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Blue Sparks 5-5 / 5/11 2008

Previous Week's Blue Sparks

Swept by the Astro's at home without Oswalt throwing a pitch!!! I never would have thunk it possible. With the big club stinking it up, did the prospects fare any better this week?

Blue Fire

 Andy LaRoche was taken off the DL and sent to AAA to wait for word on his future. Instead of pulling a Loney and going into a tailspin, Andy got busy and busted out this weekend. For the week he hit 3 home runs and drove in 6 runs. His 8 walks show that he's still displaying the plate discipline that makes him one of our fave's. With DeWitt being one of our hottest hitters it is hard to make a case for LaRoche to take his job, but it might be easy to make the case that when Nomar comes off the DL, we might consider releasing him if he doesn't contribute.

One time top Oriole prospect Matt Riley came off the DL and was wild in his 1st appearance on May 6th. Then he got his legs under him and over his next two appearances struck out 7 of the 9 batters he faced. I've been looking for a reason to sneak Riley on to this list and this might be as good as it gets for him so I figure now is the time.

Is anyone hotter in the PCL then Luis Maza? I highlighted him last week for fun but then he got 3 hits 3 times this week, and ended the week with 12 hits and picked up at least one hit in every game. The career infielder even picked up a game in CF. His OPS is now at .992 and keeps creeping towards 1.00.

Terry Tiffee is not slowing down. Average is at .432 and he also collected 11 hits for the week. These guys aren't prospects but they sure are hitting. Wouldn't he make a decent platoon for Lamb in Minnesota?

 James McDonald struck out 16 in 13 innings while pitching two gems during the week. On Monday he outdueled top Marlin pitching prospect Chris Volstad. Volstad was the Marlins number one pick in 2005 and received a 1.6 millon dollar bonus. Not sure what McDonald got when he was an after thought in the 2002 draft but it probably wasn't even the interest that Volstad has earned on his bonus. While all the scouts eyes were on Volstad I'm sure James opened some eyes himself. I'm out on a limb with James as I picked him as my sleeper over at Baseball HQ when they neglected to make him a top 100 prospect. Any time James makes me look good, I feel good.

 Tommy Giles entered the week having a very pedestrian season but he ended the week the talk of the town after his performance on Saturday Night.  He drove in nine runs and hit two home runs on Saturday. Both of the home runs came in the 9th inning and his final hit for the night was a grand slam.  For the week he had  10 hits and 13 runs batted in.  The 24 year old Giles was an 8th round pick in the 2006 draft and one of the few players for the Loons in 2007 who had no problem hitting the ball. After putting up an OPS of .957 he was skipped all the way to AA where he floundered. This season he was sent back to High A and finally showed off the skills that took the Midwest league by storm last year.

Minor League News:

Inland Empire - After being moved to 2nd base this spring, Jamie Pedroza is back to playing SS and Bridger Hunt is now playing 2nd base. Bridger's offense might play better at 2nd.  Hunt was drafted in 2006 the same year as Preston Mattingly and they are now both playing 2nd base.

Great Lake Loons - Alfredo Silverio made his first appearance this week. After tearing up the rookie league last season we expected to see him on the Loons roster but he was held back in extended spring training. Preston Mattingly didn't hit enough to be a Blue Spark but he did get 6 hits in his last three games so maybe the bat is waking up.