While it was Opening Day for the big club, El Paso took the third game of their opening series in Round Rock, and they now find themselves with a 3-0 record.
The rest of the system gets underway today, and we’ll have previews of each for you throughout the day. In the meantime, Kevin provides a look at the pitching depth chart across the system.
Chihuahuas 8, Round Rock Express 7
Key Statistics: LHP Luke Westphal, 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 K; RHP Tyler Higgins, 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB; LHP Travis Bergen (W, 1-0) 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K; RHP Grant Gavin (S, 1), 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K; LF Taylor Kohlwey, 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB; SS C.J. Hinojosa, 1-for-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB; RF Trayce Thompson, 3-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI; DH Brett Sullivan, 1-for-4, R, RBI, BB; C Webster Rivas, 1-for-2, 2B, R, RBI, 3 BB
Prospect Watch: That sweet, sweet PCL baseball is officially back, as the El Paso bullpen held strong while the bats churned in the late innings to overcome a 5-0 first inning deficit. All five of those runs were charged to Ryan Weathers, who walked three and allowed three hits while recording just one out. Weathers was relieved in the first by Luke Westphal, who stopped the bleeding, although he did allow a run on a wild pitch in the second. Westphal returned to the Padres organization after making 18 appearances (10 starts) last season for El Paso. …Tyler Higgins delivered two sterling innings of relief in his return to the Chihuahuas. The 30-year-old rejoins the Padres organization and the El Paso roster after two seasons playing for the Orix Buffaloes in Japan. In 2019, Higgins split time between the Chihuahuas and Amarillo. … One appearance, one win for Travis Bergen in his El Paso Chihuahuas career. The 28-year-old southpaw signed with the Padres as a free agent after spending 2021 in a second stint with the Blue Jays, who originally drafted him in the seventh round in 2015. …Grant Gavin earned a save in his first opportunity of the year. The Padres selected the former Royals farmhand was selected in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft, bringing the Missouri native and Central Missouri alum to an out-of-state organization for the first time in his career. … Taylor Kohlwey has carried the momentum of his solid spring training into the start of the season, carrying a .333 average and 1.100 OPS through the first three games of the season. Kohlwey, a 2016 draftee who turns 28 in July, could’ve been a Rule 5 target after slashing .311/.383/.445 in 2021, including a .319 average in 342 at-bats for El Paso. With no Major League phase of the draft this year, the Padres get at least one more year of Kohlwey’s services. … It’s not the C.J. fans would’ve expected only two months ago, but C.J. Hinojosa doubled as he got the start at shortstop. The former Giants draft pick signed as a free agent in the offseason after spending 2021 with the Houston Astros organization. … While Trayce Thompson‘s older brother Klay is typically known for making a splash, the younger Thompson has made an impression in his debut series for El Paso. Thompson, who has MLB experience with three clubs, including 28 at-bats with the Cubs last year, was a second-round choice by the White Sox in 2009 and has begun his stint in the Padres organization with a .417/.533/.1083 slash line in his first three games, with a pair of doubles to go with two home runs. … In his debut for the Padres organization, Brett Sullivan collected a hit and an RBI in the DH spot. Sullivan, a catcher by trade, joined the organization a day after being traded from the Milwaukee Brewers along with Korry Howell in exchange for Victor Caratini. … A trio of free passes and a double highlighted a great outing for backstop Webster Rivas. Rivas, who joined the Padres organization as a free agent before the 2017 season, made his major league debut for the club in 2021 and rejoined the organization in the off-season as a free agent.