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Link Report for Games of Wednesday, June 4th


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Wednesday's Daily Menu:

 

All times Central; pitchers subject to change --

 

Nashville: Idle

 

Huntsville: RHP Donovan Hand at Chattanooga (Reds), 10:00 AM pre-game; 10:15 gametime

 

Audio link via WUMP (game will also archive at this link):

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/multimedia/audio.jsp?sid=t559

 

Brevard County: RHP John Axford at St. Lucie (Mets), 6:00 PM gametime

 

Sorry, no audio for this series...

 

West Virginia: RHP Amaury Rivas at Kannapolis (White Sox), 5:50 PM pre-game, 6:05 gametime

 

Audio link via WSWW, be sure to select the proper date (game will also archive at this link):

www.minorleaguebaseball.c.../audio.jsp

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Follow Wednesday's action as it happens:

Here's what you do, right click on each of the links below and choose "Open in New Window". Choose "Log" or "Recap". While you're listening to your minor league game of choice (or watching/listening to the big league Crew when they are playing), simply refresh your game log browsers every so often.

 

Huntsville:

 

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=g_box&gid=2008_06_04_hunaax_cngaax_1

 

Brevard County:

 

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=g_box&gid=2008_06_04_breafa_sluafa_1

 

West Virginia:

 

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=g_box&gid=2008_06_04_wvaafx_kanafx_1

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 Pacific Coast League (AAA) - PCL American North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Iowa 31 27 .534 - 19-11 12-16 W1 Omaha 29 28 .509 1.5 15-15 14-13 W1 Memphis 30 30 .500 2.0 11-13 19-17 W1 Nashville 24 34 .414 7.0 12-15 12-19 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Huntsville 36 23 .610 - 19-11 17-12 W2 West Tenn 35 24 .593 1.0 20-9 15-15 W1 Carolina 32 27 .542 4.0 14-11 18-16 L2 Chattanooga 30 29 .508 6.0 19-15 11-14 L2 Tennessee 25 34 .424 11.0 12-18 13-16 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Palm Beach 37 21 .638 - 23-9 14-12 W4 Brevard County 30 28 .517 7.0 19-12 11-16 L1 Vero Beach 29 29 .500 8.0 17-10 12-19 L1 Daytona 27 31 .466 10.0 12-16 15-15 L2 Jupiter 27 31 .466 10.0 15-11 12-20 W1 St. Lucie 13 45 .224 24.0 6-24 7-21 W1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lake County 34 24 .586 - 15-15 19-9 L5 Delmarva 33 24 .579 0.5 20-11 13-13 W6 Lakewood 32 26 .552 2.0 16-14 16-12 L1 Greensboro 30 28 .517 4.0 13-17 17-11 W2 Hagerstown 28 29 .491 5.5 12-16 16-13 W1 Hickory 28 31 .475 6.5 12-17 16-14 W1 West Virginia 24 33 .421 9.5 8-18 16-15 L1 Lexington 19 38 .333 14.5 9-20 10-18 W1 

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Due to his recent hot streak, Escobar now has an OPS of .837, which is comfortably better than J.J's Huntsville OPS of .795 in 416 ABS.

Now, no doubt Escobar benefits from being part of a powerhouse lineup, but this is pretty exciting. Escobar still has a lot of room to improve - his potential is vast. Oh, and I'm not too worried about his errors, if only because minor league errors are notoriously suspect, and from all accounts (and the few video highlights I've seen), Escobar is a plus defender.

At this point, I think J.J. soon becomes expendable.

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Due to his recent hot streak, Escobar now has an OPS of .837, which is comfortably better than J.J's Huntsville OPS of .795 in 416 ABS.

 

Now, no doubt Escobar benefits from being part of a powerhouse lineup, but this is pretty exciting. Escobar still has a lot of room to improve - his potential is vast. Oh, and I'm not too worried about his errors, if only because minor league errors are notoriously suspect, and from all accounts (and the few video highlights I've seen), Escobar is a plus defender.

 

At this point, I think J.J. soon becomes expendable.

 

 

The only thing that worries me is that people said that JJ was a plus defender with Gold Glove potential when he was in the minors. I hope Escobar's defense is not being oversold like JJ's was.

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Due to his recent hot streak, Escobar now has an OPS of .837, which is comfortably better than J.J's Huntsville OPS of .795 in 416 ABS.

 

Now, no doubt Escobar benefits from being part of a powerhouse lineup, but this is pretty exciting. Escobar still has a lot of room to improve - his potential is vast. Oh, and I'm not too worried about his errors, if only because minor league errors are notoriously suspect, and from all accounts (and the few video highlights I've seen), Escobar is a plus defender.

 

At this point, I think J.J. soon becomes expendable.

 

The only thing that worries me is that people said that JJ was a plus defender with Gold Glove potential when he was in the minors. I hope Escobar's defense is not being oversold like JJ's was.

JJ is a fine defender, but nobody ever said he had the range Escobar has.

 

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People said he was a potential Gold Glover though. I remember people talking about his defense being MLB ready almost as soon as he was drafted.

 

Also, I don't recall anybody ever saying he had a Jeter-esque lack of range, or even subpar range. That seems to be some revisionist history you are throwing out there if you are claiming JJs defense wasn't hyped as being excellent, not "fine".

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Final: Chattanooga (Reds) 5, Huntsville 4

 

Huntsville Site Game Summary:

 

Lookouts End Series With Walk-off Win

Stars Return Home for Huge Series With West Tenn
By Brett Pollock / Huntsville Stars

Sean Henry singled home the game-winning run with two outs in the ninth inning to lift Chattanooga to a 5-4 comeback win over Huntsville Wednesday afternoon in the last of a five-game set at AT&T Field. The Stars slipped to 36-24 and saw their lead over West Tenn evaporate, as the squads are now tied for first place. The Lookouts improved to 31-29 and moved to within five games of the lead with 10 to go in the first half.

 

Patrick Ryan took over on the hill for Huntsville in the home ninth and retired the first two batters before Shaun Cumberland singled and moved to third base on a double by Eric Eymann, who collected his ninth hit of the series. Henry then grounded the first pitch he saw past a diving Mat Gamel at third to hand the Stars their second walk-off loss of the road trip and their third in their opponent's last at-bat. Ryan suffered his second loss of the series and of the season. The Stars had runners at first and second with one out in the top of the inning before pinch-hitter Chris Errecart grounded into a double play. Carlos Fisher went three scoreless, hitless innings to grab the win, his first, in relief.

 

Cumberland's leadoff long ball in the home first staked the Lookouts to the lead and marked just the second time in 10 games on the road trip the Stars did not score first. However, Huntsville rallied to tie the game in the second inning on a two-out infield hit by Freddy Parejo that scored Angel Salome, who led off the inning with a base hit to right field. Justin Turner, the second baseman, dived to try to make the catch in shallow right field and could not and wound up getting kicked in the head accidentally by the right fielder Sean Henry, who came in to field the ball. Salome had been thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double but was sent back to the field and ruled safe at first after the play had come to a halt. Lookouts manager Mike Goff argued the ruling and was thrown out of the game and finally left the field 10 minutes after the argument ensued. Turner was eventually taken off the field on a stretcher in an ambulance and moved to a local hospital as a precautionary measure.

 

Danny Dorn doubled with one out in the home second and scored to put the Lookouts back on top on a single by pitcher Ben Jukich, the fourth run knocked in during the series by a Chattanooga hurler. Huntsville tied the game on a Michael Brantley home run with one out in the third, his second home run of the road trip and season. Stars' starter Donovan Hand struck out Jukich and Cumberland with runners at the corners to end the fourth inning and keep the game tied.

 

Jukich ended the third inning with a strikeout of Salome and then fanned six of the next seven hitters before Gamel walked with one out in the sixth and scored when Matt LaPorta launched a two-out home run, his third of the series and league-best 16th of the season. Drew Anderson doubled in the home half of the inning and scored on a two-out double by Chris Denove, who drove in just his fifth run of the season. Pinch-hitter Cody Strait followed with a single but Parejo made a perfect one-hop throw to the plate to cut down Denove and keep the Stars in the lead.

 

Hand was removed after six innings, allowing three runs on nine hits, walking one and fanning five and was replaced by Juan Sandoval. Cumberland led off the home seventh with a base hit, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored to tie the game at four on a Henry double play grounder.

 

The Stars return home to open an important five-game series against West Tenn on Thursday night with left-hander Steve Hammond taking the hill against Diamond Jaxx southpaw Ryan Ketchner. Coverage of the game begins at 6:50 pm central time and can be heard locally on SportsRadio 730 WUMP and through the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com and www.730ump.com.

 

Huntsville Box Score

 

Huntsville Game Log

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People said he was a potential Gold Glover though. I remember people talking about his defense being MLB ready almost as soon as he was drafted.

 

Also, I don't recall anybody ever saying he had a Jeter-esque lack of range, or even subpar range. That seems to be some revisionist history you are throwing out there if you are claiming JJs defense wasn't hyped as being excellent, not "fine".

You think Hardy has a Jeter-esque lack of range? I think Hardy plays above-average defense; is it Gold Glove-caliber? Maybe not. Does that mean he was technically overhyped? Yeah, I guess so. Does everyone agree that Escobar is better? Yes. I'm not really sure what the problem is: we'd be replacing a good defensive shortstop with a better one.

 

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JJ's not good, I'd say he's average. That's fine, but I wouldn't say he's better than that. His range isn't as bad as Jeter's, that was an overstatement for effect, but it isn't very good.

 

By range factor, he's Jeter-esque, but we all know there are problems with that stat. BP has him as basically exactly average, which matches my observations. He's fine, but nothing special, imo, when I was led to believe he was special.

 

and what does "everyone" agreeing that Escobar is better mean when those same people said JJ was excellent? It seem to mean very little. I'm not trying to denigrate prospect mavens, I'm just saying that things seem to get lost in the translation between the minors and the majors. Whatever happened to Capellan's 100 MPH fastball that people said was in regular evidence in the minors? It wasn't even around by the time he got to Nashville, much less Milwaukee.

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Just to follow up on JJ, BP 2004 said he "might be the best defensive shortstop in the minors... he's unusually smooth at short with a great arm and mobility that makes everything look easy".

 

BP 2005 said, "the Brewers remain enamored with his defense", 2006 said he had a "reputation for excellent glovework".

 

Sickels 2004 said that Hardy is "very good defensively, though he lacks the pure range to be a gold glove." There is a hint of skepticism, saying he probably won't be a GG, but otherwise loves his D.

 

Stats Inc. scouting notebook 2005 says his d is "good enough for the majors now", which isn't that surprising because people had been claiming that for years by that point.

 

The comment for JJ in the very first Power 50 (January 2002) characterized his defense as "stunning" and didn't let up from there.

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I don't know man, you seem to be after this pretty hard. I think Sickels' quote about Hardy is exactly who he is as a fielder: good hands, an accurate & very strong arm, good instincts, but range limited by quickness. I'm sorry that BF.net called him "stunning" and got you overexcited. All I know is that the consensus is that Escobar has excellent range and is a better defensive SS than Hardy, and that jibes with what I saw this spring training.
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Nice condescension, but if Escobar is the best defender in the minors, BP said the same thing about JJ and his MLB play has not come close to matching that type of rep. If JJ has such great hands and such an accurate arm, why is his fielding percentage average? We all agree his range is poor, so it's not like he's getting to a ton more balls than the average guy, like a Jose Valentin or Rafael Furcal, but making a correspondingly higher amount of errors.

 

and it wasn't just BF.net, every prospect rating place that I saw said JJ was a top echelon defender. It's not like I'm some ignorant guy who clings to one positive scouting report, I've been to plenty of minor league games and watched young players myself. In fact, I generally give little credence to amateur scouting reports such as yours because they so rarely match what we see when a player becomes a major leaguer. It's funny that you are criticizing me for listening too much to a scouting report when I'm the one who is showing skepticism about them.

 

Also, way to cite "consensus" on Escobar when I just showed that the "consensus" on JJ wasn't accurate. Why would the "consensus" on Escobar be necessarily more accurate than the one on Hardy?

 

also, if the "consensus" was that JJ was limited by a lack of quickness, why did BP say the exact opposite? These were just the quotes that I found in some books I had laying around and on this site. I'm sure if I looked around the web some I could find even more glowing praise.

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Joe, maybe we're watching different players. But JJ is perhaps the smoothest shortstop I've seen since Vizquel's prime. Does he have great range? no. But of recent Brewers shortstops, he's the only one I've actually WANTED the ball hit to in the 9th inning. That includes Jose Valentin, Mark Loretta, Craig Counsell, Jose Hernandez, Bill Hall, etc. Actually, I liked Loretta and Counsell, too, cause while they weren't great, you knew you could count on them.

 

Hardy gets to balls through good judgement and good reads. His arm is strong and accurate. Is he great? no. But he's everything I want in a Shortstop defensively.

 

When we praise Escobar, it's because most of us have seen him make all the routine plays look boring, just as Hardy does. Only he possesses the ability to make the fantastic play. So it's like somehow combining Hall's ability with Hardy's trustworthiness.

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JJ seems to have lost a few steps with his injuries (back issues?). Did you watch him score from third the other day? I fixed a sandwich between third and home! Then I realized I had forgotten my coke so I went back to the kitchen and he still hadnt scored yet. This is not the same guy that was winning the sprint contests a couple of years ago. He has a lot of pop on his throw and his glove is solid, but his range is weak and pales in comparison to Escobar.
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The old BA prospect handbooks characterized him as good to great defensively, but routinely praised his instincts, reliability, and arm (both strength and accuracy), while noting that he wasn't exceptionally quick. I think that's consistent...he was and is regarded as smooth and instinctual, but without the pure range that some shortstops have. I didn't see any of them (02 - 05) call him a potential Gold Glover. Early books called him 'great' but by '05 his range was described as 'good.' (I've heard suggestions that defense peaks early, very early even...maybe JJ is already slowing down?)

 

For what it's worth, the most recent book says of Escobar, "smooth shortstop, with nice range, soft hands, and a strong throwing arm." The '07 book says 'fluid actions, soft hands, and a plus arm.' (There's a lot of similarity there, but the same guy writes them almost every year.) I seem to remember someone who had minor league defensive stats saying that Escobar was good but not great. Hard to say for sure with these things...it's reasonable to wonder if Escobar is all he's cracked up to be. I think DHonks sums up very nicely what I would have said about the two.

 

Also, please play nice. Joe, you noted that you exaggerated for effect in making the Jeter comparison...people are going to call you on things like that.

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Yeah, I exaggerated to point out that no one was saying he was a statue out there, but that prospect people had no problem exaggerating in the other direction. How is that not playing nice?
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I say this to my fellow 9-game pack holder every time we got to a game together, but JJ Hardy is still the most enjoyable player to watch on the field. He makes the game look so incredibly easy defensively, and while he doesn't have the greatest of range, he makes every play he can get to and every throw to first base is right on the money, which is important since Fielder isn't exactly the most savvy 1B defensively.
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