- Rookie teams are starting to get to the point where we can tell how they're doing (with sample sizes and all that), and Billings is looking like a talented club. Venezuelan sensation Carlos Sanchez has been great so far, and after a slow start, supplemental first rounder Jesse Winker has been tearing the cover off the ball. The AZL team has been slow to begin, but let's not count them out with the middle infield combo of Tanner Rahier and Avain Rachal, who are both raking. The pitching is what separates these two teams in my book.
- Even with one kind of rough start thrown in, Tony Cingrani still looks to be making the adjustment to AA well. His 109 strikeouts on the season so far leads Reds farmhands, and with only 21 walks, his peripherals are still where we saw them in Bako.
- Speaking of guys who are making the most of that transition, let's give a little love to Bryson Smith. The 34th rounder out of the University of Florida, he's making the most in front of his home fans in Pensacola, going 8 for his first 15 to start there.
- And as we saw in the FanPosts, the Billy Hamilton promote-him-or-not debate rages on. I'm of the opinion that minor league records don't matter, and that he should be promoted if the club thinks he's ready (which, he is). Time will tell what move they make, but he might be at 100 by the end of the day. Special.
Onward to the games.
- Louisville extended their losing streak to 5 games after a rough weekend. They were blanked 8-0 on Friday as Ryan Feierabend got lit up and the team only mustered up 3 hits. They lost 10-3 on Saturday, despite Dioner Navarro and Mike Costanzo having 3 hits each. Sunday was a rain-shortened 8-3 loss, with Tim Gustafson giving up 5 runs in 4 innings. Up next: Pedro Villarreal tries to stop the bleeding at 7:05 against Indianapolis.
- Pensacola won 2 of their 3 games over the weekend. They beat Jackson 6-1 behind a dominant performance by Daniel Corcino, who went 8 innings of 1-run ball with 7 strikeouts. Bryson Smith was 3-for-4 with a homer, and Ryan LaMarre and David Vidal honked a wanger apiece as well. They won again on Saturday, with J.C. Sulbaran getting the best of a pitcher's duel (with Mariners top prospect Taijuan Walker) to win 4-2. Tim Crabbe wasn't as lucky on Sunday, as he gave up 6 runs in 4 to fall 10-4 to Jacksonville. Bryson Smith was 4-for-4 and Beau Mills homered. Up next: Tony Cingrani builds off of his dominant start last time out at 7:05 against Jacksonville.
- Bakersfield won 2 of their 3 as well. On Friday, they won 4-3 behind a 3-for-4 day by Billy Hamilton, who stole 2 bases on the day as well. They got shelled 11-5 on Saturday, despite another Juan Duran bomb, before bouncing back on Sunday to win 4-2. Josh Smith gave up 1 run in 5 innings and Billy Hamilton stole 2 more bases to bring his total to 98. Ninety-eight. Up next: Jamie Walczak takes the hill against Lake Elsinore at 10:05.
- Dayton lost 2 of their 3 games over the weekend. They lost 9-3 on Friday, despite 3 hits from Sean Buckley and 4 shutout innings from Radhames Quezada. They won 9-2 on Saturday, with wangers from Buckley and Juan Perez, and Tanner Robles pitching 6 strong innings. El'Hajj Muhammad retired all 9 he faced in relief to pick up the stupid-rule-save. They decided to switch it up and play a football game on Sunday in honor of the Euro final, losing 20-10. Perez, Ryan Wright, and Joe Terry had 3 hits each, but yeah, the pitching. Up next: John Jacob Jingleheimer Johnson takes on BG at 8:05.
- Billings lost 2 of their 3 weekend games. They won 5-3 on Friday behind the bat of Carlos Sanchez, who ended up a double short of the cycle. Robert Stephenson got the start, going 5 innings and giving up 2 runs with 7 strikeouts and no walks. They lost 10-5 on Saturday with Jesse Winker collecting two hits and Sanchez hitting another homer, his 3rd. Sunday was a 6-2 loss, as Sal Romano got knocked around and gave up 4 runs in 2 innings. Winker was 4-for-4. Up next: Drew Cisco takes on Missoula at 9:05.
- The AZL Reds lost 2 of their 3 as well. They got knocked around by the AZL Royals 13-4 on Friday, as Tanner Rahier was 2-for-4 with a homer. They won 5-2 on Saturday against the AZL Mariners as Pedro Diaz gave up 1 hit in 6 shutout innings with 6 strikeouts. Sunday was a 14-9 loss, with 4 runs given up by Vaughn Covington in 2 1/3 innings and 3 hits each by Jonathan Reynoso and Avain Rachal. Up next: Off day!