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Link Report for Mon. 8/6 -- Rattlers fall, but Cameron Garfield's big season goes on


Mass Haas

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Brewer Fanatic Staff

Monday's Daily Menu:

 

All times are Central

 

Nashville: RHP Brian Baker at Sacramento (Athletics), 8:50 PM pre-game, 9:05 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link

 

Jeff Hem is the new play-by-play voice of the Sounds; follow him on Twitter @jeffhempbp; we'll link to his blog updates at On the Air…and Off

 

MiLB.TV -- for subscribers; all Nashville games, home and away, will be available to watch via MiLB.TV's $39.99 season-long package ($9.99 to pay for a single month). We imagine the audio feed is from the home team. All MiLB.TV details available at the link.

 

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Huntsville: RHP Johnny Hellweg at home vs. Pensacola (Reds), 6:28 PM pre-game, 6:43 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link -- Select the Huntsville feed from the MiLB main audio page

 

Alex Cohen is the new play-by-play voice of the Stars; follow him on Twitter @alexmcohen. It's fantastic that Huntsville is returning to what will be a traditional broadcast format this year. All games, home and away, are scheduled to be broadcast.

 

MiLB.TV subsciption note: Huntsville road games in four locales (Mississippi, Tennessee, Jacksonville and Pensacola) will be broadcast.

 

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Brevard County: Idle

 

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Wisconsin: RHP David Goforth at Beloit (Twins), 6:40 PM pre-game, 7:00 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link - 1280 AM WNAM

 

Chris Mehring is back to do his customary fantastic work as the Voice of the Rattlers. Follow him on Twitter @CMehring; we'll link to Chris' infamous blog often -- Rattler Radio.

 

MiLB.TV -- for subscribers; Wisconsin is one of only two (Great Lakes) Midwest League clubs that have all their home games available via MiLB.TV; Chris' call provides the audio. So for the $39.95 season-long package, fans in Brewer Nation can watch all Sounds games, all Timber Rattlers home games, and Stars' road games from four Southern League locales, plus one July Helena series (11th-13th).

 

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Helena: RHP Preston Gainey at Missoula (Reds), 7:50 PM pre-game, 8:05 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link -- Select the Helena feed from the MiLB main audio page

 

We're lucky to have Steve Wendt back on board for another H-Crew season.

 

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Arizona Rookie (Maryvale): at the Cubs' complex in Mesa; 9:00 PM gametime; never audio for games in this league

 

**********

 

DSL Brewers: at the DSL Blue Jays, 9:30 AM, although game data won't be available until late afternoon at the earliest

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Brewer Fanatic Staff

STANDINGS:

 

AAA - Pacific Coast League American Northern Division

 

AA - Southern League North Division

 

High-A - Florida State League North Division

 

A - Midwest League Western Division

 

Rookie Advanced - Pioneer League North Division

 

Rookie - Arizona Summer League

 

DSL - Dominican Summer League San Pedro de Macoris Division

 

***

 

NOTE: AAA Nashville, Rookie Maryvale and the DSL do not play a split schedule. When you click on a standings link for Huntsville, Brevard County, Wisconsin, and/or Helena, you'll then be able to choose 1st half and/or overall standings in addition to the current 2nd half standings.

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Brewer Fanatic Staff

The Timber Rattlers name their own July Players of the Month

 

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Speaking of the Rattlers, Alec at brewersrumors.com has a scouting report on RHP Jacob Barnes.

 

***

 

What Link Report would be complete without a "Where is he now?" update on one of the greatest sets of eyebrows to ever play for the Brewers, Pete Zoccolillo?

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Brewer Fanatic Staff

DVR ALERT!

 

As we like to do, here's some notice for you.

 

This Thursday August 9st, Time Warner Cable Sports 32 TV will broadcast the Rattlers home game vs. Cedar Rapids (Athletics) at 7:05 PM. RHP Matt Miller is the scheduled starter.

 

The big leaguers are idle Thursday.

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Brewer Fanatic Staff

Never was I more sure of an upcoming Player of the Week honor than I was for a Pioneer League award for Helena's Adam Giacolone.

 

All Giacolone did for the July 30th - August 5th stretch was go 12-for-25 (four doubles, one HR), six walks.

 

The winner, Rockies' Grand Junction OF Julian Yan, went 10-for-31 with three walks and 11 K's. Yan, however, clubbed two doubles and six HR's.

 

Nice week, Adam, but chicks (and Pioneer League judges) did the longball.

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I don't know if this is the place to post this, but I'm at the Wisconsin/Snapper game. Macias & Garfield go yard in the first. Garfield nearly put it over the scoreboard in right center. It wasa shot.

"The most successful (people) know that performance over the long haul is what counts. If you can seize the day, great. But never forget that there are days yet to come."

 

~Bill Walsh

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He struggled early with base runners, he airmailed 3 or 4 in a row into CF between the couple of games I was able catch in June. I listened just about every day though when I was doing LR on WI and he did improve and started gunning some guys, unfortunately my July was horribly busy so I haven't gotten down to game since.

 

As far as blocking balls he was okay, better some days than others, he had excellent game chasing Goforth's pitches around that sticks in my mind.

 

I didn't sit behind home plate as I haven't gone to a game that I actually bought tickets for yet this year to take video and since I was primarily concentrating on the pitchers when I was there I mostly only noticed when he did something very well or made a mistake. I didn't just focus in on him enough to see how he was generally handling his business.

 

Maybe bkrause2 would have better first hand observations.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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I was with my 6-year old, so I didn't get to watch as closely as I'd like and left after the second Garfield home run (this one to right center). He did airmail a throw to second, and on another SB the pitcher bounced it, and the ball bounced into and over Garfield and ended behind him. He did get to it quick enough that the runner didn't try for third.

"The most successful (people) know that performance over the long haul is what counts. If you can seize the day, great. But never forget that there are days yet to come."

 

~Bill Walsh

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Final (completion of suspended game 8/1): DSL Blue Jays 7, DSL Brewers 5

 

DSL Brewers Box Score

Well this makes more sense as I was thoroughly confused why the Angels and Brewers didn't complete the game the other day, the box score was mislabeled or I somehow read it wrong.

 

Here's my take on the first 8 innings from Wed.

 

DSL Brewers Play By Play

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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He struggled early with base runners, he airmailed 3 or 4 in a row into CF between the couple of games I was able catch in June. I listened just about every day though when I was doing LR on WI and he did improve and started gunning some guys, unfortunately my July was horribly busy so I haven't gotten down to game since.

 

As far as blocking balls he was okay, better some days than others, he had excellent game chasing Goforth's pitches around that sticks in my mind.

 

I didn't sit behind home plate as I haven't gone to a game that I actually bought tickets for yet this year to take video and since I was primarily concentrating on the pitchers when I was there I mostly only noticed when he did something very well or made a mistake. I didn't just focus in on him enough to see how he was generally handling his business.

 

Maybe bkrause2 would have better first hand observations.

 

I'd agree with your assessment for the most part. The difference between 2010 and 2012 has been pretty noticeable. Not that he was ever bad defensively, but I think his defense has been better this season, at least in the games I've seen. Garfield's done a good job of blocking and I've also noticed a good amount of steals that haven't necessarily been on the catcher either (pitches in the dirt, huge jumps, etc). I don't know that he'll ever be a gold glover or anything, but his bat will be what keeps him moving up the ladder and his defense is good enough that he should be fine to stay behind the plate. In terms of defense I would put Neda ahead of Garfield, but Garfield ahead of Tyler Roberts. Just my opinion.

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Final Game 2: DSL Brewers 3, DSL Blue Jays 2 (7 innings)

 

DSL Brewers Box Score

Hey a win finally! All it took was a complete game from Jorge Ortega who allowed 2 earned runs over the full 7 innings on 5 hits, 1 walk, but curiously he only struck out 2. I'm looking forward to Ortega and Rizzo pitching stateside next season.

 

No Brewer had multiple hits but Juan De Leon (1-3,2B) and Leudi Otano (1-1,2B) both had an XBH. Otano made an appearance after Raphachel Colatosti was hit by a pitch and exited the contest. Francisco Castillo also had an abrupt exit after scoring on a sac fly in the 3rd, Juan Ortiz replaced him in CF for the 4th.

 

DSL Brewers Play By Play

 

Ortega struggled in the first but settled in nicely after.

DSL Blue Jays Bottom of the 1st

  • Rolando Segovia singles on a line drive to center fielder Francisco Castillo.
    With Edwin Fuentes batting, Rolando Segovia steals (13) 2nd base.
    Edwin Fuentes singles on a line drive to center fielder Francisco Castillo. Rolando Segovia to 3rd.
    Angel Rojas doubles (6) on a fly ball to center fielder Francisco Castillo. Rolando Segovia scores. Edwin Fuentes to 3rd.
    Cesar Barazarte out on a sacrifice fly to right fielder Yunior Santana. Edwin Fuentes scores.
    Leudy Garcia pops out to shortstop Raphachel Colatosti.
    Gustavo Perinan grounds out, shortstop Raphachel Colatosti to first baseman Yunior De La Cruz.

 

Castillo's exit...

DSL Brewers Top of the 3rd

  • Raphachel Colatosti strikes out swinging.
    Francisco Castillo singles on a fly ball to left fielder Leudy Garcia. Francisco Castillo advances to 2nd, on a fielding error by left fielder Leudy Garcia.
    With Alejandro Mendoza batting, Francisco Castillo advances to 3rd on a balk.
    Alejandro Mendoza out on a sacrifice fly to center fielder Luis Martin. Francisco Castillo scores.
    Yunior Santana grounds out, shortstop Rolando Segovia to first baseman Cesar Barazarte.

 

DSL Blue Jays Bottom of the 3rd

  • Defensive Substitution: Juan Ortiz replaces center fielder Francisco Castillo, batting 1st, playing center field.
    Rolando Segovia flies out to center fielder Juan Ortiz.
    Edwin Fuentes grounds out, second baseman Alejandro Mendoza to first baseman Yunior De La Cruz.
    Angel Rojas called out on strikes.

 

Colatosti's exit... bases loaded and no out, then nothing.

DSL Brewers Top of the 5th

  • Kevin Martinez walks.
    With Raphachel Colatosti batting, passed ball by Kervin Santiago, Kevin Martinez to 2nd.
    With Raphachel Colatosti batting, Kevin Martinez steals (2) 3rd base.
    Raphachel Colatosti hit by pitch.
    Offensive Substitution: Pinch-runner Leudi Otano replaces Raphachel Colatosti.
    Pitching Change: Wilmin Lara replaces Greylor Conde.
    Wilmin Lara intentionally walks Juan Ortiz. Leudi Otano to 2nd.
    Alejandro Mendoza strikes out swinging.
    Yunior Santana called out on strikes.
    Juan De Leon strikes out swinging.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Final: Wisconsin 3, Beloit 5

 

Beloit's big inning enough to beat the Rattlers

Garfield hits two of Wisconsin's three homers in loss

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

 

BELOIT, WI - The Beloit Snappers scored five runs in the third inning on Monday night at Pohlman Field. It was enough for the Snappers to beat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 5-3. Miguel Sano tormented the Timber Rattlers with another home run and offset a two homer night by Wisconsin's Cameron Garfield. The loss was the second straight for the Rattlers.

 

Brandon Macias gave Wisconsin (65-47 overall, 21-22 second half) a quick lead when he hit a home run to lead off the game. Garfield followed with a solo home run of his own two outs later and the Rattlers were up 2-0 against Beloit starter Taylor Rogers.

 

Beloit (60-53, 21-22) struck back hard in the bottom of the third inning against Wisconsin starting pitcher David Goforth. AJ Pettersen doubled with one out for the Snappers first hit of the game. Nate Roberts would double to score Pettersen. A walk to JD Williams was followed by a two-run double off the bat of Eddie Rosario. Then, Sano drilled a two-run homer put the Snappers up 5-2.

 

The homer for Sano was his 23rd of the season and gave him 86 RBI this year. The blast was his fourth in nine games against Wisconsin this season.

 

Garfield, who went 3-for-3 with a walk on the evening, struck again in the sixth inning with another solo home run. That got the Rattlers to within two runs. Garfield has eight home runs this year.

 

Chadwin Stang started the eighth inning with a double off Beloit reliever Corey Williams. The double extended Stang's hitting streak to eighteen games, the second longest hitting streak in the Midwest League this season. Garfield would walk with one out to put the tying runs on base for Nick Ramirez, but Williams struck out Ramirez for the second out.

 

Beloit went to right-handed reliever Zack Jones to match up against Ben McMahan. The first pitch from the Beloit reliever went to the backstop for a wild pitch to move the tying runs into scoring position. Jones, a foruth round pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 2012 draft, would escape by getting McMahan to pop out to right. Jones would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his third save of the season.

 

The final game of the series is Tuesday night at Pohlman Field. Eric Semmelhack (1-0, 3.46) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Tyler Jones (2-4, 5.26) is set to go for Beloit. Game time is 7:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280 or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:40pm.

 

HOME RUNS:

WIS:

Brandon Macias (7th, 0 on in 1st inning off Taylor Rogers, 0 out)

Cameron Garfield (7th, 0 on in 1st inning off Taylor Rogers, 2 out)

Cameron Garfield (8th, 0 on in 6th inning off Talor Rogers, 1 out)

 

BEL:

Miguel Sano (23rd, 1 on in 3rd inning off David Goforth, 1 out)

 

WP: Taylor Rogers (1-1)

LP: David Goforth (8-6)

SAVE: Zack Jones (3)

 

TIME: 2:38

ATTN: 749

 

Wisconsin Box Score

 

Have a day Cameron Garfield! The 21-year-old catcher was on base all four times. He had the two home runs mentioned by Chris as well as a single and a walk. Brandon Macias also had a home run for the Rattlers. The three long balls accounted for all the offense tonight. Lance Roenicke went 2-4 with a double. Chadwin Stang returned to action after an ankle injury kept him out of the past few games and he went 1-4 with a double to extend his hitting streak to 18 games. Ben McMahan had the other T-Rats base hit.

 

David Goforth was the starting pitcher, but he wound up going only four innings tonight. As has been his MO, when he gets in to troulbe, it's usually one big inning that gets him. Tonight it was the third, when he gave up all five of the runs he would surrender. Five walks, five hits and an error on Goforth all contributed to the damage. Stosh Wawrzasek continued his fine season, with three more scoreless innings of relief. He hasn't given up a run in a month and has dropped his ERA to 0.92. Tonight he allowed just two hits and struck out five. Mark Williams pitched a scoreless eight inning, walking one and striking out two.

 

Wisconsin Play By Play

 

All of Beloit's runs came in the third

Beloit Bottom of the 3rd

Jairo Rodriguez strikes out swinging.

Adam Pettersen doubles (10) on a line drive to center fielder Chadwin Stang.

Nate Roberts doubles (10) on a ground ball to left fielder Lance Roenicke. Adam Pettersen scores.

With JaDamion Williams batting, throwing error by David Goforth on the pickoff attempt, Nate Roberts to 3rd.

JaDamion Williams walks.

Eddie Rosario doubles (24) on a fly ball to left fielder Lance Roenicke. Nate Roberts scores. JaDamion Williams scores. Eddie Rosario to 3rd on the throw.

Miguel Sano homers (23) on a fly ball to center field. Eddie Rosario scores.

Kennys Vargas walks.

Stephen Wickens walks. Kennys Vargas to 2nd.

Wang-Wei Lin flies out to left fielder Lance Roenicke.

Jairo Rodriguez grounds out, second baseman Gregory Hopkins to first baseman Nick Ramirez.

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I'm encouraged by the Stars faring relatively well against both Cingrani and Corcino this series and for the season. Hopefully that carries through as the players move up to MLB.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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@Huntsville 5, Pensacola 3

 

Huntsville Box

 

The Blue Wahoos scored all three of their runs in the first, as Johnny Hellweg struggled with his command for basically his whole outing (5 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 7 BB, 3 K, WP, HBP, Balk, 5:4 GO:AO, 88 TP, 42 strikes). Hellweg had a nightmare inning going in the 2nd as well: he walked Billy Hamilton with one out, balked Hamilton to second... and naturally Hamilton almost instantly stole third. Hellweg walked the next batter, but then induced a grounder to 3B Hainley Statia (0-4), who threw out Hamilton at the plate for the second out of the inning. The next batter hit a grounder back to the mound that deflected off of Hellweg, and all three runners were safe to load up the bases... thankfully one more grounder got Hellweg & the Stars out of the inning without allowing a run.

 

The Stars carried that momentum over into the home half of the 2nd, where they scored three runs of their own to tie things up. Brock Kjeldgaard (0-3, BB) led off with a walk, followed by a RBI triple from Hunter Morris (1-4, 3B, 2 RBI). I guess "The Mayor" got tired of only hitting doubles & HRs? Anyway, Kentrail Davis (1-2, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB) doubled with one out to plate Morris, and Hellweg himself got in on the action, coming up big with a game-tying two-out/two-strike RBI single.

 

Hunstville scored a single run in the 3rd thanks to a leadoff double from Domnit Bolivar (1-4, 2B) and a single from Scooter Gennett (2-4) right afterwards; Morris later drove Bolivar in with a groundout. The Stars plated another run in the 4th with a leadoff walk from Davis and RBI double from Anderson De La Rosa (1-3, 2B, RBI). Josh Prince (2-4) also singled in the 4th, and went on to steal his 40th base of the season; Prince continues to lead the entire organization, despite that total looking minuscule next to Hamilton's.

 

Neither offense scored or put together anything really resembling a threat the rest of the way. Dan Meadows worked a perfect 6th inning, Kyle Heckathorn perfect 7th & 8th, and Brandon Kintzler a perfect 9th. Relief pitching doesn't get any better than what the Stars got tonight -- a combined 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Nice work, gentlemen!

 

-De La Rosa did throw out Billy Hamilton on his first steal attempt in the 1st, but Hamilton still went on to swipe two bags & push his season total to 127.

 

-Gennett had his second straight two-hit game. Hopefully the mental break he was given by skipper Darnell Coles will prove to be just what he needed to break out of his second-half funk.

 

-On the flip side of second half success, Davis has continued his strong post AS-break production. After going hitless in five straight games, Davis has gone 5-9 (.555) in his last three, with two 2B, two RBI, and four BB. With the exception of his first season at low-A Wisconsin, 2012 so far is Davis's best OPS season as a pro & that's owed exclusively to his second half production (2012 first half OPS: .663).

 

-It looks like Bolivar will assume not only Jean Segura's position of shortstop, but quite possibly his regular spot in the batting order as well. Bolivar was in the 2-hole tonight, and I have to assume that's where he'll stay unless he scuffles his way out of it. Morris is still hitting 5th for some reason I have yet to figure out; my only guess is the classic baseball manager cliche of 'breaking up the lefties!'.

 

 

Huntsville PbP

I described basically all of the eventful innings (obviously feel free to click through & check out the log yourself!), but one note I didn't get was De La Rosa getting thrown out at 3B trying to stretch his 4th inning double into a triple:

 

Huntsville Bottom of the 4th

-Kentrail Davis walks.

-Anderson De La Rosa doubles (9) on a fly ball to right fielder Josh Fellhauer. Kentrail Davis scores. Anderson De La Rosa out at 3rd, right fielder Josh Fellhauer to second baseman Brodie Greene to third baseman David Vidal to shortstop Billy Hamilton.

-Johnny Hellweg grounds out, shortstop Billy Hamilton to first baseman Beau Mills.

-Josh Prince singles on a line drive to center fielder Ryan LaMarre.

-With Domnit Bolivar batting, Josh Prince steals (40) 2nd base.

-Domnit Bolivar grounds out, shortstop Billy Hamilton to first baseman Beau Mills.

 

 

Huntsville Gameday

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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Offensive Players of the Week

For the week ending Aug. 5

 

Southern League

Justin Bour, Tennessee (Cubs)

(.409/.536/.864, 8 G, 9-for-22, 1 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, 6 BB, 7 K, 1 SB)

With three of his team-high 14 homers coming this week, Bour has been all about production this season. The Smokies first baseman leads the Southern League in RBIs with 92, ranks second in hits (123) and doubles (30) and is third in batting average with a .304 mark. Of the 476 runs Tennessee has scored this season, Bour has driven in or scored 127 of them himself -- no other Smokies hitter has more than 40 RBIs. The 24-year-old homered twice and drove in six of Tennessee's 17 runs in three games at Jackson over the weekend.

 

Speaking of the Cubs, did everyone see that Vitters and Jackson were promoted? I figured that was covered enough on various other sites

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Pitchers of the Week

For the week ending Aug. 5

 

Pacific Coast League

Shelby Miller, Memphis (Cardinals)

(2-0, 2.57 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 IP, 12 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 16 K)

It hasn't been a smooth season for Miller, MLB.com's No. 2 prospect. After posting a 2.77 ERA and allowing four home runs over 139 2/3 Class A Advanced and Double-A innings last year, the 21-year-old right-hander owns a 5.25 ERA and has yielded 20 longballs in 22 starts this season. The 19th overall pick in the 2009 Draft, Miller made strides this week, racking up 16 strikeouts -- without walking a batter -- in a pair of seven-inning outings. Having dropped six straight decisions between mid May and mid July, Miller has won three of his last four starts and has not issued a walk in his last 24 innings.

 

Shelby might actually have turned the corner...

 

Florida State League

Jameson Taillon, Bradenton

(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 3 BB, 8 K)

Having gone winless in four starts before Monday's outing at Lakeland, Taillon tried something different: he wore a suit to the ballpark. An odd choice for Florida in summer, perhaps, but it seems to have worked -- the 20-year-old righty tossed 12 scoreless innings this week, allowing four hits and striking out eight. The Pirates prospect lowered his ERA to 3.91 and is holding Florida State League hitters to a .226 average.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Ask BA August 6, 2012

Daytona righthander Matt Loosen's numbers are staggeringly good this year. Is he a prospect despite being a little old for high Class A, or are his numbers fluky? What's the story on fellow Cubs righthander Trey McNutt this year? And finally, are there any young Cubs arms to be excited about?

 

Dale Roberts

Calvert City, Ky.

Loosen turned in a pair of nondescript seasons in the Cubs system after signing for $30,000 as a 23rd-round pick from Jacksonville in 2010, leaving no hints that he'd break out this year. Even after getting roughed up in his last two starts, he tops the high Class A Florida State League in wins (10) and opponent average (.190), and he has an overall record of 10-4, 3.33 with a 96-37 K-BB ratio in 100 innings.

 

Loosen is a prospect in the sense that he has a chance to get to the big leagues, but he's not a top prospect. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder works mostly with an average fastball and he can run it up to 94 mph on occasion. His curveball is better than his slider, though both are effective, while his changeup lacks consistency. He throws a decent amount of strikes but his control and command still need improvement.

 

At 23, Loosen is old for his level and needs to get tested by more advanced hitters. He projects more as a middle reliever than a starter, and if we slapped a BA grade on him, it would be 45/High.

 

As for McNutt, whom we ranked as Chicago's best pitching prospect entering the season, he has hit a wall. Though he flashed a pair of plus-plus pitches and showed promise as a potential No. 2 starter at two Class A stops in 2010, he hasn't been the same guy since.

 

Now relegated to the bullpen during his third stint in Double-A, he just hasn't shown the same stuff with any consistency. He no longer misses many bats and his command, never his strong suit, has backslid as well. He now looks like a definite reliever, and he's going to have to snap out of his funk to get a big league opportunity.

 

The Cubs lack quality pitching at the upper levels of their farm system, which is why they drafted high school arms Paul Blackburn, Duane Underwood, Ryan McNeil and Anthony Prieto in the first five rounds in June and traded for four pitchers (most notably Arodys Vizcaino) in July. Of the guys who were in the system at the start of the year, the best young arms (21 and under) are Dillon Maples (who didn't make his pro debut until July 29 after tweaking his elbow), Tony Zych and Jose Rosario.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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