Colorado Springs: The lesson of the early season in regards to Ubaldo Jimenez is to keep him away from the Dodgers and their affiliates. Outside of two atrocious starts against Las Vegas, U-ball hasn't been that bad. Yesterday he pitched seven innings, allowing five hits, one run and three walks, and he K'd seven. We'll need to see a few more games like that though, as evidenced by the fact that despite pitching so well, his ERA only lowered to 8.14. Offensively, it took a ninth inning Joe Koshansky sac fly to tie the game at one and force extras, and them more Koshansky heroics in the fourteenth to drive in the go ahead run in a three to one victory. Ian Stewart had three hits, and Ryan Spilborghs had two and two walks. He also scored twice.
Tulsa: The Drillers rallied from an eight to one deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, but ran out of steam and lost 9-8 in ten innings. In that ninth, they scored the seven runs off of four walks, four singles and an HBP as the one big hit to push them over the edge seemed elusive. Jonathan Herrera and Joe Gaetti both singled and walked in the station to station game, and Aaron Rifkin singled and walked twice. Zach Parker allowed seven runs to score and took the loss, his spot in the Tulsa rotation will be taken over by Samuel Deduno this weekend. Darren Clarke debuted and pitched well in relief.
Modesto: Deduno presents an interesting dilemma, well his rotation slot does at least. Right now, he's clearly the second best starting pitcher on Modesto's squad. Brandon Hynick's superior polish and decent stuff passes Sammy the Bull's potential and superior stuff, at least for now. However, the Rox have already made the decision that it's Deduno who gets the trip to Tulsa. I've come over to the camp that Hynick needs to be aggressively promoted, and much more time in Modesto might not be in his or the Rockies' best interest. Yet I see no reason to hold Deduno back, either. My solution then, would probably be to temporarily move the struggling Ching Lung Lo back to Modesto or to Tulsa's pen, to be better able to gauge where Hynick stacks in the pitching depth chart. Early word says he could be the third closest to MLB ready in the system behind Jimenez and Greg Reynolds. With our pitching needs with the big club, I think it behooves us to find out.
Deduno pitched alright in his second game of the season. Six innings in Visalia was good. Only four hits allowed was good. Four walks to five K's wasn't quite as impressive. Offensively, the bats shined against struggling D-backs' prospect Matt Torra. Dexter Fowler, Eric Young, Chris Nelson, Jose Valdez and Travis Becktel all had multi-hit games. Becktel and Nelson each homered and doubled and Chris got his season OPS over .800 as he continues to bounce back from a sluggish start. How is Chris stacking up? In the Cal League, his OPS is third among shortstops, trailing only the 18 AB's of 26 year old Iggy Suarez and the extreme home park inflated line of Christopher Davis. That's ignoring the phenomenal start of recent full time outfielder Justin Upton (who our pitchers walked three times yesterday) however, but Nelson is quietly putting together a pretty solid start to his season.
Asheville: Simon Ferrer finally was able to keep hitters guessing with his knuckleball deep into a game, going seven innings yesterday and allowing just three hits. Ferrer had consistently been going strong just far enough for a decision, but couldn't quite get the depth of starts we were looking for until yesterday. He hit a batter to lead off the seventh, but induced a double play ground out and a weak fly to center. For the rest of the game, Jason McGill's Tourists' blog has a better rundown than I could give, his notes include a plea for the Rox to clear some space for Logan Wiens (FREE LOGAN WIENS!) and call up Michael Paulk, as well as the info that Ian Stewart and Susan Mikulik have a new puppy. Awww...