Thursday in the Dodgers minors saw Tony Gonsolin make a rehab start in Triple-A, Hunter Feduccia romping in Albuquerque, Michael Busch still reaching base, Nick Nastrini making his 2023 debut, Braydon Fisher impressing in his Tulsa debut, plus scoring from second base on a sacrifice fly.
Player of the day
Hunter Feduccia stayed hot during this week’s Albuquerque residency, driving in four runs on Thursday, the third straight day the Triple-A Oklahoma City catcher drove in at least four runs.
Feduccia had a pair of doubles in five at-bats, which amazingly counted as his worst game in the last three.
Hunter Feduccia has his third straight game with at least 4 RBI!— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) April 20, 2023
Yes, you read that right. He collects his second double of the day, pushing OKC's lead to 8-4 in the 7th inning. pic.twitter.com/uyk4OLb3Uf
Feduccia in the first three games against the Isotopes batted 16 times, and reached base 11 times, including 10 hits, two home runs, and three doubles. He drove in 13 runs in the series so far, thanks to incredible production with runners on base.
He’s driven in 11 of 17 runners on base in Albuquerque, and drove home seven of the 10 runners in scoring position.
Feduccia was already off to a good start this season before this series, entering Tuesday with six hits in 22 at-bats with two home runs, and far more walks (13) than strikeouts (seven), hitting .273/.528/.546, But after the first three games in Albuquerque, Feduccia is hitting .432/.577/.838 on the season, leading the Pacific Coast League in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS.
He raised his OPS 342 points in three days. Early-season stats are amazing.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Another day, another early lead for Oklahoma City, who again escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning to hold off the Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies).
William Ceuvas entered the ninth pitching his fifth inning of the day, but with an 8-5 lead he allowed a single and two walks to open the inning. After a strikeout, left-hander Adam Kolarek was brought in and promptly allowed a single, scoring one run.
Then the ground-ball specialist Kolarek induced a grounder that ended the game, with Thursday’s shortstop Bryson Brigman throwing wild to Wednesday’s shortstop Devin Mann at first base, with Mann sprawling to corral the throw while somehow staying on the bag.
Had it all the way, Part II.— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) April 20, 2023
Dodgers win, 8-6!
(Never a dull moment in Albuquerque.) pic.twitter.com/TVKJPevlC3
Tony Gonsolin struck out seven of his 12 batters faced in his first minor league rehab start, allowing a two-run home run in his first game in five weeks. Gonsolin threw 57 pitches in three-plus innings, then added a few more in the bullpen during the fifth inning.
Michael Busch was back at third base on Thursday, but no matter where he’s played this year he’s hit. Busch had a double and walk, and has reached base in all 18 games this season.
Drew Avans had a double and walked twice, scoring a pair of runs. But it was after his double in the fifth inning when he made his mark on this game. On a fly ball hit by Ben DeLuzio was caught in a slide in right center field by Brian Doyle, Avans tagged from second base and, after a slight stumble by Doyle before throwing the ball in, just kept running, scoring from second base on what was deemed a sacrifice fly.
A fly ball to deep right-center field turns into a sac fly, thanks to the wheels of Drew Avans who goes 180 feet to score! pic.twitter.com/n7541qbM5I— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) April 20, 2023
“If I see something I’m going to take advantage of it,” Avans said when I interviewed him back in March.
DeLuzio got an RBI on the play.
Nick Nastrini pitched three scoreless innings in his 2023 debut, starting the Drillers’ shutout of the Wichita Wind Surge (Twins). The right-hander was slow-played during spring training and remained at Camelback Ranch to build up his pitch count before joining Double-A.
Nastrini loaded the bases with nobody out in the second, but escaped with two strikeouts and a flyout to center field sandwiched in between, with Jose Ramos unleashing a strong throw home to keep the runners from advancing. Nastrini allowed a single and walked three in his three innings, striking out four.
Kyle Hurt followed Nastrini with two scoreless innings with five strikeouts for the win. Braydon Fisher, promoted from Great Lakes on Wednesday, struck out one over the final two scoreless innings in his Double-A debut to earn the save.
Jonny DeLuca led off the first with a home run. Diego Cartaya and Jorbit Vivas each doubled in the win.
High-A Great Lakes
The powerful catching duo provided drove in every run in the Loons’ home triumph over the South Bend Cubs. Dalton Rushing, who was the designated hitter on Thursday, had two hits and drove in two, including a solo home run in the sixth inning, his first of the season.
Yeiner Fernandez was behind the plate, but at it he had three hits, including a double, and drove in three. Both Rushing and Fernandez each drew a walk as well.
Fresh off winning Midwest League pitcher of the week, Ben Casparius went five innings, allowing only a pair of solo home runs to earn the win, with three strikeouts.
Jake Pilarski pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save on Thursday, but since he didn’t strike anybody out, the right-hander’s strikeout rate fell to 41.7 percent, with 10 strikeouts in 5⅔ innings.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
Peter Huebeck allowed four runs in the first two innings in the Quakes’ loss to the Fresno Grizzlies (Rockies).
After his nine-game hitting streak was snapped on Wednesday, Kyle Nevin doubled and singled on Thursday, and is hitting .490, with 24 hits in 49 at-bats.
Triple-A: Tony Gonsolin joined OKC on a rehab assignment, Andre Jackson was called up to the Dodgers, Yonny Hernández was optioned to Oklahoma City.
Double-A: Nick Nastrini joined Tulsa from extended spring training.
- Oklahoma City 8, Albuquerque 6
- Tulsa 3, Wichita 0
- Great Lakes 5, South Bend 2
- Fresno 6, Rancho Cucamonga 1
- 3:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Justin Wrobleski) vs. South Bend (Brandon Birdsell)
- 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Dylan Covey) at Albuquerque (Phillips Valdez)
- 5:35 p.m.: Tulsa (River Ryan) vs. Wichita (Aaron Rozek)
- 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Jerming Rosario) vs. Fresno (Jordy Vargas)