The Undercards: Taylor Guerrieri Impresses in Pro Debut


It’s your debut. The adrenaline is pumping, the pressure is mounting. But when you come through, there’s no better feeling. Those sentences could describe two Rays who debuted on Wednesday: Chris Archer, who made his big league debut, and Taylor Guerrieri, who made his pro debut at Short Season-A Hudson Valley. But no matter where they come, debuts are always special, especially when they go well.

Triple-A International League: Rochester Red Wings (MIN) 7, Durham Bulls 6

This game ended with an exciting 9th inning. Unfortunately, the Bulls could not come out on top. Shane Dyer‘s struggles at Durham continued, but he battled for a halfway-decent outing, allowing 4 runs on 11 hits in 6 innings, striking out 4 while walking 1 and posting a 6-1 groundout to flyout ratio. The Bulls trailed 5-4 entering the 9th, but came up with some magic. Chris Gimenez led off the inning with a home run and after a Cole Figueroa single and a sac bunt, Shawn O’Malley, pinch-hitting for Jeff Keppinger (who went 0 for 4 in the game), came up with a big go-ahead RBI single to give the Bulls a 6-5 lead entering the bottom of the 9th. However, Brandon Gomes allowed a Wilkin Ramirez 2-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th as the Bulls fell 7-6. Figueroa went 4 for 4 with a triple, an RBI, and 3 runs scored in the game while Gimenez went 2 for 4 including his homer and Henry Wrigley went 3 for 4. Stephen Vogt and the red-hot Reid Brignac also had hits in the game.

High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 7, Palm Beach Cardinals 5

It’s not often that you win a game when you pitchers walk nine and striking out just 4. Victor Mateo tossed a disgusting 6 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits and 4 walks while striking out just 2, but George Jensen made up for it with 5 runs allowed in 1+ innings, walking 4 while striking out just 1. The Stone Crabs got their run support from Stephen Tinoco, who went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI, Riccio Torres, who went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored, and Mikie Mahtook, who had a triple, a double, and a run scored.

Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 5, Aberdeen Ironbirds (BAL) 3

So far, so good for Taylor Guerrieri. The Rays’ first selection in 2011 made his pro debut in style, allowing no runs on 2 hits in 5 innings, striking out 6 while walking 1 and posting a 5-2 groundout to flyout ratio. It wasn’t exactly Dylan Bundy-esque, but he was great. Guerrieri couldn’t get the win in the game thanks to spotty bullpen work, but the Renegades got the win thanks to a couple of nice offensive performances. Joel Caminero went 2 for 5 with 2 doubles and 4 RBI and Justin O’Conner went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and a run scored. Jake DePew also went 2 for 3 with a walk.

Advanced Rookie-level Appalachian League: Princeton Rays 10, Kingsport Mets 7

The P-Rays came back from a 5-0 deficit to come away with a well-deserved win. Eli Echarry had a disaster start in his first outing of the year, allowing 5 runs, 4 earned, on 4 hits in 1.2 innings, striking out 1 while walking 2. The credit goes to the bullpen and the offense in this one. Joan Guerrero, Jon Weaver, and Pedro Silvestre combined to go 7.1 innings allowing just 2 unearned runs on 7 hits, striking out 11 while walking 3. At the top of the lineup, Brandon Martin had a huge game, going 2 for 5 with a homer, 3 RBI, and 2 runs scored, Juan Morillo went 2 for 5 with a double, 2 RBI, and 2 steals, and James Harris went 2 for 3 with a walk, a stolen base, and 2 runs scored.

Rookie-level Gulf Coast League: GCL Twins 6, GCL Rays 2

Not much went right for the GCL Rays in this one as they lost their first game of the season to drop to 2-1. Starter Jorge Rodriguez allowed 5 runs in 3 innings, although just 1 run was earned. At least 2012 draftees Nick Sawyer and Jordan Harrison had solid one-inning stints, with Saywer allowing a hit and a wallk while striking out 2 and Harrison allowing a hit while recording one K. On offense, Jiminson Natera homered in four trips, Johnny Eierman went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk, and Cesar Perez went 2 for 5 with a run scored.