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Rays prospects and minor leagues: Too many position players pitch

A couple games didn't go the way of the Rays' affiliates Sunday

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Franco, who has been a reliever most of his professional career, has started three games for Montgomery this season. In 17 1/3 innings, he's allowed just one earned run, and he has a 22.3 percent strikeout rate with a 7.1 percent walk rate.

When the Rays drafted him in the seventh round in 2014, Baseball America's report indicated he had average stuff across the board. They sent him to the Arizona Fall League a couple years ago, so they're at least a little intrigued by what he brings to the mound.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (11-6)

Michael McKenry's pro debut on the mound went how one might've expected in Durham's 13-inning, 4-3 loss to Louisville. A day after a doubleheader, the last thing the Bulls probably wanted was a lengthy extra-inning game, but that's what they got after five actual relievers each pitched multiple innings. After two walks, he actually recorded two outs, but a hit batter and wild pitch gave the Bats the win. Jeff Ames made his first start since 2014 and retired all nine he faced.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (9-7)

Mike Franco turned in another strong start in Montgomery's 2-1 win over Mississippi. In his third outing of the season, he tossed a career-best seven innings. He did not allow a run, struck out seven and walked just one batter. Colby Rasmus went 0-for-4 as the Biscuits' DH as he continued his rehab stint. Nathan Lukes singled home the first run of the game in the sixth, and after Mississippi tied the game in the eighth, his sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the inning produced the go-ahead run.

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (7-10)

Charlotte's game was postponed.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (8-8)

Bowling Green also had a position player pitch in its 11-2 loss to Lansing. Starter Adrian Navas allowed a pair of four-run innings in his 3 2/3 innings of work, and the offense never caught up. After Jonah Heim's RBI groundout got the Hot Rods on the board in the sixth, the Lugnuts immediately responded with three more of their own. Infielder Miles Mastrobuoni pitched two scoreless innings.

The preceding stories were not generated by the Associated Press computer using data from, and in cooperation with, MLBAM.


Notable performances


SS Willy Adames: 1-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
1B Casey Gillaspie: 0-for-6, 4 K

RHP Jeff Ames: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
RHP Edwin Fierro: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
RHP Ryne Stanek: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
RHP Michael McKenry: two-thirds IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K


DH Colby Rasmus: 0-for-4
OF Justin Williams: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 K, 1 SB
C Nick Ciuffo: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
1B Joe McCarthy: 2-for-4

RHP Mike Franco: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K
RHP Ian Gibaut: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K


OF Jesus Sanchez: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB
3B Adrian Rondon: 2-for-5, 2 K
CF Josh Lowe: 1-for-4, 1 R, 2 K
IF Miles Mastrobuoni: 1-for-3, 2 BB

RHP Adrian Navas: 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 8 R (7 ER), 7 BB, 2 K
LHP Dalton Moats: two-thirds IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
RHP Miles Mastrobuoni: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Today's games (probables courtesy of

Durham is off

Montgomery v. Mississippi 7:35 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Hunter Wood* (1-1, 3.63) v. Matt Withrow (1-0, 1.69)

Charlotte is off

Bowling Green v. Dayton 7:35 PM (radio stream)
Kenny Rosenberg (0-2, 8.38) v. Wennington Romero (1-0, 2.76)

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Mississippi Braves
8-9 (T-2nd in SL South)
Offense: 51 R (7th) .689 OPS (3rd)
Pitching: 3.80 ERA (8th) 1.30 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Kolby Allard (3), RHP Mike Soroka (4), RHP Patrick Weigel (9), LHP Max Fried (10), 2B Travis Demeritte (19), C Armando Araiza

Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati)
10-7 (T-1st in MWL East)
Offense: 77 R (3rd) .685 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 3.64 ERA (10th) 1.23 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Taylor Trammell (5), C Tyler Stephenson (10), OF T.J. Friedl (15), OF Michael Beltre (23), OF Jose Siri (31)