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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Starting pitching shines

A couple outings were short, but the starters were strong Tuesday

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Snell could probably be a little more efficient, but I still can't imagine International League hitters will have to deal with him more often. Same goes for Brent Honeywell in Florida.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (4-2)

The Bulls ran out of pitchers, and it cost them in their 10-inning, 6-5 loss to Gwinnett. Nick Franklin tied the game in the ninth with a two-run home run, but with no available pitchers, Durham had to turn to outfielder Dayron Varona in the 10th. He would allow a run, and the Bulls could not answer. Blake Snell lasted just 4 2/3 innings, but they were scoreless and featured nine strikeouts.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (2-3)

He didn't last long enough to get credited with a win, but Chih-Wei Hu was solid in Montgomery's 7-2 win over Mississippi. The first four outs he recorded were via strikeout, and he finished with nine in four scoreless innings, allowing just five hits and a walk. Already up 2-0, the Biscuits broke the game open with a four-run fourth. With two more runs on the board, Jake Hager doubled in a pair of runs with two outs.

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (2-4)

Brent Honeywell was sharp, and Cristian Toribio's big swing late led Charlotte to a 2-1 win over Clearwater. After allowing just a run in his season debut, Honeywell outdid himself Tuesday, striking out six and yielding just four hits and a walk over six scoreless innings. A solo home run off Yonny Chirinos in the seventh briefly gave the Threshers the lead, but Cristian Toribio's two-run homer a half inning later proved decisive. Brandon Koch struck out four over two scoreless innings.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (3-3)

Bowling Green tallied a pair of runs in the first but did not tack on in its 10-inning, 3-2 loss to South Bend. Joe McCarthy drove in both runs with a single, but the Hot Rods managed just five hits over the next nine innings. Alexis Tapia allowed a pair of runs in six innings with five strikeouts, and South Bend eventually won the game off knuckleballer Taylor Hawkins.


Notable performances

AAA OF Mikie Mahtook: 2-for-2, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 BB, 1 SB
AAA UT Taylor Motter: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
AA IF Jake Hager: 3-for-4, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBI
A OF Angel Perez: 2-for-2, 1 BB
AAA LHP Blake Snell: 4 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K
AA RHP Chih-Wei Hu: 4 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K
AA RHP Jared Mortensen: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
A+ RHP Brent Honeywell: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
A+ RHP Brandon Koch: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K
A RHP Alexis Tapia: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

AAA OF Jake Goebbert: 0-for-5
AAA IF Richie Shaffer: 0-for-5, 2 K
AA OF Jake Bauers: 0-for-4, 3 K
A+ UT Jace Conrad: 0-for-4, 2 K
AAA RHP Kyle McPherson: 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
AAA RHP Mark Sappington: 1 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
AA LHP Steve Ascher: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
A RHP Taylor Hawkins: two-thirds IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 0 K

Today's games (probables courtesy of

Durham v. Gwinnett 11:05 AM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Matt Andriese (0-0, 6.75) v. Mike Foltynewicz (0-0, 2.25)

Montgomery v. Mississippi 11:35 AM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Jacob Faria* (0-1, 4.76) v. Dylan Unsworth (0-0, -.--)

Charlotte @ Clearwater 12 PM (radio stream)
Tom Eshelman (0-1, 1.80) v. Hunter Wood (1-0, 0.00)

Bowling Green @ South Bend 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Jose Mujica (1-0, 1.80) v. Kyle Twomey (0-0, 2.25)

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Gwinnett Braves
4-2 (T-1st in IL South)
Offense: 21 R (1st) .747 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.75 ERA (9th) 1.58 WHIP (13th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Tyrell Jenkins (14), RHP John Gant (16), 3B Rio Ruiz (17), LHP Brady Feigl (23), RHP Aaron Blair

Mississippi Braves
1-5 (5th in SL South)
Offense: 10 R (10th) .559 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 2.94 ERA (6th) 1.27 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Sean Newcomb (1), SS Ozzie Albies (4), RHP Lucas Sims (11), RHP Chris Ellis (13), OF Dustin Peterson (20), RHP Jason Hursh (21), SS Johan Camargo (25), RHP Mauricio Cabrera (27), RHP Andrew Thurman (28), RHP Rob Whalen (29)

Clearwater Threshers (Philadelphia)
3-3 (T-2nd in FSL North)
Offense: 21 R (3rd) .833 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 4.11 ERA (5th) 1.20 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: CF Carlos Tocci (10), SS Malquin Canelo (12), 2B Scott Kingery (14), LHP Elniery Garcia (22), 1B Kyle Martin, RHP Tom Eshelman

South Bend Cubs
3-2 (4th in MWL East)
Offense: 12 R (8th) .779 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 1.80 ERA (1st) 1.40 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Eloy Jimenez (9), LHP Justin Steele (14), OF Donnie Dewees (17), LHP Carson Sands (22), OF Eddy Julio Martinez (28)