As the work week draws to a close, it was a successful Thursday evening in the organization.
El Paso walked off Salt Lake, the Missions proved inhospitable for the Naturals, the Storm poured it on in Visalia, and only the TinCaps failed to pick up the win among the affiliates.
Chihuahuas 8, Salt Lake Bees 7
Key Statistics: RHP Julio Teheran, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K; 1B Alfonso Rivas, 2-for-3, 2 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB; SS José Iglesias, 2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB; C Yorman Rodriguez, 3-for-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Prospect Watch: While this game ended up a 15-run PCL special, Julio Teheran kept it a low-scoring affair, allowing just one run on two hits through the first six innings. Salt Lake got to him for a pair of runs in the seventh and he couldn’t finish the frame, but he ended the game with seven strikeouts against just one walk. Teheran, a 32-year-old veteran with 240 MLB appearances to his name, is 2-2 with a 6.84 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 25 innings of work for El Paso as he hopes to prove himself worthy of another opportunity in the big leagues. … Go crazy, Alfonso Rivas. The veteran first baseman’s second home run of the night was a walk-off shot in the bottom of the 9th to send the El Paso fans home happy. Born in Chula Vista, Rivas was drafted by Oakland in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, and is batting .290 with a 1.097 OPS and five home runs in 62 at-bats for the Chihuahuas. … With a pair of hits, including a double, José Iglesias has continued his scorching debut for the Padres organization. Iglesias, who slashed .292/.328/.380 in 439 at-bats for the Colorado Rockies in 2022, was released by the Marlins on April 20 and joined the Padres five days later. … Yorman Rodriguez is seeing increased playing time behind the plate due to the promotion of Brett Sullivan to the Padres, and he made the most of it tonight, with three hits, including a double. Rodriguez, a 25-year-old catcher by trade who is still in many ways searching for his defensive home, is batting .375 with a .985 OPS in 72 at-bats in 2023 and holds a career .311 average and .794 OPS in 1,957 at-bats.
Missions 5, Northwest Arkansas Naturals 1
Key Statistics: RHP Duncan Snider, 4.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K; RHP Jose Espada, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K; SS Luis Aviles Jr., 2-for-3, HR, R, RBI; CF Daniel Johnson, 1-for-3, HR, R, 3 RBI
Prospect Watch: Though he made it into the fifth inning and reduced his ERA to 3.31 with only one earned run allowed, Duncan Snider fought his command all night, walking five batters while also striking out five. Of 83 pitches thrown by the righty, 49 landed for strikes. In 16.1 innings after making the big jump from Low-A to Double-A, he’s already matched the 12 free passes he issued in 48 innings for Lake Elsinore last year. … Another Thursday night, another stellar outing for Jose Espada out of the San Antonio bullpen, striking out three in two scoreless innings. Espada, a 26-year-old former Blue Jays farmhand, has a 2.70 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 13.1 innings of work in 2023. … Luis Aviles Jr. posted his first multi-hit game of the season, and also slugged his first home run of 2023. Aviles Jr., a 28-year-old infielder from Miami, joined the Padres after spending 2022 with his hometown Marlins, splitting time almost evenly between the Double-A and Triple-A levels. … After a slow start to the season, Daniel Johnson smacked his second home run in four games, a three-run shot. Johnson, a native of Vallejo, California, was drafted in the fifth round in 2016 by the Nationals and has 89 MLB at-bats with Cleveland to his credit after debuting in 2020.
Roster Move: Prior to Thursday’s game, the Missions placed outfielder Korry Howell on the seven-day IL for an undisclosed injury. There was no corresponding roster move, so the Missions are one player below the 28-man limit in Double-A.
Great Lakes Loons 6, TinCaps 4
Key Statistics: RHP Victor Lizarraga, 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 Ks; RHP Ethan Routzahn, 2 IP, 1 BB, 2 K; SS Jackson Merrill, 1-for-4, 2B, R; RF Joshua Mears, 1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI
Prospect Watch: Before the game got away from Fort Wayne in the middle innings, Victor Lizarraga made his return to the mound after recovering from the bug that went around the TinCaps’ clubhouse. Lizarraga allowed two runs on four hits, walking none and striking out four, falling victim to the big fly and leaving the fifth inning without recording an out. The 19-year-old Lizarraga, who was born in San Diego before being signed by the Padres out of Mexico, has struck out eight in 10.2 innings of work, posting an 0-1 record and 6.75 ERA in three appearances after showing his promise with an 8-3 record and 3.43 ERA in 20 appearances for Lake Elsinore in 2022. … The TinCaps got some solid work out of the bullpen courtesy of Ethan Routzahn, who threw two scoreless innings to keep Fort Wayne in the game late. Routzahn, a 6-foot-4, 25-year-old righty who pitched for St. John’s collegiately, made 21 appearances for the TinCaps in 2022, posting a 4.81 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 24.1 innings of work. … Jackson Merrill slugged his fourth double of the season, giving the Padres’ top prospect a hit in five of his last seven games after starting the season hitless in his first four games. … Joshua Mears hit his second home run of the season, driving in a pair of runs to push Fort Wayne out to the lead in the fourth inning. Mears, the Padres’ choice with the 48th overall pick in the 2019 draft, is slashing .180/.255/.340 in 50 at-bats with 23 strikeouts as the prodigiously powerful outfielder continues to work at making consistent enough contact to make the power play.
Storm 10, Visalia Rawhide 1
Key Statistics: LHP Jagger Haynes, 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks; LHP Fernando Sanchez (W, 2-0), 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 Ks; RF Samuel Zavala, 1-for-3, 2B, R, 4 RBI, 2 BB; DH Graham Pauley, 2-for-3, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB
Prospect Watch: The Storm poured it on and dominated Visalia in all facets of the game, with Jagger Haynes setting the tone on the mound. Haynes pitched into the second inning, allowing one hit, walking one, and a run scored on an error before his evening was over due to pitch count limitations as the Padres carefully work him back from Tommy John surgery. After setting down all four of his outs via the strikeout, Haynes now owns a 2.08 ERA in his debut professional campaign. … Fernando Sanchez did the bulk work out of the pen and struck out eight in 3.2 scoreless innings of work, adding to a combined total of 17 strikeouts for Lake Elsinore. Sanchez, a 22-year-old southpaw from Ciudad Obregon in Sonora, Mexico, is 2-0 with a 4.63 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 11.2 innings this year. … After walking to drive in a run in the second inning, Samuel Zavala smacked a doubled in the fourth to clear the bases and complete a four-RBI night. Zavala, still just 18 years old, is batting .158 with a .596 OPS after his first 57 at-bats of the 2023 season, but owns a career .849 OPS and 12 home runs in 403 at-bats in his brief time playing professional ball. … Graham Pauley takes the DH spot very seriously, as the Duke University alum is slashing .383/.471/.583 in 60 at-bats after Friday’s two-hit performance. Pauley, who hit his second home run of the season, has made four appearances as the designated hitter, making his other 13 starts at third base.