After last night's first inning, the Rays may be happy Jeremy Hellickson's rehab aligns with Erik Bedard's turn in the rotation. Physically, I would guess he could pitch in the big leagues right now, but if I understand the rehab rules correctly, he'll have a chance to make one more start before he has to be activated or optioned down for more work.
I think Princeton might be my favorite box score to check right now. All of those players are still far away from the big leagues, but there is talent there. You've got high picks from last year (Nick Ciuffo, Riley Unroe and Thomas Milone), some notable international signings (Manny Sanchez and Angel Moreno) and a couple unheralded players performing (Hec Montes and Nic Wilson).
Triple-A Durham Bulls (48-41)
Jeremy Hellickson had what was probably his best rehab appearance of the year in Durham's 5-3 win over Gwinnett. The Bulls conceded the first run of the game to get the second out of the inning after a double steal put two runners in scoring position. In the sixth, Hellickson allowed a leadoff single and exited after recording two outs. Merrill Kelly allowed the inherited runner to score, so Hellickson's final line was two runs allowed on seven hits and two walks in 5.2 innings with four strikeouts. He had one 1-2-3 inning, and 55 of his 86 pitches were strikes (64%).
After Gwinnett scored against Hellickson in the second, the Bulls responded with a three run inning of their own. One run scored on a wild pitch and another on a double play, but Ray Olmedo also had an RBI single. Singles by Mikie Mahtook and Jeremy Moore provided insurance that proved to be vital. Justin Christian hit two doubles and reached base three times along with Jayson Nix. Ali Solis injured his hand and left after one at-bat.
Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (7-8)
Montgomery eventually came out on top in their obnoxiously long 4-3 16 inning win over Tennessee. When Joey Rickard was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the top of the 12th, the Biscuits had an opportunity to finish the game. Instead, Matt Lollis allowed a solo home run to the first batter he faced. In the 16th, Taylor Motter hit an extra innings home run of his own, and Bryce Stowell was able to record three outs despite allowing the tying run to reach base. Stowell struck out four in three innings of work.
For the first nine innings, Cameron Seitzer provided Montgomery's only offense. His pair of solo home runs, including one that tied the game in the ninth, kept the Biscuits in the game. They could only manage nine hits and three walks, and they struck out 17 times. Mike Colla provided a solid start, only allowing a run on four hits and a walk in six innings with three strikeouts. Willie Argo's 0/7 night dropped his average below .200.
Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (3-12)
A former first round pick's grand slam sunk Charlotte in their 7-4 loss to St. Lucie. In a 1-1 tie, Zach Cooper was brought in after Jordan Harrison's first start off the DL ended after five innings. Cooper got the first batter of the inning out, and after loading the bases, Mets prospect Gavin Cecchini hit a grand slam to make it a 5-1 game. Cooper allowed another run before Marcus Jensen finally got them out of the inning.
Charlotte's offense responded with a few late runs, but St. Lucie pitching retired the last seven batters of the game to keep them at arm's length. Tyler Goeddel reached base three times, drove in two runs and stole a base, and Patrick Leonard also had two hits. Harrison allowed just one run on three hits in five innings with four strikeouts and no walks.
Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (5-9)
Bowling Green withstood a late Lake County rally in their 8-5 win over the Captains. Johnny Field's solo home run in the third gave the Hot Rods a 2-0 lead, and an Oscar Hernandez two run double in the fifth capped off a three run inning to make it a 5-0 game. Hernandez doubled again two innings later and scored the first run of two runs to extend the lead to 7-1. Hernandez hit three doubles and drove in four runs, and Field also had three hits.
Through the first seven innings, Brudelin Suero cruised, only allowing one run. He went out to start the eighth and struggled. With two outs, he allowed a bases clearing triple, knocking him out of the game with four runs allowed on 12 hits in 7.2 innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. Luis Cabrera eventually recorded the last four outs to wrap up the game.
Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (13-5)
Hudson Valley was postponed.
Princeton was one out away from a shutout before finally allowing a run in their 7-1 win over Johnson City. Brent Honeywell made his pro debut, and he was good, striking out two and only allowing a hit and walk in two scoreless innings. Roel Ramirez piggybacked on that effort with three strikeouts in five innings, and Steve Ascher was called on for the last six outs. He struck out three, but a two out single ended the shutout.
The Rays took a pretty big lead early in the game with a five run second inning. After a leadoff single by Patrick Grady, Manny Sanchez hit a two run home run, and later in the inning, Hec Montes' three run dinger made it a 5-0 game. They would score two unearned runs later in the game to extend the lead. Riley Unroe had three hits, and Angel Moreno picked up two hits with a pair of stolen bases.
Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (9-3)
The GCL with a 2-1 win. The Rays got on the board first in the third inning when the Twins conceded a run, and they were helpful in the ninth when the Rays walked off. Cade Gotta led off the game with a double, only advanced to third on a Chris Knott double, and with the bases loaded, he came home to score on a wild pitch. Jose Rojas had two hits and reached base three times.were instrumental in extending the GCL Rays' winning streak
Henry Centeno pitched well, and the only run he allowed was unearned. In the fourth, an Isias Alcantar error allowed the leadoff hitter to reach, and he eventually scored on a double. Centeno finished with that unearned run allowed on three hits and two walks in five innings with two strikeouts. Nick Sawyer's strike throwing rehabilitation continued with three strikeouts in two perfect innings of relief.
Star of the day- Seitzer can't be stopped this half.
Goat of the day- Charlotte should be in last place, but somehow Jupiter is actually worse.
Today's games (probables courtesy of milb.com)
*Listed as TBA on milb.com
Scouting the opposition
40-47 (2nd in IL South)
Offense: 365 R (11th) .714 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 4.19 ERA (10th) 1.44 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Cody Martin (11), 3B (12), OF Joey Terdoslavich (15), OF Todd Cunningham (23), RHP Aaron Northcraft (25), RHP Juan Jaime (27), RHP James Hoyt (30)
10-5 (1st in SL South)
Offense: 383 R (3rd) .721 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.61 ERA (4th) 1.27 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP J.R. Graham (3), RHP Jason Hursh (4), 2B Jose Peraza (6), OF Kyle Wren (18), 3B Kyle Kubitza (22), OF Matt Lipka (24), OF Robby Hefflinger (29)
Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota)
8-5 (3rd in FSL South)
Offense: 418 R (1st) .702 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 3.13 ERA (3rd) 1.29 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: CF Byron Buxton (1), RHP J.O. Berrios (5), 2B Jorge Polanco (10), OF Max Kepler (11), OF Adam Brett Walker (17), LHP Mason Melotakis (18), 3B Travis Harrison (25), SS Niko Goodrum (26), RHP Tyler Jones (27), C Stuart Turner (30)
Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati)
6-8 (T-5th in MWL East)
Offense: 355 R (12th) .681 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 3.50 ERA (3rd) 1.25 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Phil Ervin (3), RHP Nick Travieso (8), LHP Amir Garrett (18), RHP Jackson Stephens (19), OF Jonathan Reynoso (20), RHP Sal Romano (25), OF Sebastian Elizalde (26), 3B Tanner Rahier (27), RHP Dan Langfield (30)
11-8 (3rd in McNamara)
Offense: 84 R (9th) .644 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 2.94 ERA (4th) 1.22 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: C Luis Torrens (19), SS Thairo Estrada (28)
8-5 (1st in APP West)
Offense: 74 R (3rd) .715 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 3.29 ERA (4th) 1.36 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Oscar Mercado (19)
4-8 (T-3rd in GCL South)
Offense: 34 R (14th) .585 OPS (15th)
Pitching: 4.11 ERA (10th) 1.32 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Josh Hart (13)