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Wednesday Pebble Report: Tulsa Drills Dingers, Nuts Pile Up Punchouts

Eye On:  RH RP Leuris Gomez - High-A 

This Dominican reliever toiled as a third baseman for three seasons before giving up and moving to the bullpen.  Consequently, he is already 24 years old, so he is going to have to dominate and hope to rise quickly to figure in as a Rockies prospect.  It is hard to argue he hasn't reached that bar thus far though.  After striking out four in two shut out innings last night, Gomez has a mouth-dropping stat line:  0.49 ERA, 20.1 IP, 1 ER, 33 K's, 3 BB's, 1 HR.  That's just seven strikeouts less than Juan Nicasio, AA Tulsa's ace and pitcher of the month.  And he's doing that wiht hitters achieving a BABIP north of .400 against him.  Perhaps Gomez will be joining Nicasio in Tulsa in the next two months.


AAA Colorado Springs, W 13-5 (12-14, 3rd, 5.0 GB)

The top of the order brutalized the Fresno Grizzlies (Giants) last night.  Leadoff hitter Eric Young Jr (2003, 30th round) had two doubles and a single, 2-hole man #7 PuRP Charlie Blackmon (2008, 2nd round) tripled and singled twice, and 3-hole hitter Chris Nelson (2004, 1st round) had a double and two singles.  The trio each scored three runs and accounted for 6 RBI.  On the other side of the Carson Cistuli wager, Brandon Belt was 0-for-1 with two walks and an RBI sac fly double play.   Yes really.  Brad Emaus (2011 trade) had two hits including his first home run in a Sky Sox uniform.  John Maine (2011, MiLB FA) got the win by allowing four runs in six innings, and Matt Daley (2004 undrafted) tossed another perfect inning to protect his 0.00 ERA.

AA Tulsa, W 4-2 (14-9, 1st)

After yet another start pushed back by a rainout, #3 PuRP Christian Friedrich (2008, 1st round) is getting experienced with being flexible.  He fared much better this time.  The lefty allowed just one run over 5.2 innings on five hits, two by Mike Trout.  He struck out four and walked one.  David Oh No was in attendance and commented that Friedrich showed good fastball command and found success without using his curveball much.  #18 PuRP Casey Weathers (2007, 1st round) made a triumphant return from the disabled list with a scoreless inning and reached 100mph on one pitch.

The Drillers scored most of their offense on home runs.  #16 PuRP Tim Wheeler (2009, 1st round) hit his seventh of the season to lead off the first, while #2 PuRP Wilin Rosario (2006, DR) and Scott Beerer (2003, 2nd round) tagged their fifth and third of the season, respectively.  Both Beerer and Rosario also threw out two singles each in addition to their big flies.

High A Modesto,  W 2-1 - (7-13, 6th, 6.0 GB)

After torching the Northwest League and South Atlantic League over 13 starts, #8 PuRP Chad Bettis (2010, 2nd round) returned to earth a little bit in his first five starts in High-A Modesto.  The right-hander had been good-not-great while working a 4.00 ERA with a higher walk rate.  Last night, Bettis turned in his first dominant outing of the season, going six innings and striking out eleven while walking just one.  That gives him a season total of 40 punchouts, tying him with Juan Nicasio for second in the Rockies' farm system.  Leuris Gomez (2006, DR) dominated over two scoreless innings with four strikeouts of his own, and Sheng-An Kuo (2007, Taiwan) struck out two in a perfect ninth for the save.

Kiel Roling (2008, 6th round) hit his first home run of the season for one run.  The following inning, Joseph Sanders (2009, 5th round) singled, just his seventh hit in 52 ABs this season.  He would later score after a bunt, ground out and wild pitch.


Low-A Asheville, L 5-13 - (12-7, 1st)

The Tourists are bringing back memories of the 2007 World Series, where a Rockies team got embarrassed by members of the Red Sox.  A day after getting embarrassed 15-2 in Greenville, Asheville got thrashed again.  Starter Erik Stavert (2009, 7th round) allowed just one run through his first three innings, but he left in the fourth after allowing the first six batters to reach.  They would all score, in part with the help of reliever Rafael Suarez (2006, VZ), who allowed three home runs and got three outs on the night.   Suarez would get out of the fourth inning but leave after the first five batters he faced in the fifth reached.

On the offensive side, Helder Velazquez (2006, 5th round) knocked out four singles and #9 PuRP Kyle Parker (2010, 1st round) pushed his average to .368 with a two hit game.