MMN Recap: Bats Quiet As Affiliates Go 1-3

By Dilip Sridhar

April 22, 2018 No comments

Drew Gagnon/Photo by Jennifer Nieves

El Paso (12-5) 13, Las Vegas (5-12) 4   Box Score

It was a relatively quiet night for the 51s’ offense. Borenstein provided an RBI single in the first and two more scored in the second on a Drew Gagnon sac bunt which Chihuahuas catcher Raffy Lopez threw away. Those two runs were unearned, and the only other run was courtesy of Borenstein again, with his second RBI single of the night in the seventh inning. Borenstein has really erupted offensively after a slow start. Bryce Brentz continues to heat up, and while he did not homer last night, he did walk three times.

  • RHP Drew Gagnon (L, 0-1, 4.60 ERA): 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 6 K
  • RHP Kevin McGowan (0-1, 5.40 ERA): 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, BB, 2 K
  • LHP Matt Purke (0-0, 8.64 ERA): 1.1 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 2 K
  • RHP Drew Smith (1-0, 9.00 ERA): 1.1 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 3 K
  • RHP Jamie Callahan (0-1, 9.72 ERA): 0.2 IP, 2 H, R, 2 K

Gagnon was solid for four out of the five innings he pitched, but he had a terribly rough time in the second. After he gave up his first run on a wild pitch with two outs, he intentionally walked Shane Peterson to face the Chihuahuas’ starting pitcher, Walker Lockett. Well, that strategy backfired, as Lockett sent one over the wall in left center field to put the Chihuahuas up 4-1. Gagnon allowed two more singles before finally getting out of the inning and settling down for the next three.

McGowan, fresh off playing left field the previous night, gave up a couple runs in the sixth, but Purke came in and had a very solid outing after a dreadful start to the season. Smith, who had thrown 4.2 scoreless innings in his first taste of Triple-A, threw a perfect eighth inning before imploding in the ninth. After allowing a solo home run, his command completely escaped him as he allowed three walks and four more hits in the inning, finally giving up six runs total. There were some positives to take note of, but overall this was yet another ugly night for the 51s’ pitching staff.

Binghamton Rumble Ponies (6-7) 4, Erie Seawolves (5-10) 2 Box Score

Knuckleballer, Mickey Jannis made his AA season debut for the Rumble Ponies. Jannis faired about as well as one would think a knuckleballer would fare in Las Vegas. Jannis has had more than 120 innings in each of the last two seasons at Double-A. He might be needed in Triple-A soon with Corey Oswalts promotion.

Keep an eye on Austin McGeorge, the Mets have many relief prospects but McGeorge could be someone who makes an impact. He has a deceptive delivery similar to Paul Sewald. Could move up to Las Vegas sometime this season. Hanhold came over in the Neil Walker trade. His fastball has reportedly hit 99 MPH and it has some movement on it. Hanhold at 6’5″ is definitely big enough to have elite velocity.

McNeil is slashing .231/.333/.692 this season. His .692 slugging would lead the Eastern League if he qualified. I’d expect it to go down though but I also expect to see an increase in OBP. Should move to Vegas quickly if he is healthy.

Jupiter Hammerheads (13-3) 3, St. Lucie Mets (7-8) 2 Box Score

The good on Taylor’s line was that he did not walk anyone. The bad is that he has given up six runs in 10 innings this season. The seven strikeouts from Taylor was a good sign. Ryder Ryan has faced 35 batters this season and struck out 14 of them. Ryan has been great and should have destroyed than narrative that he was just a 30th round draft pick. Ryan has been a good pitcher before. He had a 1.67 ERA in the first half of 2017 before tiring in the second half. He is new to this whole pitching thing. Ryan has thrown 20.2 scoreless innings dating back to 2017. Joseph Zanghi also looks like a legit relief prospect. The hard thrower has not walked a batter among the 22 that he has faced. This is continuing from the two very good years that he had in 2016 and 2017.

Desmond Lindsay made his return to the lineup. He had missed the previous four but returned as the DH today. Gimenez has slashed .259/.313/.414 to begin 2018 but he is 3.5 years younger than the average number of players in the league. Given that he is still adjusting, I would bet that he figures it out sooner rather than later.

Hickory Crawdads (6-9) 4, Columbia Fireflies (10-6) 1 Box Score

His win-loss record might now show it (it doesn’t show much anyway) but Simon has been rebounding from a poor 2017. Simon struggled all of last season and he was not great last night but he has been significantly better in 2018 than he was in 2017. Lets hope he keeps it up. Ford is an interesting guy because he can get strikeouts but he is not a particularly big or overpowering guy. He’s a high-80s pitcher, which means he needs great control going forward.

Safe to say Blake Tiberi can really hit. He might be a little too advanced for this league so his real test might come at St. Lucie. He should be up there soon if he keeps this up. All told the Columbia offense did not do much despite their early season prowess.

The Las Vegas 51s portion of the recap was done by Mojo Hill.