The Dodger affiliates had three of their top pitching prospects starting on Wednesday night, but only two were able to hold up their end of the bargains. Overall, the Dodgers' minor league teams went 3 and 1 on the night.
Minor League Player of the Day – Rubby De La Rosa - 5 IP, 1 Win, 9 K's, 1 ER, 3 hits, 3 BB's. Rubby recorded the first 6 outs of the game by strikeout and overall had a very solid first outing of 2011. In addition, De La Rosa had only made 80 pitches through his 5 innings so had it not been his first start of the season he probably could have thrown a few more innings.
AAA – It was an interesting night in Albuquerque on Wednesday as 3 different Isotope players left the game due to injury, but the home team was still able to come away with a victory over the Cubs 10 to 7. One night after losing Russell Mitchell to a HBP on the wrist, Justin Sellers (HBP on hand), Juan Castro (strained oblique), and JD Closser (grounder to the face) all went down with injuries to leave the team very short handed. It is for this reason that you see Jerry Sands at 3B in the box score, and Tim Redding in right field. Anyways, Trayvon Robinson got things started for the Topes with his 2nd 3-run homer in as many nights. Trent Oeltjen then crushed homers in consecutive innings, which gave him 3 homers in 2 days and 4 RBI's for the second day in a row. Are you sensing a trend here with the Albuquerque offense with all these homer barrages and streaks? The one man that didn't hit one out, however, was Sands who merely went 1 for 4. On the mound, Jon Link got the start but is apparently still getting stretched out because he lasted just 3.2 innings despite allowing just 2 runs. Merkin Valdez tried to give the game away in the late innings, but Ramon Colon was able to close the door for his 1st save.
AA – Rubby De La Rosa, who had been back in the Dominican Republic attending the funeral for his grandmother, made his first start of 2011 and had very favorable results. As mentioned above, Rubby struck out the side in each of the first two innings and ended the day with 9 K's in 5 innings. De La Rosa also scattered just 3 hits and allowed only 1 run, so the Dodger minor league pitcher and player of the year are both off to great starts in 2011. After Rubby left, David Pfeiffer, Josh Wall, and Javy Guerra were all excellent out of the bullpen which helped the Lookouts record the 6 to 2 win over the Birmingham Barons (White Sox). Nobody really stood out on offense for Chattanooga, although Scott Van Slyke, Kyle Russell, and Jaime Pedroza all had 2 for 4 days.
HiA – On a day that also featured fellow top pitching prospects Zach Lee and Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster struggled in Lake Elsinore as the Quakes lost to the Storm (Padres) 11 to 4. Webster did rack up the K's with 7 and was solid through 4 innings, but in total he gave up 5 runs and 5 walks and never really gave his team a chance to win. The first two pitchers out of the bullpen after Webster didn't fare much better either, but Luis Vasquez did strike out 2 batters in his shutout inning. To complicate matters the Rancho Cucamonga bats were relatively quite on Wednesday as the team managed just one extra base hit on the night, a double by 1st baseman Angelo Songco. Ramon Jean did collect 3 singles, however, and also stole a base.
LoA – Top prospect Zach Lee picked up his 1st professional win in just his 2nd professional start as the Loons held on to beat the Whitecaps (Tigers) 8 to 5. Lee got into early trouble as he allowed 2 hits in the 1st inning and had runners at 2nd and 3rd with just 1 one, but he responded nicely by striking out the next two batters (the #4 and #5 batters in the Whitecaps lineup). That was a sign of things to come as Lee ended up striking out 7 batters in 5 innings of work while allowing just 1 run. Not bad for the 19 year old who now has an ERA of 1.00 through 9 innings. Bret Montgomery relieved Lee and did relatively well for 3 innings, but Raul Burgos had issues in the 9th which forced manager John Shoemaker to use his closer Shawn Tolleson. Tolleson struck out the only batter he faced to pickup his 3rd save, and has now recorded all 7 of his outs this year via the K. On the offensive side of the ball, Baby Bull Jonathan Garcia again had a big day with two doubles and a single in 5 at bats, while Leon Landry got going with a triple and single. In addition, 3rd baseman Jessie Bosnik picked 3 RBI's by recording his first two hits of the year. One final note is that Nick Akins was tossed in the 2nd inning for arguing balls and strikes, although according to the announcer he didn't show up the umpire at all nor did he even turn around to argue.