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Friday Pebble Report: Tyler Matzek update, and Juan Nicasio continues to dominate in Asheville

First of all, in case anybody hasn't been reading the comments in Curt in Florida's FanPost to the right, we do seem to have a bit more information thanks to bradderup, who's reported that Tyler Matzek is moving into his apartment in Oregon and was purportedly only offered $2 million by the Rockies.

According to sources at Oregon, he will be attending Oregon in hopes of him becoming number 1 overall in 3 years. It sounds bold, but this is a very confident kid. Matzek’s advisor is the same agent as Oregon head coach George Horton’s. Matzek’s dad recently lost his job but that has not stopped him from asking for his precedent setting money. The Rockies have said they will not offer more than 2 million.

While marginally higher than the 2008 recommended slot, and therefore quite a bit higher than Baseball America's estimated $1,791,000 slot recommendation for 2009, this seems a lowball offer for a high school starter of Matzek's caliber. If these reports are true, and at this point I don't have any reason to suspect that they aren't, it would appear that the Rockies will be losing out on Matzek and will get the #12 pick in next season's draft in addition to their own pick (currently #25). 

Colorado Springs: Off

Tulsa: L 6-8

Cole Garner homered, extending his 15 game hitting streak (well, technically not, since he walked in an August 10th pinch hit appearance, the streak is only when he's starting) and is now hitting .326/.392/.609 in August, while Darin Holcomb collected three hits, also homering, and is hitting .390/.444/.634 in the month so far. Both players struggled in May but have been heating up over the last two months. Some strong work by Brandon Durden (6 IP, 2 H, 1 R) went for naught as the Drillers bullpen collapsed. Edgmer Escalona blew his first save of the season in allowing two runs (he's been struggling lately) and Adam Bright took the loss in extra innings.

Modesto: Off

Asheville: W 5-0

Juan Nicasio improved to 7-1 with a complete game shutout of Kannapolis. Nicasio allowed just four hits and a walk and struck out seven. Nicasio has blown up in a good way over his last ten starts, going 6-0 with a 64/13 K/BB rate and a  1.41 ERA and continues the Rockies strong work of developing pitchers from Latin America. Delta Cleary hit a two run home run, Mike Zuanich had three hits, including a double and two RBI. Zuanich is now hitting .407 with the Tourists, and has an incredible .377/.517/.707 combined line for Tri-City and Asheville. It's only 141 plate appearances, but there's substantial reason to think he's turned a major corner and he could rise quickly next season.

Tri-City: W 3-0

Josh Hungerman's solid stint at Tri-City has gotten overlooked a little, but the big left hander's been getting the job done, holding opponents to a .148 batting average against as a starter. He's seeming like an intriguing sleeper at the moment. Kent Matthes homered for the first time since June, his second of the season, and also doubled in the win. First round pick Tim Wheeler tripled for his only hit in five plate appearances. Zuanich is a good cautionary tale to not get too concerned about short season statistics, so don't worry about the struggles of these guys yet.

Casper: L 3-6

Don't blame the loss on Chris Balcom-Miller, he continues to be great with six innings and just one run allowed on four hits, a walk and four K's. Nolan Arenado is starting to look like he might have been a real steal for the second round, as he has adjusted to professional ball with four hits, including two doubles. He's hit .388/.415/.633 in the month of August, which is fantastic for an 18 year old player, even in the Pioneer League.