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Farmers Only: Homer and Edwin rock AAA, and a rookie ball preview

  • Louisville beat Gwinnett 11-5 on tremendous performances by Homer Bailey and Edwin Encarnacion.  After giving up a leadoff HR to Reid Golecki, Homer settled down to keep the tally to one run over 7 innings of work.  He struck out 8 in the process.  In his second start in his rehab stint, Edwin Encarnacion hit an absolute bomb for a 3-run homer.  The big bat on the evening, however, belonged to Darnell McDonald, who went 3-for-5 with two solo HRs.  Kevin Barker and Luis Bolivar also went deep for the Bats, and Norris Hopper had three hits and drove in two runs.  Up next: Edwin and the Bats roll on against Charlotte at 7:15.  No starter listed, but it should be Justin Lehr's turn.
  • Jeremy Horst's AA debut didn't go so well, as Carolina got dismantled 10-2 against Jacksonville.  Carson Kainer led the way in his Carolina debut, going 2-for-4 with a 2-run HR and Jake Kahaulelio got a hit in his first game as a Mudcat.  Chris Heisey had the day off as Shaun Cumberland stunk up the joint in CF, going 0-for-3.  Horst didn't fare too well in his start, going 5 2/3 innings and giving up 5 runs on 5 hits, while striking out 5.  The Suns broke the game open off of Jerry Gil, who gave up 4 runs in one inning.  Up next: The Mudcats take on Jacksonville again at 7:15.  Travis Wood should get the start.
  • Sarasota shut out Palm Beach 5-0 behind an excellent start by Matt Klinker.  Klinker went 6 innings of shutout ball with 9 strikeouts and no walks, and Mace Thurman and Enerio Del Rosario pitched 2 and 1 inning respectively to preserve the shutout.  Behind the shutout, the S-Reds outfield had a field day, with Justin Reed and Denis Phipps having 2 hits each and Keltavious Jones having his 2nd hit of the season.  All-Star catcher Devin Mesoraco went 2-for-4 to raise his All-Star average to .207.  Up next: Sarasota takes on Palm Beach at 6:35 with no starter listed, but it's Luis Montano's turn.
  • Dayton is on their All-Star break.
  • Billings takes on Great Falls on their opening day at 9:05 ET.  Former Dragon Leonardo Astorga will get the start.
  • The GCL Reds are also beginning their season today at noon ET against the GCL Orioles.
  • Roster Moves: Cody Puckett and Stephen Chapman have earned the callup to Sarasota after putting up huge numbers in Dayton.  We should see some replacements in Dayton soon as well.  As previously mentioned, Jeremy Horst takes the open rotation spot in Carolina and Carson Kainer joins the Mudcats as Chris Kroski goes on the DL and Denis Phipps goes back to Sarasota.

Rookie ball also starts today, and the rosters are starting to shape up.  Here's a quick overview of the Pioneer League affiliate, the Billings Mustangs.  (Keep in mind, these rosters are subject to change, especially later on today after the teams play.)  More after the jump!

Manager Julio Garcia, hitting coach Delino DeShields, and pitching coach Bob Forsch will bring back an interesting mix of old and new to Billings.  A couple of familiar names that have played elsewhere this season:

  • Leonardo Astorga (1-3, 15.43 ERA in 18.2 innings in Dayton)
  • Mike Bohana (0-2, 8.22 ERA in 15.1 innings between Dayton and Sarasota)
  • Tony Brown (.229/.309/.325 between Dayton and Sarasota)
  • Yen-Wen Kuo (.174/.174/.217 in Dayton)
  • Tom Cochran (1-0, 3.20 ERA in 19.2 innings in Carolina)
  • Misael DeJesus (1-4, 9.85 ERA in 28.1 innings in Carolina)
  • Humberto Sosa (.241/.302/.335 in Dayton)
  • Justin Walker (0-0, 0.00 ERA in 1 inning in Sarasota)
  • Tyler Stovall (.164/.215/.230 in Dayton)

And of course, the true rookies that were drafted this year:

  • James Walczak (RHP, 15th round)
  • William Stramp (3B, 33rd round)
  • Forest Cannon (RHP, 34th round)
  • Mark Serrano (RHP, 6th round)
  • Christopher Richburg (1B, 23rd round)
  • Derrick Lowery (1B, 24th round)
  • Jason Braun (RHP, 29th round)
  • Donnie Joseph (LHP, 3rd round)
  • Shane Carlson (SS, 32nd round)
  • Trey Manz (C, 26th round)
  • Adian Kummet (RHP, 31st round)

The rest of the roster is filled with guys who played somewhere in the organization last year.  A few highlights:

  • LHP Shea Snowden - A 16th round pick last year, posted a 1.50 ERA in 36 innings in the GCL.
  • RHP Clayton Shunick - The Reds 5th rounder out of NC State, is repeating Billings after a lackluster season last year.
  • LHP Ezequiel Infante - Pitched in the Dominican Summer League last year, posting a 0.19 ERA (!) in 47 innings out of the bullpen.  Infante or Joseph should be the closer in Billings.
  • RHP Hector Santana - Put up a 2.90 ERA between 3 levels last year.
  • RHP Evan Hildebrandt - 6th round pick from 2007.  Hasn't panned out yet.
  • LHP Luca Panerati - One of the Reds Italian imports, pitched well in the GCL last year and for the Italy team in the WBC.

The GCL Reds have a tenative roster up as well, but it's nowhere near finalized yet (unless they plan on playing with 5 position players).  More info on them as it comes up.