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Wednesday Pebble Report:

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Colorado Springs: L 2-5

Jayson Nix hit his sixth homerun and Juan Morillo bounced back from a terrible appearance his last time with a perfect frame, striking out two. Chris Frey chipped in two hits and an outfield assist, but other than that there wasn't a whole lot of note in this game.

Tulsa: Off

My latest blog entry at the Rocky Mountain News checks in on Dexter Fowler's progression, with additional notes from around the system.

Modesto: W 9-5

The California League's funky scheduling is going to leave a lot of people with mistaken impressions about the strength (or lack thereof) of their prospects this year. Rockies fans might have to be included in that camp if they're not careful when it comes to the Nuts.

44% of Modesto's games thus far have been against Stockton or San Jose, the league leaders when it comes to run prevention. 43 of 59 games for the Nuts in 2008 have been against the North Division, and you'll note that the five teams from the North (including Modesto, #3 in Cal League pitching this year) just happen to be the five teams in the league to be giving up less than five runs per game. How much of this is attributable to good pitching versus how much is attributable to poor hitting? This series with High Desert shows me that while Modesto's offense is still relatively poor, it's probably not quite as bad as it looks on the stat pages unless strength of schedule is taken into account. Modesto's league lagging offense has busted out for eighteen runs against the Mavericks league lagging pitching staff, so I take heart knowing that the Rockies advanced A level hitting woes aren't nearly as bad as Seattle's advanced A level pitching woes.

Jason Van Kooten went four for four with a homerun and triple, Victor Ferrante three for three with two doubles, and Daniel Mayora three for five with a double.

Asheville: L 4-1

Connor Graham lasted just two innings on a wet pitching mound before having to give way for Robinson Fabian for what I was told was a right groin tweak. It seems to be more grounds related and not serious enough to keep Graham out of his next start. It was Fabian's debut with the team, but an unsuccessful one as the Tourists wound up losing to Hickory to snap their nine game winning streak. The lone Tourists run came from a Darin Holcomb solo shot, his ninth homer of the season. Brian Rike had a pair of hits but other than those two, there wasn't much offense for the T's. The final score could have been worse if it weren't for the strong arm of left fielder Kevin Clark, who twice gunned down runners at the plate trying to score on sac flies.