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Saturday Pebble Report:

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Colorado Springs: L 0-12

Greg Reynolds and Mark Redman's opponents decided to go negative, the the two pitchers will have you know that they will not sit back and let the Las Vegas offense beat up on them like this. No really, stop. Stop. Please stop. Come on, this isn't funny anymore. Stop...

Tulsa: L 7-8

This game actually looks a bit closer than it should have been, but some credit has to be given to Tulsa pitchers and catcher Brian Esposito for containing the damage Arkansas did once they got on board. Of course, a lot of responsibility also has to be given to those same Tulsa pitchers, particularly starter Josh Hall, for letting so many Arkansas runners on in the first place. Surprisingly, despite allowing fifteen hits and two walks over eight innings, the Drillers had a 7-6 lead heading into the ninth, Ryan Mattheus blew his fifth save of the season and allowed the last two runs for the loss, however.

Modesto: W 4-3

Esmil Rogers' first three August starts (after returning from an injury that held him out for the last half of July) were fairly ineffective, not terrible or disastrous, just short four or five inning stints where he'd give up a few runs and the burden of victory was placed mostly on the Nuts offense and bullpen. It's probably not a coincidence that the rough stretch and injury absence happened during the stretch where Modesto slid from first in the second half standings to their current third place position. Rogers' last two starts have been sharp, in each he's allowed just one run and gone six innings or more and the Nuts as a team have been rallying. It seems to me that Rogers more than other starters has been sort of a pivot point for the Nuts, which probably makes sense given his mid-rotation status. At any rate, similarly to Brandon Hynick and Anuery Rodriguez, his overall season line won't drop him far in my prospect ratings, but without a clear step forward, he's allowed other pitchers like Chacin or Connor Graham to make gains and his overall status on the depth chart and in regards to an MLB future with the Rox seems almost certain to be in the bullpen at this point. Right now I see him in this clump of players right around #20 on my list that I'll have to separate.

Two hit games for Van Kooten, Haley, Mayora and Garcia helped the Nuts score enough to hang on for the win.

Asheville: L 4-5

I've been realizing this week while making said prospect list how far my opinion of Helder Velazquez has dropped this season. While he had two hits last night and is having a solid August, this has been the first month all season that he's cracked the .300 OBP level, and that sort of out rate won't help him as pitchers get much tougher after this level. His 31st error of the season yesterday also underscores a feeling I've had watching him play that he's ultimately unsuited for shortstop, and the bat will have to take major steps forward to be useful at other positions. At his age there's still a lot of room for that to happen, but at this point he's fallen back into more of a sleeper with potential category than an actual MLB prospect for me.

Cory Riordan, on the other hand, despite five runs allowed last night, will probably be at the back end of my 30 with teammate Bruce Billings. One of these two ought to emerge as a back end of the rotation candidate down the road.

Tri-City: W 7-2

Parker Frazier continued his impressive run in the Northwest League with another strong effort. Charlie Blackmon hit his second homer of the season and the week (both have been at Yakima), and Johnny Bowden also homered in the win. Thomas Field and Erik Wetzel each had two hits.

Casper: L 1-9

Wilin Rosario singled and scored on Orlando Sandoval's double in the first, but nothing else promising came from this game. I guess Maikol Gonzalez had a pair of hits, he's a player I'm not entirely sure what to make of. The conservative estimate is an organizational player, but there has been at least a little potential shown by him this season. Matt Baugh and Ethan Hollingsworth, two pitchers who I would havee been higher on even earlier this week stumbled pretty badly against Orem. Hollingsworth may be this season's draft disappointment relative to the round he was picked.