Colorado Springs: As long as Garrett Atkins' slump continues, Ian Stewart's performance in AAA will bear greater scrutiny. Yesterday, Stewart had two more singles in a five to four victory over Sacramento to raise his season average to .299. There's still not any overly impressive aspect to his line that says he needs the call-up now, but at the same time, to characterize the season as a disappointment (As Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus did recently) is also premature. Be sure to read the comments to yesterday's Pebble Report for some thoughts from Marc Gustafson as related by David Ohno on the lack of power of both Stewart and Joe Koshansky this year.
Also under a lamplight of scrutiny this season is Ubaldo Jimenez, and thus far, he's been wilting. Yesterday continued a trend of disappointing starts, with Jimenez walking five and giving up six hits and four runs in six innings. Omar Quintanilla is on a string of six straight multi-hit games as a Sky Sock, with the month long call-up to the bigs in the middle of it. He doubled, singled and had two RBI in yesterday's win.
Tulsa: The Drillers had the unfortunate task of taking on a re-habbing Kevin Millwood yesterday, and lost two to one, despite some strong pitching by Ryan Mattheus. Mattheus only struck out one, a trait that will limit his value in the majors, but he otherwise only allowed six baserunners in seven innings and had a 13/7 GB/FB ratio. One of the five hits he allowed was a homerun, the only run to score off him, and Darren Clarke also gave up a solo shot in his return to AA from the Rockies.
Modesto: Brandon Hynick continues to run roughshod over the California League, pitching a one run complete game and allowing just seven hits and no walks. He struck out eight and improved to 8-0 on the year as the Nuts scored a four to one victory over Visalia. Visalia's lineup is pretty toothless now that Justin Upton's in AA, so Hynick's accomplishment loses some luster, but it's still very impressive nonetheless. In two seasons now, Hynick's put up lines that would be impressive in pitcher friendly leagues in two of the heaviest hitter oriented leagues out there. I'm beginning to see why Gustafson would characterize him as a potential anchor to a rotation.
Eric Young and Dexter Fowler each had three hits, but oddly in a bad way, neither scored. Both did have an RBI apiece. Phillip Cuadrado homered and the bottom of the lineup produced all the offense for the Nuts in the win.
Asheville: The Tourists' first two hitters also had three hits apiece, but Geoff Strickland and Hector Gomez were more successful at getting around to home plate, scoring three times in the eight to six loss to Hickory yesterday. Of course, it also helps that three of the hits were for extra bases, a double and triple from Strickland, and a homerun from Gomez, whereas Dex and EY's were all singles for Modesto. Simon Ferrer's been having a pretty rough stretch of late, giving up eight runs (six earned) in six innings yesterday. He only allowed seven hits, but five of them were for extra bases and he also walked three. Logan Wiens had his fourth error of the season, accounting for the two unearned runs, I assume.