The organization dropped three of four contests Wednesday, with the Loons narrowly escaping a South Bend no-hit bid.
Player of the day
Cody Bellinger hit home runs number four and five as part of a two for four night with the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Los Angeles’ top prospect saw time in center and at first base in the loss. Bellinger is now hitting .360/.439/.740 in the season’s first month.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City could not hold its early four run lead, falling to the Nashville Sounds (Athletics) 9-8 on Wednesday night. Jair Jurrjens struggled through his four and two-thirds innings of work, surrendering five runs on four hits and five walks.
Beyond Bellinger’s big night, Willie Calhoun chipped in with three hits in five at bats with a double, and Darnell Sweeney hit his second home run of the season as part of a three for four game.
The Drillers rallied in the middle innings after a slow start, only to fall to the Frisco Rough Riders (Rangers) 8-7. The day did not start well for Isaac Anderson, who exited after four innings, having surrendered five runs on seven hits. A Pair of home runs by Kyle Garlick and one from Jacob Scavuzzo helped start a seven run rally between innings five and six, but Frisco would add one in the ninth to win it late.
Tim Locastro had the best afternoon for the Drillers, going 4-4 with a double to raise his season average above .400 in the early going.
Here are some additional notes on players, with this writer having taken in the early game Wednesday:
Jose Miguel Fernandez is a well built infielder, with a broad shouldered, muscular frame. He displayed smooth infield actions and a solid arm for a second baseman, but Fernandez is not quick, with just average range and is also below average from home to first. Fernandez is eager to attack at the plate, but will need more refinement in his approach to hit for average against better pitching. Fernandez is strong enough for at least average pop at second, but power was not on display today.
Edwin Rios looks like he might have slimmed down some from last off-season, and doesn’t look as out of place at third base. He still lacks agility around the bag, but his arm is easy plus and capable of making all the throws. His swing remains long and power laden, he doesn’t have the best bat speed, but contact off the bat is loud. His one single was a ball hit very hard back up the middle.
Isaac Anderson is a slight built right hander with a complete assortment of pitches but no plus option and fringe command in the outing. Anderson has a longer arm action and just average arm speed, and his fastball shows adequate sink in the low 90’s. Anderson’s off speed pitches exceed the potential of his fastball, but both were inconsistent. Anderson’s breaking ball improved as his outing went on, and when right showed big bend in the mid 70’s. Anderson’s 80-82 mph change did not have as much fade as you would expect and he struggled to keep the pitch down, but the potential is there for three fringe pitches Anderson can throw for strikes.
Class-A Rancho Cucamonga
The Quakes scored two runs in the seventh to rally past the Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies) and salvage the Dodgers’ only win on the farm. Caleb Ferguson struggled to find the zone in his three and two-thirds innings of work, walking five and allowing one run despite not allowing any hits. Tony Gonsolin earned the win with three innings of one hit ball, allowing the offense to mount its comeback.
Will Smith had a big night at the plate, going three for four with a double and a home run. Ariel Sandoval followed Smith’s seventh inning home run with one of his own, his first on the season.
Class-A Great Lakes
A seventh inning Oneil Cruz single was all the offense the Loons could muster in a 3-0 loss to the South Bend Cubs. Dustin May made his third start of the season and reached the fifth inning, striking out three while allowing just three hits and no walks. Luis De Paula took the loss by surrendering two runs in just one and two-thirds innings of work.
The Loons offense was stymied by the Cubs’ starter Dylan Cease. The Loons second and third hitters suffered the most, with Brendon Davis striking out three times and Carlos Rincon striking out four, respectively.
Triple-A: Los Angeles recalled OF Brett Eibner and INF Chris Taylor, sending RHP’s Justin Masterson and Jair Jurrjens to Oklahoma City from Extended Spring Training. The Dodgers promoted Mike Ahmed up from Double A Tulsa, starting a shuffle of middle infielders up the system.
Double-A: Erick Mejia was assigned to the Tulsa Drillers, taking Mike Ahmed’s spot on the roster.
Class-A: Infielder Zach McKinstry was promoted from Great Lakes to Rancho Cucamonga to take Mejia’s spot on the Quakes. RHP Chris Mathewson and RHP Chris Powell both swapped places, with Powell heading to Extended Spring Training and Mathewson to Rancho Cucamonga. Gavin Lux was assigned to the Loons from Extended Spring Training to make his full season debut Thursday.
3:05 p.m.: Great Lakes (Devin Smeltzer) vs. Ft. Wayne (Logan Allen)
5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Colt Hynes) at Northwest Arkansas (Miguel Almonte)
5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Joe Gunkel) vs. Nashville (TBD)
7:35 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Dennis Santana) at Lancaster (TBD)