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6 years ago  ::  Apr 24, 2015 - 5:43AM #301
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Caleb Smith threw fve scoreless innings to record his first win of 2015. (Robert M. Pimpsner)


Caleb Smith threw fve scoreless innings to record his first win of 2015. (Robert M. Pimpsner)


Offense, Pitching Sparkle as Thunder blank Portland



Apr 23rd, 2015 | By  | Category: SliderTrenton Thunder


PORTLAND, ME. – Early offense off Portland Sea Dogs starting pitcher Mike Augliera provided all the offense necessary in the Trenton Thunder’s series-opening 5-0 victory Thursday night at Hadlock Field.


Following a rainy day, temperatures at gametime settled in the low 40’s with the sun absent for most of the contest. The Thunder used an 11-hit, 5-walk attack off of Augliera in his 4.1 innings pitched to establish an early advantage over the Sea Dogs.


In the first two innings the Thunder struck for three two-out runs to create a cushion between them and the Sea Dogs. After Jake Cave and Aaron Judge were both retired to begin the game, Greg Bird and Eric Jagielo followed with consecutive doubles to begin the scoring. The next batter was Gary Sanchez, and he singled through the left side of the infield. Even though Jagielo was being held at third base, the ball snuck under the glove of Portland’s charging left fielder which allowed Jagielo to score and Sanchez to hustle all the way around to third base.


In the second, Cave singled up the middle to score Dante Bichette Jr. from second after he reached on a walk, to give the Thunder a 3-0 lead. Trenton added two more runs in the 4th inning for a 5-0 lead which was more enough for the staff.


Pitching was dominant for Trenton with a combined shutout from starter Caleb Smith, Caleb Cotham and Nick Goody in which the trio notched a season-high 14 punchouts for Thunder pitching. Trenton, who entered the night 5th in the Eastern League with 3.36 ERA, lowered that figure to 3.11 after the shutout. In 14 games this season, the Thunder staff has allowed more than 3 earned runs just twice.


For Smith, the start was his fourth career Double-A start, and he earned his first career Double-A win. He entered having allowed at least three earned runs in each of his first two starts this season, but tossed five shutout innings on four hits while striking out five.


The victory for the Thunder is the team’s third straight and improves them to 9-5 on the season after a 3-3 start. With the victory off the right-handed starter, Augliera, Trenton is 9-2 against righty starting pitchers this season.


The Thunder get back to action Friday against the Sea Dogs when RHP Luis Severino (1-0, 0.90) opposes Portland’s RHP Mike McCarthy (1-1, 8.00) for a scheduled 6:00 p.m. first pitch. Coverage begins on the Thunder Radio Network beginning at 5:45 p.m. with the Trenton Thunder Pre-Game Show.



"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
6 years ago  ::  Apr 24, 2015 - 5:44AM #302
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Wade and Payton help T-Yanks to 4-1 win



Apr 23rd, 2015 | By  | Category: SliderTampa Yankees


TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Yankees started a three-game series against the Daytona Tortugas Thursday night. The Tampa Yankees sent righty Eric Ruth (ERA 2.70) to the mound against Daytona’s lefty Amir Garrett (ERA 4.09). Once again a late offensive push helped the Tampa Yankees secure the 4-1 victory.


In the bottom of the first, the Tortugas got on the board and took and early 1-0 lead with a leadoff homerun by Phillip Ervin over the T-Yanks.


The scoreboard stayed blank on both sides as Ruth went six innings allowing just three hits and one run; striking out four batters.


In the bottom of the sixth, the Yanks took a 2-1 lead which began with back to back singles by Mark Payton and Tyler Wade. A fielding error by Daytona’s left fielder Sebastian Elizalde then advanced both runners. A 2 run single by Kyle Higashioka then put the Yanks in the lead.


Righty reliever Luis Niebla (ERA 0.00) pitched the 7th and 8th allowing just one hit and striking out three batters.
In the bottom of the eighth, Claudio Custodio walked to start the inning and would then be out at second after Mark Payton grounded into a forced out. As Tyler Wade was at the plate for his at-bat, Payton stole second and would score Tampa’s third run of the night with a single by Wade. Miguel Andujar walked and Wade would later score after a single by Higashioka to put Tampa up 4-1.


RHP Angel Rincon (ERA 3.60) pitched the ninth inning with just two hits allowed and striking out one batter.
Ruth earned his first win of the season (1-0), Niebla the hold (H, 1) and Rincon the save (S,2).


Stats:
Mark Payton: 1 for 4; 2 R
Tyler Wade: 3 for 4; RBI
Kyle Higashioka: 2 for 4; 3 RBIs
Mike Ford: 1 for 4
Ericson Leonora: 1 for 3


Next Game:
The Tampa Yankees (7-7) will take on the Daytona Tortugas (9-4) on Friday night at 7:00pm.



"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
6 years ago  ::  Apr 24, 2015 - 5:46AM #303
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Following Thursday night's play, Charleston's Jorge Mateo is hitting .300  (Bryan Green)


Following Thursday night's play, Charleston's Jorge Mateo is hitting .300 (Bryan Green)


RiverDogs Notch Pair of Victories Over Savannah



Apr 23rd, 2015 | By  | Category: Charleston RiverDogsSlider


CHARLESTON, SC – The Charleston RiverDogs scored three runs in the first inning before an out was recorded and never looked back, cruising to a 4-2 victory over the Savannah Sand Gnats in front of 6,061 fans Thursday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.


Following a 13-4 victory over Savannah in the conclusion of Sunday’s suspended game, the RiverDogs wasted no time getting the offense rolling again. Abiatal Avelino, Jorge Mateo, Dustin Fowler, and Connor Spencer all singled. Fowler’s base hit drove in Avelino and Spencer’s drove in Mateo and Fowler. Throwing errors by pitcher Brad Wieck and left fielder Stefan Sabol also helped the RiverDogs’ cause.


Avelino singled again in the second inning, stole second base, and came home on an RBI single by Mateo. Savannah (5-9) cut Charleston’s (10-5) lead in half with two home runs in the top of the fourth. Wuilmer Becerra and Tomas Nido both blasted solo shots to left-center field and made the score 4-2 RiverDogs.


With the exception of the two solo home runs, Andre Del Bosque had an impressive first start of his professional career. The righty went five strong innings and earned his first win of the season. Cale Coshow struck out three batters in a four-out save, his fourth of the season. Coshow is tied with Donnie Hart (Delmarva) for the South Atlantic League lead in saves.


BALLPARK FUN: Where do we begin? In addition to a packed house on a Budweiser Thirsty Thursday, the Budweiser Clydesdales made an appearance prior to, and during the game. Emilie Woody of Wando High was named the Charleston County School District’s Teacher of the Year and was honored on the field in front of a large crowd of colleagues with a year’s use of a MINI Cooper and $1,000 cash from the RiverDogs. Director of Fun Bill Murray was once again at the park and was entertaining actor Danny McBride and food aficionado Anthony Bourdain, who has been in town all week and was filming part of an upcoming show during the game.


COMING UP: The RiverDogs and Sand Gnats square off again tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. in the second of four games. The RiverDogs have yet to name a starter, while the Sand Gnats are set to throw RHP Casey Meisner (1-0, 2.45). You can catch the action on “The Big Talker” 1250 WTMA, WTMA.com, RiverDogs.com and MiLB.tv.


Tomorrow is the second ISHPI Red Shirt Friday of the season and it is presented by WEZL, with postgame fireworks over the scenic Ashley River presented by Home Telecom. Support the military by wearing red and when you come to the box office, you can and receive $1 off your ticket. Fans will have the option to donate that dollar to Canines for Veterans, who will once again bring “Titus the Bat Dog” to perform his batboy duties during the game. The RiverDogs will wear special red jerseys as a show of support for our military. We will also be celebrating Arbor Day all evening with fun for the whole family. The club will present a ceremonial planting of a Crepe Myrtle outside The Joe in the adjacent VIP parking lot at 6 pm. The new tree is part of the 10,000 Trees for Charleston Initiative, and one lucky fan will be able to take home a five-foot Live Oak tree.



"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
6 years ago  ::  Apr 24, 2015 - 6:45AM #304
diehardma
Posts: 6,160

Johnny Barbato has quickly established himself as a key  member of the Trenton Thunder bullpen. (Jessica Kovalcin)


Johnny Barbato has quickly established himself as a key member of the Trenton Thunder bullpen. (Jessica Kovalcin)


So Far, So Good for Barbato in Trenton



Apr 23rd, 2015 | By  | Category: Analyzing the FutureColumnsSliderTrenton Thunder


TRENTON, N.J. – Last December 29, the Yankees traded veteran reliever Shawn Kelley to the San Diego Padres. In return,  they received right-handed relief prospect Johnny Barbato.


There was belief at the time Barbato might need Tommy John surgery, as his promising 2014 season was cut short June 10 with an elbow injury. This was after the Miami native, drafted in the sixth round in 2010 out of Felix Varela High School, amassed a 2-2, 2.87 mark with 16 saves for the Double-A San Antonio Missions.


He was immediately placed on the Trenton roster after the trade, had a strong Spring Training and so far is 2-0, 1.35 in four appearances with the Thunder, striking out nine and walking three in 6.2 innings. He has allowed just one earned run, the result of a controversial inside-the-park home run many thought landed foul.


“I feel good, and everything is fine,” said the 22-year-old Barbato, who definitely has fun playing the game. “I had a strain in my right elbow that kept me from pitching after June last year. I was told to rest.


“I did, and now I am throwing well. Things like that inside-the-parker happen.”


What will transpire as the season goes on remains to be seen, but so far Barbato is showing TJ was not needed on his elbow. His fastball was clocked at 95 mph in two recent appearances.


“I’m confident and comfortable with how my elbow is now,” he reiterated.


Barbato, whose fastball has touched 97 in the past, also throws a knuckle-curve that has generated strikeouts. He is looking to refine that pitch, and also has tinkered with a changeup. At 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, he generates a lot of power. He delivery can use some loosening up.


He is also working to polish his command a bit.


“The Trenton coaching staff, both in Spring Training and here, has been great to work with,” said Barbato. “I’m really excited about being part of the Yankees system and seeing what I can do. I know what I need to work on.


“We have a lot of talent on this team, and I think Trenton is going to have an excellent season.”


With lefty James Pazos on the 7-day disabled list and still in Tampa, Barbato has been sharing closer duties with fellow right-hander Mark Montgomery for the 8-5 Thunder, who open a 7-game road trip Thursday night in Portland, Maine. He has shown he can pitch multiple innings.


In addition to the 16 saves at San Antonio last season, he registered 14 at Class-A Lake Elsinore in 2013. Barbato was listed as the Padres’ No. 30 prospect by Baseball America entering the 2014 season.


He admits the events of last December surprised him.


“When I was told I was traded for an established major-league reliever, I was like, really? But I felt pretty good about it. It was obvious the Yankees wanted me and I’m glad to be with their organization. I can tell there are a lot of good things happening.”


The Eastern League is known more as a pitchers’ league as compared to its Double-A Texas League counterpart, but Barbato sees something else he likes about the switch, even though he endured a lengthy bus ride to Down East Maine with his teammates yesterday.


“San Antonio was a good place to play, but some of those trips in the Texas League, like to Arkansas and Missouri,” he said. “The teams in this league are mostly a lot closer.”


At the tine of the trade, there were questions about what to expect from Barbato in 2015. So far, he is healthy and proving to be an asset in the Trenton bullpen. The Yankees aren’t asking for much more.



6 years ago  ::  Apr 24, 2015 - 3:55PM #305
Max
Posts: 42,830

Greg Bird walking, slugging in minors for Yankees


www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/...

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6 years ago  ::  Apr 24, 2015 - 4:16PM #306
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Five early season observations on the first place Thunder



 


Mason Williams' bat has woken up to start the season (Photo: Trenton Thunder/Facebook.com)

Mason Williams’ bat has woken up to start the season (Photo: Trenton Thunder/Facebook.com)



The Trenton Thunder are fourteen games into Al Pedrique’s first season at the helm, and so far, so good for the three-time Eastern League champions. They sit atop the Eastern Division with a 9-5 record, and they’ve done so with some early season headlines.


Mason Williams’ resurgence


Could adding the former top prospect to the 40-man roster have given him some new life? Through 13 games, the outfielder has produced a .304/.353/.348 batting line, and appears much more confident at the plate. Though most of his time has been spent out of position defensively and in an unfamiliar spot in the lineup, Williams has adjusted just fine to his new roles.


Garrison’s looking good


Our feature on Taylor Garrison noted just how rare it is for a pitcher to successfully convert from a reliever to a starter. However, the 24-year-old is making his pitch to stay in the rotation with a solid start to the 2015 campaign. Thorough three starts, Garrison is 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA. His WHIP is a bit high (1.47), but Garrison has shown consistent ability to work out of the jams he has created. His four-pitch arsenal is serving him well in Trenton thus far.


Monty the man


Former Thunder manager Tony Franklin was notorious for spreading his save opportunities around, however Al Pedrique’s first year at the helm has mostly been the Mark Montgomery show in a save opportunity. The former top relief prospect has looked better this year than last as he continues to rebuild his standing in the organization after a shoulder injury in 2013. In five games, Montgomery has recorded three saves, while striking out seven hitters in five innings of work.


Bird and Sanchez starting slow


The Thunder lineup has been every bit as fearful as many thought, and that’s without two key pieces producing at a high level. Thanks to the likes of Mason Williams and Jake Cave, slow starts from Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird have been relatively overlooked. Sanchez’s .189 batting average is worst amongst regular starters in the Thunder lineup, and he has just two extra base hits in 37 at-bats. Bird’s .224 average is on the rise, and his early year numbers have been buoyed by his team-leading nine walks.


Quality start-less


Fourteen games. Six starting pitchers. And…zero quality starts? It doesn’t seem like a recipe for success at any level, but Pedrique’s Thunder squad has made it work so far. Really, this speaks to just how well the bullpen has pitched. Mark Montgomery and Johnny Barbato have been dominant, while Nick Goody and Kyle Haynes have produced as solid back end pieces as well. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that all four of these guys could see time in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before season’s end.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
6 years ago  ::  Apr 24, 2015 - 4:18PM #307
diehardma
Posts: 6,160

Tonight's minor league schedule:


AAA: Pawtucket (Henry Owens 0-0, 4.09.. #20 prospect in baseball) at SWB (Kyle Davies 1-0, 0.00) 7:05


AA: Trenton (Luis Severino 1-0 0.90) at Portland Mike McCarthy (1-1, 8.00) 6:00


High A: Daytona (Nick Howard 2-0 0.00.. Reds #3 prospect) at Tampa Conner Kendrick (0-1 18.90) 7:00


Low A: Savannah at Charleston 7:05 (neither team has listed a SP) 

6 years ago  ::  Apr 24, 2015 - 4:20PM #308
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Heathcott a key to RailRiders' success








Photo: Jake D.Stevens, License: N/A, Created: 2015:04:09 08:01:31

JAKE DANNA STEVENS / TIMES-SHAMROCK RailRiders’ Slade Heathcott looks for an extra base after sliding safely into second and watching the ball roll away from Syracuse’s Cutter Dykstra during a game earlier this month at PNC Field.






MOOSIC — It would be cliché to write about how Wednesday’s weather proved to be the only thing that could cool off Slade Heathcott, the obvious way to start a story about a player coming off a 4 for 4 game and clearly the best early April he has ever had in professional baseball.


But trust him, he only feels hot in the statistics column right now.


“Besides the wind, it wasn’t too bad,” the young outfielder said Wednesday night. “But I think it’s supposed to cool down again (Thursday).”


Well, it obviously did, and Heathcott and his Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders teammates didn’t get to open their four-game series against defending Governors’ Cup champion Pawtucket at PNC Field because of it. Intermittent snow showers and temperatures befitting a late November day worked to give the RailRiders their first home postponement of the season Thursday night.


The game will be made up Saturday as part of a doubleheader starting at 4:05 p.m.


Like their young former first-round pick, the RailRiders have been on quite a roll. Thursday’s postponement interrupted a string of five wins in six games and two consecutive series won — at Syracuse and a three-game set against Lehigh Valley.


Heathcott has been a big reason for the surge. He has at least one hit in his last six games, and in his last five, he’s 10 for 24 with a double, homer, five RBIs and a .423 on-base percentage.


“I’m just trying to work on being direct to the ball,” he said.


That reliance on the fundamentals certainly helped Wednesday, when Heathcott collected three of his four hits against IronPigs left-hander Adam Morgan, a hard-throwing former third-round pick by the Phillies. This season, Heathcott is hitting lefties at a .357 clip (5 for 14), and his career mark against southpaws has actually been better (.283) than it is against right-handed hurlers (.272).


For the RailRiders, that could be a valuable asset this weekend. Three of the four scheduled starters for Pawtucket — including Henry Owens, one of the Boston Red Sox’s top pitching prospects — are lefties.


Heathcott said he tries to simply treat lefties the way he would a right-hander.


“For the most part, except maybe against some of the guys who are lefty specialists who may drop down or start on the left side of the mound or things like that,” Heathcott said. “I try not to make a difference in my head with my approach. I maybe just try to think about staying on the ball just a little bit longer.”


Oft-injured, Heathcott opened this season optimistic his career had finally turned a corner after yet another season lost to an injury in 2014.


So far, he has been one of the RailRiders’ best, most consistent players statistically, a true threat in the leadoff spot.


“He’s doing a lot of things for us,” RailRiders manager Dave Miley said. “He’s getting on and setting the tone for us. That’s what we want.”




"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
6 years ago  ::  Apr 24, 2015 - 4:24PM #309
laurenfrances
Posts: 39,680

Tonight's lineup for your RailRiders.....Embedded image permalink

6 years ago  ::  Apr 24, 2015 - 4:25PM #310
diehardma
Posts: 6,160

Apr 24, 2015 -- 4:20PM, BigGuy wrote:



Heathcott a key to RailRiders' success








Photo: Jake D.Stevens, License: N/A, Created: 2015:04:09 08:01:31

JAKE DANNA STEVENS / TIMES-SHAMROCK RailRiders’ Slade Heathcott looks for an extra base after sliding safely into second and watching the ball roll away from Syracuse’s Cutter Dykstra during a game earlier this month at PNC Field.






MOOSIC — It would be cliché to write about how Wednesday’s weather proved to be the only thing that could cool off Slade Heathcott, the obvious way to start a story about a player coming off a 4 for 4 game and clearly the best early April he has ever had in professional baseball.


But trust him, he only feels hot in the statistics column right now.


“Besides the wind, it wasn’t too bad,” the young outfielder said Wednesday night. “But I think it’s supposed to cool down again (Thursday).”


Well, it obviously did, and Heathcott and his Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders teammates didn’t get to open their four-game series against defending Governors’ Cup champion Pawtucket at PNC Field because of it. Intermittent snow showers and temperatures befitting a late November day worked to give the RailRiders their first home postponement of the season Thursday night.


The game will be made up Saturday as part of a doubleheader starting at 4:05 p.m.


Like their young former first-round pick, the RailRiders have been on quite a roll. Thursday’s postponement interrupted a string of five wins in six games and two consecutive series won — at Syracuse and a three-game set against Lehigh Valley.


Heathcott has been a big reason for the surge. He has at least one hit in his last six games, and in his last five, he’s 10 for 24 with a double, homer, five RBIs and a .423 on-base percentage.


“I’m just trying to work on being direct to the ball,” he said.


That reliance on the fundamentals certainly helped Wednesday, when Heathcott collected three of his four hits against IronPigs left-hander Adam Morgan, a hard-throwing former third-round pick by the Phillies. This season, Heathcott is hitting lefties at a .357 clip (5 for 14), and his career mark against southpaws has actually been better (.283) than it is against right-handed hurlers (.272).


For the RailRiders, that could be a valuable asset this weekend. Three of the four scheduled starters for Pawtucket — including Henry Owens, one of the Boston Red Sox’s top pitching prospects — are lefties.


Heathcott said he tries to simply treat lefties the way he would a right-hander.


“For the most part, except maybe against some of the guys who are lefty specialists who may drop down or start on the left side of the mound or things like that,” Heathcott said. “I try not to make a difference in my head with my approach. I maybe just try to think about staying on the ball just a little bit longer.”


Oft-injured, Heathcott opened this season optimistic his career had finally turned a corner after yet another season lost to an injury in 2014.


So far, he has been one of the RailRiders’ best, most consistent players statistically, a true threat in the leadoff spot.


“He’s doing a lot of things for us,” RailRiders manager Dave Miley said. “He’s getting on and setting the tone for us. That’s what we want.”







It'll be interesting to see how they fare against Henry Owens tonight. Are you going to the game?

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