Saturday, April 5, 2014

Barfield, Ynoa debut. McKinney lights up Visalia

Jeremy Barfield posted his first official MiLB appearance on Friday evening

    (Photo Courtesy of: Chris Lockard)

Despite the postponement of Beloit due to frigid conditions which shall result within a doubleheader today, the remaining three affiliates still shined as the Rockhounds posted their first victory of the campaign thanks to Zach Neal's dominance to redeem a horrendous cumulative effort upon the mound for Midland the prior day, as the Oklahoma native breezed through five frames and threw 77 offerings (52 strikes) while permitting only three baserunners (5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 5 GB/2 FB). Meanwhile, Midland once more constructed a dependable offensive performance as Addison Russell obliterated the first pitch he saw for his first dinger on the season in an encore to his 3-5 debut amidst the 20-7 defeat previously. Addison would provide a scare however, as following a single he saw caught stealing and appeared to be hobbled as he awkwardly jaunted to the dugout and departed the contest in favor of Antonio Lamas. Luckily, it was disclosed postgame that Addison only exited due to a precautionary purposes with a hamstring cramp, to the same muscular structure that prompted his spring absence a couple weeks before. He's DTD at the moment, with his prospects for this weekend somewhat in question, but his initial 5-7 performance ought to immediately slot him within Midland's upcoming lineups when available. Coinciding with that, Jefry Marte continued to impress alongside Max Muncy as both went 1-3 (BB) while Billy Burns notched his second consecutive bout with an XBH as the speedster went 2-3 with a double and another BB (3-6, 2 2 2B, 3 BB in his first two games) while recording his first stolen base, a feat which took until his 6th time on-base to attempt. Miles Head, under intense scrutiny, launched a towering dinger for his first base knock of the campaign, which lifted Midland to a 6-0 victory. Jeff Urlaub and Jesus Castillo both debuted and combined for a 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K performance to stamp down the win. 

Stockton, the lone victors upon opening day, once more grappled with Visalia as Billy McKinney burst through following a modest 1-5, 2 K debut as the 19 year old first round acquisition demolished a pair of dingers during an evening contest at Recreation Ballpark, a relatively neutral park dimension comparatively for California League purposes. His 2-4 outings steered Stockton offensively, while Bruce Maxwell additionally went 2-3 with a BB prior to being pinch run for by Dusty Robinson and witnessing Ryan Gorton usurp his catching duties as Stockton attempted to capitalize upon a baserunner generated during a 3-3 stalemate within the 8th inning. Daniel Robertson and Aaron Shipman, who partook in his Cal League debut, both went 1-4 while Renato Nuñez went 3-4 upon his 20th birthday following a admirable performance in his only Stockton outing as a teenager (2-5, 2 2B), Bobby Crocker continued to demonstrate absolutely zero resemblance of plate discipline with a 1-5, 3 K outing with another stolen base for a funky 1-8, 6 K, 2 BB, 3 SB line thus far. Matt Olson still has yet to be ignited following a dull 0-4 (BB) outing while Chad Pinder and Ryon Healy amassed a 0-8 mark through the contest, with the duo who bypassed Wisconsin now a cumulative 0-15, 8 K through their initial two Ports games. Matt Olson committed two errors in the contest while Pinder committed an additional one, with five defensive gaffs having been commuted by the supposedly defensively exquisite pair in Visalia. Upon the mound, Rule 5 Austrailian, Tim Atheron, had a mediocre statistical attempt with a 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 HR), 3 BB, 3 K résumé within his initial California League entry after an offseason with Team Austrailia. Jeremy Barfield immediately relieved Atheron, and went 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K in an impressive first appearance off the converted outfielder who has undergone a hectic pitching regimen for the previous eight months with this being his final campaign before MiLB free agency. Tucker Healy dominated in relief afterwards, as the deserving Rockhound went 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K before Michael Ynoa donned the central Californian mound within his newly adopted exclusive bullpen capacity. While permitting the ultimate walk-off for the Rawhide, it was still a legitimate performance in Stockton's 4-3 narrowly bested effort: 1 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 WP. 

Sacramento, following Michael Taylor's reentry and Conner Crumbliss' dismissal, utilized Sean Murphy prior to Drew Pomeranz' presumed demotion with inconsistent results, as Murphy went 4 1/3 IP, 6 H, 5 H, 3 BB, 3 K, 90 pitches (56 strikes) and contrasted that with a plus 5 GB/2 FB ratio as Sacramento's pitching staff struggled throughout the evening similarly to Midland's beforehand. McBryde, Humber and Hooker, all Oakland NRIs this spring, accumulated a paltry 3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 6 BB, 5 K bullpen line to place the River kitten within a deficit of 13-4 to conclude the game and place Sacramento as Oakland's only 0-2 ballclub thus far (With Beloit pending). Offensively, Shane Peterson catapulted the first Rivercat dinger and produced a 2-5 (HR) outing while Taylor went 0-1 (3 BB) within his unforeseen reacclimation to Sacramento. Jose Martinez and Nate Freiman both churned out 1-3 (BB) attempts while Kent Matthes went 1-4 with a first inning bases clearing double to firmly place the PCL squad within a commanding 3-0 advantage before Sacramento would be outscored 13-1 within the remaining eight innings. Stephen Vogt now is 0-7 with a BB through his initial eight plate appearances on the campaign now while Hiroyuki Nakajima and Tyler Ladendorf both went 0-4 with a strikeout. 

Joe Blanton, Tanner Peters, Manaurys Correa, Kyle Finnegan and Lou Trivino are scheduled to pitch on Saturday for the Oakland affiliates. 

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