El Paso Chihuahuas (11-5) Won 11-3
The only Padres’ affiliate to win on Friday night, the Chihuahuas manhandled the Reno Aces. After two quiet innings, the Chihuahuas exploded for four runs in the top of the second on a three-run home run by Brett Nicholas and an RBI double by Diego Goris. The Chihuahuas put up four more runs the following inning on a solo home run by Dusty Coleman, an RBI single by Travis Jankowski, and run-scoring sacrifice flies from both Brett Nicholas and Franmil Reyes. Brett Nicholas drove home his fifth run of the night on an RBI single in the sixth and Franmil Reyes finished things off with a two-run homer in the eighth to give the Chihuahuas 11 runs in total.
Despite three late runs from the Aces against Michael Mariot, the Chihuahuas held on for a big victory. Jankowski, Nicholas, Reyes, Goris, and Overton all had two hits while every other Chihuahuas’ starter got at least one hit. Overton, Eric Yardley, and Trey Wingenter combined for seven shutout innings as well. Honestly, the biggest storyline here was probably the pitcher who didn’t take the mound for the Chihuahuas, but more on that a little later.
San Antonio Missions (8-6) Lost 3-2
This was a bit of a weird one, as the Missions were only able to push across one run in the top of the first and one run in the top of the ninth despite getting nine hits in total. When you leave sixteen runners on base, you are bound to lose, even with nine hits. The Missions kicked off the scoring with a leadoff double by Forrestt Allday and an RBI single by Fernando Tatis Jr. Left-hander Jerry Keel took the mound for the Missions and threw seven shutout innings, striking out four and walking just one in the process.
However, the Missions lost the game late as the returning Erik Johnson gave up three runs, of which two were earned, which ended up being enough runs for the RockHounds to hold onto the victory. Rod Boykin drove home a run on a single in the ninth, but it was too little, too late for the Missions.
Lake Elsinore Storm (7-9) Lost 7-5
It’s been a bit of an up and down start for the Storm to start the season and Friday was another down. However, the Storm did kick off the scoring in the top of the third with an RBI single by Edward Olivares. The Quakes quickly responded with runs of their own in the third and the fifth, giving them a two to one lead. Pedro Avila was on the hill for the Storm and gave up two earned on six hits in just five innings.
The Storm were able to take a lead on an eighth-inning rally that included another RBI single by Olivares followed by a throwing error and another single, which gave the Storm a 4-2 lead. However, right-hander Dauris Valdez gave up five earned runs in the bottom of the eighth to cough up the lead. Taylor Kohlwey homered in the top of the ninth to bring the Storm to within two, but that was how the game ended.
Fort Wayne TinCaps (4-11) Lost 9-5
It has been a brutal start to the season thus far for Fort Wayne, but they were expected to take their lumps with such a young and raw roster. Fort Wayne kicked off the scoring in this one with an RBI single by Carlos Belen. The Dragons responded with three runs of their own in the fifth inning after Tom Cosgrove started with four shutout innings. Through his first four innings, Cosgrove gave up only one hit and struck out seven batters. A double, two singles, and two walks spelled the end for Cosgrove, who ended up charged with three runs after his replacement Travis Radke walked in a run in relief.
The TinCaps would not respond offensively again until a seventh-inning explosion plated four runs, led by a two-run home run by Carlos Belen and a two-run single by Jeisson Rosario which gave the TinCaps a 5-3 lead. However, the bullpen once again let the TinCaps down as Henry Henry gave up two runs in the eighth while Fred Schlichtholz gave up four earned runs of his own in the ninth to seal the victory for the Dragons.
Prospects of Note
Eric Lauer – LHP, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
Despite being scratched from his start on Friday night, Eric Lauer is the pretty big storyline here as he is slated to be called up and make his major league debut within the next week. There has been speculation that he would be called up to start in place of Luis Perdomo in Colorado on Tuesday, and that now seems like the likely scenario. The second wave is coming!
Franmil Reyes – RF, Triple-A, El Paso Chihuahuas
2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
James and I talked a little bit about Franmil Reyes on the podcast, and it is so true that this guy can flat out rake. After mashing 25 home runs in 566 plate appearances as a 22-year-old in Double-A, Reyes has already hit three home runs in his first taste of Triple-A action. The Padres have a crowded outfield at the big league level, but it sure would be fun to see Reyes get a big league shot at some point in 2018.
Josh Naylor and Austin Allen – 1B/C, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
4-8, 1 K
Both these guys have been killing it early in the season, so it seemed fair to lump them together. So far, Naylor has slashed .404/.492/.769 with six home runs while Allen has slashed .346/.382/.673 with five doubles and four home runs. If both these guys keep hitting like this, they may not be long for San Antonio.
Erik Johnson – RHP, Double-A, San Antonio Missions
1 IP, 2 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K
Just wanted to put this blurb here because Erik Johnson made his return from Tommy John surgery on Friday night. The crown jewel in the James Shields trade (Nah, I’m just kidding), Johnson looks to rebuild his strength and possibly return to the big league roster.
Pedro Avila – RHP, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm
5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Maybe it was just pitching against inferior competition last year, but the 21-year-old right-hander has not had the same success he had in Fort Wayne last year. Sure his results are still solid overall, but he has struck out just 10 batters in 16.2 innings this year after striking out 170 in 129 innings overall last year.
Edward Olivares – OF, High-A, Lake Elsinore Storm
2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI
We all still miss Yangervis Solarte, but Edward Olivares can make it hurt a little less if he keeps up his hot early season performance. The young outfielder now has 19 hits in total, including three doubles and two home runs as well as a 8:4 K/BB ratio, which isn’t too bad by today’s standards.
Jeisson Rosario – OF, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
4-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB
Everybody already knew that Rosario was an athletic specimen, but now he’s translating that into tremendous on-field success. Still barely 18 years old, Rosario has already walked 15 times to just nine strikeouts while sporting a wacky .289/.500/.395. The power has still yet to develop, but a .500 OBP guy at the top of the lineup is definitely worth watching even without lots of in-game power.
Tom Cosgrove – LHP, Low-A, Fort Wayne TinCaps
4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K