Three top pitching prospects took the hill for Padres minor league affiliates Tuesday. None of them walked away with a victory.
Salt Lake Bees 14 – Chihuahuas 1
Key Stats: LHP Eric Lauer (L, 1-1) 6 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K; CF Franchy Cordero 1-3, SB (2); 1B Allen Craig 2-3, BB; SS Javy Guerra 2-4, 2B, RBI
Prospect Watch: It was a home opener to forget for the Chihuahuas. While four earned runs on the final line look discouraging, lefty Eric Lauer entered the sixth with a streak of 12 retired going and only two runs allowed. That ended with back to back walks and a two-RBI double… Franchy Cordero is showing no signs of slowing down on his rehab assignment. He has now hit safely in every game and has a .412/.444/.647 line. While it is definitely a small sample size, Franchy went back to back games without a strikeout for the first time since last August… Shortstop Javy Guerra continues to post good results. He collected another two hits and double. He has eight hits and two home runs in his first 20 at-bats. Last year it took 59 at-bats to get that hit total, and his second homer came on May 10…. Old Friend Alert: The first two runs allowed by Lauer came on a Blashtoff. Speaking of former Padre outfielders, Rymer Liriano also homered in the game for Salt Lake.
NW Arkansas Naturals 4 – Missions 0
Key Stats: RHP Cal Quantrill (L, 0-1) 6 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 7 K; 1B Josh Naylor 0-3, BB, K; SS Fernando Tatis Jr 0-4, 2 K
Prospect Watch: The Missions managed just five singles and one walk in the shutout. The only real opportunity came in the sixth. Down 1-0, Naylor walked with two outs to load the bases for phenom Fernando Tatis Jr. Tatis flew out to end the inning…. Cal Quantrill looked remarkably better in his second start. He was pitching ahead in the count (only 29 balls against 61 strikes), limited baserunners (six all game, only one inning with multiple), and was able to generate more swings and misses (four swinging strikeouts).
Storm 8 – Visalia Rawhide 4
Key Stats: RHP Emmanuel Ramirez (W, 1-0) 7 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, BB, 5 K; CF Edward Olivares 2-5, HR (1), 2 RBI; 1B Brad Zunica 2-4, 2B, HR (1), 2 RBI, BB; DH Jorge Ona 2-5, RBI; 2B Eguy Rosario 2-5, 2 HR (2), 2 RBI; RF Buddy Reed 2-4, R, 2 SB (2).
Prospect Watch: Starter Emmanuel Ramirez allowed a first-inning home run. He then retired 17 of the next 18 hitters. For Ramirez, this is picking up right where he left off. His last start in Lake Elsinore (September 2, 2017) he went 8 innings allowing just two runs while striking out 11… While five games mean virtually nothing over a 140-game season, the Storm entered the game hitting under .200. Every batter reached base safely, and five posted multi-hit games, pushing the team’s batting average up to .219! Teenager Eguy Rosario made the jump from the AZL to Lake Elsinore and showed in one game that he has gained muscle and that hitters love the Cal League. Rosario hit one home run in his first 112 games stateside. Tuesday, he added two more. Rosario first came to the US late in 2016 but struggled with a full-season assignment to Fort Wayne to open last year. The club’s decision to push him aggressively after he had to go backward last season reflects their confidence in his physical and mental development in the last year. … The only Storm hitter carrying a respectable stat line early is Hudson Potts, who only went 1-for-5 with a run scored. He is now 7-for-21 on the year with five strikeouts and a .333/.364/.667 line. By contrast this time last year, he was sitting at 3-for-24 with eight strikeouts for a .125/.120/.125 line.
Lansing Lugnuts 6 – TinCaps 5
Key Stats: LHP MacKenzie Gore 3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 4 K; CF Jeisson Rosario 1-5, 2B, 2 RBI; C Luis Campusano 2-4, R, BB; SS Gabriel Arias 2-4, 2 2B, 3 R, BB
Prospect Watch: Highly-regarded MacKenzie Gore looked impressive in his debut start, but Fort Wayne came up empty in their effort to earn their first win of the season. While Gore started out strong, flashing plus-plus stuff, he was working deep counts on every hitter. He was up over 40 pitches after two frames despite allowing only a pair of infield singles. He finished at 66 pitches after allowing a pair of runs in the third inning. Gore will be fine… SS Gabriel Arias is looking more and more comfortable at the plate after his winter in the Australian Baseball League. He has three multi-hit games in his last four. The two doubles mark the first time in his career he had multiple extra-base hits, though he is still waiting for that first home run…for more on MacKenzie Gore’s big night read MadFriars’ Travis Barnett on-site account here.