Colorado Springs: The Sky Sox split a double header with Tucson yesterday, and there were several noteworthy performances. First, the comeback of Ubaldo Jimenez continued in the opener, as U-ball pitched all seven innings and allowed only two runs. His K/BB ratio was an even 3/3, but the 15/3 GB ratio was fantastic and included three GIDP's to erase some of the baserunners he allowed. Alexis Gomez drove in five, and Joe Koshansky and Ed Bellorin three apiece in the 13-2 victory. Koshansky's 3 RBI all came on a first inning homerun, and Gomez also homered in the game.
In April, Seth Smith batted just .226 over eighteen games. Since then, his average has been rising faster than the temperature. He went four for seven combined in the two games with a walk and a double and he scored four times. In the month of July he now has been putting up a batting line of .537/.578/.951. It's been an incredibly hot month for the reigning PCL offensive player of the week. He's hitting equally well home and away. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be a place for him in Colorado right now, other than to take Cory Sullivan's bench job. Smith seems to be ready for much more than that.
Tulsa: Franklin Morales did his best to show his dominating Futures Game appearance last week was a sign of things to come rather than a one off in this season of mediocrity for him. Morales pitched seven and a third innings, allowed just four hits and a walk and struck out six against Arkansas and Nick Adenhart in a two to one victory. Rick Guarno, Corey Wimberly, Aaron Rifkin and Chris Frey all had multi-hit games for the Drillers.
Modesto: Things weren't so pleasant for Modesto against the San Jose Giants. San Jose pounded Alan Johnson and won eight to two. The game started well, with an Eric Young single and steal followed by a Chris Nelson homerun, but that was the end of the highlights. Young is also having a fantastic month so far, batting .458/.552/.729. That OBP represents 22 hits and 9 walks. He's also added 12 more stolen bases out of those 31 times on base without getting caught once.
Asheville: Keith Weiser versus Adam Cowart figured to be another pitching duel, and a four to three score in Asheville qualifies in that regard. Weiser and the Tourists came out on top, and with his eleventh win, Keith ties Cowart and two others at the top of the SAL leaderboard. Weiser allowed six hits and a walk in seven innings and he also struck out seven. After losing three straight starts at the beginning of June, he seems to have turned things back around. Jay Cox and Bret Berglund both homered back to back with two outs in the fourth inning to provide three of the four runs (Cox had a man aboard when he hit his) in support of Weiser.
Tri-City: Bruce Billings continues to put a up stellar numbers in the Northwest League, let's all hope he can keep it up as he climbs levels. Yesterday he struck out five in five and two thirds innings, walked none and allowed just five hits. He has a 25/3 K/BB ratio in 23 innings thus far on the season, but shakiness in his two road starts have me a little worried that this might not be real. Darin Holcomb, Maruis Loupadiere and Brandon Reichert had multi-hit games for the Dust Devils to fuel the win.
Casper: Luis Noboa's start was pretty solid despite taking the "L" and allowing three runs in five innings of a nine to nothing Casper loss. Noboa struck out seven and walked just one. He had one wild pitch. He's now pitched nine innings in two appearances with 14 K's and just three walks, and I did hear that he has stuff to back it up. At twenty-two in a rookie level, he's very old for the league, however, so we'll have to wait to see what he does at higher levels to consider him a real prospect, but he does seem to at least deserve "sleeper" status.