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April 13, 2005

Minor League Notes: 4/13/05
by Fabian

Note: Park Factors are courtesy of Baseball Prospectus 2005 and “they are actually adjustments for teams, based on their own mix of home and road parks…relative to the league”. Numbers in parentheses are hitters’ totals in the respective category at this point of the season and counted across levels. A pitcher’s line consists of IP-H-R-ER-BB-SO-HR.

AAA Columbus (International League):

Park Factor: .989

Record: 4-3

On the day Tony Womack was named the Yankee leadoff hitter, thereby sounding the alarm that a new 2B is going to be needed in the Bronx, Robinson Cano went 2 for 5 with 2 singles and a strikeout (6). Cano has either had 2 hits or at least one extra base hit in all, but one game this season. In addition, my nagging has gotten John Sickels to agree to do a full write-up on Cano and as soon as that becomes publicly available, I will point you towards it.

AA Trenton (Eastern League):

Park Factor: .986

Record: 2-4

Report to be posted later.

A+ Tampa (Florida State League):

Park Factor: .979

Record: 1-5

Report to be posted later.

A- Charleston (South Atlantic League):

Park Factor: .966

Record: 5-2

The Charleston Riverdogs were able to pick up an exciting extra innings victory today and Marcos Vechionacci scored the tying run in the 9th and the go-ahead run in the 11th. Nacci was on base to score the tying run by virtue of a HBP and was put back on in the 11th when he easily coaxed a walk (3) out of the opposition’s pitcher on 4 tosses. Outside of those two plate appearances this game was not a great one for the 18-year-old; he was 0 for 3 in the rest of his times up with a strikeout (7) and made an error (2) on a routine play in the 11th as he lost the ball while transferring from glove to hand.

Coming off a game in which he hit his first long ball of the season, Tim Battle had some hacktastic at bats where he took mammoth cuts and at the end of the game what he had to show for it was an 0 for 4 with a walk (2), 2 strikeouts (14), a near extra base hit down the line and a fly out to the warning track in RF. Jon Poterson built on his multi-hit game with another multi-hit game. This time around the RF was 2 for 4 with 2 singles, one was a blooper the other a hard hit ball, a strikeout (8), and a GIDP. In general, Poterson did a better job working the count and had quality at bats. Estee Harris did not start, due to a combination of poor on-field results and being HBP late in yesterday’s game, and neither did Irwil Rojas, who was just getting some recovery time since the game started at 10:30 AM EST, around 12 hours after last night’s game ended, but both entered the game late. Harris only got work in as a pinch-runner while Rojas was able to get an at bat that ended in a weak chopper for an out, but was nonetheless a typical Rojas quality at bat where he made the opposing pitcher work.

On the mound for Charleston was Phil Hughes. Hughes started the game by allowing a leadoff double, but from that point attempted his best Brett Smith impression as he would retire the next 12 batters in a row and do so in dominant fashion. However, when it looked like Hughes was about to make quick work of the opposition in the 6th inning his defense failed him, committing an error and things began to fall apart as he allowed a deep sac fly, a single, and then a walk though the walk was on a borderline pitch. I’m not sure whether Hughes came apart a little bit because of emotions from the botched play or tiredness, but the game would have left a better feeling on me had he finished as strongly as he did in his first start of the year. Hughes’ final line was 5.2-3-2-0-2-3-0 and he was excelled at having the opposition put the ball into play weakly today. The most impressive aspect of the game was the effectiveness of his curveball as there were plenty of swings and misses on the pitch, which is especially encouraging since he’s only really begun throwing it after being drafted last summer.