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Link Report for Wed. 5/1 -- Gagnon Tosses Seven Perfect; Sounds Have Night to Themselves


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Brewer Fanatic Staff

Wednesday's Daily Menu:

 

All times are Central

 

Nashville: RHP Tyler Thornburg at Oklahoma City (Astros), 6:45 PM pre-game, 7:05 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link

 

Jeff Hem is the 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). The audio feed is from the home team. All MiLB.TV details available at the link.

 

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Huntsville: RHP Jimmy Nelson at Mobile (Diamondbacks), 6:50 PM pre-game, 7:05 gametime

 

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

 

Alex Cohen is the play-by-play voice of the Stars; follow him on Twitter @alexmcohen. All games, home and away, are scheduled to be broadcast. It appears four Southern League teams air their home games on MiLB.TV, and we'll let you know when those dates pop up on the schedule.

 

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Brevard County: First, it's the completion of Tuesday's suspended game (tied at 4-4 after six innings), then it's RHP Drew Gagnon at Bradenton (Pirates) in the nine-inning regularly scheduled game, 9:00 AM gametime

 

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

 

**********

 

Wisconsin: Idle

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Brewer Fanatic Staff

Sounds and Stars with the worst records in the Pacific Coast and Southern Leagues, respectively. Timber Rattlers in 8th (last) place in their division.

 

Manatees, at 13-11, just 1.5 games out of first place, thankfully...

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Brewer Fanatic Staff
Manatees don't score in the top of the 7th in this nine-inning completion game. Lance Roenicke, who was successful on 8-of-12 SB attempts in 2012, his rookie year, is now just 1-for-5 in 2013, as he was caught leaning before the pitcher released the ball (picked off second and thrown out at 3rd base), worse yet, with two outs. Ugh...
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Brewer Fanatic Staff

Details later, but walk-off Manatee loss on an E-3.

 

Honestly, we try to accentuate the positives in these Link Reports, we really do. But hasn't it been a miserable start to the minor league seasons, not just in terms of wins and losses, but in the quality of play? Walks, errors, etc.

 

Obviously that's just an "on the surface" comment without statistical evidence (easy enough to obtain and often referred to by the guys here each night), but it's been a rough go, hasn't it?

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Let's look at the bright side.

Scooter Gennett hitting .403 so far OPS of .893

Hellweg off to a decent start with ERA of 3.38 and 26 K's in 24 innings.

Hiram Burgos off to a good start with Nashville and now the Brewers.

The trio of Hand, Jesus Sanchez and Rob Wooten ERAs of 1.32, 0.82 and 0.93 with Whips of 1.17, 0.73 and 0.72.

 

Kentrail Davis OBP of .394, Nick Shaw .400 and Brock K'gaard .377

Total domination by Jimmie Nelson 1.30 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 32K with 5 BB.

 

Cam Garfield seems to have found a power stroke the last couple of years slugging .510 this year.

Brooks Hall ERA of 1.59 with a 1.06 WHIP

Goforth having a decent year 2.74 ERA and 1.17 WHIP

 

Michael Reed .384/.446/.830 has never looked so good as this year

Brent Suter 1.80 ERA, 1.27 WHIP 16/5 K/BB ratio with Wisconsin

 

Just a few of the guys who have looked good this year.

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No divisional mentions but remember the name Yordano Ventura. He's a Royals pitching prospect and has as much helium as anyone in MiLB, he was #3 in the Royals system and #85 in BA's top 100 after 2012.

 

Wednesday Prospect Notebook: Zack Wheeler Rights The Ship

"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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But hasn't it been a miserable start to the minor league seasons, not just in terms of wins and losses, but in the quality of play? Walks, errors, etc.

 

I concur, it was to be expected in WI with the relative lack of experience there but I would hope that group would improve significantly in that regard over the course of the season.

 

I do find it difficult to be too down on the hitting between A and AAA, we have players who mostly project to be utility players if they make the show. The one guy WV Brew didn't mention was Mitch Haniger, who I've always viewed as more of a high floor type of guy (right or wrong) but he's definitely grown on me through the first month of the season. I don't think Tyrone Taylor's batting line reflects how well he's played, he doesn't chase out of the zone much and has a nice line drive swing at the plate. I'm not sure he'll ever have opposite field HR power but when he turns on one it's like a Weeks' screamer HR to left/left center as opposed to those towering majestic HRs from many power hitters.

 

If Morris will catch fire I think we can feel pretty good about the prospect trio at AAA as well. None of those guys will be super stars but they could prove valuable down the road.

"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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Brewer Fanatic Staff

Perhaps more analysis later tonight - just helping out on the copy-and-paste summaries during "first shift"

 

***

 

Brevard edged by Bradenton on error

'Tees rallies to tie game, lose 5-4 in ten in completion of suspended game

By Frank Longobardo / Brevard County Manatees

 

BRADENTON, Fla. - After rallying to tie the game with a four-run sixth inning and having play suspended due to rain, the Brevard County Manatees fell 5-4 to the Bradenton Marauders in ten innings on Wednesday morning.

 

The Manatees (13-11) committed four errors for the game and the final one by first baseman Nick Ramirez proved to be a game changer.

 

With runners on second and third and two outs in the bottom of the tenth, reliever Stephen Peterson was ahead of Gregory Polanco with an 0-2 count. Polanco then grounded a ball to Ramirez that he misplayed, which allowed the winning run to score for the Marauders (8-16).

 

When play began on Tuesday night, Bradenton jumped out to a 4-0 lead through four innings against 'Tees starting pitcher Jed Bradley (2-1, 3.92). All four runs plated by the Marauders off of Bradley came with two outs.

 

Bradley's night was done after five innings of work and three of the four runs he allowed were earned. The 2011 first round pick yielded four hits and two walks, while striking out four.

 

Brevard County was finally able to get to Bradenton starting pitcher Adrian Sampson in the top of the sixth as John Dishon led the inning off with a walk. Chadwin Stang followed with a single to put runners on first and third.

 

Greg Hopkins then singled to left to score Dishon to make it a 4-1 game. Ramirez then stepped in and delivered the big blow on the 1-1 offering from Sampson as he hit a three-run shot to right to tie the game up.

 

After Bradenton went down in order against Kevin Shackelford in the bottom of the frame, the rain began and the tarp was put on the field. The decision was then made to continue the game on Wednesday morning.

 

Brevard County had chances to take the lead in both the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh with two outs, Lance Roenicke was caught stealing third base to end the inning.

 

In the eighth, the 'Tees had runners on first and second but Cody Hawn struck out swinging to end that threat.

 

After a perfect ninth inning, Tommy Toledo came out for the tenth and allowed back-to-back singles to Junior Sosa and Alen Hanson after retiring the lead-off hitter.

 

Hanson would steal second to put runners on second and third with Benji Gonzalez at the plate, but Toledo would punch out Gonzalez looking for the second out.

 

The lefty Peterson then came on to face the lefty Polanco and it would be Polanco who would win the battle as the Marauders came out on top.

 

The two through five hitters in Brevard County's line-up led the way at the plate as Hopkins, Ramirez, Cameron Garfield and Hawn all had two hits each.

 

Despite the loss due to the unearned run, the quartet of Shackelford, Dan Meadows, Toledo and Peterson were solid out of the bullpen. The four combined to allow just two hits and strike out four in 4.2 innings of work.

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Manatees one-hit MaraudersGagnon goes seven perfect in 1-0 win

By Frank Longobardo / Brevard County Manatees

 

BRADENTON, Fla. - Starting pitcher Drew Gagnon had a career day that just fell short of a perfect day as the Brevard County Manatees blanked the Bradenton Marauders 1-0 in a rain-shortened, eight-inning game on Wednesday afternoon at McKechnie Field.

 

Gagnon (2-1, 5.59) struck out a career-high ten hitters and reached a three-ball count only once. The most pitches that one batter saw from him were seven and 'Tees (14-12) hurler seemed to get stronger as the game went on as he threw no more than 12 pitches a frame, from the fourth inning on.

 

After going 0-2 with a 9.72 ERA in his first four starts, Gagnon is 2-0 in his last two starts and hasn't allowed a run over that span of 12.1 innings.

 

Gagnon was lifted from the game after 84 pitches, with 56 of them being strikes. Seth Harvey came in to start the eighth and after retiring Jose Osuna on a pop out, the Marauders (9-17) finally had a man reach base as Dan Gamache singled up the middle.

 

Gagnon and Harvey though would combine to face the minimum through eight as after a Willy Garcia fly out, Gamache was caught stealing second base to end the inning.

 

As play began in the ninth inning, the rain picked up and after a 33 minute delay the decision was made to end the game early.

 

Despite striking out 13 times and tallying just three hits themselves, the 'Tees got the only run that they would need in the top of the first.

 

Chadwin Stang led off the game with a walk and would come home two batters later on an RBI double from Nick Ramirez.

 

The Manatees leave Bradenton with a split of the four-game set against the Marauders.

 

Brevard County will open a three-game series against the North Division leading, Dunedin Blue Jays beginning on Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. in Dunedin.

 

Brooks Hall (2-1, 1.59) will get the start for the Manatees and for the second time in less than a week, the 'Tees will face-off against American League All-Star Ricky Romero (0-0, 1.29) as he takes the hill for the Jays.

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Manatees' Gagnon perfect for seven

Brewers righty fans career-high 10 before weather intervened

By Brendon Desrochers / MLB.com

 

If you listen to Brevard County's Drew Gagnon and his pitching coach, the seeds for Wednesday's perfect performance were planted in a superficially unimpressive start 11 days ago in Clearwater.

 

The No. 13 Brewers prospect allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Threshers that night. Yet it was that foreshadowed Wednesday's effort in which Gagnon pitched seven perfect innings and fanned 10 in a combined one-hitter, which the Manatees won, 1-0, over Bradenton in eight frames.

 

"My pitching coach said it was going to be the tipping point moving forward to what I did last year," said Gagnon, who had a 2.83 ERA in 25 starts across two levels in 2012. "What I did in the first five innings that game is basically what I did this game."

 

In that April 20 effort, Gagnon retired nine straight batters across the third, fourth and fifth innings, six of those by strikeout. Things fell apart in the sixth, but the righty from Long Beach State has been nearly unhittable since.

 

"He had very good stuff, and that start it all came together," said pitching coach Mark Dewey. "It kind of ended in a bad way, but you could tell he was locked in for the majority of it."

 

After 5 1/3 scoreless innings against Dunedin in his subsequent start, Gagnon was untouchable for seven innings Wednesday.

 

"I had all three pitches," he said. "It's really comforting to know that you can throw any pitch in any count. It was really fun."

 

His ten strikeouts are a career high, and his seven innings are the most since he went eight on Aug. 15, 2012, in Dunedin. If not for inclement weather, he might have had a chance to go the distance. Gagnon had only thrown 84 pitches and had a limit of 100.

 

"The only way the pitch count came into effect is -- with 84 pitches -- the chances of him going nine were pretty minimal," said Dewey. "We would have sent him out for the eighth, but with that weather, it doesn't take too much of a slip on the mound when he's fatigued or fielding a bunt. It wasn't worth the risk."

 

Dewey indicated that, though Gagnon's pitch limit was 100, if he could have gotten through the eighth inning at 92-93 pitches and with the perfect game intact, he would have been sent out for the ninth and permitted to go up to as many as 105 pitches.

 

"I thought I was going to keep going, but due to weather conditions, it was the right thing to do," said the 2011 third-round pick.

 

Instead, Gagnon had to settle for his finest start as a professional. Even the changeup, usually his third best pitch, was reliable.

 

"I got behind [Gregory] Polanco twice, 2-0, and came back with two changeups both times," recalled Gagnon.

 

Polanco, the Pirates' No. 4 prospect, struck out in all three meetings Wednesday. Gagnon fanned two each in the first, second, fourth and seventh innings, including Polanco -- the 10th Marauders victim -- to end his outing.

 

Gagnon says he gained an advantage from watching Bradenton the last two days.

 

"I was in the stands the last two games, and I watched what the hitters did. I learned what they could do and what they can't."

 

Dewey countered, "With Drew, if he throws his stuff and commands it, it really doesn't matter at this level. He pitched in, he pitched out, he pitched up he pitched down -- fast, slow. When he's throwing like that, the scouting report is irrelevant."

 

Seth Harvey relieved Gagnon to start the eighth inning and allowed a one-out single to Dan Gamache, which broke up the perfect game and no-hitter. Gamache, the potential tying run, was caught stealing to end the eighth in what would be the game's final out before rain ended proceedings with Brevard County's Cameron Garfield batting to lead off the top of the ninth.

 

Brevard County scored the only run of the game before Gagnon took the hill. Nick Ramirez's one-out double to right scored Chadwin Stang, who walked to lead off the game. The Manatees only had three hits on the day as Bradenton starter Eliecer Navarro fanned nine in six innings but fell to 0-5 nonetheless.

 

Brevard County's win came after Bradenton won the completion of a game suspended Tuesday night, 5-4. A Ramirez error allowed Junior Sosa to score the winning run in the bottom of the 10th.

 

As for Gagnon, Dewey isn't sure how much longer the 22-year-old will have to wait for a promotion to Double-A Huntsville, but he is sure that the pitcher he watched Wednesday would succeed there.

 

"His stuff is definitely good enough, and now he's put together three starts that are good enough. It's all about consistency, about being able to command it. As far as when he would go, I don't know what the plan is, but I think he could have given Milwaukee a chance to win today."

 

Drew Gagnon was a third-round pick in 2011. (Dennis Greenblatt/Hawk-Eye Sports Photography)

 

http://www.milb.com/assets/images/1/4/0/46343140/cuts/gagnon_480_muj563gy_z6zddg3r.jpg

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TheCrew07, you mention a prospect trio in AAA. Who is the third player? Perhaps Khris Davis?

 

Based on everything we've read, I'm not expecting much out of Gennett or Morris. Hopefully they have good years. With Morris, I've learned to not get excited about 1 good year (heck, Taylor Green had two good years). With Scooter, it's the defensive comments, lack of walks, etc. I don't care about power, but hitting .300 with a .320 obp isn't going to help much. I'm starting to believe in Khris Davis and Kentrail Davis, just as I believe in Gindl.

 

I love following Big Brock and hold out some hope that the ultra-toolsy Dishon will show us something. Garfield and Hawn are playing well. And who doesn't love that Wisconsin lineup!?!?!

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I was thinking of Gindl, Gennett, and Morris but Davis would make a 4th interesting player to follow now that he's been demoted.

"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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Brewer Fanatic Staff

STARS GAME POSTPONED

 

Due to inclement weather and unplayable field conditions at Hank Aaron Stadium, the Huntsville Stars (9-16) series opener against the Mobile BayBears (11-14) was postponed on Wednesday night.

 

Barring a setback from Mother Nature, the Stars and BayBears will play a doubleheader on Thursday starting at 5:05 PM. The double dip will be the fourth of the season for the Stars and the second doubleheader in a four-day span.

 

Probable starting pitchers for game one are RHP Jimmy Nelson (3-0, 1.30) for the Stars and RHP Michael Bolsinger (0-0, 2.53 ERA).

 

Probable starting pitchers for game two are RHP Ariel Pena (1-2, 4.84 ERA) for the Stars and LHP David Holmburg (0-2, 2.40 ERA).

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