With the Padres playing in the morning for those of us on Pacific time, Thursday provided a good opportunity to take a look around the farm. El Paso won a close one at home, the Flying Chanclas soared to a classic victory in San Antonio, a familiar face kept his pitches out of a timeout in Fort Wayne, and Lake Elsinore gets detention for being the black sheep of the system.
Chihuahuas 7, Reno Aces 6
Prospect Watch: Evan Miller shut the door of a back-and-forth affair for his first save since August 13, 2019, when he suited up for the Amarillo Sod Poodles. Used more in a swingman role in 2021, Miller has stepped up for the Chihuahuas bullpen in 2022, with a 1.09 WHIP and 15 strikeouts in 11 innings and a win goes with tonight’s save. … Trayce Thompson may be in Pittsburgh with the Padres, but the El Paso outfield still has a bona fide masher in Nomar Mazara, who clubbed his second homer of the series. Mazara is now slashing .379/.513/.724 in 25 at-bats for the Chihuahuas. … Matt Batten got the start at shortstop and added a double to boot. The super-utility player is batting .324 in 71 at-bats and has started at second, third, short, and left field in the young 2022 season. The 26-year-old makes sense as a possible utility option for the Padres, should they need one in the short term and look internally for a fix. … Aderlin Rodriguez may only have 15 hits so far, but five of them have left the yard, giving him a .440 slugging percentage to go with a .200 average. The 30-year-old rejoined the Padres organization after spending 2021 in the Tigers system.
Missions 1, Springfield Cardinals 0
Key Stats: RHP Matt Waldron (W, 1-1), 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K; LHP Tom Cosgrove (H, 1), 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K; RHP Carlos Belen (H, 1), 2 IP. 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K; RHP Kevin Kopps (S, 2), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, K; RF Agustin Ruiz, 1-for-2, RBI
Prospect Watch: One might expect some high octane offence with a name like the Flying Chanclas and the festive, brightly-colored uniforms the club dons for MiLB’s Copa de la Diversión; one might expect some high octane offense. Instead, we were treated to a pitcher’s duel in San Antonio. In fact, Agustin Ruiz‘s sac fly in the second inning was all the scoring for the entire night. The 22-year-old outfielder from Villahermosa, Mexico looks much more comfortable with Texas League pitching than he did at the end of last season, starting off the 2022 season with a .302 average and a pair of home runs in 43 at-bats. … After a bit of a coming-out party as a noteworthy prospect last summer which culminated in earning a roster spot in the Arizona Fall League, Matt Waldron looked extremely comfortable back in Double-A tonight, lasting 93 pitches and locating 57 for strikes as he preserved a one-run lead for much of his start. … Waldron was succeeded by his Peoria Javelinas teammate, Tom Cosgrove, whose 11-pitch sixth inning was par for the course for the lefty, whose 2.84 ERA and 8:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio are a slight drop off from last year’s solid season in a smaller sample size. The Staten Island native will be aiming for a promotion to El Paso after spending all of 2021 with the Missions. … Carlos Belen was next up, and the Dominican righty put up a pair of scoreless innings. Belen has a 2.08 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 8.2 innings of work in 2022. … Kevin Kopps got the save but made an adventure of it, walking three batters and tallying the only wild pitch of the game. The Arkansas product now has five walks in seven innings, but still, just a 1.14 WHIP as he’s managed to miss bats.
TinCaps 4, Dayton Dragons 0
Key Stats: LHP Blake Snell, 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K; LHP Jackson Wolf (W, 1-1), 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K; LF Corey Rosier, 1-for-4, BB, SB; CF Robert Hassell III, 1-for-2, BB, RBI; C Brandon Valenzuela, 1-for-4, 2B
Prospect Watch: Talk about a bullpen saver: the TinCaps used a pair of lefty starts in a piggyback start and saved their entire bullpen in the process. That included a ringer as Blake Snell made a rehab start in Fort Wayne while the Padres are on a swing through Ohio and Pennsylvania. Snell’s results were encouraging, as he managed 44 pitches and showed no signs of difficulty, walking none and mostly breezing through four innings. The team will most likely determine the next step after seeing how Snell’s body responds to the start and recovery after, although the lefty did mention on Twitter that, sadly, he has yet to find Nemo. … Snell gave way to Jackson Wolf, who closed out the game with five innings of two-hit ball. The West Virginia product joined the Padres in the 4th round of the 2021 draft and continues to be a fast riser, joining Fort Wayne after five starts in Lake Elsinore following a two-appearance introduction to pro ball at the complex. … Corey Rosier reached base two more times and stole his seventh base of the season. The former Mariners farmhand pushed his on-base percentage up to .400 while bringing speed to the leadoff spot for Fort Wayne. … Robert Hassell III broke the scoreless tie in the third with a single, bringing his hitting streak to five games. He’s batting 7-for-16 (.438) in that span. … Brandon Valenzuela smacked a double after going hitless in his first two games of the series. The switch-hitting catcher is batting .308 against lefties and only .182 against righties.
Inland Empire 66ers 7, Storm 6
Prospect Watch: The Storm were the only team to drop a game today as the pitching staff struggled, but Aaron Holiday was a bright spot in five outs of work, allowing no baserunners and striking out three. The 21-year-old righty, acquired from Oakland in the Sean Manaea trade, is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA and nine strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work for Lake Elsinore. … A pair of free passes means James Wood has now walked seven times while only striking out in six plate appearances in 2022, an impressive feat considering the size of his strike zone. The center fielder also knocked a single, raising his batting average to .353. … After scattering a pair of singles Thursday, Justin Farmer now has six of his 12 hits in his last four games as the 2021 UDFA begins to heat up for the Storm. …Victor Duarte made his second start behind the dish count, smacking a double as one of his two hits on the game. Part of the 2018 signing class, Duarte hails from Tucupita, Venezuela, and spent most of last season at the complex in Peoria, and also filled in with a brief stint in Fort Wayne.