The Undercards: Taylor Motter Wins SOU All-Star Game MVP


The Tampa Bay Rays are finally starting to get healthy as a team, and they have two players close to their returns that rehabbed at Triple-A Durham on Tuesday. Brandon Guyer would have a solid day, though Jeremy Hellickson had a tough outing. Let’s just hope both can get back to the Rays soon and provide a boost that they desperately need.

Triple-A International League: Louisville Bats (CIN) 10, Durham Bulls 5

Hellickson made his third rehab start, second with the Bulls, and struggled once again. It would take him 76 pitches to get through just 2.2 innings, and he would allow 7 runs (4 earned) on 12 hits and a walk while striking out 2. It was thought that Hellickson would return to the Rays after this start, but the Rays could very well give him an extra outing or two given his struggles. Doug Mathis threw 3.1 solid innings for the Bulls after Hellickson, giving up 0 runs and striking out 2. Then things would get iffy again for the pitching staff, as Brandon Gomes allowed 2 runs in an inning and Jake Thompson allowed a run in his inning of work.

The Bulls’ offense jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the 1st, but after Hellickson’s rough outing they never had much of a chance to get back in the game. Also rehabbing was Guyer, who had a nice 2-3 effort with a double and a pair of walks. Mikie Mahtook smashed his 5th homer of the year as part of a 3-5 night, and Cole Figueroa, Vince Belnome, and Ali Solis would all have multiple hits. But in the end, there was nothing they could do to overcome the poor pitching.

Double-A Southern League: SOU South All-Stars (Including Biscuits Players) 6, SOU North All-Stars (Non-Biscuits Players) 4

I made the trip down to Chattanooga for this game, and it was well worth it. The Double-A Montgomery Biscuits would be represented by three starters in RF Taylor Motter, C Luke Maile, and 2B Ryan Brett. Motter would take home the MVP award in this one, going 3-3 with a towering home run. Motter has put up quite a nice season with Montgomery this year, posting a .319/.345/.461 line (127 wRC+). He has also seen time at 2B, SS, and all three outfield spots this year, showcasing versatility that the Rays surely love. Brett would end up 1-4 while playing the entire game, and Maile would go 1-2 with a double. Also, Victor Mateo would throw a scoreless inning, and Santiago Garrido gave up a run in 0.2 innings. Overall, a solid showing from these prospects.

High-A Florida State League: Port St. Lucie Mets 10, Port Charlotte Stone Crabs 5

Blake Snell was the starter for the Stone Crabs, and he experienced a rough outing. Snell would go just 2.1 innings, allowing 7 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits and 2 runs. Bruedlin Suero would likewise struggle in his outing, going 4.2 innings and allowing 3 runs before ceding the game to Marcus Jensen, who threw a scoreless inning. The offense tried, but they couldn’t overcome the poor pitching. Justin O’Conner went 3-4 with a triple and his 5th homer of the year. Tyler Goeddel and Kes Carter also contributed by smacking 2 hits each, but in the end it wasn’t enough.

L0w-A Midwest League: MID West All-Stars (Non-Hot Rods Players) 7, MID East All-Stars (Including Hot Rods Players)

The Southern League All-Star game was exciting for the Biscuits, but this one was not quite the same for the Bowling Green Hot Rods. Kean Wong would go 0-2 as the East’s starting second baseman, and Jacob Faria threw a scoreless inning in relief. Wong certainly wished he had done better, but Faria did fine. The real disappointment came in the fact that both Granden Goetzman and Ryne Stanek did not get in the game despite being on the roster, and also that Ian Kendall was unable to participate because of injury.

Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM) 5, Hudson Valley Renegades 1

The Renegades started the season hot, winning their first 4 games, but they proved they were human by losing Tuesday’s contest. Starter D.J. Slaton was so-so, giving up 4 runs in 5.0 innings including a home run off the bat Joe Tuschak. However, only 2 of the runs were earned thanks to an error from shortstop Douglas Duran, and Slaton would strike out 4. Behind him, Josh Kimborowicz threw 3.0 innings of relief while allowing a run on 3 hits. The offense did very little in this contest, managing just 6 hits, none for extra bases, and going 0-3 with runners in scoring position. Hunter Lockwood did have a nice 2-4 night, and Duran went 1-3. But, this was a disappointing overall effort from the Renegades.