It is a huge luxury for baseball teams that injured players can appear in rehab games before they return to regular action. The only people who lose out are the prospects in the games. What are they supposed to do as they go up against big league talent? Wouldn’t teams with more rehabbing players gain a game or two in the standings? Those factors are annoying, but for the Charlotte Stone Crabs, it was the exact opposite. Willy Adames, Braxton Lee, and Granden Goetzman had a blast as they went up against major leaguers for the New York Mets.
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Triple-A International League: Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 3, Durham Bulls 2
Dylan Floro had a solid outing after struggling in three of his previous four starts, but it wasn’t quite enough in the Bulls’ loss. Floro went 7 innings allowing 3 runs on 9 hits, striking out 2 while walking 1. He did force 10 outs on the ground, but he allowed too much contact in the air, including a 2-run homer by Kyle Roller. After the Rays drafted Floro in the 13th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, he was never supposed to be starting at Triple-A. He isn’t off to an ideal beginning, but he has overcome a lot and the hope is that he can adjust one more time.
Behind Floro, Preston Guilmet made his Rays organization debut with a perfect inning before Jhan Marinez tossed a 1-2-3 frame with 2 strikeouts. Guilmet will likely be in the big leagues at some point soon, although the good money may be on him only lasting a week or less before getting optioned in the reliever merry-go-round. Marinez, meanwhile, was off to a mediocre start with the Biscuits but has been nuts since joining Durham. In 13.1 innings, he has a 0.68 ERA, allowing just 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 18.
Nearly all of the Bulls’ offense came from a player who left the game early. Nick Franklin drilled a 2-run homer in his first at-bat before departing after he heard that he was returning to the Rays for today’s game. He finishes his rehab stint with a .318/.423/.500 line with a double, a homer, 4 RBI, 2 stolen bases, and a 6-4 strikeout to walk ratio in 26 plate appearances. Taylor Motter went 2 for 4 and scored on Franklin’s blast.
Double-A Southern League: Chattanooga Lookouts (MIN) 10, Montgomery Biscuits 9
Here’s the pitching recap: Bradin Hagens and Mikey O’Brien combined to allow 10 runs in the first 6 innings before Matt Lollis and Ryan Garton tossed perfect ball in the last 2 frames. Garton especially needed a good appearance after two rough games to begin his stint for Charlotte. In any event, let’s move onto the offense.
Johnny Field had the biggest performance, going 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored. Tommy Coyle and Boog Powell were right behind him, with Coyle going 2 for 4 with a double, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored while Powell went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI. Now Powell is up to a .333 average, and that isn’t just 1 for 3–it’s 40 for 120. Tyler Goeddel also had a solid game, going 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, 2 runs scored, and an outfield assist.
High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 10, St. Lucie Mets 4
Willy Adames had a fun time going up against rehabbing Mets Dillon Gee and Vic Black. He went 1 for 2 with a single and an RBI against Gee before drilling an RBI double versus Black. He finished the game 4 for 5 with a double and 3 RBI, raising his average to .302 on the season. He was actually one-upped by Braxton Lee, who went 4 for 4 with 2 walks, 2 stolen bases, and 3 runs scored. He went 2 for 2 against Gee and walked against both Black and the other rehabber, Bobby Parnell.
The most exciting game of all, however, came from Granden Goetzman. He went 2 for 3 with a walk, 2 runs scored, and an insane 5 stolen bases. Stone Crabs manager Michael Johns said that the rehabbing Mets were slow to the plate, and Goetzman took advantage to steal both second and third against both Gee and Parnell. Goetzman is off to a nice start with the Stone Crabs, hitting to a .320/.333/.480 line in 28 plate appearances since coming from extended spring training, and hopefully a game like this can give him more confidence.
On the pitching side, meanwhile, Jacob Faria was excellent again, going 6.2 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 7 while walking 3. He now has a 1.56 ERA and a 36-14 strikeout to walk ratio in 40.1 innings to begin the year. He has been a little bit lucky, allowing no home runs despite giving up too many flyballs, but he continues to progress in his development as a Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect.
Low-A Midwest League: Fort Wayne TinCaps (SDP) 6, Bowling Green Hot Rods 2
What could have been a great start for Enderson Franco was derailed by two of his own errors and another from Casey Gillaspie. He wound up going 6 innings allowing 5 runs, just 2 earned, on 6 hits, striking out 7 while walking 2. His groundout to flyout ratio was even 6-2. Franco the pitcher did his job, but hopefully he can get some fielding practice in to prevent future errors and get a little bit better luck.
The Hot Rods’ 2 runs came on an error and a Justin Williams RBI single. Thomas Milone was the only Hot Rods hitter who actually had a great game, going 3 for 4 with 2 stolen bases and a run scored. On the season, he has a .303/.366/.377 line with 11 stolen bases in 12 tries and a 19-10 strikeout to walk ratio. Everything has been great other than his lack of power. Hopefully that is on the way.