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  • Brewers Minor League Link Report (5/13): Shuckers and Mudcats Avoid Any Friday the 13th Voodoo

    Mass Haas

    Perhaps it's fitting that the four Brewers affiliates split their contests on Friday the 13th. It is also that day on the calendar for the opponents after all. Let's dive into the action and learn why it was a 50-50 kind of evening on the farm.

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    RHP Jandal Gustave was recalled to Milwaukee. Gustave never actually left the big-league club after his recent option as the front office was aware Brent Suter would be going on a paternity leave.

    Nashville activated CF Abraham Almonte from the 7-day injured list. Almonte last played on April 23rd.

    Nashville Pre-Game Media Notes

    Final: Jacksonville (Marlins) 7, Nashville 3
    Box Score / Game Log

    Via the Sounds' site, game details, and we encourage readers to review each of the affiliate write-ups as part of their Link Report routine:

    Hiura Homers Again But Sounds Fall - Multiple Nashville Rallies Fall Short in Jacksonville

    Oh Keston, to borrow from "Seinfeld", you are vexing. You are an enigma, a mystery wrapped in a riddle. We are enjoying your five-game stay and 1.417 OPS with the Sounds thus far. Friday night you played left field after three games at second base and one at first base. You did not strike out but have done so in six of your 19 at-bats thus far. You were caught stealing (now 0-for-2 on the basepaths with Nashville).

    Small 2022 AAA sample aside, Hiura will likely be with the Sounds long enough (20 days) to utilize the 2022 option in full, meaning he won't be able to be optioned in 2023. From a Milwaukee front office perspective, perhaps it's simply best if Hiura simply rakes all summer long. If Andrew McCutchen continues to middle along or is sidelined, Hiura is the logical primary designated hitter option. If he truly finds himself, Keston fills that DH role heading into 2023. But in the big picture, it's not hard to envision one of the many MLB have-nots trading for him and living with the various faults that keep Hiura a somewhat polarizing figure in Brewers circles.

    Pretty impressive that Jon Singleton is batting .207 but with an .859 OPS.

    OK, Brice Turang lining into a bases-loaded double play to end the game to cap his 0-for-5 night after so much recent success is likely a Friday the 13th moment.


    Biloxi Pre-Game Media Notes via the Shuckers' Virtual Press Box

    Final:  Biloxi 9, Birmingham (White Sox) 4
    Box Score / Game Log

    Via the Shuckers' site, game details, please review:

    Five-Run Sixth Inning Catapults Shuckers to Win - INF Cam Devanney and C Jakson Reetz Homer in Victory

    Nice win, but the first thing box score browsers will notice is that pitchers came to the plate. Both Andy Otero and Arnaldo Hernandez struck out in their lone at-bats. How did this come about? Biloxi lost their designated hitter when an early Garrett Mitchell exit prompted a defensive shuffle, and the Shuckers tend to have the shortest bench of all the Brewers affiliates (this seems to be a consistent issue in recent Biloxi seasons).

    Mitchell left to begin the 4th inning. He made no defensive plays in the top of the 3rd nor did he come to the plate in the bottom of that inning. Hate to assume, but perhaps the exit was health-related, and you know what, to be fair, let's end the speculation right there.

    The Shuckers drew eleven walks in this game, and 1B Thomas Dillard grabbed three of those and was on base all five plate appearances. Dillard did commit his 6th error in 20 games at first base.

    Despite just a 1-for-5 night, 2B Felix Valerio stole three bases, giving him six in eight attempts.  

    Though Mitchell, Sal Frelick, and Joey Wiemer each walked one time, they combined to go 0-for-8 on a night when the offense scored nine runs, allowing others to get the spotlight. You'll see evidence of that in the team's nicely-crafted highlight package

    Wisconsin Pre-Game Media Notes via their all-encompassing Virtual Press Box

    Final: Quad Cities (Royals) 8, Wisconsin 7
    Box Score / Game Log

    Via the Timber Rattlers' site, game details, please review:

    Wisconsin Winning Streak Snapped - River Bandits outslug Rattlers 8-7

    From Chris Mehring's summary you just devoured --

    (Inheriting a bases loaded, no out situation, RHP Kent) Hasler struck out the first two batters and had a 1-2 count on Burle Dixon. Hasler pitched home and Dixon swung and missed for an apparent strike three to end the inning. However, a balk was called on Hasler, and the River Bandits scored a very important insurance run. Hasler would strike out Dixon two pitches later for the final out.

    Hasler's final box score line was two innings, six batters faced, six batters struck out, yet the one inherited runner who scored proved to be the deciding run in the game. Yes, Friday the 13th only impacts Brewer affiliate losses. Box scores can be so much fun to dive into regardless of outcome.

    Catcher Darrien Miller (four singles) and designated hitter Wes Clarke (two singles, home run) combined for four of the seven runs scored. 

    Can we point out that yes, the Midwest League weather is finally warming up (wow, 88 degrees at gametime), but how darn impressive the OPS marks of Tyler Black (.922), Tristan Peters (.920), and Miller (.898) are given the early-season supression by otherwise frigid conditions.

    Yes, we're all going to have to learn to regularly spell "Tristan" and "Darrien" correctly as they climb the ranks.

    Manager Joe Ayrault was ejected in the 3rd inning, too bad we don't have the audio from that umpire session, as you'll want to find six minutes of time to invest in this "Mic'd Up" session with the personable skipper -


    Carolina Pre-Game Media Notes

    Final: Carolina 5, Fayetteville (Astros) 4, ten innings
    Box Score / Game Log

    Via the Mudcats' site, game details, please review:

    Carolina Wins Friday Night Thriller 5-4 in Fayetteville - Michele Vassalotti earned his MiLB leading sixth win of the season

    Five HBP's in this one, four by Mudcat hurlers. two by now 6-and-0 RHP Michele Vassalotti, who is not vulturing all these relief wins, evidenced by his 1.89 ERA, Vassalotti has only walked one in 19 innings in 2022, but he's found a way to fool the WHIP gods. He's now plunked five batters, and WHIP is not WHHBPIP because that acronym just looks silly. Nice going, Michele, as long as nobody charges the mound on you.

    That's now two consecutive outstanding staff-saving four-inning efforts by RHP Carlos F. Rodriguez, bouncing back after a rough start to the season. MVP for this game, to be sure.

    Here's my take as you review those very low batting averages and OPS marks in your daily Carolina box score. It's very cool that this very (repeat, very) young bunch - and you can add the pitchers into that ultra-youthful category - will have a chance to grow all summer long, and many of them will, several of them substantially. But even so, there's always going to be another young crop behind them, whether in Maryvale now, or part of the next draft class. How many of the current Mudcats will best be served by repeating the level in 2023? Is there a danger of moving some along without that extra development year in Zebulon?

    You know what, it's way too early to truly ponder that. I can remember some very veteran teams in Appleton when the Timber Rattlers were the low-A club, and they gave us some moments to enjoy, but in the end, they were a bunch of 23-year-olds with limited upside. Think we can all agree this Carolina team is unique in recent Crew affiliate history, so let's enjoy the baby steps (literally). Nice win Friday night (just ignore the 17 strikeouts for now),

    Fine effort in culling late-inning video from the road feed!



    The earliest gametime Saturday is 4:05 Central for the Mudcats. I'll be back for your Sunday AM report -- until then...

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    Julio Muchacho
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  • Posted

    I'll say one thing: Manager Joe Ayrault? I want to play for that guy! What a good attitude. I love how he interacted with his guys. You can see how the team hasn't missed a beat with Sal Frelick up to Double-A. 

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