Minor Stuff - April 28, 2009

The Herd:

-look… I’ve been saying this since picture day at ST when I first watched Freddy Garcia warm up on one of the practice mounds just outside the indoor complex… this is not the solution for a 5th starter… last night, he bombed again in Buffalo and, frankly, he’s taking up a slot that once of the B-Met starters should be maturing in… let him go, promote either Jose Sanchez or Ryan Coultas, and bump up Angel Calero from Lucy, leaving them 5 starters… or, activate either Tobi Stoner or Jake Ruckle, send him back to Binghamton… but, whatever you do, continue the overhaul of one of the worst teams in organized baseball right now (Bisons), and get them a new pitcher.

Oh yeah… Fernando Martinez is batting .243.

5 star prospects don’t hit .243.

The Buffalo Bisons are so snakebit that even when they seem to do things right, the end result just won’t go their way. Consider Sunday’s 4-0 loss to the Syracuse Chiefs before 5,799 in Coca-Cola Field. Even though the fourth home shutout of the season dropped the Herd to 2-14, this was not the same old-same old we’ve seen thus far. The Bisons fell behind on Freddie Bynum’s leadoff home run to right off Dillon Gee (0-3) but quickly recovered and looked headed for a big inning in the bottom of the first. Then the umpires stepped in and the game was changed for good. Here’s how the Buffalo first started: Cory Sullivan and Andy Green led off with singles and Green alertly sped to second on a throw to third. Fernando Martinez lined out to second baseman Pete Orr and things then unraveled when Michel Abreu cracked a grounder to Kory Casto at third. Sullivan got caught in a rundown between third and home and eventually retreated to third as Green hit that bag as well. The Chiefs tagged Sullivan as he was on third but Green appeared to alertly take off back to second just before that tag was made, which would have kept both runners alive. The ball got away after an errant throw by pitcher Collin Balester and Sullivan loped home with a run that would have put Buffalo in a 1-1 tie, leaving Green at third and Abreu at second. But wait. The umpires called a conference on the infield and talked for a few minutes before calling Sullivan out. Third-base coach Luis Natera had to keep pushing Green away from the umpires and manager Ken Oberkfell’s ire kept growing until the manager finally spiked his cap hard to the ground, earning an instant heave-ho from crew chief Chris Conroy.


The Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, got a leadoff homerun from Cory Sullivan, but couldn't ride it to a win, falling 7-1 to Syracuse Monday night. It was actually Syracuse that got on the board first, plating a run in the first. Lastings Milledge pounded a one-out double to left field and advanced on a groundout. He then scored on a single up the middle from Joel Guzman. The Chiefs took the early 1-0 lead. Sullivan had a response in the bottom of the inning, however. Buffalo's center fielder sent Marco Estrada's second offering down the right field line and into Heron's Landing. It was Sullivan's first homer of the season and it tied the game at one. But the equal score only lasted until the fifth inning when Seth Bynum and Luke Montz led off with back-to-back base hits. Bynum singled up the middle and Montz doubled down the left field line. Montz's hit scored Bynum. Now up 2-1 with still nobody out, Brad Eldred pinch hit for Chiefs pitcher Marco Estrada. Eldred took a walk to put runners on first and second. Cory Patterson then sacrificed the runners over in time for a walk to Willie Harris to load the bases. Joel Guzman then singled to score Montz and to lift the lead to 3-1.


Nice 5.0 innings from Jenry Mejia… 0ER… 5Ks… I’m telling ya, this is the real deal.


Juan Legares’ conversion to the outfield seems to be working out good… the ex-prospect is playing everyday in right field and is hitting in the .300 range, where he was originally proected when he was signed as a 16-year old. Here’s the good news… this ‘flop’ just turned 20…

The Charleston RiverDogs (11-7) completed the three-game sweep of the Savannah Sand Gnats (10-8) Monday night with a, 6-1, victory in front of 4,831 at Riley Park. Things looks promising in the first as the Sand Gnats were able to get to 18-year-old starter Manny Banuelos when Eric Campbell drove in a run with two outs to put Savannah in front, 1-0. The lead was short lived as Charleston plated a run in the bottom half. Ray Kruml singled, stole second and then proceeded to steal third. When Kruml went to third, Kai Gronauer’s throw got by Jefry Marte and into left field allowing Kruml to score and tie the game. Another error would lead to Charleston’s second run of the game as Jeurys Familia attempted to pick off Taylor Grote at second but threw the ball into center field allowing him to move to third. Chase Weems singled him in to give Charleston a lead they wouldn’t give back. Savannah’s best opportunity to tie the game came in the third. Juan Lagares doubled to start the inning but Fernandez followed with a strikeout. An infield single by Marte put runners at the corners with one out for Wilmer Flores, who struck out for the second out. After a Campbell walk, Gronauer hit the ball to the hole on the right side and was thrown out at first as he slid in head first trying to beat the throw. Familia (2-1) didn’t pitch poorly for the Gnats as he allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits in 5.1 innings.

Prospects :

From the gaggle of radar-touting scouts, to San Diego State president Stephen Weber, to former NFL MVP Brian Sipe, to basketball coach Steve Fisher, to national-TV announcers, to a trio of national sportswriters, everyone, it seems, was in the record crowd of 3,072 at Tony Gwynn Stadium to see Stephen Strasburg. And the Aztecs ace didn't disappoint, striking out 14 in seven innings en route to a 4-3 win over Texas Christian in a key Mountain West Conference baseball game Friday night. By beating No. 16-ranked TCU (25-12, 6-4 MWC), the No. 19 Aztecs (28-15, 10-6) moved into a tie with Brigham Young for second place in the conference, one game behind New Mexico. Strasburg's only blemish was a seventh-inning, three-run home run allowed to Bryan Holaday. "I didn't want (a) walk there with two men on," said Strasburg, who improved to 9-0 and now has 135 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings. "I threw a fastball over the plate, and I paid for it. Strasburg's fastball was clocked consistently between 97-99 mph, hitting 100 on at least two pitches. The bulk of his strikeouts, however, came on his knee-buckling slider.


New Met: RP Ken Takahashi - The New York Mets announced that they have selected the contract of Buffalo Bisons LHP Ken Takahashi. Takahashi, 40, posted a 0.77ERA in six relief appearances with the Herd this season (11.2IP, 10H, 6BB, 9K). He has made five consecutive scoreless appearances out of the Bisons bullpen, a stretch of 10.0 innings.


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