Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes (6-3)
Albuquerque 11, Reno 2 (MiLB.com Box Score)
W: Bettis (1-1, 5.23) ; L: Webster (0-1, 19.29)
This was a nice little revenge tour for Chad Bettis, who had a tough time facing Reno in his opening start. Bettis went 5 2/3 innings while sriking out five, walking two, and allowing just one earned run. As it turns out, Bettis could have blown up and still got the win, because the offense backing him up sure did. Namely, outfielder Tim Wheeler and first baseman Ben Paulsen went a combined 8-9 with four doubles and a home run, knocking in eight and scoring five. Tim Wheeler is a guy who once hit .287 /.365 /.535 with 33 home runs and 21 stolen bases as a 23 year old on a team where the next year a 23 year old Corey Dickerson hit .274/.322/.504. Some of us still hold out hope that Wheeler will rediscover the power that made him a legit prospect. His three home runs so far have helped raise his overall line to .409/.480/.955.
Double-A: New Britain Rock Cats (5-4)
New Britain 4, New Hampshire 3 (MiLB.com Box Score)
W: Carle (2-0, 1.32) ; L: Lawrence (0-2, 4.38) ; SV: House (2)
New Britain jumped on New Hampshire starter Casey Lawrence. In the first inning, the Rock Cats sent eight men to the plate, had four hits, a walk, and plated three runs. PuRP No. 2 David Dahl had a double and a run scored in the first, Trevor Story (PuRP No. 8) singled the third, stole second, and forced a throwing error that got him to third base; he scored what would be the winning run on a sacrifice fly. Tommy Murphy( PuRP No. 12) didn't hit a home run in this one but did manage to walk three times. Story (.394/.487/.667) and Murphy (.367/.457/.833) are obliterating the pitcher friendly Eastern League and are making a strong case for a role with the MLB team by sometime in 2016 at the latest.
The Rockies difficulty with drafting, developing and, most importantly, with keeping players healthy has been well documented. Nowhere is that more obvious than the AA starting pitching staff. Shane Carle is an example of the kind of transaction I want the new front office to do more often. Carle was acquired for Rob Scahill, a guy who was unlikely to play a role with the 2015 team, and cleared a 40 man roster spot in the process. Carle pitched well enough to get the win in this game and now has a 1.32 ERA through his first 13.1 innings pitched, including nine strikeouts and no walks.
Class A Advanced: Modesto Nuts (4-5)
Modesto 13, Inland Empire 1 (MiLB.com Box Score)
W: Musgrave (1-1, 1.93) ; L: Nuss (0-1, 13.50)
Much like Chad Bettis in Triple-A, Harrison Musgrave didn't need to pitch as well as he did to pick up the win in this one--not that anyone is complaining about his five inning, five strikeout, one run performance. The offense was a PuRP hit parade lead by Raimel Tapia (No. 5), who had three doubles. Correlle Prime (No. 21) made his presence felt in the second inning with a home run, his first of the season, and Ryan McMahon (No. 7) had a single and two walks to give him a season line of .323/.475/.581 so far. Overall, the Nuts knocked in 13 runs on 12 hits and eight walks in the sort of game that gives the Cal league a reputation for crazy offensive output.
Class A: Asheville Tourists (5-2)
Postponed due to rain. The Tourists will play a double-header on Saturday.
Saturday's Probables and Game Times
Triple-A Albuquerque: Chris Rusin, 7:35 MT
Double-A New Britain: Yohan Flande, 11:35 MT
High-A Modesto: Grahamm Wiest, 8:05 MT
Single-A Asheville: Ryan Castellani (game one), 6:05 MT, and Carlos Polanco (game two)