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Sunday Pebble Report: Starting Pitching Impresses, Particularly Alex White

Alex White, Parker Frazier, Christian Bergman and Ben Alsup all pitched well for their Rockies affiliates
Alex White, Parker Frazier, Christian Bergman and Ben Alsup all pitched well for their Rockies affiliates

AAA Colorado Springs, W 3-2 - (5-5, t-2nd, 1.0 GB)

Jamie Moyer leads the Rockies' rotation in ERA, IP and K/BB. Moyer has not been incredibly impressive, coming in with (4.22, 5.1IP/start and 2.50 K/BB). That means there should be plenty of eyes on AAA for reinforcements. One of the more intriguing options is #6 PuRP Alex White (2011 trade). Due to still building up arm strength, White went only five innings yesterday, but they were very good ones. He threw 46 of 67 pitches for strikes (better than a 2:1 ratio), struck out five, walked none and allowed two runs on six singles. He did hit the first batter he faced, but considering what Rob Scahill went through in Colorado Springs Friday, White was very impressive.

Andrew Brown (2012, waivers) hit a tying solo home run in the seventh to set up a classic minor league walk-off win. Jimmy Cesario (2008, 46th round) managed a two-out single in the ninth, then came around to score on....three wild pitches.

AA Tulsa, W 5-3 - (6-3, 1st)

Parker Frazier, a Tulsa native, made his first home start for the Drillers. He was greeted by a triple by Jaff Decker, who scored on a ground ball. Frazier went on to allow ninen more hits and a walk in his full six innings, but due to a little luck and exceptional defense by #2 PuRP Nolan Arenado (2009, 2nd round), Frazier allowed just one more run....on a solo homer.

#9 PuRP Josh Rutledge (2010, 3rd round) , #26 PuRP Ben Paulsen (2009, 3rd round) and Arenado all doubled in a five-run fourth, aided by spotty defense on the part of the San Antonio Missions. Those three hits accounted for half of the Drillers' total, but it proved to be plenty, as they eased to a 5-3 win on the strength of that fourth inning. They'll open a new home series with the Corpus Christi Hooks this afternoon at 1:05 MDT.

Kevin Henry of the Tulsa World interviewed Drillers play-by-play guy Dennis Higgins about the exciting roster and strong start of the Drillers. Particularly of note:

"I've been more impressed with (Arenado's) defense than his bat"

Arenado is hitting .371 with 6 of his 13 hits going for doubles, and a 191 wRC+ at the plate.

High-A Modesto, L 2-4 - (2-7, 5th, 5.0 GB)

#19 PuRP Corey Dickerson (2010, 8th round), #25 PuRP Cristhian Adames (2009, DR) and Chandler Laurent (2009, 21st round) each doubled, but the Nuts only managed two hits otherwise against the Stockton Ports. Christian Bergman (2011, 24th round) had a much better start than his Modesto debut, going 5.1 IP and allowing a run on five hits with five strikeouts and and 8/2 ground to air out ratio. Nick Schnaitmann (2008, 22nd round) had his first stumble of 2012, allowing a couple ground ball singles ahead of a three-run home run to take the loss. As an aside, Eliezer Mesa, who was one of two prospects traded to Oakland for Mark Ellis, is back in the California League again. He played in the game for Stockton, went 0-for-4 and is hitting .179.

Low-A Asheville, W 11-3 - (6-4, t-2nd, 0.5 GB)

#28 PuRP David Kandilas (2009, Australia) hit his first full-season-level home run, a three-run jack that highlighted a 4-run 6th. Kandilas and Delta Cleary Jr. (2008, 37th round) each had two hits. Tyler Massey (2008, 14th round) (@TylerMassey7) had a three hit night and Ryan Casteel (2010, 17th round) continues to impress in Asheville with a triple and two singles. Rosell Herrera played error-free ball at short and turned a double play as Trevor Story had the night off.

Ben Alsup's (2011, 18th round) second start with the Tourists was a significant improvement over his debut in Asheville. The 6'3" right-hander struck out eight against one walk in six strong innings. He allowed just five hits and two runs (one earned).