Across the Affiliates 04/30/10

Syracuse lost the lead late, falling 3-2 to Toledo on a walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth (box). The Nationals promoted RHP Jeff Mandel for a spot start and he pitched solidly, allowing a run on four hits and a walk over 5 1/3IP while striking out two. RHP Josh Wilkie took the loss, allowing an unearned run on one hit and two walks over 1/3 of an inning. DH Chris Duncan was 3/4 with a stolen base; 2B Seth Bynum was 2/3 with a double & RBI; CF Pete Orr was 1/3 with a run scored; and LF Kevin Mench was 2/4.

Today: Syracuse RHP Andrew Kown(0-2, 1.93) at Toledo RHP Armando Galarraga (3-1, 2.22) 7PM

Harrisburg did not play on Thursday. Notes: LHP Jack Spradlin was sent from Syracuse to Harrisburg (H/T to Geoff Morrow for the info).

Today: Altoona RHP Mike Crotta (2-0, 1.78) at Harrisburg LHP Aaron Thompson (1-1, 2.87) 7PM

Potomac rallied to take a 4-3 lead in the top of the ninth, allowed it to be tied by Myrtle Beach in the bottom of the ninth, before winning 5-4 in 10 innings (box/gamer). RF Michael Burgess was 2/4 with a double & two-run homer; 2B Stephen Lombardozzi was 1/5 with a double; LF Edgardo Baez was 1/4 with a walk & run scored; and CF Chris Curran was 1/3 with one RBI. LHP Evan Bronson gave up two runs on four hits and two walks over 6IP while striking out three; RHP Robinson Fabian allowed a run on a walk over 2IP; and RHP Dan Leatherman blew the save but got the win, surrendering an unearned run on two hits over 2IP.

Today: Potomac RHP Marcos Frias (0-0, 3.92) at Lynchburg LHP Matt Fairel (2-0, 3.60) 6:05PM

Hagerstown rallied from down 4-1 to defeat Augusta 6-4 (box/gamer). LHP Dan Rosenbaum started for the Suns, allowing two runs on six hits over 6IP while striking out five; LHP Glenn Gibson threw a scoreless inning of relief; RHP Wanel Vasquez blew a save allowing two runs on two hits over two innings but picked up the win when the Suns rallied; and RHP Dean Weaver earned his third save with a scoreless ninth. DH J.P. Ramirez was 1/4 with a solo homer; CA Sandy Leon was 2/3 with two RBI; CF Eury Perez was 1/4 with a run scored; and 1B/3B Justin Bloxom was 1/4 with a run & RBI.

Today: Augusta RKyle Vazquez (2-0, 1.50) at Hagerstown LHP Josh Smoker (0-3, 7.88) 6:35PM

  1. #1 by Roberto - April 30th, 2010 at 06:48

    ” LHP Glenn Gibson threw a scoreless inning of relief . . .”

    Is that the same Glenn Gibson we sent to Tampa Bay for Elijah Dukes?

  2. #2 by cjrugger - April 30th, 2010 at 07:34

    Roberto- yeah, was released and signed back this offseason. Seems like hes being developed into a Lefty set up guy

  3. #3 by Ronny - April 30th, 2010 at 08:44

    Where does JP Ramirez get his power from? The guy is like 5′10 185. You wouldn’t expect a guy that size to have that kind of power.

  4. #4 by Ronny - April 30th, 2010 at 08:51

    I don’t know about you guys but, I think Justin Bloxom will be a star. He will be one of Rizzo’s Gem picks.

  5. #5 by Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 - April 30th, 2010 at 09:29

    Hope Smoker can suck it up and do well tonight.

  6. #6 by nick - April 30th, 2010 at 11:10

    Does anyone know if Sandy Leon is one to keep on eye on? Seems to be putting up some good numbers and I think I read somehwere that he has good defensive skills as well.

  7. #7 by RT - April 30th, 2010 at 11:45

    Glad to see Burgess homered for the first time this year. Seems like Eury Perez is having a bit of trouble making the adjustment coming out of the GCL. Still early, hopefully he can get back on track.

  8. #8 by cjrugger - April 30th, 2010 at 11:47

    Bloxom is 22, coming off a season where he hit 228 with a 648 OPS, and doesnt seem to fit anywhere other than 1B. I’d hold off on the accolades

  9. #9 by cjrugger - April 30th, 2010 at 11:48

    RT- thats a big jump (and culture shock) for Perez, I hope theyre patient with him

  10. #10 by Sue Dinem - April 30th, 2010 at 11:50

    @Ronny – This has been a pet peeve of mine: Why do teams inflate the size of baseball players? Take a look at some selected HoFers that hit 400+ HRs.

    Henry Aaron – 6′ 180# Carl Yastrzemski – 5′11″ 175# Willie Mays – 5′10″ 170# Mel Ott – 5′9″ 170#

    Sure, that’s cherry-picked, but you can find plenty of guys under 6′ and 200# that have good power. Today’s players just tend to be heavier and taller, but you can still find that prototype that utilizes bat speed instead of brute strength.

  11. #11 by 3rdBaseRowdie - April 30th, 2010 at 12:23

    sandy leon has improved alot. he has a much better bat than last year. if he keeps getting hits and batting well, i think he just might be one to watch.

  12. #12 by Ric - April 30th, 2010 at 12:26

    All power is a function of bat speed, timing and contact. Another way of saying Sue’s point is that bulk and strength are not the only way to generate bat speed.

  13. #13 by markfd - April 30th, 2010 at 12:59

    How long until Burgess gets called up to Harrisburg to play with the rest of the young guns? With the lack of depth in the system at OF I would think they would want to challenge him this year to see what he can do.

  14. #14 by Bill - April 30th, 2010 at 13:21

    Until Burgess either learns to hit a curve ball or layoff the offspeed pitches that are three feet off the plate he doesn’t deserve to be promoted.

  15. #15 by mcgalinmd - April 30th, 2010 at 14:49

    Leon: he is a heck of a defensive catcher, and his bat is starting to come around. we are blessed in H-town this year with Leon and Nieto. They actually block the ball. :o)

    Burgess: we called him strike out king in H-town where I sit. It was all or nothing: either a home run or a strike out. Swings for the fences every single time. :o(

  16. #16 by markfd - April 30th, 2010 at 16:23

    Burgess K ratio is way down this year only 16 K’s in 93 ABs, project that out through a season at that is only 96 K’s down from 135 in 2009 and 162 in 2008. He is also on pace to draw 72 walks up from 54 in 2009 and 55 in 2008. His OBP is also on the rise from past years and is better at a younger age than say Mike Daniel who got promoted.

  17. #17 by Sue Dinem - April 30th, 2010 at 16:27

    @markfd – What part of “Until Burgess either learns to hit a curve ball or layoff the offspeed pitches that are three feet off the plate he doesn’t deserve to be promoted” did you not understand?

  18. #18 by RT - April 30th, 2010 at 16:52

    Sue, calm down… no need to be rude about it.

  19. #19 by markfd - April 30th, 2010 at 17:03

    Sue – that can be said of guys who are in the majors right now! We are talking a promotion to AA. Please name four outfielders in Harrisburg who are currently performing better than Burgess?

  20. #20 by markfd - April 30th, 2010 at 17:21

    Also forgot to mention – Davis and Rhinehart but both have OBP under .300 and both have more SO in less PA than Burgess. Not to mention the OF crowd in Harrisburg is between 25-27 years old.

  21. #21 by Sue Dinem - April 30th, 2010 at 17:56

    OK, since you’re such a fan of using stats rather than first-hand observation, let’s look at the MLEs (via

    Burgess .517 Davis .586 Rhinehart .737 Coon .555

    That may not four, but it should answer your question.

    I am curious as to why you might think that more talented pitchers wouldn’t be more able to exploit these weaknesses than less talented pitchers.

  22. #22 by Sue Dinem - April 30th, 2010 at 17:56

    Those figures are for OPS, btw. Let me know if you need me to explain, too.

  23. #23 by Souldrummer - April 30th, 2010 at 18:07

    Burgess is young and fragile and he isn’t ready yet. Hes made some strides but he needs to show that he can dominate this level. If you’re a Harrisburg fan and have to watch that offensively challenged bunch play on a regular basis, I can imagine that you would be clamoring for Burgess. It’s not Burgess’ fault that Bowden had some godawful drafts and we cannot promote him before he’s ready. He was awful last year in Potomac. Now he’s striking out less but his OPS is around the same place because his power is down.

    I haven’t seen him in person yet but I trust Sue on this one. It is painful that we don’t have enough offensive prospects in the system but we can’t ruin the few that we have with rushing them through.

  24. #24 by Markfd - April 30th, 2010 at 18:39

    Thanks Sue for your insight your insults make your statistical arguments better by the way how many years have you played baseball and at what level!? I have played at a Hugh level and seem kids like Burgess who get bored if they feel unwelcomed or underchallenged (not a word but I am using it anyway!) Why not challenge the young man, Marerro stunk it up at Potomac but is thriving at the plate in AA. Burgess has an ego let’s feed it and make him feel wanted instead of pretending that Davis is anything more than a Lenny Harris in the bigs. Please tell me in your infinite wisdom how any of the names you mentioned will help the big club in the next few years.

  25. #25 by AlexVA - April 30th, 2010 at 18:42

    without arguing for or against a promotion, I’ll ask of those who see him if this is fair assessment of Burgess: last year was a waste as he was out of shape and seemingly unmotivated. this year he showed up in better shape, concentrated early on striking out less, power numbers down and in the last ten has started to ramp up a bit. let the season play out and hope things improve.

  26. #26 by Souldrummer - April 30th, 2010 at 18:47

    I think at this point we know that Davis is not a big league contributor. My whole thing is that we want to see guys master a level for at least a quarter of a season.

    “Marrero stunk it up at Potomac but is thriving at the plate in AA”? Wha???

    Marrero has a .711 OPS as a not so great defensive player at AA. Thriving, nope not yet. He’s not embarassing himself and is probably at the right level, but he is not doing much to demonstrate that he is worth expecting to fill Adam Dunn’s shoes anytime in the forseeable future.

  27. #27 by Sue Dinem - April 30th, 2010 at 20:02

    @Markfd – Let’s just say one of us has seen Michael Burgess play in person for more than 70 games. By the way, once you ask how long I’ve played the game, that means you’ve lost the argument. Something you may have learned had you gone to college.

    @AlexVA – Not exactly. Burgess was far from unmotivated in ‘09. Je was, however, continually frustrated and fell into some bad habits. For the first series of ‘10, I thought he was breaking those habits, but in the last homestand, he started to revert to form, i.e. chasing after soft-and-away pitches. Unlike some folks here, I am hardly ready to call a 21-year-old “done.” Burgess remains a good outfielder with an outstanding arm.

    @Souldrummer – Exactly. Marrero had a poor April and May in ‘08 but was starting to turn it around in June before he got hurt. Like Burgess this year, he came to Woodbridge a little slimmer and began to work on hitting to all fields, though his power had shifted from all fields to left/left-center. I’m a little concerned that the opposite-field power he showed in the summer of ‘07 has seemingly gone, but like Burgess, he’s still just 21. His defense is said to be better in ‘10, but until I see for myself (how novel, markfd) I’m withholding judgment.

  28. #28 by markfd - April 30th, 2010 at 23:32

    I have seen all levels of the Nationals system play over the last 5 years including Burgess and Marrero’s 1st day as Nationals so I have the year’s of observation to compare.

    Keep the insults coming Sue, it makes you look so dignified, your family must be so proud.

  29. #29 by Sue Dinem - May 1st, 2010 at 07:52

    It’s not an insult if it’s the truth, markfd.

    You stipulated that Burgess is ready for a promotion. Bill nailed his flaws to the wall, which you either ignored or don’t comprehend the full meaning thereof.

    You then further posited that Burgess is performing better than the outfielders in Harrisburg, a laughable concept which I demonstrated by adjusting for the context by comparing the Major League Equivalents of them all. I can’t help it if either you didn’t see that or don’t understand the concept of MLEs.

    I have no doubt that you’ve seen some games over the past years (note the correct use of the plural for “year”) at different levels, but unless you’ve gone to more than 300 games since 2006, I’ve seen more than you have, including 80-something games in which Burgess played.

    But since you’re so sensitive, let me apologize: I’m sorry you can’t handle criticism based on those stubborn little things called facts.

  30. #30 by tbyrom - May 1st, 2010 at 09:52

    Can’t we all just get along?

    Seriously, I don’t always agree with SD, but in this case SD is right. AA is not the place to send someone to work something out. The weaknesses hitters have are much more exposed in AA that A- or A+.

    I agree with the idea that there are players that need to be challenged and can get bored. Typically those guys have mastered the level they’re at, either currently or at some point in the past.

    I have heard some very good things about Burgess, but I have also heard he’s probably not ready to be in AA.

    And lastly, too much is put into the stats of minor leaguers. Once again, SD is correct. Watching and paying attention, especially at lower levels, is worth many times more than looking at stats. Coaches and front office types are a lot more encouraged by an 0 x 4 that has four good at bats, than a 4 x 4 that was four bad at bats but that bleeders dropped.

  31. #31 by jeff e. - May 2nd, 2010 at 01:21

    Cory Van Allen’s move to bullpen is permanent or more for mechanics and fine tuning??? ala Jack Spradlin? as I have always said…never make a full opinion on aplayer until 1,500 ABs or he hits the wall or passes it @ High -a.

  32. #32 by Sue Dinem - May 2nd, 2010 at 06:25

    @jeff e. – Mechanics. He’s trying a lower arm angle (3/4 vs. over-the-top), which appears to be giving him more velocity, but his control is suffering.

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