Wil Myers is coming to the major leagues. Darn, what else am I going to talk about in these minor league recaps?
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 5, Indianapolis Indians (PIT) 2
The most exciting moment in this one was obviously when Myers left in the 3rd inning ahead of his big league call-up, but this actually wound up being a rock-solid Bulls win. J.D. Martin got the start and pitched very well, going 7 innings allowing 2 run on 4 hits, striking out 6 while walking 1. Jeff Beliveau and Kirby Yates followed with 4 strikeouts while allowed just 1 hit in the final 2 innings to give the Bulls 10 K’s for the game. On the offensive side, Brandon Guyer, long Myers’ single-fiddle in the Durham outfield, finally had his chance to shine, going 1 for 3 with a homer, a walk, and 2 runs scored, Cole Figueroa went 2 for 4 with a stolen base, an RBI, and a run scored, Mike Fontenot went 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored, and Chris Gimenez returned to the lineup for the first time since his hand injury and went 1 for 4. The star power is gone for the Bulls, but this is still an excellent all-around team.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 5, Jacksonville Suns (MIA) 2
Enny Romero saw his streak of 6 straight quality starts come to an end, but he still pitched well as the Biscuits also found their way to an easy win. Romero went 5 shutout innings allowing just 3 hits, striking out 5 while walking 3, lowering his ERA to 2.86 on the season after it was just 5.58 in his first 7 starts. He has just a 0.85 ERA since. There’s still plenty of work to do–Romero’s strikeout to walk ratio is just 59-34 in 73 innings pitched–but he has improved it to a more respectable 32-15 in 42.1 IP since his streak began. And even though Romero has a ways to go in his develop as a pitcher, this run of dominance has given him plenty of confidence and that will serve him extremely well moving forward. Marquis Fleming allowed a pair of runs behind Romero, but Austin Hubbard and Erik Hamren struck out 3 in the last 2 innings to seal the win. The run support for Romero and the Biscuits came primarily from Cameron Seitzer, who went 2 for 5 with 3 RBI, and Kevin Kiermaier went 3 for 5 with 3 runs scored, Robby Price went 2 for 4 with an RBI, and Mikie Mahtook went 1 for 5 with his 15th steal on the season. Shawn O’Malley also departed early from this game after singling in his first at-bat. He seems to be Myers’ replacement at Durham. O’Malley saw time at Durham last year but managed numbers about as good as he has put up his entire career with Montgomery this season, managing a .263/.323/.378 line with 17 steals in 19 attempts.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 8, Lansing Lugnuts (TOR) 0
Taylor Guerrieri continued his rebound from a couple bad starts with his most dominant performance in a while as Hot Rods pitching wound up striking out 14 in this game. Guerrieri went 5 innings allowing no runs on 4 hits, striking out 7 while walking 1. Even after two horrific starts, his ERA on the season is still just 2.50 and he has a 43-10 strikeout to walk ratio in 54 IP. The promotion we’ve all been waiting for was Myers coming to the majors, but Guerrieri’s combination of pure stuff and polish is just too much for Low-A hitters and a promotion to High-A Charlotte could be in the works in the coming weeks. Just as encouraging had to be Nick Sawyer following Guerrieri as he went 1.1 perfect innings striking out 2. Sawyer’s 3.24 ERA belies the fact that he has walked 34 in 33.1 IP even as he has struck out 47 (12.7 K/9), but he finally nailed down his first appearance with two strikeouts and no walks, and hopefully this is something he can build on. Jose Alberto Molina struck out 2 more working around a hit and a walk in 1.2 IP before Marcus Jensen struck out the side in the 9th to give Bowling Green its 14-K total. Unbelievable what Guerrieri and this entire pitching staff can do. Certainly don’t forget about this offense either as it seems like everyone is heating up. Justin O’Conner cooled off, going 0 for 5, but Tyler Goeddel extended his hitting streak to 8 by going 3 for 5 with a 2-run home run, Joey Rickard went 3 for 3 with a homer, a double, a walk, an RBI, and 2 runs scored, Brandon Martin went 3 for 4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored, Luke Maile went 2 for 4, and Patrick Leonard drilled a 2-run home run. Goeddel is hitting .395 during his streak and is finally starting to tap into his power, drilling a homer, a triple, and a double in his last four games after registering just one extra-base hit in the first four games of the streak.