Game 8 + Minors Rewind: No Offense, but the Action was in Jackson

tw== And by “no offense,” we mean “no offense” ==

Sure there was a game at Safeco Field, and Roenis Elias pitched, and the Los Angeles Angels of  Anaheim finally won one from the Seattle Mariners of Seattle, but, in terms of cloud-view, 35,000-foot, tectonic-plate-moving level of thought, the action was way far away in western Tennessee.

There, the Southern League turf was trod upon by one Mr. Taijuan Walker to the tune of:

5.0 IP, 3 H (2 singles, 1 double), 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K

Only in the 4th inning, did the Mississippi Braves have the nerve to send as many as five men to the batter’s box, at which point they politely thanked Mr. Walker for the opportunity to return to the dugout.

In other words:

  • He’s healthy.
  • He’s stretched out.
  • He’s kickin’ backside and takin’ names (the name was Braeden Schlehuber, by the way, which is quite a name to take).

===

Of course, the other shifting tectonic plate was James Paxton going on the disabled list.  He will be shut down for two weeks for his strained lat muscle to heal, and then it will surely be another couple of weeks before he would be back in the rotation.

So it looks like Chris Young will blow through his 45-day probationary period after all, and it will be awhile before the rotation is fully loaded at the Iwakuma-Walker-Paxton level.  But Young has earned good marks so far.

Randy Wolf turning down the “temp” role seems like a really good deal for the M’s right now, and a really bad deal for Randy Wolf.

===

Well, as noted, there was no offense in Seattle.  Garrett Richards and a pair of his bullpen mates combined on a one-hitter, and Elias had no margin of error.

Which is too bad, because Elias mostly did a better job of keeping away from danger.  Here’s the chart of his at-bat-deciding pitches:

numlocation.php8You can see that, for the most part, he was pounding the knees when it mattered, but you can also see he left that tasty orange “2” right there for Albert Pujols to hammer over the fence.

re1Like I said, no margin of error.

===

Our man Dominic Leone also appeared, and we were pleased to see the cutter coming in at 91-92 (sometimes it’s more 89-90).  When he’s got that going with the 95+ fastball, he’s going to be hard to deal with.

===

Daily Prospect-palooza (the rest of it)

  • Tacoma was finally back in action after three rainouts in the first week.  And there was Nick Franklin with his third homer in five games tying the game in the 8th before the Rainiers dispatched the El Paso Chihuahuas in the 10th.
  • Yes, predictably, all of Franklin’s dingers came as a LH hitter.  Check out his split:

— as LH vs. RH: 8-for-16, 3 HR, 2 BB | .500/.556/1.063 for a does-not-compute OPS of 1.618

  • And my post yesterday on the failed state of RH hitters as of a year ago, and how it turned around dramatically, failed to mention the biggest face-plant of all — Jesus Montero.  How did I forget that?  But he is trying to join the reversal as well, and got his first HR of the year Wednesday.
  • Jabari Blash had a double and a walk in support of Walker, and now has hit safely in six straight.
  • Finally, Edwin Diaz made his second trip to the mound for Clinton, and was almost as good as Taijuan: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K.
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4 thoughts on “Game 8 + Minors Rewind: No Offense, but the Action was in Jackson

  1. Also of note: Kivlehan was back at 3rd with Deej getting a day off. I still think they should put Pat in the outfield some. Why waste wheels on a guy like that playing first base? he’s 30-for-37 in steals in the minors. You COULD Darin Erstad him over to first, but there’s not a need for it yet. (quick note: Bagwell stole over 30 bags in a season twice in his career, while OPSing over 1.000 both years. YEEESSSSHHH….)

    Just saying if you want DJ to get plenty of 3B time then Kivlehan should play the outfield more and use his speed and his arm to good advantage out there. First basemen are worth basically nothing these days in trade unless you’re giving up a Goldschmidt, which no one is. OF work would keep his value high.

    Also, Choi is only playing half the games so far for Tacoma (well, 3 of 5, and several games rained out). Since there’s both a DH and a 1B spot I find that weird, even while they’re trying to get Montero some 1B experience. Choi is the (much) better fielder, the correct hand to play the position (most 1B are lefties just as most 3B are righties, because of glove positioning for the spot on the field) and quite talented. Dunno if there’s something wrong with him or it’s just early-season scheduling weirdness exacerbated by the rainouts.

    I heard Choi came into camp overweight but I haven’t seen him in a Tacoma game yet so I dunno if they’re making him run on a treadmill while Montero stumbles down the 1B line or what. Just a curiosity to me.

  2. Gordon, I posted a comment on Mike Curto’s blog (Tacoma radio broadcaster) asking if anything was up with Choi, and he said that he was surprised to see Choi sitting out games, too, but that he didn’t know of anything wrong. He thought they were trying to get Ty Kelly some time to get him going at the plate (he’s 0-for-13).

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