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Monday Pebble Report:

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Draft:

I expect later today or at latest tomorrow that we'll get word of several signings. Right now, I know that third rounder Aaron Weatherford and 18th round selection Chad Jacobson have agreed to terms from Internet reports, but I suspect that's true of several of the Rockies top 20 picks. The one big question mark from the early part of the draft is fifth round selection Chris Dominguez, and I've seen no report thus far that indicates he's made his decision.

Colorado Springs: L 6-3

Matt Holliday hit his first AAA homerun of the season in the loss yesterday, as he appears ready to return to MLB action. Joe Koshansky doubled and tripled, and Christian Colonel hit a triple as well in the loss. Mark Redman gave up all six Salt Lake runs in the third and seventh innings, other than those two disasters, he was sharp. Not sharp enough to merit a return, obviously, but if he can relearn how to avoid crooked numbers and limit the damage to just one run in those bad innings, he would be looking okay as an insurance policy once more.

Tulsa: 4-1

After ripping on Alan Johnson's performances for much of the first two months of the season, I'm happy to report the return of the Johnson we all knew from his Asheville and Modesto days. These last two starts have been reminiscent of the battler we knew from those boxscores, with one somewhat surprising addition, Johnson's apparently developed an out pitch. He's racked up a 19/4 K/BB ratio in the last two starts and fourteen innings. Tulsa pitching coach Bo McLaughlin tells the Tulsa World that Johnson had been too fine early in the season and is being more aggressive. Also of note in that link is the mention of Daniel Carte's strong return from a wrist injury after he'd been slumping a little after a quick start.

Similarly, Eric Young is happy he's back from injury just in time for the summer. Young's fast start this season was out of character for him, but something that's very much in character would be the spike in his numbers that comes with the heat.

"While he had some time off, he reflected on some things we had been working on and made some modifications with a great reasoning behind it," Hajek said. "He made a couple of little changes, relaxing his upper body a little bit. He's put himself in a good position and he's picking up where he left off. He gives a spark to our lineup."

Matt Miller's numbers have already been spiking, he hit his seventh homerun of the season yesterday, six of which have been in his home yard. That's a little odd to have his power so heavily home dependent, as Drillers Stadium is a decent HR environment, but it's not the only one in the Texas League. From the North Division, the stadiums at both Arkansas and especially Springfield have been kind for homers over the last few seasons.

The Drillers are playing spoiler for the playoff hopes of teams in that North Division. Yesterday's loss dropped the Naturalists (kidding, their the Naturals) into a three way tie for first. Tulsa sits alone on the bottom, eight games out.

Modesto: W 5-0

Keith Weiser is likewise getting on track after a slower than expected start to 2008, pitching seven innings yesterday and giving up just five hits. Unlike Johnson, he isn't striking out any more opponents (four yesterday) but the zero walks is a solid sign, as is the 12 to 9 groundball to flyball ratio of balls put in play. Nick Haley continues to have an impressive series with three RBI on two hits yesterday, Michael Paulk and Anthony Jackson also hit twice. One Stockton pitcher will likely be out for the season with fractured cheekbones as a result of Saturday night's brawl, the only resultant time loss for Modesto figures to be the hefty suspension handed to Aneury Rodriguez, and perhaps others from the California League.

Asheville: L 7-5

Robinson Fabian made his starting debut for the Tourists, and it didn't go any better than his appearance in relief of Connor Graham last Monday. Everth Cabrera hit a two run homerun, Michael Mitchell had three hits and Darin Holcomb two for the Asheville. Cabrera's not doing enough of the homerun hitting to get into the mainstream prospect watchers' radar, but he's put up a solid road line and that 42/5 SB/CS aspect obviously adds a boatload of value that won't show up in straight hitting metrics. Mitchell's stats are more McCormick Field dependent and he's older for the league, so right now Cabrera looks like the better bet of the two to continue his table setting success at higher levels.