Colorado Springs: W 5-4
The Sky Sox would probably be able to feed a pretty decent Japanese professional league team, as several of these players have hit their AAA peak, but haven't been able to make the necessary quick adjustment to the MLB. Jonathan Herrera's (2 hits last night) lack of power hurts him at the big league level. Jayson Nix (also 2 hits) and Joe Koshansky have swings that are too long. Christian Colonel? He probably will wind up in the same camp, but it's important we give him some opportunity to prove otherwise as is the case with Matt Miller (also a pair of hits). All of these guys are lacking just one or two crucial aspects to their game that keeps them from getting over that last, most difficult hurdle, and it's frustrating and at times heartbreaking to watch them try and overcome this final obstacle. Luck and timing play such a huge factor in how extended their opportunity to prove themselves is. Jeff Baker has had a similar obstacle to overcome, but because he entered the MLB on a hot streak, his major league time has been expanded because we've seen what he's capable of against MLB pitching when he's at the top of his game. Greg Reynolds, who went five innings last night giving up two runs (3 BB's and 0 K's) is a pitching equivalent of these limbo players, and like Nix and Koshansky will be looking for a bit of redemption the next time he puts on a Rockies uniform.
We'll get a good look at a couple of them in September, I'm sure, especially once we're finally put to rest, and it will be interesting to see if anybody's ready to show they're more than AAAA.
Tulsa: L 3-5
Eric Young, Dexter Fowler and Chris Nelson each doubled and went a combined 5 for 10 with a walk in the first three slots of the lineup, but there generally wasn't much support after that. Nelson has really been playing well late in the season, which is very encouraging. Casey Weathers had a perfect inning with a K in relief.
Modesto: L 2-4
The sun rose, set. Jhoulys Chacin pitched and did well. Nothing to see there. Kane Simmons had the only extra base hit for the Nuts while Michael Paulk and Lino Garcia had pairs of singles.
Asheville: L 4-9
Panic about Christian Friedrich setting in? No worries. He had a "One Bad Inning" start, which sometimes indicates that a pitcher is pretty close to putting everything together. A scout that had seen him with Tri-City told me he though Friedrich rushed his delivery and got rattled after mistakes, an "OBI" start would help support this claim. Darin Holcomb had two hits, including a double, and drove in two.
Tri-City: L 3-5
I really like Parker Frazier, and think the Rockies' man in the booth must have taught his son something right, as the kid continues to put up some quietly impressive numbers for his age at this level. He pitched five innings last night, allowed two runs on five hits, walked three, struck out three, but had a solid GB rate.
Casper: W 7-5
I'm really starting to think that there may be some "there" there with Jose Gonzalez. He had a pair of hits including a double and also walked. Wilin Rosario also had two hits including a double and walked twice. Hollingsworth's start was contact oriented, I hope people are right about him improving with better defenses as he goes up levels. Of course, given our Reds-like Tulsa "D" this season, it might be quite a while before he sees those better defensive units (note: I realize this isn't fair to Asheville, which has some pretty talented defensive parts at most positions).