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  • Brewers Minor League Link Report (9/14): Aquino and Junk Lead Carolina and Nashville to Victories

    Ro Mueller

    Patricio Aquino and Janson Junk each delivered six shutout innings in wins for the Mudcats and Sounds. Carolina needed extra innings to earn a chaotic win and force a deciding Game Three, while Biloxi dropped its contest and must now win out to reach the postseason.

    Image courtesy of Biloxi Shuckers & Mike Krebs - Aaron Ashby Pictured

    Brewers Video


    • RHP Colin Rea optioned to AAA Nashville from MLB Brewers
    • LHP Aaron Ashby rehab assignment transferred to AA Biloxi

    Game Action:

    As we did when the ACL Brewers played (and won) their playoff series, I’ll start with the Carolina Mudcats and their postseason drama.

    Carolina Pre-Game Media Notes
    Final: Carolina 6, Down East 5 (in 10 innings)
    Box Score / Game Log

    Via the Mudcats’ website, game details, and we encourage readers to review the affiliate write-up as part of their Link Report routine: Carolina Forces Game 3 With 6-5 Victory in Ten

    As voiced here by Mudcats’ play-by-play man Greg Young, you may struggle to find a stranger ending to a playoff game, with the Wood Ducks’ believing they’d tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, but the umpires boldly calling the runner out for leaving third base early. Kudos to the men in blue for making that tough call on the road! 

    Starting RHP Patricio Aquino (6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 5 Ks, 1 balk) gave Carolina the dominant outing it needed to even the series, pushing it to a do-or-die Game Three on Friday night. We’re extremely fortunate to have gotten three road highlights to savor in these two videos:

    Mudcats’ Extras:

    • Left fielder Jace Avina (1.118 OPS since July 18) continued his hot second half of the season with a 3-for-4 day, adding vital insurance runs with his two-out, two-run double to extend the lead to 5-0 in the top of the 8th inning. He will be looked upon to deliver again on Friday, with big bat 1B Jesus Chirinos potentially unavailable after a late-game injury.
    • Several of the Mudcats’ top bullpen arms struggled in this game, conceding four runs (three earned) in three innings, with long-man RHP Yujanyer Herrera retiring both batters faced and getting all three outs to earn the 10th inning Save.
    • 18-year old 3B Juan Baez is now a playoff veteran, having helped lead the ACL Brewers to their championship three weeks ago and coming through again in this game: 2-for-4, walk, 3 runs scored. He’s 9-for-20 in six playoff games this year, seemingly replacing teammate Luke Adams (shifted to DH: 2-for-5, double, key 10th inning single) as the preferred third baseman.
    • Carolina’s defense supported the pitching by converting four double plays, but also had two errors, the last by SS Daniel Guilarte with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning. Manager Estevez has a big decision to make of whether to go with Guilarte or Gregory Barrios at shortstop in the series finale.

    Friday’s outlook: Carolina’s starting pitcher has not yet been named, with Manager Victor Estevez having several well-rested long-men to choose from, e.g. RHP Will Rudy, LHP Brian Fitzpatrick, RHP Yorman Galindez. Victory would bring the Mudcats into the best-of-three Championship Series against Myrtle Beach or Charleston.

    Nashville Pre-Game Media Notes
    Final: Nashville 5, Charlotte 0
    Box Score / Game Log

    Via the Sounds’ website, game details: Junk, Sounds Shut Out Charlotte For Fifth Straight Win

    Starting RHP Janson Junk (6 IP, 0 R, 7 H, 0 BB, 4 Ks, 1 WP) delivered one of his best games of the season, yielding only one extra base hit, with the Knights only getting four at-bats with runners in scoring position in the game (and going 0-for-4 in that regard).

    Both Junk and RHP Jason Alexander (three scoreless innings, Save) pounded the strike zone all game: 93 strikes in 122 pitches. Offensively, 1B Owen Miller (2-for-4, HR, walk, 3 RBIs) provided the staff with all the runs they would need in his first AAA plate appearance in over two weeks, smacking the ball 415 feet on his three-run, 1st inning homer.

    Sounds’ Extras:

    • Winning the 20-team International League is understandably a massive challenge, but the Sounds’ strong close (winning 8 of their last 10 games) has positioned them to at least grab the 10-team West Division second half title (now half a game ahead of second-place St. Paul). They’ve got nine games remaining on the season to clinch that title.
    • 27-year old Junk may not be a strikeout king (6.0 K/9 in 131 IP this year), but he does an excellent job of limiting walks (2.9 BB/9). Can the Brewers help him tweak his mix to make the next step to MLB next year? His velocity peaked at 94.9mph in this game, so there’s certainly some untapped potential there.
    • Recently-signed center fielder Greg Allen likely has his sights set on a playoff-callup by the Brewers to be a pinch running specialist, delivering two singles and a stolen base in this game. C Brian Navarreto may not be a likely playoff call-up, but Manager Rick Sweet undoubtedly values his reliability: 1-for-2, HR, 2 walks, 2 RBIs in this game, while also throwing out one of two basestealers.

    Friday’s outlook: Rehabbing RHP Julio Teheran makes his fifth rehab start and seeks his third straight Win which would clinch this week’s series for Nashville.

    Biloxi Pre-Game Media Notes
    Final: Montgomery 6, Biloxi 2
    Box Score / Game Log

    Via the Shuckers’ website, game details: Biscuits Score Six in Middle Innings, Shuckers Fall 6-2

    The Shuckers’ second-straight loss puts their backs against the wall, needing to win all three remaining games to win this week’s series over Montgomery and qualify for the playoffs.

    Biloxi’s offense needs to step up in Games 4-6 of this week’s series. After stranding two baserunners in the 1st inning, Biloxi didn’t put another runner in scoring position until they trailed 6-1 in the bottom of the 9th inning, as Montgomery truly locked them down unfortunately.

    Shuckers’ Extras:

    • Center fielder Jackson Chourio, 1B Zavier Warren and C Jeferson Quero provided the team’s limited offense, combining on a 4-for-12 day, with a home run, two doubles, two RBIs and a stolen base. The rest of the team was 1-for-19 with two walks and eight strikeouts, including SS Eric Brown Jr.’s first start in AA ball being an 0-for-4 evening.
    • Rehabbing LHP Aaron Ashby (1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 Ks) delivered his best inning of work in his fourth rehab start, then handed over to RHP Christian Mejias (4 IP, 6 R (5 ER), 4 H, 3 BB, 3 Ks, 1 WP) who kept the game scoreless for another 3 2/3 innings before the Biscuits broke the deadlock.
    • A key bright spot was 2021 second-round draft pick LHP Russell Smith delivering three scoreless relief innings: one hit, zero walks, three Ks. Let’s hope that he uses this as a building block to more success in 2024 and beyond. 

    Friday’s outlook: The team is counting on Southern League strikeout leader RHP Tobias Myers (5.21 ERA with 160 Ks in 131 1/3 IP) to be on top of his game to even this week’s series 2-2 and avoid elimination from the postseason chase.

    We hope that you enjoy the Minor League Link Report. All three teams are back in action on Friday, including Carolina’s deciding Game Three at Down East.

    Organizational Scoreboard including starting pitcher info, game times, MiLB TV links, and box scores
    Current Milwaukee Brewers Organization Batting Stats and Depth
    Current Milwaukee Brewers Organization Pitching Stats and Depth

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