Stars of the Day
AAA: Ben Snyder / Julio Borbon, Mike Bianucci
AA: Justin Grimm, Joe Ortiz, Johan Yan / Ryan Strausborger
AAA: Round Rock 3, at Iowa 5
Mark Hamburger walked just one in five innings and threw a reasonable 77 pitches, but command of his fastball largely eluded him, especially after the first two innings. Too many elevated strikes resulted in eight hits and three runs. Hamburger also hit a batter and struck out just one. In his first AAA appearance since a brief, unsuccessful trial in 2010, Ben Snyder struck out two in a perfect 8th. Derek Hankins allowed the other runs.
LF Julio Borbon belted a Randy Wells pitch over the right-field fence in the 6th. In his AAA debut and first professional appearance at first base, Mike Bianucci (1-4, 2 K) blasted a Randy Wells mistake into the stratosphere. SS Luis Hernandez had Round Rock's only other hit, a single. CF Leonys Martin walked and struck out in four appearances. AA: Frisco 1, at Springfield 0
Two years ago, Justin Grimm was the Friday starter on a pretty bad Georgia squad. On the weekends wrapping around April 5th, he faced LSU's Anthony Ranaudo and Mississippi's Drew Pomeranz, both of whom were drafted but unsigned by the Rangers in 2007 and became first rounders in 2010. Despite pitching acceptably or better in both games, Grimm himself would finish with a 5.49 ERA, plenty bad even for the supercharged offensive environment of the time. Texas ignored the numbers and saw a pitcher who might thrive after mechanical adjustments. Grimm was selected in the fifth round and signed for more money than supplemental first-rounder Mike Olt. Between Hickory and Myrtle Beach last year, he was successful, if not overpowering.
In his AA debut, Justin Grimm struck out ten of 19 batters faced. He completed 5.1 innings in 74 pitches and allowed just two singles and a walk. Ten is one short of his personal best set last season with Hickory. Carlos Pimentel permitted a hit and two walks in his 1.1 innings but avoided extreme trouble and struck out three. Joseph Ortiz fanned one in his AA debut, and Johan Yan whiffed two in a perfect four-out save. All told, the Riders struck out 16 Cardinals.
LF Ryan Strausborger singled twice, stole a base and gunned down a Cardinal hitter attempting to stretch a hit into a double. 3B Mike Olt singled and walked. SS Jurickson Profar and 2B Leury Garcia were 0-3 with a walk. All made their AA debuts along with RF Jared Prince and 1B Chris McGuiness (both 0-4).
In the 3rd, minor-league vet Val Majewski singled, stole second, advanced to third on one of Strausborger's hits and scored the game's only run on a Jose Felix sac fly. High-A: off
The Carolina League always starts a day later. Myrtle Beach's home park has been rechristened "TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark." Flows off the tongue, doesn't it?
Per the Pelicans, reliever Ryan Rodebaugh has been promoted to AA, and righty Ben Henry is up from extended Spring Training. I haven't seen a corresponding move by Frisco. Low-A: washed out
The Sally League played much of 2011 under water, and 2012 began in similar fashion. They'll play a doubleheader Saturday. The would-be lineup: SS Sardinas, 3B Alberto, 2B Odor, 1B Adams, DH Alfaro, RF Cone, LF Williams, C Deglan, CF Akins. Five Years Ago Yesterday
3B Chris Davis (in his full-season debut), RF John Mayberry, and LF Brandon Boggs homered and walked in high-A Bakersfield's 9-7 win at hideously hitter-friendly Lancaster. In 39-degree weather, former low-A affiliate Clinton and Quad Cities combined for nine errors. Omar Poveda threw five innings of one-run ball and CF Craig Gentry singled twice in an 8-4 victory. RF Victor Diaz, acquired for catcher Mike Nickeas the previous August, homered and doubled in AAA Oklahoma's 5-4 win. Today
AAA: Martin Perez
AA: Miguel de los Santos
Hi-A: Cody Buckel
Lo-A: Luke Jackson
Newberg Report (newbergreport.com)