Kevin Valdez – Picture by Stephanie Lynn
I thought yesterdays Iowa game was one of the craziest games I’ve ever seen as Iowa won 18 to 16. The Pelicans tonight almost got as crazy. They came out and scored 15 runs against the Charleston RiverDogs. Unlike Iowa, the Pelicans only gave up two runs against their Carolina League rival. I am beginning to think that this Pelicans team might be the most exciting team in the system right now as Buddy Bailey has them clicking on all cylinders.
The come back player of the month for April is going to be Reivaj Garcia. Tonight, he went 3-for-4 with one RBI and he’s now hitting .382 with a .929 OPS. Other Pelicans that were hot tonight included Miguel Fabrizio, who went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Pedro Ramirez broke out of a slump as he went 2-for-4 and the newest Pelican, Cristian More, went 2-for-4 with three RBI. Felix Stevens also added a home run as the Pelicans pounded out 14 hits on the night and they were helped by four Charleston errors.
On the mound, Nick Hull started the game, his first of the year, and went five innings. He gave up one earned run while striking out two and walking two. But the star pitcher of the night, who’s getting to be the star pitcher every night he pitches, is piggy backer Kevin Valdez who went three innings and allowed one hit while striking out four. Valdez lowered his ERA on the year to 0.93, which pretty much cements a spot for him on the All-Star team on Monday.
If I was giving out awards tonight, Myrtle Beach would get most of them as I would roll with Valdez as reliever of the day and Fabrizio would get the hitter of the day.
Back in Mesa…
A couple good signs came out of today’s extended spring training game. One was that Ed Howard played shortstop again, but this time he actually got take some ABs as he went 1-for-3 including a triple. Adan Sanchez continues to rake at the plate along with Raino Coran, who went 1-for-2 with a stolen base. The luminescent Anderson Suriel did not play today.
Meanwhile, Starting Pitcher of the Day Jackson Ferris threw three scoreless frames with 2 Ks, and Zac Leigh and Burl Carraway tossed one scoreless inning apiece. I am wondering if Carraway and Leigh will be joining DJ Herz and heading east on Monday or Tuesday to get back to Tennessee. It’s about that time of year for a big series of promotions.
Meanwhile, in South Bend…Tennessee…and Iowa
Connor Noland did not have the best start of his career as he gave up four earned runs in three innings while only striking out one. He also gave up five hits and walked three as the Peoria Chiefs defeated the Cubs 5 to 2. The only highlights offensively were an oppo shot by Haydn McGeary and two hits by Yohendrick Pinango.
The story isn’t much better in Tennessee.
The Smokies jumped out to a 2-0 lead as Andy Weber hit a two-run home run. And that would be about the only highlight on the night as Birmingham touched up starter Porter Hodge for seven runs in the third inning as they went on to win 10 to 2.
As for Iowa, not much going on there either as the starting pitching and the bullpen continue to look rough as Louisville put up seven runs to Iowa’s one.
I will be back in the morning with a look at MLB Pipeline’s Top 150 Draft List.