Two of Triple-A Baseball’s longest tenured managers Mike Jirschele and Bobby Jones have been friends and rivals on the field for years. This week Jirschele’s Omaha Royals are taking on Jones’ Round Rock Express in the Pacific Coast League playoffs. it provides a chance for the two skippers to continue their friendly rivalry. In the story link, both men talk about their mutual respect and friendship, their individual careers, and their experiences as long time minor league baseball managers. It’s a good read.
They say you can’t teach speed. San Francisco Giants prospect Tyler Graham has more than most and is hoping that his wheels are his ticket to the major leagues. The 27 year old outfielder is leading the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and is second in all of baseball with his career high 55 stolen bases for the Fresno Grizzlies. Graham was a 19th round pick of the Giants out of Oregon State in the 2006 draft. Since turning pro, he has averaged 36 stolen bases a season as he has climbed the ranks in the Giants system. In the story, Graham talks about the art of base stealing and his hope for a September call up.
Tyler Graham stealing bases at record clip — Great Falls Tribune
As September call-ups approach, here is a list of players in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League who have yet to make their Major League Debut and are worth keeping an eye on. These players may make an impact in the majors before the season is over or could be in the conversation come 2012 spring training. Stats represent the cumulative totals across all levels for the 2011 season.
Pacific Coast League Hitters To Watch
Tim Federowicz Los Angeles Dodgers – .278, 22(2B), 11HR, 60RBI
Jordan Pacheco Colorado Rockies – .273, 17(2B), 3(3B), 3HR, 41RBI
Brett Pill San Francisco Giants – .317, 35(2B), 3(3B), 23HR, 98RBI
Ryan Flaherty Chicago Cubs – .284, 29(2B), 2(3B), 16HR, 77RBI
Marwin Gonzalez Chicago Cubs – .296, 26(2B), 2(3B), 4HR, 31RBI
Brett Jackson Chicago Cubs – .274, 17(2B), 4(3B), 18HR, 49RBI, 19SB
Adeiny Hechavarria Toronto Blue Jays – .237, 23(2B), 6(3B), 6HR, 46RBI, 19SB
Adam Loewen Toronto Blue Jays – .315, 42(2B), 3(3B), 16HR, 77RBI (Pitched in MLB With Orioles)
Adron Chambers St Louis Cardinals – .273, 14(2B), 2(3B), 9HR, 38RBI, 17SB
Taylor Green Milwaukee Brewers -.334, 32(2B), 21HR, 82RBI
Caleb Gindl Milwaukee Brewers – .298, 18(2B), 4(3B), 14HR, 47RBI
Logan Schafer Milwaukee Brewers – .328, 17(2B), 5(3B), 3HR, 38RBI
Matt Dominguez Florida Marlins – .248, 16(2B), 11HR, 56RBI
Jacob Goebbert Houston Astros – .296, 22(2B), 4(3B), 11HR, 58RBI
Clint Robinson Kansas City Royals – .315, 29(2B), 19HR, 77RBI
David Lough Kansas City Royals – .310, 25(2B), 10(3B), 8HR, 58RBI
Leonys Martin Texas Rangers – .304, 13(2B), 4(3B), 4HR, 38RBI
Adrian Cardenas Oakland Athletics – .298, 22(2B), 4(3B), 4HR, 38RBI
Michael Taylor Oakland Athletics – .292, 14(2B), 13HR, 49RBI, 10SB
Jeremy Moore Los Angeles Angels – .297, 19(2B), 15(3B), 12HR, 52RBI, 14SB
Alex Liddi Seattle Mariners – .263, 29(2B), 3(3B), 26HR, 91RBI
Carlos Triunfel Seattle Mariners – .274, 22(2B), 2(3B), 6HR, 35RBI
Pacific Coast League Pitchers To Watch
Nick Struck Chicago Cubs – 9-6, 3.64ERA, 123.2IP, 37BB, 97K
Michael Fiers Milwaukee Brewers – 10-3, 5SV, 2.23ERA, 93IP, 29BB, 98K
Daniel Meadows Milwaukee Brewers – 6-3, 2.12ERA, 68IP, 14BB, 68K
Wily Peralta Milwaukee Brewers – 10-7, 3.51ERA, 125.2IP, 49BB, 125K
Jose Rosario Florida Marlins – 3-1, 2.75ERA, 59IP, 17BB, 60K
Kelvin Herrera Kansas City Royals – 6-1, 10SV, 1.26ERA, 57IP, 11BB, 60K
Mike Montgomery Kansas City Royals – 5-7, 5.31ERA, 125.1IP, 64BB, 104K
Wade Miley Arizona Diamondbacks – 7-3, 4.55ERA, 120.2IP, 43BB, 93K
Mark Hamburger Texas Rangers – 6-4, 4SV, 3.73ERA, 70IP, 23BB, 61K
Martin Perez Texas Rangers – 7-4, 3.71ERA, 119IP, 49BB, 105K
Tanner Scheppers Texas Rangers – 2-1, 3.60ERA, 30IP, 10BB, 30K
Andrew Carignan Oakland Athletics – 1-0, 8SV, 2.51ERA, 28.2IP, 11BB, 35K
Carlos Hernandez Oakland Athletics – 10-6, 4.99ERA, 122.2IP, 32BB, 96K
Erasmo Ramirez Seattle Mariners – 9-6, 4.75ERA, 121.1IP, 23BB, 85K
Brad Brach San Diego Padres – 3-5, 29SV, 3.08ERA, 61.1IP, 11BB, 82K
It has been quite a roller coaster season to this point for former Texas Longhorns star Brandon Belt. He’s gone from making the opening day roster of the San Francisco Giants, to being demoted to Triple-A Fresno after hitting just .192, only to be called up again days later, only to break his wrist after being hit by a Trever Miller pitch on May 31st. Now belt is back to being healthy, back in Fresno, and coming off a Pacific Coast League Player of the Week honor. Belt talks about the ups and downs of his season, his desire to get back to San Francisco, and the adjustments he is making as a hitter to make sure his next opportunity in the major leagues lasts longer and is more successful than his first.
Grizzlies’ Belt swinging to get back to Giants — FresnoBee.com
UPDATE: Brandon Belt was recalled by the San Francisco Giants this afternoon.
In one of the more bazaar chain of events I’ve ever seen in the minors, Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers pitcher Luis Mendoza threw a No Hitter last night against the Memphis Redbirds at Memphis. Following the celebration it was announced that the Redbirds official scorer John Guinozzo had overturned his original call of a ninth inning error on left fielder David Lough and had awarded Redbirds shortstop Tyler Greene with a hit. So Mendoza’s No Hitter was no more. Fast forward an hour later and the Storm Chasers send out a tweet stating “The Drama Continues: It’s Back To A No Hitter For Mr. Luis Mendoza”. Following the tweet by the Storm Chasers, Mendoza stopped and signed Redbirds fan Bob Sanders’ completed scorecard with the “No Hitter 7-18-11” inscription on his way out of the clubhouse. Moments later MILB.com the official site of Minor League Baseball came out with a revised, and since slightly edited story that said the Mendoza one hitter was once again a no hitter for now but matter is still undecided and will be headed to the Pacific Coast League office on Tuesday. Now the latest version of the MILB.com story says the matter could, but not will, head to the league office on Tuesday, and outlines the league rule that allows the league office to recommend a change, or change themselves, an official scorer’s ruling if called upon by said scorer to review a certain play. So at least for the moment, as of 4:00 a.m. central time, Mendoza did indeed throw a No Hitter last night. If the No Hitter stands it would be the second of Mendoza’s career. He no-hit the Salt Lake Bees back in 2009.
Mendoza Hurls Controversial No Hitter – MILB.com
UPDATE: Here is the local Memphis newspaper article with comments from Omaha acting manager Tommy Gregg about the controversy.
Omaha’s Luis Mendoza blanks Redbirds for first no-hitter at AutoZone Park – Commercial Appeal
UPDATE to the Update: If you read the first comment in the Commercial Appeal story it is a person claiming to be Guinozzo explaining his thought process behind the original scoring of an error, his overturning to a hit, and his reversal back to the original call of the error.
UPDATE #3: MILB.com has posted video of the David Lough error. It kinda looks like a hit.
VIDEO: David Lough’s 9th Inning Error
UPDATE #4: The Memphis Redbirds filed an appeal with the Pacific Coast League in an effort to get the error, turned hit, turned error, to be changed to a hit once again. No timetable for a ruling by the league.
Memphis Redbirds appeal ruling on Monday’s no-hitter — CommercialAppeal.com
UPDATE #5 The Pacific Coast League office have overturned the error and awarded Tyler Greene a hit, taking the No Hitter away from Luis Mendoza. Read about it at Ballpark Digest who provides complete coverage of the PCL’s ruling.