 1-4

Tough break for Keith Weiser, who pitched well, but got little support from players not named Tony Blanco (two for two plus two walks, the one run was his solo HR). I've had Weiser on the outside looking in on my prospect list for some time, but the minimal adjustment he's needed to AA has me rethinking that .

Modesto: L 7-8

For the next couple of days take performances by Modesto hitters with a grain of salt, and don't get too discouraged by rough outings from pitchers, as Lancaster can skew things to some pretty far extremes. Lino Garcia, Michael Paulk and Angel Cabrera all launched homeruns. Daniel Mayora had four of Modesto's fourteen hits. Aneury Rodriguez allowed five runs, including three on two homeruns.

Asheville: W 2-0

Shane Lindsay continues to perform like a pitcher tantalizingly close to some real breakthrough, but not quite there. So while the Tourists indeed got the shutout in his start, Lindsay was effective but not efficient, and hit his pitch limit before retiring the last out in the fifth, giving way for Edgmer Escalona. Escalona himself had a nice rebound from a pair of shaky appearances earlier in the week with five strikeouts and three hits allowed in two and two thirds innings. Escalona lives and dies off his 93-94 mph heat, yesterday it was obviously working for him.

Jeff Cunningham accounted for all of the runs with his two out, two run blast in the eighth inning. It was Cunningham's 17th HR on the season.

Tri-City: W 5-2

Dust Devils ERA leader Jonnathan Aristil is an okay prospect, and would certainly be in a Rockies top fifty list after this season, let me get that out of the way before I go on with ragging him. The next two seasons will tell us how seriously we should consider him for MLB use, and while I hope this isn't the case, I'm pretty certain that he's going to get exposed. My doubts are based on past performances by FB/changeup pitchers at this level, who typically cruise to gaudy numbers at the start of their minor league careers before slowing down at AA. The problem is that Aristil's numbers are anything but gaudy so far and his inability to avoid bats will only get worse in both quantity and quality of contact against him as the caliber of bats raises. If I saw projection in him, could see that the quality of his pitches could bump up along with the bumps in batter skill level as he advances (as I see with Parker Frazier), then I wouldn't be at all worried. As it stands, however, I think Aristil needs to find another pitch before he's in a legitimate prospect category.

J.R. Murphy struck out the sides in both innings he pitched in relief of Aristil, if you're keeping track, that gives him 40 K's 29 and 2/3 innings for the D-Devils. Murphy was an undrafted free agent, but this is the second year in a row that we've had success with an SDSU Aztec starting pitcher after seeing Bruce Billings outperform expectations as well. I say we should try and get one more next season. Maybe their Friday starter this year (Murphy started Saturdays), I heard he was pretty good.

Casper: L 3-5

Edwar Cabrera continues to disappoint a bit since coming over from the DSL, there really shouldn't be quite this big of a gap in the level of play between the two leagues, I'm still cautiously optimistic that he'll adjust, but it's looking likely that won't happen until 2009. Wilin Rosario and Chad Jacobsen each had a pair of hits in the loss.

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