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Thursday Pebble Report: Drillers Struggle in Texas League All-Star Game

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Eye On - LHP Tyler Matzek

Once upon a time, not very long ago, Tyler Matzek was the Rockies #1 prospect and owner of the biggest signing bonus in franchise history.  With his mechanics a mess and possessing control that would frighten Rick Ankiel, the southpaw got demoted from Modesto to Asheville a few weeks ago, only to throw three horrendous starts for the Tourists.  His season line:  0-5, 10.71 ERA, 12.5 BB/9.  His confidence is most certainly shot.  As reported by Jack Etkin yesterday, Matzek has been permitted to leave Asheville.  After meeting with Bill Geivett in Asheville, Matzek has gone to California to meet with his personal amateur pitching instructor, who is not affiliated with the Rockies, for "about two weeks."  Rockies roving pitching coordinator Bo McLaughlin will visit him while in California.

It is a very unique, aggressive yet submissive course the Rockies have chosen here.  Then again, Tyler Matzek is a very unique problem.  He is just 20 years old, so even if he is torn down and started anew in California, there is still time for him to reaffirm the promise so many saw in him just two years ago.

AAA Colorado Springs - Off Day (36-44, 3rd, 10.5 GB)

The Sky Sox had a travel day yesterday, as they continue their road trip westward from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas.  First pitch tonight is at 8:05MDT. 



AA Tulsa - All-Star Game:  South 3, North 2   (33-38, 3rd, 5.0 GB) 

#10 PuRP Tim Wheeler (2009, 1st round) took second in the Texas League Home Run Derby.  Who had the power to defeat Wheeler?  That would be guest participant, high schooler Landon Thompson, by one measly dinger.  As for the All-Star Game, #9 PuRP Christian Friedrich (2008, 1st round) was saddled with the loss, as he allowed one run on three line drive hits in the second inning for the game's first run.  Wheeler went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and warning track flyout, #19 PuRP Ben Paulsen (2009, 3rd round) was 0-for-4 with 3 K's and a warning track flyout, and #1 PuRP Wilin Rosario (2008, DR) was ofer in two at-bats.   It wasn't all bad though - Joe Torres (2011, MiLB FA) allowed a single but got two outs, and Scott Beerer (2003, 2nd round) singled in his only at-bat.  

Paulsen posted this picture on his twitter account of four of the Drillers at the Alamo from yesterday.  Guess who is who!

High-A Modesto -  W 8-4L 2-7 (3-4, t-3rd, 4.0 GB)

Game 1:  The three highest rated position prospects in Modesto had themselves a fine early game with the bat, with #4 PuRP Nolan Arenado (2009, 2nd round) slapping two doubles, a single and driving in two runs to lead the way.  Kent Matthes (2009, 4th round) homered, doubled, walked and drove in two, and Josh Rutledge (2010, 3rd round) had a three hit day.  Parker Frazier (2007, 8th round) started and nearly went the distance, though he labored in the seventh and final inning.  Kurt Yacko (2008, 8th round) got the final out.  Arenado and Rutledge each committed fielding errors.

Game 2:  Alan DeRatt (2008, 17th round) started and managed to get two outs before allowing a run.  Unfortunately, when Jerry Weinstein removed him, he had failed to retire another batter, while allowing five Giants to cross home plate.  Beau Seabury (2007, 13th round) and Carlos Martinez (2006, DR) each doubled and scored, while Angelys Nina (2007, DR) singled twice, walked and drove in a run.


Low-A Asheville - L 1-9  (5-2, 2nd, 1 GB)

Juan Gonzalez (2007, VZ) was quite solid in Asheville last year as a 20 year old, but his return to the Tourists hasn't started so well.  The Venezuelan was blown up in his fourth consecutive appearance (three starts), with last night being the worst.  The right hander was charged with nine runs (eight earned) in 3+ innings of work to give the Drive all the runs they needed.  Stephen Head (2011, MiLB FA) and Dominic Altobelli (2009, 16th round) made their Tourist debut after being added to the roster earlier in the day - Head worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning in relief, and Altobelli grounded out to end the game.  Chandler Laurent (2009, 21st round) doubled and scored on a wild pitch for Asheville's only run.


Short Season-A Tri-City -  W 5-3  (7-6, t-2nd, 1.0 GB)

Brian Humphries (2011, 14th round) singled twice and scored both times, while also gunning down a runner at the plate. Tim Smalling (2011, 15th round) had a three hit night, and Blake McDade (2010, 20th round) doubled and scored.  Ricardo Ferrer (2007, VZ) danced around traffic all night, but Boise only managed to score one run off of him.


Rookie Casper -  L 4-6 (6)  (2-8, 4th, 5.0 GB)

Hey, I was at this game too.  Alex Gillingham (2011, 11th round) made his first professional start and was mostly solid, though his defense certainly betrayed him.  Well, actually, Rosell Herrera (2009, DR) betrayed him.  The shortstop ole'd a routine two hopper with two outs in the first that preceded a home run, then he dropped a potential double play ball when transferring the ball out of his glove that led to another jam.  Later in the game, a high line drive bounced out of his glove, though the batter was awarded with a hit.  William Rankin (2011, 17th round) completely shut down the Chukars for three innings as the the Ghosts started to creep back from six runs down.  David Kandilas (2009, Australia) tripled off the wall and scored, and Sam Mende (2011, 31st round) singled twice, driving in a run.  The game was called after a ~30min rain delay before the seventh inning, just as the rain ceased. 


DSL Rockies  L 1-8 (14-13, 4th, 4.5 GB)

Starting pitcher Jayson Aquino actually pitched exceptionally well in this one, going seven shutout innings.  Six Orioles reached base against the lefty, and he struck out four.  Manuel Montilla and Andres Medrano combined to cough up eight runs on eight hits in the eighth inning. Three of those errors were unearned, but the error was committed by Montilla himself.  Jesus Basilio singled twice and Jose de la Cruz doubled and scored, but that was about it for the Rockies' offense.