The Padres organization had a pretty solid night, with El Paso dropping a close one as they learned the Space Cowboys do not, in fact, speak of the Pompatus of Love, the Missions winning a slugfest on the gulf in Corpus Christi, Fort Wayne putting some rally on in Wisconsin, and Lake Elsinore rehabbing another familiar face, then walking off a regional rival.

Sugar Land Space Cowboys 2, Chihuahuas 1

Key Stats: RHP Thomas Eshelman, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K; DH Luke Voit, 0-for-3, K; RF Nomar Mazara, 1-for-2, 2B, RBI, 2B; CF Thomas Milone, 1-for-3;

Prospect Watch: El Paso just couldn’t hold a 1-0 lead in rainy Sugar Land, dropping one to the former Skeeters who have now taken on a vague astronaut theme, while this writer believes it’s a winking Steve Miller Band reference. The second time was the charm for Thomas Eshelman, whose second start after promotion from San Antonio was a gem. The righty allowed only a pair of baserunners in five innings of work and was primed to go deeper if not for a two hour rain delay. The former Astros second-round pick was born in Carlsbad, and joined the Padres in the offseason via free agency. … Luke Voit remains hitless in his stint as a temporary Chihuahua. The Padres DH is 0-for-9 with two walks in his rehab assignment. … Nomar Mazara continues to make it look easy, lacing a double to bring his hitting streak to 15 games to open the season. The outfielder is slashing .340/.455/.566 in 53 at-bats since signing with the Padres in the offseason. Mazara has 629 games of MLB experience under his belt. … Thomas Milone has turned the page from a sluggish April in which he hit .189, getting off to a .375 start in eight at-bats in the nascent month of May.

Tom Cosgrove. (Photo: Joe Alexander)

Missions 11,Corpus Christi Hooks 8

Key Stats: LHP Tom Cosgrove (W, 2-0), 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K; 3B Connor Hollis, 3-for-5, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI; C Yorman Rodriguez, 2-for-5, 3 RBI; CF Esteury Ruiz, 0-1, 2 BB, 5 R

Prospect Watch: A real back-and-forth affair in Corpus Christi ended with furious rallies from both teams. Connor Hollis appeared to put nails in the Hooks’ coffin with a grand slam in the top of the 9th, but Corpus still managed three runs in the bottom of the frame. It was the third home run of the season for Hollis, who signed with the Padres from the Tampa Bay Rays organization in the spring. The infielder also had a pair of singles. … The win went to Tom Cosgrove, as the lefty’s two scoreless innings were an oasis in a desert of big offense. The 2017 12th rounder has a 1.86 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 9.2 innings of work, carrying momentum from the Arizona Fall League into a season that could very well see him in El Paso. … Yorman Rodriguez continues to swing the bat well as San Antonio’s primary catcher, adding a pair of singles and three RBI, slashing .294/.322/.459 in 85 at-bats. … Look, you want the leadoff man to get on base, right? Well, Esteury Ruiz went 0-1 but managed to score five times, walking twice, and, well, wearing one three more times, as a trio of HBPs got the center fielder on base. The 23-year-old is already at a career-high 11 plunkings on the year. This is in addition to a season in which Ruiz is swinging the bat very well, batting .353 with a 1.169 OPS.

Noel Vela’s improved command led to his best start of the year. (Photo: Jeff Nycz)

TinCaps 4, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 3

Key Stats: LHP Noel Vela, 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K; LHP Ryan Och, 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K; LF Corey Rosier, 1-for-4, HR, R, RBI, BB, SB; CF Robert Hassell III, 1-for-4, SB; 3B Justin Lopez, 2-for-4, R;

Prospect Watch: It has felt like every time (including last week) Noel Vela took the mound, the common response was, “Gee, if Vela could cut down the walks, there would be something elite happening here.” Well, that didn’t take long. Vela struck out 10 batters in five innings without issuing a free pass, his first start of the year with fewer than two free passes. In the process, the 2017 28th-rounder dropped his ERA to a league-leading 0.44 in 20.1 innings. These numbers are phenomenal, but it’s not to say Vela came from nowhere. His 2021 came with a 3.90 ERA split between the two Single-A affiliates, and he struck out 107 batters in 87.2 innings. That said, this is a large step forward. … There are so many arms from the 2021 draft crop to keep track of but don’t forget Ryan Och. The seventh-rounder from Southern Mississippi has a 1.46 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 12.1 innings in 2022. … Corey Rosier hit his second home run of the year, an encouraging sign for the leadoff man who has had no trouble getting on base, with 20 walks and a .377 OBP, but could stand to do more work with the lumber to take the next step, as his .734 OPS attests. The former Mariners farmhand also stole his ninth base of the season, as did Robert Hassell III. The TinCaps outfield duo are tied for sixth in the Midwest League for swiped bags. … Justin Lopez racked up a pair of base knocks for the second night in a row. The 21-year-old infielder is playing his fourth straight season in Fort Wayne, a situation no doubt helped by the pandemic, as well as the TinCaps switching levels during that span.

Michel Baez made another rehab start on Thursday. (Photo: Donavan Jones)

Storm 5, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 4

Key Stats: RHP Michel Baez, 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K; RHP Yerry Landinez (W, 1-0), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, K; SS Max Ferguson, 1-for-4, RBI, BB, SB; RF Max Jones, 0-3, 3 SB; CF Matthew Acosta, 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI; 3B Carlos Luis, 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB;

Prospect Watch: Boy, is Michel Baez a sight for sore eyes. The big righty threw 30 of his 42 pitches for strikes in a smooth three innings in his second rehab appearance for Lake Elsinore, adding to the list of possible bullpen options for the Padres. … Converted infielder Yerry Landinez picked up his first win of 2022, and second of his professional career. The Venezuelan righty spent 2018-19 in the AZL playing all four infield spots, mostly the corners, before outgrowing it and returning to Peoria in 2021 as a relief pitcher. Lake Elsinore walked it off on a single by Max Ferguson. The 2021 fifth-rounder also stole his 23rd base, keeping an eight-steal lead in the California League in early May. For some perspective, last year’s California League stolen base champ swiped 48 bases. Pierce Jones also swiped a trio of bags, giving him seven on the year. … Matthew Acosta‘s second homer of the season helped spark Lake Elsinore’s rally in the seventh. The 2019 12th rounder appeared in 81 games for Lake Elsinore in 2021. … Acosta also scored a run on a home run by Carlos Luis. Luis is slashing .279/.323/.492 in a return trip to the Storm.


Posted by Mark Wilkens

Born in San Diego and raised in Escondido, Mark now calls Phoenix home. Prior to MadFriars, Mark had multiple articles featured on Bleacher Report and covering the Padres, Angels and Clippers.

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