Transactions: Jandel Gustave (RHP) was optioned to Triple-A Nashville, JC Mejía (RHP) was recalled by the Milwaukee Brewers, Brandon Ramey (RHP) was released by the Carolina Mudcats, Ernesto Martinez (1B) was placed on the IL retroactive to May 8th, Yeison Coca (INF) was transferred from Wisconsin to Nashville, Ashton McGee (3B/1B) was transferred from Biloxi to Wisconsin.
Before you get started digesting the sweet tastes of four victories, take a moment to read up on our Minor League Players and Pitchers of the Month in Micah Bello, Brice Turang, TJ Shook, and Peter Strzelecki; all four young men were much deserving of these honors. Congratulations!
Before this contest started, the Brewers Fanatic Minor League forum was abuzz with talk of young and exciting prospect Jackson Chourio (OF). He continued his torrid pace and discipline at the plate on this fine evening with a 2-5 outing and zero strikeouts yet again. This young man appears to be something else. For those simply reading these reports at home, please feel free to check that forum link and take a peek at what Baseball America is saying of our youngest and extremely talented prospect - you won't be disappointed. For the record: Chourio joined the Mudcats on May 3 and has totaled six doubles and five multi-hit games in just seven games overall. He has now hit safely in five straight games, with at least two hits in each of his last four games. He singled and scored in the fourth on a throwing error by Santos. This young man is about as exciting as it gets in Low-A.
Ryne Moore took the hill tonight, and the young hurler pitched an absolute gem: a career-high seven complete innings of one earned run, six-hit, one walk, and six strikeout ball. What a night for the youngster. He handed the ball off to Christian Tripp and Michele Vassalotti for four scoreless innings. Michele will make special kudos as he stranded two straight 'Manfred Men', allowing no additional baserunners and striking out three. I'll keep saying it: Michele has taken his transition to the bullpen and run with it. What a godsend he's been on the backend.
- We send our best of luck in future baseball and life endeavors to now-former Mudcat, Brandon Ramey. Thank you for your time and commitment to the Mudcats and Brewers organizations.
- The two teams combined for a 1 of 27 output with RISP. That's going to lead to many an extra-inning affair. We're lucky our Mudcats came out on top, but we certainly won't complain!
- The Mudcats home run streak ended tonight in Fayetteville at four games. It was a good run. Here's to more long balls tomorrow!
- Appreciating the true youth movement in Carolina: At just over 18 years old, Jackson Chourio is now the youngest player in the Carolina League (as of 5/3). With Chourio's addition, and at just a smidge under 18.5 years old, Hendry Mendez is now the second-youngest player in the league. By average age (21.37 as of 5/3), the Mudcats are the second-youngest team in the Carolina League.
- Happy Birthday is for Mudcat Jheremy Vargas (INF), who turned 19 today (5/10/2003 birthday). To be that young and playing professional baseball is something else. To be that young and playing professional baseball but knowing you are older than some of your teammates? That's a whole other can of worms. What a season in Zebulon!
- With Fredericksburg's 3-2 loss to Kannapolis, the Mudcats have pulled within 2.5 games of first place.
Via the Timber Rattlers' site, game details, please review:
Rattlers Win Big at Quad Cities - Rattlers 17, River Bandits 4
In another showdown of tantalizing Low-A logos, the Rattlers and talented lefty Brandon Knarr took on the Quad Cities River Bandits for their second series of the young season. The game-time temperature in Quad Cities Modern Woodmen Park was 90 degrees - um, that's not a typo. The mere mention of these temps had me sweating in my swivel chair. Get me some ice water!
These rising temps certainly aided some equally hot Rattler bats as they scored in every inning but the sixth and totaled 16 hits overall, including four home runs. No batter was more impressive than the consistently performing Tristan Peters and his 2 of 2 night with four walks (!!) to boot. If there is a more pleasantly surprising player in our lower levels, I am unsure if I can name him. Tristan has played a fantastic glove in the outfield (zero errors in 124 1/3 innings of combined left and right field ball), and his plate presence has been steady as they come through 28 games. With the four walks and his second home run of the season in the fifth innings, Tristan knocked his season OPS north of 0.900. This young man is still just a young 22 years old (February birthday). With output like this, he might find himself promoted for a shot at Double-A come summer.
Further Game Notes:
- It's another one of those "Just look at this box score!" kind of nights.
- I said it last week - in forums and in passing in reports - but it is worth mentioning again: Joe Gray Jr. is back to his more comfortable position in center field, and he is simply getting more comfortable in every aspect. Since his April 30th low point and coming off an 0-4 day, Joe has hit safely in seven of eight games and gone 9 of 25 in that span. Here's to more of this, Joe!
- Brandon Knarr finished his evening after five complete innings. He allowed five hits, one walk, and two earned runs with five punchouts. It wasn't a completely dominant performance like we've seen from Brandon. Nonetheless, he did Knarr-like things in limiting damage and giving his team a legitimate chance at victory.
- Wes Clarke added two more walks to his lead-leading 24 walks on the season. He now has 26 total walks in 2022. He walked ten times in the most recent series versus Fort Wayne. Wes is sneakily having a very nice season even though a first glance at the peripherals wouldn't give you this story.
- A tip of the cap is for the scoreless three innings of work from Joey Matulovich. It's nice to see quality mop-up work when your team is up 15-4. Three strikeouts and a lone walk on the short stint with zero hits allowed. That's a good way to seal the 'W.'
Via the Shuckers' site, game details, please review:
Valerio Walk-Off Single Snaps Shuckers Skid - Castañeda Strikes Out Career High 10 Batters
Victor Castañeda came to the mound ready to deal early. He completed his first inning with two strikeouts on 11 total pitches. He opened his second inning with a punch-out on quite an excellent splitter and ended it with another punch out on yet another splitter. In addition to the splitter, his slider was getting several swings and misses. The stalky bowl-legged right-hander was dealing. Victor ended his night going a great six innings of two-hit, one walk, with 10 (!!) strikeouts. The ten strikeouts were both a season and a career-high for Victor. It was beautiful to watch. And, sadly, a theme is seen all too often in this young Shucker season (Tyler Herb, I see you) reared its head again: Victor lost a chance at victory as things started unraveling.
I've discussed certain facets of Shuckers' play that have beleaguered the team throughout the early going. I've talked about hitting with RISP, and I've talked about the bottom of the order's struggles. Unfortunately, it's time to bring a dim spotlight to the other day-to-day struggle: Fielding. The Shuckers led the entire Southern League in fielding errors with 35 in 27 games, coming into our Tuesday night tilt. Unfortunately, they added five more to the total tonight - several of which played critical roles in the Barrons' six-run 8th inning. When you are managing to take and possess a lead in 25 of 28 games played in a young season, the tell-tale signs of why you are somehow a sub .500 club tend to rear their heads. With our beloved Shuckers, it's pretty simple: if they field and throw the ball cleaner, improve the plate discipline and efficacy with men on, and find more consistency in the deeper parts of the lineup, they'll see more positive outcomes. If and when these things come to fruition, a winning ball club (and, despite their current record and struggles, I would argue this is very much a winning ball club) will start winning. The talent is there. The precision, at the current moment, is not. And honestly, this is just the nature of sports. There is plenty of season left to reverse some of these trends—May the young men soldier on and find the finer-tuned baseball moments in the games ahead. Keep on Shuckin'!
Further Viewing Notes:
Joey Wiemer blasted the fifth home run of his season. The young man is an extra-base machine. Before going 0-4 this past Saturday, Joey had an extra-base hit in his six previous games (five doubles and one home run). He added a single earlier in the contest and finished his evening 2 of 3 at the plate.
- A note about tonight's errors: Gabe Holt and Cam Devanney played alternate positions - third and first base, respectively. Let's roll with that. Gabe misplayed a couple of tricky ground balls in the fateful eighth, and he compounded this with a wild throw to the dirt in second. An inning to forget. Unfortunately, we've seen too many of those through 28 games.
- Thomas Dillard knocked in two rbi's on the evening, including this bottom of the seventh left-center field double to the wall. Dillard also took another walk - his 20th free pass of his season
How fast is Garrett Mitchell? He's this fast. Wow. Let me also take a moment to mention the calming influence of Felix Valerio. This game-winning walk-off single aside, he is a pleasure to watch at the plate. Felix is a disciplined batter. Now that he has a few games under his belt returning from injury, I anticipate the OPS and OBP to continue rising.
- Kudos to Taylor Floyd for getting out of his seventh-inning two-men on jam. He had men on the corners - from two absolute dribbler infield hits (one I would argue was simply a missed foul call over the third base foul line) - by inducing an excellent 6-4-3 double play to exit his inning of work.
- Ending a seven-game losing streak is cause for celebration. Here's to better results ahead!
Final: Nashville 3, Jacksonville (Marlins) 2
Box Score / Game Log
Via the Sounds' site, game details, please visit and review:
Sounds Rally in Ninth Inning to Sink Jumbo Shrimp - Jonathan Davis Gets Go-Ahead RBI Single, Mario Feliciano Cracks Four Hits in 3-2 Win
I recently discussed the AAAA prowess of our very own 34-year-old Josh Lindbolm. He entered the bottom half of the sixth inning with a legitimate chance at a no-hitter. However, it was clear that he was likely facing his final outs within one pitch. A 1-0 lead vanished as he relinquished a first-pitch line-drive double to deep left-center field. A triple and a single later; it's 2-1 Jumbo Shrimp.
Nonetheless, Josh completed the inning and grabbed another out in the bottom of the seventh before departing. Another fine outing of mound work from a Nashville Sounds starting pitcher. Rinse and repeat. It's clockwork in 2022.
Further Game Notes:
- Mario Feliciano returned from a brief absence and had a splendid 4 of 4 (including his fifth double on the season) evening at the plate. He managed a good game behind the plate as well. It was nice to see him back on the diamond, and any lingering effects of his minor injury have passed.
Apparently, all Jonathan Davis does these days is walk-off baseball games. Since returning from his COVID stint, he's been fantastic and is yet another excellent 2021 free-agent addition playing lights out in Nashville. What a luxury to have so many competent Triple-A players on the roster.
- 2 2/3 more scoreless innings from the Sounds' bullpen. Tonight's master class was put on by Trevor Kelley, Peter Strzelecki, and Hobie Harris. Speaking of Trevor Kelley, he has not allowed an earned run since April 7 against Durham and has a 0.79 ERA (11.1 IP/1 ER) on the season. On Thursday, Kelley earned his first win and has allowed only nine hits and three walks to go with his 13 strikeouts. Hobie Harris is unscored upon in over ten innings of bullpen work.
- Manager Rick Sweet earns his 2,122nd managerial victory tonight. WOW. He has now moved into a tie with Bill Clymer at eighth overall in the history of the Minor Leagues. Can you say: legendary?
- Brice Turang and Mark Mathias continued their hot hitting ways with two hits apiece on the evening. It's hard to find two steadier infielders than these two right now in the International League. I hope both get their shot with the big club this season to discover whether their hot play in Triple-A can translate to the majors.
That's a wrap for me on this fine 4-0 evening of May 10th. Please tune in for tomorrow's games and report. Additionally, please visit our daily Minor League game threads (pre-report) to partake in the discourse of the games - @damuelle and I are often quite active in those threads.
And lastly, a little heads up: We have Biloxi and Nashville matinee games tomorrow, so check in on the organizational scoreboard for updates earlier in your day.
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