Farm Wrap – 5.12.06
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on May 11, 2006
Been a while since one of these was necessary, which is to say the system hasn't been that interesting since the end of April, but with the return of the Jedi Knight, things are looking up.
In Tacoma, Chris Snelling's second game back produced another win for the Rainiers and a 1-for-1 night for the 24-year-old. He walked twice, was hit by a pitch and a drove in a run with a single in the seventh inning – off of Steve Kent,the same left-hander he hit the game-winner off on Wednesday afternoon.
Kent isn't alone, not many AAA pitchers, lefty or not, can get Snelling out.
It maybe time to start believing in Cha Seung Baek, at least as a back-end rotation option or a middle reliever. Baek, 25, went six solid innings and allowed just one earned run on four hits. He walked two and fanned two and just like his track record, induced an even number of ground ball outs to fly outs, but he mixed his pitches very well and kept a solid Round Rock lineup off balance.
Baek is now 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA in 37 innings of work. He's walked 12 and struck out 22.
Sounds like middle relief to me. [insert music by Trio here]… Cha, Cha, Cha.
Adam Jones went 1-for-4 with his 7th home run of the season, a solo shot leading off the bottom of the fourth inning. He did strike out for the 25th time this season and he's walked only four times, but he's 20, learning a new position and is showing a lot more power than anyone thought he would this early in his Triple-A career.
As long as his slugging percentage hovers in the .480s, he's having a good season.
Catcher Rob Johnson has been struggling defensively of late, allowing five passed balls in his last nine starts. M's catching coordinator Roger Hansen says it's just a matter of balance and repetition and thinks it'll be fixed within the month, not because it's an easily fixable problem, but because of Johnson's natural ability and tireless work ethic.
Johnson did go 2-for-4 with his second home run of the season, raising his average to .273. He did strike out two more times, however, bringing his K/BB ratio to 26-2 in 81 plate appearances.
But, like Jones, he's very young and inexperienced as a pro and has time to correct the shortcomings. The fact that he's hitting .273 is pretty remarkable considering that he spent less than a half season above Low A ball prior to this season.
Right-hander Jesse Foppert was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday and made his first appearance Thursday night.
The 25-year-old went one inning and allowed a run on two hits. All three outs he recorded were of the fly ball variety.
He's expected to get at least two more relief outings before rejoining the starting rotation, but he may get as many as five.
Asdrubal Cabrera went 1-for-3 and drew his 12th walk of the season against just 13 strikeouts. The 20-year-old is hitting .288 after a 2-for-17 slump dropped his average below .280 for the first time all season.
Closer Emiliano Fruto pitched a scoreless ninth to secure the win for Tacoma and lowered his ERA to 3.20 on the season.
Wisconsin was rained out and the entire Texas League had an off day while Inland Empire played another uninteresting game without one single note from a legit prospect, with the potential exception of Yung-Chi Chen's 2-for-4, which raised his average to .351.
Chen, 22, has been playing second base for most of the season – his best future position – and is slugging .522 with a .378 OBP on the year. Chen has 11 steals in 13 attempts to go with his 13 extra-base hits.
He's somewhat interesting, but he should be in Double-A so the club can see what he's really got.
Photo Credit –
Cha Seung Baek: Associated Press