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Colorado Rockies prospect David Dahl graduates from Hartford Yard Goats

Weekly updates, quotes, news, and notes from the Hartford Yard Goats, the Double-A Eastern League affiliate of the Colorado Rockies from June 28 to July 4.

(Courtesy, Hartford Yard Goats)

The Hartford Yard Goats have fallen seven games behind the Trenton Thunder in the race for the East Division wild card spot after another 3-4 week. The roster continued to experience some turnover, as top prospect David Dahl’s excellent season was rewarded with a promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque, as we first reported over the weekend. The transaction was officially confirmed on Monday via the Albuquerque Isotopes.

The biggest news from the last week for the rest of Goat Nation was the announcement of the Eastern League All-Star roster, which features six—well, now five—Yard Goats players.

We’ll have more on the roster and the game with next week’s update.

News and Notes, June 28 to July 12

Date H/A Opponent Result Date H/A Opponent Time (MT)
June 28 @ New Hampshire W 6-4 July 6 v Binghamton (in NY) 4:05 pm
June 29 @ New Hampshire L 3-14 July 7 v Binghamton (in NY) 11:05 am
June 30 @ Portland W 8-5 July 8 v Portland (in NY) 4:05 pm
July 1 @ Portland L 2-6 July 9 v Portland (in NY) (Game 1) 11:05 am
July 2 @ Portland L 1-7 July 9 v Portland (in NY) (Game 2) TBD
July 3 @ Portland W 8-1 July 10
MLB Futures Game (in SD) 5:00 pm
July 4 v Binghamton (in NY)
July 11
All-Star Break
July 5 v Binghamton (in NY) 4:05 pm July 12
All-Star Break

Noel Cuevas, who had been hitting .234/.293/.328 in 44 games in AAABQ, was sent down to Hartford to take David Dahl’s place on the roster.

It seems Ryan McMahon’s (No. 5 PuRP) new approach might be yielding some positive results. Over the past week he’s hit 8-for-32 with a home run, good for a .250/.250/.406 line. It’s an encouraging sign, even if it’s a small one.

Raimel Tapia (No. 6 PuRP) continued his hit streak with another four hit night on Sunday. The only downside to his week was he failed to get more than one hit in a game on July 1, the first time he’s done that since June 26. His "summer surge" garnered some attention from MiLB.com, which had this to say about his now 14-game hit streak:

During the hitting streak, Tapia is 26-for-51 (.510) with six strikeouts. The native of the Dominican Republic last failed to reach base on June 7 and hasn't fanned more than once in a game since May 11.

In addition to the Eastern League All-Star nod, Tapia was honored by being named to the World Team at the MLB Futures Game, which takes place in San Diego on July 10 as a part of the MLB All-Star Festivities.

Antonio Senzatela (no. 9 PuRP) remains on the disabled list, with no word on his potential return.

Sam Howard’s time in the Eastern League hasn’t gone quite as well as his time in the California League. Now five starts in, he has allowed 23 runs in 26 innings; fortunately "only" 15 of those have been earned, but it still leaves his ERA at an uncomfortably high 5.06 as a Yard Goat.

Howard’s former Nut teammate and fellow California League All-Star Jerry Vasto has had a very different experience with the Yard Goats. Though he’s only made it into a handful of games so far this season, he’s only allowed one earned run in six innings, but has 10 strikeouts to just one walk.

German Marquez continues to dominate Double-A competition and now has an All-Star nomination to show for it. Even after a tough start on June 28 where he allowed four runs in seven innings, Marquez is still the owner of a 2.76 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 98 innings for the Yard Goats.

Matt Carasiti keeps locking down wins for the Yard Goats. He earned three saves last week to bring his season total up to 24. That Eastern League-leading number was enough to earn him a nod to the All-Star game.

Dillon Thomas hasn’t gotten quite the amount of attention his performance likely deserves. After being named to the Eastern League All-Star team, Rowbot Michael James has everything you need to know about him.

The final member of the Yard Goats headed to Akron during the All-Star break is shortstop Pat Valaika. The ninth round pick from the 2013 draft managed just a 5-for-29 week with a double.

Spotlight On: OF David Dahl

A day after Purple Row reported the promotion, the Rockies made it official by moving outfielder and No. 2 PuRP David Dahl to Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday. The timing may seem a bit odd, as Dahl has had a tough week, just 3-for-20 with a walk in his past five games. However, as Dahl’s case well proves, development in the minor leagues is not always linear and promotions are certainly not always based solely on statistics.

When Harrison Musgrave earned his promotion to Albuquerque, for example, he was running a 1.79 ERA and 0.69 WHIP in 40⅓ innings. Clearly Musgrave stormed his way to the next level on his performance. Meanwhile, Kyle Freeland, who got off to a great start but then sputtered over his last few starts in Hartford, had a 3.87 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP in 88⅓ innings when he was promoted; good, but not necessarily demanding of a promotion. And yet, with Freeland’s first round pedigree and the development he did show while in Hartford, the Rockies chose to see what he could do in AAABQ. In Dahl’s case, it seems to be somewhere between the two.

It’s easy to forget that Dahl was drafted in the first round all the way back in 2012 and is actually repeating Double-A this season. True, he lost a lot of time to injury in 2015, but the Spleenless Wonder has performed more than ably in Hartford, hitting .278/.367/.500 with 13 home runs and 16 stolen bases in 76 games. What’s more, his 11.7 percent walk rate, nearly twice his previous career best, has remained stable almost the whole season. The performance has been there, but the pedigree also gives Dahl a boost. He has long been considered by just about every outlet to be one of the top 100 prospects in baseball and his promotion was considered just a matter of when, not if.

It seems at this point the Rockies would rather see what he can do at Triple-A and whether he can make the push for a September call-up to the big league club.

Dunkin Donuts Park Update

Countdown to Opening Day: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

There was a flurry of activity this week, as the mayor of Hartford went on WNPR in Hartford with representatives from the developers and the contractors to discuss the situation. Bob Landino, CEO of Centerplan construction, promised that a proposal to finish the project—sans grocery store—is forthcoming, but mayor Luke Bronin expressed doubt that Centerplan would be able to do it.

In the meantime, Suzy Hunter of the Hartford Courant spoke with a number of loyal fans who are waiting patiently in Connecticut for the ultimate return of the Road Goats.

Looking Ahead

The road weary Road Goats have a long way to go before the long-awaited All-Star break. Thanks to a string of doubleheaders (June 25, July 1, and July 9), the Yard Goats will head into their three-day break having played 18 games in 15 days. The only relief for the Yard Goats is they get to spend the entire week in one place playing as the home team. After a four game set against the Binghamton Mets in Binghamton, NY, the Yard Goats will "host" the Portland Sea Dogs for three games, including a double header on July 9. Then it’s off to the MLB Futures Game in San Diego for Raimel Tapia and to the Eastern League All-Star Game in Akron, OH, for his four other lucky teammates.

For more Yard Goats news, links, coverage and Twitter, check out the links below. If you have any questions or requests of what you'd like to see in this column, drop me a line in the comments, on Twitter (@playerTBNL), or via email (adamedpeterson@gmail.com).

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Hartford Yard Goats

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AGM Mike Abramson

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Dana Feigenbaum, Promotions