Homer Happy in Japan

May 22nd, 2015

There were a number of balls traveling over the fence in the NPB yesterday. It appears they have gone to a more livelier ball because the runs are coming in bunches.

Hawks 10 Buffaloes 6

The Orix Buffaloes swatted four homeruns, Masahiro Nishino, Francisco Caraballo, Hiroyuki Nakajima and Takuya Hara doing the damage. The Hawks though had a two homerun day from Nobuhiro Matsuda and one homerun each from Dae Ho Lee and Yuki Yanagiti to match them.

Marines 10 Lions 6

Alfredo Despaigne and Luis Cruz each had two homerun days to slug the Marines to victory. For Despaigne the two homeruns were part of a five hit day. Shogo Nakamura also went deep for the Marines. Fumikazu Kimura hit the Lions only homerun in his only at bat.

Fighters 9 Eagles 5

Brandon Laird hit a homerun for the Fighters while Masayoshi Fukuda hit the lone homerun for the Eagles. The two teams did combine for 28 hits. The Fighters Takuya Nakashima bullied five hits into the grass to be the second five hit player of the day.

The bats were a little more sedate in the Central League

Swallows 4 Bay Stars 3

The only homerun in the game was hit by the Bay Stars Yoshitomo Tsutugo, but the teams did combine for 23 hits. Lastings Milledge has returned from injury for the Swallows and contributed two of their 14 hits. Slugger Wladimir Balentien is still injured. To compensate for these non-contributing foreign players the Swallows recently signed Mitch Dening to a contract. Dening is an Australian player who only saw minor league time in his games in the United States.

Tigers 2 Giants 1

Koshien did not yield a homerun.

Dodgers Suspend Arruebarrena for Rest of Season

May 22nd, 2015

Sometimes the grass is not always greener on the other side of the ocean. Cuba’s Erisbel Arruebarrena is learning that. The Dodgers have suspended Arruebarrena for the rest of the season for disciplinary reasons. That will cost him about $3 million.

Earlier in the year Arruebarrena had been removed from the 40 man roster. Alex Guerrero, another Cuban infielder had a clause in his contract that required him to remain on the major league team or else become a free agent. The Dodgers have also signed Cuban second baseman Hector Olivera. There is only so much room in an infield of Cuban defectors. Perhaps Erisbel is upset Guerrero is playing with the Dodgers and he is not and Olivera will take over the position he had hoped would be his. For whatever reason Erisbel has yet to play in a minor league game this season.

With the one year suspension he will not be playing in a game this year. He did play in eight spring training games going 2 for 14. You can read about the disciplinary suspension here:

Arruebarrena suspension

Plutko Tosses a Gem

May 21st, 2015

The ex-Bruin now Lynchburg Hillcat Adam Plutko threw seven innings of one hit ball, striking out 10 hitters in the shutout. The lone hit was given up in the fifth inning. Adam also walked two hitters and picked up his fourth win against two losses. The 11th round 2013 pick of the Indians has not allowed more than two runs in any of his eight outings, ranking third in the Carolina League with a 1.27 ERA. His 47 strikeouts put him second. For the outing yesterday he wins the minor league player of the day for May 20.

A couple other good mound outings. Grant Holmes was almost unhittable, giving up just one hit in his six innings of work. He struck out nine. The one less inning and the one less strikeout was all that separated him from Plutko. The Dodgers first round 2014 pick has not been as consistent as Plutko, but in his last two appearances and in three of his last four outings covering at least six innings he has not given up a run. Grant currently has a 12 inning shutout streak going with 16 whiffs in those 12 innings. His ERA now stands at 3.03.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro was reportedly in the stands during the shutout outing of the Phillies number one pick in 2014 Aaron Nola. Pitching in AA, Aaron tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out seven. That is his second straight shutout outing covering 13 innings for Nola. The ERA for the month of May in four start for Aaron is 0.64, lowering his overall ERA to 1.54. Expect a promotion to AAA but a major league promotion would be optimistic with the way the Phillies season is tumbling.

On the hitting front everyone was looking forward to the debut of Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada. The twenty year old Cuban showed some rust in the first game going hitless. He was limited to one hit in his second game. As a DH he broke out in his third game going 3 for 4. The Red Sox played him at second base in his first two games. Yoan is still looking for his first extra base hit but he is hitting a robust .333.

The Diamondbacks have a surplus at third base with Yasmany Thomas and Jake Lamb occupying the position there. Add Brandon Drury to that list. He drove in five runs in a 2 for 5 day, hitting two doubles to give him 12 for the year. His homerun output has been slow to develop and he has yet to walk in the month of May against 14 whiffs but he is opening some eyes.

Another Diamondback Daniel Palka spanked his fourth consecutive three hit game to raise his average to .312. While listed as a first baseman, the 6′2″ 220 pounder has played most of his games in the outfield. He has shown some speed stealing 11 bases in 13 attempts and is a perfect 6 for 6 in May. Daniel has also shown some pop with 17 doubles and 7 homeruns for a .567 slugging average. Daniel was a third round pick of the Diamondbacks in 2013.

June is almost upon us and that is when Trea Turner will say goodbye to the San Diego Padres and hello to the Washington Nationals. After a 3 for 4 performance to raise his average to .336 the Nationals are drooling with anticipation. Trea clobbered his fifth homer in the game as well as his tenth double. The Padres 2014 number one pick is hitting .391 in May and has a seven game hitting streak.

The Cardinals Dominican shortstop Juan Herrera went a perfect 4 for 4 in High A to raise his average to .274. Juan does not pack a lot of punch (.310 slugging) with only four extra base hits on the year, all of them doubles. He is a perfect 5 for 5 in stolen bases.

Rays prospect Justin Williams had a perfect 3 for 3 day, driving in three runs. The Diamondbacks had drafted Williams in the second round of the 2013 draft then traded him to the Rays for Jeremy Hellickson. Williams still needs to improve on his 5/33 walk to whiff ratio as he rises above Low A.

Premier 12 Groupings Complete

May 21st, 2015

Japan promises to have a competitive team. The United States team is unknown at this time. The tournament does not start until November 8-21. The major league playoffs will be over by then. Most major leaguers will have burn out, except those from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. They will play for country if their major league teams allow them to play. Below are the groupings for the Premier 12:

Grouping A - Cuba (3), co-host Taiwan (4), Netherlands (5), Canada (7), Puerto Rico (9) and Italy (11)

Grouping B - co-host Japan (1), United States (2), Dominican Republic (6), South Korea (8), Venezuela (10) and Mexico (12)

The top four will advance to a single elimination format. The semi-finals and championship game will be played in Tokyo.

Top Ten Walkoff Homer List

May 21st, 2015

Jim Thome 13
Babe Ruth 12
Jimmy Fox 12
Mickey Mantle 12
Stan Musial 12
Frank Robinson 12
David Ortiz 11
Albert Pujols 11
Tony Perez 11
Ryan Zimmerman 10
Eight Others with 10 - Barry Bonds, Adam Dunn, Sammy Sosa, Mike Schmidt, Jason Giambi, Dick Allen, Harold Baines and Reggie Jackson

A pretty elite list. The player with the least amount of career homeruns is Ryan Zimmerman at 189.

Snell and Gallo Continue to Shine

May 20th, 2015

It is another busy day of catchup for myworld.

May 18

Blake Snell continues to do what he does best. Pitch shutouts. On Monday he tossed another six innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits. The six shutout innings by the Rays lefthander extends the shutout streak by Snell to 46 innings in his six starts and eight appearances this year. He also improved his record to 3-0, allowing just 18 hits in his 46 innings. If he continues to toss shutouts myworld will continue to give him minor league player of the day awards until the shutout streak ends.

Down a level below and hibernating in the same dugout as Snell a month ago is Buddy Borden. Buddy had been in the bullpen but with the departure of Snell Charlotte needed a pitcher for their rotation. Buddy threw seven innings of no hit ball in his first start. He didn’t quite top that in his second start, but he threw an additional five shutout innings, giving up three hits while striking out five. Buddy still has a long way to go before reaching the heights of Snell with shutout innings. His 12 shutout innings falls 34 innings short of Snell.

The Reds Tyler Mahle threw seven innings of 4-hit shutout ball. A lot of balls missed bats with his nine whiffs. After struggling a bit in Low A Tyler has only allowed one run to cross the plate in his last 15 innings, showing excellent control with just one walk.

On the hitting side the four hit games were rare. D.J. Davis went 4 for 4. It was a quiet 4 for 4 without any RBIs for the Blue Jays first round pick in 2012. The outfielder raised his average to .265 to extend his hitting streak to seven games.

Franklin Barreto pounded two homeruns to drive in five runs in a 3 for 4 day. He is another shortstop the Athletics can trade, acquiring Barreto from the Blue Jays in the Josh Donaldson trade. Barreto is struggling, the three hits raising his average to .233

May 19

The minor league player of May 19 goes to Joey Gallo for his two homeruns and six RBIs. Gallo got a late start to the season and did not hit his first homerun until May 6. The two homeruns yesterday give him six for the season. He also added a double to his 3 for 5 day increasing his slugging percentage for the year to .679. An 18/23 walk to whiff ratio in 17 May games has given him a .455 OBA. Expect him to be promoted soon from AA to AAA. Last year he struggled in AA hitting .232 with a .334 OBA and a .524 slugging. Gallo is 100 points better in each of those categories.

It has been awhile since Pete O’Brien went deep. In April seven balls carried over the fence. May only saw one and after a nine day absence he hit another, his ninth of the year. Pete finished the day 2 for 5 with four RBIs, including his third triple of the year. Perhaps the cause of his homerun drought and drop in batting average is the result of his playing a number of games at catcher. He is 8 for 27 with two homeruns in his seven games at catcher.

Another Diamondback, Daniel Palka, playing at the high A level has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. A 3 for 5 day gives him three consecutive games in which he has collected three hits. Two of those three hits went out of the park to give him seven for the year. The third round 2013 pick is 9 for 14 in those three games with five RBIs and seven runs scored. Daniel has extra base hits in four consecutive games.

Jomar Reyes had a perfect 4 for 4 day, driving in five runs with two doubles and a triple. The perfect day raised his average to .311. A five game hitting streak has seen him go 11 for 22 with nine RBIs during that span. The Dominican teenager turned 18 February of this year and is already playing at Low A for the Orioles.

The Rockies 2014 supplemental first round pick Forrest Wall slugged two homeruns in three at bats to double his homerun output for the year. The two taters gave him four RBIs for the game and seven RBIs in his last three games. Forest is known better for his bat than his glove.

One of the better hitters out of the college South Carolina was Joey Pankake, drafted in the seventh round of the 2014 draft by the Tigers. His .232 April batting average was a disappointment but a 4 for 5 day put his May average at .305 and raised his overall average to .266. Two of his four hits were doubles.

One of myworld’s top Austrailian prospects was Zac Shepherd. Zac is making myworld look good with a 4 for 5 day, giving him a four game hitting streak with three doubles and a triple. Zac is a Tiger teammate of Pankake.

Domingo Santana hit two homeruns yesterday to give him 10 for the year. The 47 whiffs in just 39 games is a testament to his ability to swing and miss. His .320 average is the result of a 15 game hitting streak in which he has gone 22 for 56 for a .393 average. He has hit five homeruns each month, but his batting average is higher in May (.357) rather than April (.276).

The one solid pitching performance myworld could find was performed by Brian Gonzalez of the Orioles Low A farm team. Two back to back poor starts in May (11 runs given up in less than 8 innings) has kept his ERA high (4.08). He threw six plus innings of one hit ball, striking out four to improve his record to 3-1. A less than impressive 22 to 32 walk to whiff ratio should keep the third round 2014 pick in Low A for the full year.

Z-Man Hits His Tenth Walkoff

May 20th, 2015

It was a line drive off the bat of Ryan Zimmerman in the bottom of the tenth, curving toward the foul pole. The only question was how far the ball would curve before it reached the pole. Would it curve inside the pole and travel foul? It curved and continued to curve but ultimately smacked the fair ball pole and bounced into the right field bullpen for the tenth career walkoff homerun for Ryan Zimmerman in the Nationals 8-6 win over the Yankees. It was his second walkoff against the Yankees and his third off a team from New York.

The Nationals got off to a fast start, Ian Desmond hitting a solo shot in the first inning and one out later Bryce Harper sending one deep for a second solo shot, both off Nathan Eovaldi. On the other side Gio Gonzalez was cruising, retiring the first nine hitters he faced, all on ground ball outs. In the fourth he hit a pot hole, causing the wheels to his pitching performance fall off.

It began with a leadoff walk to Jacoby Ellsbury. All things disastrous for Gio start with a walk. An innocuous ground out by Brett Gardner to Ryan Zimmerman at first advanced Ellsbury to second. A single by Chris Young scored Ellsbury. Don’t know what Ellsbury did after the score, but he was removed from the game after the inning and later placed on the disabled list because of a sprained knee. Another walk, this one to Mark Teixeira put the go ahead run on first base. Brian McCann ground out with Young moving to third. Chase Headley tied the game ripping an RBI double down the left field line. The slow footed McCann had to stop at third.

The bases became loaded after Jose Pirela hit a slow roller that hugged the third base line until it hit the base. McCann had to hold at third. All Gio had to do was retire the .160 hitting Stephen Drew and he would be out of the inning without too much damage. Drew lined a 1-2 pitch over the head of Desmond for a two run single. Gio was able to strike out pitcher Nathan Eovaldi for the third out but the 2-0 lead was squandered.

Gonzalez dug a big hole for the Nationals in the next inning when he gave up a two run homerun to Mark Teixeira, who seemed to just flick his bat at an outside pitch and drive it into the left field bleachers. Carlos Beltran, who had replaced Ellsbury in the outfield had started the inning with a single.

The Nationals roared back in the bottom frame. Nathan Eovaldi also is prone to giving up the big inning as a result of his lack of control. Danny Espinosa started the bottom of the fifth with a walk. Just like Gio Gonzalez, the results were disastrous. Clint Robinson roped a pinch hit double over the head of a now slow footed Carlos Beltran into right field scoring Espinosa. Back to back to back singles by Denard Span, Ian Desmond and Yunel Escobar drove in two more and ended the day for Eovaldi.

With runners on first and third and one out the hottest hitter in baseball was coming up. Joe Giradi brought in the lefty Justin Wilson to face Harper. With the count 2-2 Harper grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

David Carpenter came in to start the sixth inning. Wilson Ramos pounded a no doubter 3-0 pitch into the left field bleachers to tie the game at 6-6. When Carpenter issued a two out walk to Yunel Escobar in the seventh, Joe Giradi brought in another lefty to face Harper, an ex-Las Vegas teammate Chasen Shreve. Chasen had Harper chasing three nasty curveballs to strike him out.

The Nationals pen was solid after Gonzalez left. Blake Treinen pitched two innings of shutout ball, though the Yankees hit him hard, but right at people. In the eighth Chase Headley hit a ball to the 402 foot marker in centerfield off Matt Thornton for an out. Denard Span made a diving catch in the tenth inning, running in the opposite direction of his glove side to rob Bret Gardner of extra bases with Matt Grace on the mound.

The bottom of the tenth proved magical with Andrew Miller facing Ryan Zimmerman. Miller had struck out both Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper, but he walked Yunel Escobar. No National had yet to make contact off him. Running the count to 3-1 Ryan Zimmerman hit his curving line drive that hit the foul pole for his tenth walk off homerun of his career.

Game Notes: The Yankees were shifting for Danny Espinosa with the second baseman playing behind second base. Danny hit a ground ball up the middle right at the shortstop who was playing behind the bag. If Danny wants to raise his average he will have to beat the shift…Nathan Eovaldi was hitting 98 miles per hour with his fastball. Despite the velocity the Nationals were able to knock him out before the fifth inning was complete…Wilmer Difo was called up after Jayson Werth was placed on the 15 day disabled list. He bounced a single up the middle in his first major league at bat, a pinch hitting appearance…Michael Taylor appeared overmatched in the game today. He had many poor swings, striking out three times in four at bats. His last strikeout he chased a high pitch for a swinging strike three…Bryce Harper is back to wearing batting gloves…After the Ryan Zimmerman homerun someone sprayed chocolate syrup on the head of Zimmerman prior to his post game interview. That chocolate syrup can’t feel good dripping down your face…The win and a Mets loss have put the Nationals in a first place tie with the Mets…The runs given up by Andrew Miller were the first runs given up by the duo of Dellin Betances and Miller…The homerun by Wilson Ramos extended his hitting streak to 19 games.

Honeywell Tosses Seven No Hit Innings

May 18th, 2015

Another pitcher. Another Ray. Brent Honeywell tossed seven innings of no hit ball in the Bowling Green Hot Rods 8-3 win over the Fort Wayne Tincaps. The bullpen imploded for six hits but limited the Tincaps to three runs to still savor the victory. The Rays supplemental second round pick in 2014 lowered his ERA to 1.66. In three previous outings he had worked six innings and allowed just two hits or less.

Reynaldo Lopez had not allowed a run in his first two starts covering 11 innings of work. That shutout streak ended when he gave up one run on five hits in his six innings of work yesterday. His ERA rose to 0.53. Last year the WHIP for Lopez stood at .081 in 16 starts at two levels. This year his WHIP sits at 0.88. It is very difficult for pitchers to keep a WHIP (walks and hits to innings pitched) below a 1.00, but Reynaldo has pitched 100 innings with his WHIP below a 1.00.

Tyler Duffy is not one of the more well known Twins prospects, drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 draft. In a AA game he played to non contact against the Montgomery Biscuits, striking out 12 in his seven innings of work. He did allow a run, gave up seven hits and walked three to fall short of the win. In his opening day start against the Biscuits he struck out 10, allowing four hits without giving up a run. In his eight starts 22 of his 54 whiffs have been against the Biscuits.

The Braves acquired Tyrel Jenkins in the Jason Heyward trade. Shelby Miller, another player acquired in that trade was one out away from tossing a no hitter yesterday for the major league Braves. Jenkins allowed just three hits in his seven innings of work, preventing any opponent from crossing the plate despite five walks. Jenkins has only allowed one run in his last three starts covering 20 innings to lower his ERA to 3.00. This year his walk numbers have been up, averaging one more walk per nine innings pitched than last year (3.80).

Aaron Blair is one of the Diamondbacks more promising prospects. He was a first round supplemental pick in the 2013 draft. He threw seven plus innings and allowed just one unearned run, allowing five hits and striking out 9 without issuing a walk. In his last five innings he has pitched at least six innings and allowed two runs or less.

Rob Refsnyder was close to earning the Yankees second base job out of spring training with his bat. His glove still needs a lot of work. Yesterday he hit his first two homeruns of AAA and extended his hitting streak to 8 games. His bat has gotten hot in the month of May where he is hitting .370 to raise his average for the year to .304.

Travis Jankowski was the Padres first round supplemental pick in the Padres 2012 draft. The speedy centerfielder banged out his second four hit game of the season to raise his average to .346. Travis has an impressive 21/17 walk to whiff ratio and stole his 14th base. He has only been caught twice. If he can keep his OBA at an impressive .435 clip he will be the Padres leadoff hitter. Travis hits for minimal power.

Adam Engel is not a big prospect for the White Sox. The outfielder did stack together four hits, including his third homerun and fourth triple to score three times and drive in three runs in five at bats. Engel is not normally a power hitter, but his three homeruns are almost half of the seven he hit last year.

Another non-descript prospect, J.T. Riddle in the Marlins organization also got four hits, all of them singles except one double. The four hits lifted his batting average to .264. The double was his first extra base hit he has managed in the month of May after hitting four doubles and a triple in April. His current slugging average sits at a Popeye without spinach like .313 while last year he was able to hit nine homeruns to bring his slugging average to .440.

Wright is Right Against Angels

May 18th, 2015

The heat was not just from the humid air circulating over Camden Yards on Sunday. The two pitchers, Garrett Richards and Mike Wright were lighting up the radars consistently in the 95-98 range. Making his major league debut Mike Wright outdueled Richards with the Orioles beating the Angels 3-0. It was one of seven shutouts in the major leagues.

Mike Wright retired the first 9 Angels he faced, getting Mike Trout to swing and miss at a 98 mile per hour fastball in the first inning and David Freese to swing and miss at a 97 mile per hour fastball. Those were two of his three whiffs in his first three innings. He got into trouble in the fourth when he gave up his first two hits, a double by Albert Pujols against the left field wall to put runners on second and third with just one out. Erick Aybar grounder hard to Manny Machado, who threw home to get Kole Calhoun out. Johnny Giavotella swung and missed at an 88 mile per hour slider to become the fourth strikeout victim of Wright.

The lineup the Angels put out there would not be confused with the 27 Yankees. Erick Aybar was the cleanup hitter and Giavotella was the number five hitter. Mike Wright again faced the minimum number of hitters in the next three innings. A one out single by Matt Joyce in the eighth ended the day for Wright. Brad Brach came on to pitch, continuing to sling the 95 mile per hour juice and struck out the two hitters he faced to end the eighth.

Garrett Richards also pitched well for the Angels. His fastball was consistently clocked at 94-97. He struck out the side in the third. In the fourth he got into his first bit of trouble giving up back to back singles to Adam Jones and Delmon Young. The hit by Jones was a slow roller up the third base line. With runners on first and third with one out it appeared Richards got out of trouble feeding Chris Davis a pitch that dove at the plate, enticing him to swing and miss for the strikeout. His first pitch to Steve Pearce also bounced in front of the plate but skipped past Carlos Perez for a wild pitch and the first run of the game.

It was almost the lone run of the game. Richards retired nine of the next ten hitters he faced. A one out single by Manny Machado in the eighth inning ended the day for Richards. Mike Morin came on to replace him. Jimmy Paredes greeted him with a slow grounder to second that he beat to first for a single to put runners on first and second. Adam Jones ripped the first pitch thrown to him by Morin to split the gap in left centerfield to plate two runs. Paredes slid just ahead of the throw home.

Zach Britton came on in the ninth. He retired the first two hitters but with the 41,000 plus standing gave up back to back singles to Albert Pujols and Erick Aybar. The hit by Aybar was fielded by J.J. Hardy with a back hand stab, but his throw to second was too high. Johnny Giavotella, the number five hitter in this Angels lineup struck out to end the game and complete the shutout.

Game Notes: Steve Pearce had a good turn to complete a double play in the seventh inning. With injuries to Jonathan Schoop and Ryan Flaherty, Pearce has been getting a lot of playing time at second base…In the ninth inning David Lough came on for defense for Travis Snider even though Delmon Young made the last out in the eighth. With Young in right field and not noted for his defense that would be a poor testament for the fielding ability of Travis Snider…The 6′6″ Wright was a third round pick of the Orioles in 2011. Myworld was impressed by his 95 mile per hour fastball he consistently showed when he pitched for the Bowie Bay Sox. He showed excellent control today, not walking a single hitter while striking out six…Wright got the opportunity to pitch because of the back spasms experienced by Chris Tillman. It was only supposed to be a temporary start before he would be sent down again. It will be interesting if the Orioles send him down now after his first major league outing.

Borenstein Continues the Cycles

May 17th, 2015

As the weather heats up so have the bats. There seems to be a cycle hit each day. Zach Borenstein had his turn yesterday. It was his second cycle in two years. In the first inning he checked off the easy hit with a single. He knocked off the most difficult of the hits with a lead off triple in the third inning. In the fourth he hit his first homerun of the year. He polished off the cycle with a double in the eighth to finish the day 4 for 4. Zach drove in three runs for the day and also stole his second base of the year while drawing his fifth walk. After struggling in AAA he was demoted back down to AA where he has found his bat, hitting .429.

Tim Anderson shook off an 0 for 5 day to strafe five hits the next day in a 5 for 6 day. The White Sox first round draft pick in the 2013 draft also stole two bases to increase his total to 15 for the year and crossed the plate four times. The five hits upped his average to .308. He needs to work on improving his patience at the plate. Tim has a horrible 2 for 35 walk to whiff ratio which can be exploited by more advanced pitchers.

Joey Gallo is finally healthy and hitting bombs. He hit his fourth homerun yesterday in a 3 for 7 day, driving in four runs. For the month of May Gallo has 15 walks in just 14 games, but also 20 whiffs. The Rangers power hitting thirdbaseman will either walk, whiff or hit it out of the park.

His two teammate at Frisco also had days to brag about. Nick Williams also went 3 for 7 with two homeruns and four RBIs. The homerun totals climbed to six for the year and Nick has driven in at least one run in his last five games. A third teammate Nomar Mazara went 3 for 5, slugging his first homerun of the year. He walked twice, drove in three runs and scored thrice. Gallo, Williams and Mazara make for a pretty potent power charge in the Roughrider lineup.

Willy Adames, acquired by the Rays from the Tigers had a 4 for 5 day driving in three runs. He had one extra base hit, a double and three singles. It was enough for him to drive in three runs. Adames has gotten hot in May with a .363 average to raise his overall average to .302.

After struggling at AAA with a .197 average Andrew Aplin was demoted by the Astros to AA. His walk to whiff ratio at AAA was not that bad (16/16) despite the low average and last year he had hit .260 in 100 at bats. Don’t know how long Aplin will stay in AA after a first game of 4 for 5 with two triples and three runs scored and three RBIs. Aplin hit all of two triples in 2014 and he equaled that amount in his first game back at AA, where he is now hitting .800 in a small sample size of one game.

Two other four hit days went to Natanael Delgado and Alberto Hanser. The Angels Delgado had his third four hit day of the year, going 4 for 4 with two triples and three runs batted in. The Dominican outfielder has been heating up in May hitting .467 in low A. Hanser Alberto also went 4 for 4 with two doubles and a triple. He was a homerun away from hitting for the cycle. The Rangers AAA shortstop is now slugging .621 for the month of May.

The day was not without a few good pitching performances. The Cardinals Tim Cooney perhaps had the best, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He finished the day giving up just one hit in seven plus innings, striking out six. The lefthander was having a tough go of it at AAA, but in his last two outings he has allowed just one run in a little over 14 innings.

The Royals Miguel Almonte went five shutout innings, allowing only two hits to pick up his fourth win against one loss. The punch outs were a little sparse with only two. The Dominican righthander has not allowed a run in his last three outings covering 15 innings to lower his overall ERA to 2.73. Miguel has also won his last four starts.

Down a level lower in the Royals minor league system, Eric Skogland did not allow a run in his six innings of work, striking out 10. It was his biggest strikeout performance of the year for the Royals 2014 third round pick.

Chase DeJong also threw six innings of shutout ball, allowing just three hits but only whiffing four. This was a nice surprise after his previous two starts he had given up six runs each in back to back losses. Chase is now 3-3 with a 3.98 ERA.