Chihuahuas (8-4): The Chihuahuas give the ball to Brett Kennedy as they open up a six-game road series against the former Atlantic League (an independent league), the Sugar Land Skeeters.
Frisco RoughRiders 8, Missions 2
Prospect Watch: It was a rough night for all Missions not named CJ. This game was a great reminder, that 14 games are not a significant sample size especially when many of those players have not played meaningful games in 20 months; the case in point is LHP Osvaldo Hernandez. The 23-year-old won the ERA crown in Fort Wayne in 2018 (11-4, 1.81 ERA), but struggled to stay healthy in 2019. His four-inning performance two starts ago was his longest outing since August 16, 2018. Hernandez only lasted three innings Wednesday, allowing six earned runs and eight hits. After a solid first outing, Hernandez has allowed nine earned runs in his last two starts, totaling six innings. When you look at the last two outings from the southpaw, how much of his struggles can be attributed to shaking off the rust? … The same can be said for versatile infielder Eguy Rosario. Rosario hit .278/.331/.412 in Lake Elsinore in 2019, but after another 0-for-4 tonight with three strikeouts now has a .372 OPS with a K-rate of 45%. Rosario is still just 21. … The one player we know was getting meaningful at-bats at both the alternate training site and spring training was CJ Abrams. The shortstop collected three more hits tonight and has now reached base in all 14 games played this season. Abrams’ 19 hits are second in the Double-A Central circuit. Abrams has only had 64 plate appearances but if he is hitting close to his current .336/.406/.526 slash-line, he should be in the discussion as one of the top-five prospects in all of baseball. He doesn’t turn 21 until October 3 and is the youngest player in the circuit.
TinCaps 6, Lansing Lugnuts 3
Prospect Watch: Every league in minor league ball has seen rule changes. The smallest of which might be in High-A where the pitcher has to step off the rubber before throwing to a base. As small as that change has been, it has resulted in the number of stolen bases nearly doubling from 2019 (1.41 up from 0.80), while the caught stealing percentage dropping more than 10 points (currently 20.9%). However, that increase has not been felt by the TinCaps who were dead last entering today’s game with only five steals (Lake County has 32, second to last has 10). Maybe that will change after tonight when Illaraza and Grant Little both stole bases with relative ease, and Fort Wayne scored what would be the game-winning run in the 6th after the pitcher was called for a balk trying to hold on Luis Almanzar. … RHP Edgar Martinez got the start for the TinCaps and lasted just one inning, leaving with an apparent forearm injury. There has not been an update on his status through press time. This is the 20-year-old’s first foray into full-season ball. … RHP Gabe Mosser came in to relieve Martinez and pitched five solid innings to notch his first win of 2021. Mosser, 24, split 2019 between Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore. Mosser has worked in the piggy-back role in each of his three relief outings. He’s pitched to a 2.92 ERA in 12.2 innings. … After getting three hits in his first nine games, Tirso Ornelas has five hits and a walk in his last nine plate appearances. During that span his OPS has nearly doubled from .309 to .570.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 8, Storm 2
RHP Edgar Martinez left today’s start for TinCaps after feeling discomfort warming up in the 2nd. The Cuban struck out 54 in 43 IP in 2019
— MadFriars (@madfriars) May 20, 2021
Prospect Watch: It’s never great when you have more errors (4) than runs (2); but that is what happened to the Storm, as they dropped their second straight game to Rancho. … Dwayne Matos was rolling through three innings when he ran into trouble in the fourth frame. He allowed back-to-back doubles to start the inning and a Jordy Barley throwing error allowed another run to score. After recording a groundout, Matos allowed three consecutive batters to reach before being lifted with two outs in the inning. Matos was coming off of his best outing as a professional (five perfect innings last Thursday). … Lake Elsinore’s offense was stymied most of the game. The Storm tried to put together a comeback in the sixth. Jarryd Dale, who was in left field tonight, hit his first home run of the year followed by back-to-back hits by Robert Hassell and Ripken Reyes. Hassell would score on a passed ball but that was all the damage the Storm could do. Dale’s homer was the first of his professional career. 2021 is his first taste of full-season ball after spending both 2018 and 2019 in the AZL. He still looks extremely raw, and is playing left fielder after playing mainly playing shortstop and second base in 2019, but his .323/.417/.516 line, is second on the club to USD alum Ripken Reyes. Dale has played all around the diamond for the Storm and his offensive production has been one of the biggest surprises in the system thus far.