*All results from games played on Friday, April 5th 2013
AAA - Las Vegas 51's (2-0)_______________________________________
LAS VEGAS 9, SACRAMENTO 3 (Box)
The turning point in this one was a third inning, bases-loaded flyball to center by Zach Lutz that was misplayed into a three-run error. The five runs that scored that inning were more than enough to support a nice 2013 debut for Chris Schwinden. He's been swept under the rug a bit in terms of major league rotation depth options; however it's important to remember that despite his less-than-stellar major league rep, he's only made six starts for the Mets. Additionally, after the first four he had a 4.71 ERA -- not great but not someone worth burying. Following Schwinden's wild ride last summer the 25-year-old righty also posted a 2.45 ERA with just a shade under eight strikeouts and roughly two walks per nine over his last 11 starts with the Bisons. Finally, it's also very important to point to point out that Schwinden iscurrently rocking one of the most epic red mustaches that you're ever gonna see.
- C Travis d'Arnaud: 1-2, 2 R, 3 BB, K; Nice game from a guy that posted a 6.3 BB% at the same level last season
- 2B Wilmer Flores: 0-3, R, RBI, K; Looks like Flores at second is going to be a very regular thing, placing Havens' development firmly on the back burner
- CF Juan Lagares: 1-5, R, 2 K
- 3B Zach Lutz: 0-4, BB, K
- 1B Josh Satin: 2-4, R, RBI, K
- DH Reese Havens: 1-2, R, BB, K
- RF Andrew Brown: 1-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI, K
- RHP Chris Schwinden: 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 1 K; 68% for strikes (64 of 94)
- RHP Gonzalez Germen: 2 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
AA - Binghamton Mets (2-0)_____________________________________
BINGHAMTON 2, AKRON 1 (Box)
The B-Mets topped the Aeros by the score of 2-1 for the second night in a row. Once again, they were carried by an outstanding performance from their starting pitcher. On this night, Cory Mazzoni emphatically declared his intention to remain a starter with five innings where he didn't allow an earned run and, most importantly, struck out seven Aeros batters. For the record, Mazzoni never posted more strikeouts than innings in any of his 26 starts in 2012. This is most certainly the key indicator that we'll be watching for the 23-year-old 2011 second-rounder as he makes his return trip through the Eastern League.
- SS Wilfredo Tovar: 1-3, R, RBI
- DH Darrell Ceciliani: DNP
- 2B Danny Muno: 0-4, RBI, K
- LF Cory Vaughn: 0-3, R, BB
- RF Cesar Puello: 1-3, 2 K, SB(2), HBP(1); Hit by pitch helps spur the winning run, what's new
- CF Alonzo Harris: 1-4, 2 K; Harris appears in center again
- C Juan Centeno: 1-3, 2 K, E(1)
- RHP Cory Mazzoni: 5 IP, 0 ER (1 unearned), 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K; Maybe we better postpone that move to the bullpen
- LHP Mark Cohoon: 1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K; The shift to relief work begins
- LHP Chase Huchingson: 2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 K; Ditto
- LHP Jack Leathersich: 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 2 K; And the wave of strikeouts continues
Great pitching duel in St. Lucie last night. Domingo Tapia started his 2013 with a bang, posting six scoreless innings with just four hits and a walk. He also struck out three Hammerheads, but as you'd expect he kept almost everything on the ground (10:3 GB-to-FB). Both teams' pitchers combined for 21 strikeouts against just three walks, which brought us to the end of regulation still scoreless. However, it was the Mets who pushed one across in the tenth, sparked by a one-out Gilbert Gomez walk, followed by a pair of singles from Cam Maron and T.J. Rivera.
- 1B Aderlin Rodriguez: 0-3
- SS Matt Reynolds: 1-4, R, K
- CF Gilbert Gomez: 1-3, R, BB
- C Cam Maron: 2-4, 2B; Apparently still basking in the post-AA Audio afterglow
- 2B T.J. Rivera: 2-4, RBI, BB, K
- RHP Domingo Tapia: 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 3 K
- LHP Hamilton Bennett: 1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K; The 24-year-old Bennett posted a 2.55 ERA in 41 appearances for St. Lucie in 2012 -- in other words he isn't long for the Florida State League
- RHP Chasen Bradford: 1 IP; Notched the save -- posted a 2.47 ERA in 37 appearances for Savannah in 2012
Lo-A - Savannah Sand Gnats (1-1)__________________________________
ROME 3, SAVANNAH 12 (Box)
So as I was saying about Savannah's powerful offense. Actually, as I pointed out in the recent minor league rosters piece, this can be an effective lineup as long as what happened on Friday night happens a lot. That means the talented trio of Nimmo, Plawecki, and Evans have to be hitting on all cylinders. It certainly doesn't hurt when ancillary guys like Cole Frenzel and Jayce Boyd are walking three times a piece either.
However, the more interesting story from this one took place on the mound. Sand Gnats starter Gabriel Ynoa picked up right where he left off as a Cyclone, mowing down the Braves lineup in five, scoreless, one-hit innings. The 20-year-old will go a long way to proving that he belongs among the top tier of pitching prospects in this system if he can replicate his prior success in a league where he's over a year younger than the average player from 2012.
Additionally, 2012 tenth rounder Paul Sewald shined in three outstanding innings of relief work where he didn't allow a baserunner and struck out five Rome batters. The 22-year-old righty tops out at 90 MPH so it's going to be an uphill battle for him; but he gets the most out of his stuff thanks to some good deception and just otherworldly command. Sewald posted a 1.88 ERA in 18 relief appearances for the Cyclones in 2012, walking just two(!) batters against 35 strikeouts in 28.2 IP.
- CF Brandon Nimmo: 2-6, 3B, R, 2 RBI, 3 K
- C Kevin Plawecki: 3-5, HR(1), 2 R, 2 RBI
- SS Phillip Evans: 2-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI, BB; Very nice bounceback after a rough opening night
- 1B Jayce Boyd: 1-2, R, 3 BB
- RHP Gabriel Ynoa: 5 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 6 K; Doing his best to prove that Brooklyn was no fluke
- RHP Paul Sewald: 3 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 5 K; Wow, have we already seen the best relief appearance of 2013 on the second day of the season?
Star of the Night
Despite big performances by bigger names like Tapia, Mazzoni, and Plawecki, let's go with 20-year-old Gabriel Ynoa off his stellar 2013 debut where he allowed a single hit over five scoreless innings. This was exactly what I meant when I said I was surprised Matt Bowman got the nod from Savannah pitching coach Frank Viola for Opening Day. Nothing against Bowman...but Ynoa is just better.
For the second night in a row, Honorable Mention goes to the St. Lucie bullpen for four more innings of two-hit, zero walk, five strikeout relief work.
Goat of the Night
Golden Sombreros almost always take precedence, meaning that Travis Taijeron earns last night's honors with his 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. Following an impressive first half in 2012 for the Sand Gnats where he batted .291 with 12 home runs, the 24-year-old Taijeron came crashing down to Earth upon promotion to St. Lucie -- batting .203 with a nearly 30% strikeout rate. Older players often look good against younger competition, less so as they climb the ladder.