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Pebble Report -

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Casper: Trevor Allen hit two two run homeruns and Jamey Metzger pitched five strong innings to lead Casper over Idaho Falls, nine to three. Allen's line on the season thus far is a mixed bag of extremes: he's hitting over .400, but he's only walked five times (although I'm pretty sure he's had a couple more HBP's), he's struck out twenty five times in ninety three at bats, yet one out of every three of his many hits goes for extra bases so he's not just a slap hitter. He's old for the league, but he's so hot at the plate that doesn't matter as much. Anyway, like a few of his teammates at Casper (notably pitchers Alan Johnson, Andrew Johnston, and Bret Strickland) we have to see him repeat this performance at higher levels before we build a bandwagon to jump on. Metzger on the other hand is still young enough to excite us a little bit as another back end of the rotation candidate a few years hence.

Tri-City: Another hot name in the Rockies minor cicuit is Travis Becktel. Over the last three games Becktel has had five plate appearances each time and each time has gotten safely aboard eighty percent of the time. The NWL isn't exactly AAA, but it isn't high school ball either. A couple of days ago in the Tri-City Herald, Becktel credited his swift turnaround to relaxing more at the plate and to something teammate Jason Van Kooten told him:

"Van Kooten told me I was breaking my hips when I swung, and told me to stand tall," Becktel said. "The coaches have been great, but sometimes you get great advice from other hitters because they know what you're going through."

I'm not sure which prospect I'm more impressed with by this. Becktel for being humble enough to learn from a teammate, or Van Kooten for being an astute observer of hitting technique. Either way it bodes well for our future. Daniel Carte went two for three with a double and a walk and his average is over the Mendoza line for practically the first time this season. Shane Lindsay was a bit erratic in three innings, he struck out five, but he walked four and gave up three hits. Setbacks happen and the K's are still impressive, we'll see how he does with the control next time out.

Asheville: Dragon Lo got a reprieve as the game last night was suspended due to rain after a shaky top of the first by the young right-hander.

Modesto: Modesto won nine to three. Troy Tulowitzki went two for five with a homerun, Jonathan Herrera, Christian Colonel and Joe Gaetti also had two hits apiece. Ian Stewart was one for three with a walk and Aaron Marsden went seven innings deep but gave up eleven hits (no walks) to earn the vctory.

Tulsa: The Drillers won thanks to three players:

Jon Asahina 9 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K, 0 R.
Tony Miller 1-4, HR
Jayson Nix 1-3, HR

As was speculated in the Chacon trade thread, with the addition to Tulsa of Ramirez and Sierra, and the promotion to the majors of Colorado Springs' Zach Day, Asahina appears to be in line for a promotion to AAA. Less likely candidates are Enmanuel Ulloa and Sandy Nin. Nix's season line has been slowly creeping North for a little while now.

Final score: two to nothing.

Colorado Springs: The Sky Sox lost eight to five. Jeff Baker is zero for eight since returning from injury and Justin Hampson hasn't adjusted to AAA hitters all season. Ryan Spilborghs and Tom Wilson homered and JJ Davis's three BB's were a good sign, now if he could only get a few more hits for the Springs as well.