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Wednesday Morning Pebble Report:

Colorado Springs: The Sky Sox managed twelve hits yesterday, but just one of them (a Cory Sullivan double) went for extra bases, and the team wound up losing five to four. Seth Smith had three of the hits in four at bats, and he's been showing up with some exceptional contact skills over the last few games. He's certainly worth watching closely now that Steve Finley has been released. I think the Rockies are giving Sean Barker a window of opportunity in the majors with this call-up, but the fact that we're now down two left handed bench bats from the beginning of the season (deservedly, as neither was what the team wanted this year) leads me to suspect that Smith or Alexis Gomez are next in line for a promotion should Sean falter out of the gate. While Barker started out hot in April, he had a pretty miserable May, while Smith seems to be going the opposite direction. Joe Gaetti was called up to the Springs to replace Barker and went hitless, but walked and scored a run in four plate appearances.

Tulsa: Franklin Morales is having an odd season where he's not giving up very many hits or runs, and only one homerun in forty-one innings, but the rest of his line isn't that impressive. He lasted just five innings yesterday,  and in five of his eight starts this season -including the most recent three- he hasn't gone past that mark. He struck out five, but also walked three, and obviously he's been getting into deep counts on many hitters to keep getting pulled so early in his games. He allowed just four hits and two runs, but it seems he's still a step or two from adjusting to the Texas League.

Juan Morillo pitched another solid inning in relief in the sixth, but after Judd Songster allowed two baserunners to get on board in the seventh, Darren Clarke was asked to get the final out and instead allowed a three run homerun. Springfield wound up winning, five to four. Jordan Czarniecki homered and doubled. Matt Miller had two more hits to pull his average up to .300, while Jonathan Herrera's slide continues, a zero for five day dropped his average to .269.

Modesto: The Nuts put up Lancaster like numbers against the JetHawks, even though they were at relatively low scoring John Thurman Field instead of the wind tunnel to the South. That said, there was one big difference in the gaudy numbers at Modesto last night, the Nuts had seven infield singles out of their fifteen hits.

Eric Young went three for three with a walk and a sac bunt, stole three bases, scored twice, and had two fielding errors to boot (pun intended). He's now leading the California League in steals with 29 on the season. His season long OBP of .301 is still dismal, but over the last ten games it's at .375, which hopefully is a sign that he's caught up to the league level at the plate.

Daniel Carte. Daniel, Daniel, Daniel. Carte has a streak of nine straight games with at least one strikeout going, most of them with multiple K's, like yesterday's two whiff performance. He only has six hits in that time frame, but four of them have been for extra bases, including a homerun and a double for five RBI last night. It still seems to me like most Cal League pitchers have adjusted to him, and he'll have to be far more selective going forward. Maybe after he recovers from his cold symptoms, that will start to happen. Carte did nail two runners trying to stretch singles into doubles on defense. Really, if he gets that one piece of the puzzle in plate discipline, we can start to be as high on him as just about any player in the system.

Jeff Dragicevich also had a pair of hits in a rehab assignment and Kyle Blumenthal hit the other Modesto homerun.

Brandon Durden had a solid outing before running into trouble in the seventh inning, he finished with six K's and a 10/3 GB/FB ratio. Three of the runs, two of his four walks and the wild pitch he threw were in that last inning of his start, so the seeming wildness in the box score was probably at least partially due to fatigue.

Asheville: Joe Mikulik's tying the franchise record for wins and another fun ejection, Aneury Rodriguez's best start of the season perhaps, Victor Ferrante's defense, another defense of Michael Paulk, all this and more injury news are in Jason McGill's blog entry, so I'll just let you click through rather than do a recap because it's hyper-informative and very much worth reading.