Blue NotesThe big news for the week was the return of top pitching prospect Scott Elbert to the Suns roster. Some of us were getting a tad worried that the delay in Elbert being added to a roster this spring meant he was having more health problems. This started to ease several weeks ago when BA reported that he was throwing 90-95 in extended spring training and that his addition to a minor league roster was imminent. This turned out to be true and he made his 1st appearance on Tuesday Night and followed that up with a solid outing last night. The plan seems to be to let him work out of the bullpen until he builds up his arm strength.
In other Jacksonville Suns news, Cody White was promoted from Inland Empire(High A) to the Suns rotation(AA) and made his 1st start on Saturday Night. In a surprise move to me Rick Asadoorian was released. He was a converted position player and I guess it wasn't working out. Old insurance veteran catcher Rene Rivera was promoted to AAA and Gabriel Gutierrez was promoted to the Suns to replace Rivera as the back up catcher.
In AAA news Andy LaRoche has played 2nd base most of the week and was showing little power until he bashed a 3 run home run on Friday night. Typically he was then hit by a pitch on Saturday Night and left the game early. He did play on Sunday, collecting two hits so I guess he's okay.
High A news from Inland had some interesting transactions. The real news of note was Josh Bell being put on the DL on June 3rd. I'll try to find out what the injury is. Other transactions were filling out the roster. Little used Estaban Lopez was brought up to replace Gabriel Gutierrez. LHP David Alan Pfeiffer who hadn't pitched since May 6th was added back on the roster. This last move was a puzzler. Scott Van Slyke who has not hit at any level since being drafted was promoted. He had an OPS of .493 in low A but the son of former major leaguer Andy Van Slyke is now plying his trade for Inland. Go Figure.
Great Lake Transactions in June.
06/02/08 Wilfredo Diaz added to roster
06/02/08 Jonathan Dutton added to roster
06/02/08 Kyle Smit placed on DL
06/02/08 Robert Blevins placed on DL
06/01/08 Parker Dalton placed on seven-day DL
06/01/08 Justin Fuller promoted to Class A Advanced Inland Empire
06/01/08 Preston Mattingly activated
06/01/08 Joseph Becker activated from DL
Carlos Santana makes the list again as he clubbed 3 home runs for the week. With Lucas May in an extended slump in AA, Carlos continues to stake his claim as the best catching prospect in the organization and maybe one of the best in baseball.
Jamie Pedroza had 4 multiple hit games during the week and has now pulled his average up to .266 since moving back to SS. After hitting only .163 in April he smacked .349 in May and continues to keep his average above .300 in June.
Justin Fuller made the most of his 1st 20 at bats in AA, posting an OPS over 1000. But then he went over tonight to drop his OPS to 912. This is probably as good as it gets for Fuller but it was good enough to make it to the list. Fuller has been playing 2nd base with Lara moving over to 3rd base while Bell is on the DL.
Andrew Lambo may have rediscovered his stroke as he reeled of five multi hit games including one game where he collected 4 hits. He added two home runs and now has his average back up .292 after watching it drift down toward .250. His .830 OPS is now back to 10th in the league. So far in June he is flirting with .400 and has his OPS over 1.100.
While Alfredo Silverio is spanking base hits all over the field his plate discipline has to be a concern. In his 119th plate appearance tonight he finally took his 1st walk. His hitting streak also came to an end as he took an over in the 2nd game of a doubleheader. Until tonight he had at least a 10 game hitting streak and collected multiple hits 5 times in those 10 games but with an OBP (.300) below his average(.308) he is having a hard time cracking an .800 OPS.
22 year old Victor Garate continues to excel as a starting pitcher with two solid effort s last week. In the 5 games he's started he has now pitched 25 innings,20 hits, 6 runs, 8 walks, and 29 k's.
Francisco Felix pitched one of the gems of the year in relief on June 6th. He faced 9 batters and struck out eightof them. The 24 year old does boast the best WHIP on the team at 1.08.
Xavier Paul has quietly been moving his numbers upward after a miserable to start to his AAA career. With 5 multi hit games this week he took his average above .300 for the first time this year. He is now sporting an .834 OPS which may not be much for Vegas but at least he's showing something. So far in June he has a 1.132 OPS.
His fellow teammate Justin Orenduff has also struggled much of the year in AAA but last week, he also got off the ground with a solid outing. On June 5th he pitched his best game of the year with a 5 innings outing in which he struck out 7 with no walks and no runs. Now he needs to follow that up. I've said that before and rarely does he follow it up.