Today is the day! @RaysBaseball will introduce the "opener" strategy in the Minor Leagues (A+, AA, AAA). This groundbreaking idea has turned pitching upside down. But more importantly, today's change could indicate something much greater. My take is belowhttps://t.co/YRl3sValdI— John Vittas (@JohnVittas3) June 3, 2018
We’ve now had Durham and Charlotte use The Opener in the last few days. I’m not sure how much value it has in player development. In the majors, every team should work to create the most favorable matchups possible, but does it help minor leaguers prepare for the majors?
Triple-A Durham Bulls (31-24)
Yonny Chirinos had a solid rehab appearance in Durham’s 4-2 loss to Pawtucket. After allowing a home run to the second batter of the game, he settled in and didn’t give up any more runs, striking out four batters in four innings. He threw 38 of his 54 pitches for strikes. The Bulls outhit Pawtucket, 11-9, but didn’t have a hit with runners in scoring position and stranded nine runners.
1B Jake Bauers: 0-for-5, 1 K
SS Willy Adames: 1-for-4, 1 K
RF Justin Williams: 2-for-4
LF Kean Wong: 3-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 SB
RHP Yonny Chirinos: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
RHP Forrest Snow: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
RHP Jaime Schultz: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Durham’s site offers this recap.
Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (27-29)
J.D. Martin was sharp in Montgomery’s 5-0 win over Mississippi. The knuckleballer turned in his best start of the season, striking out a season-high seven batters and only giving up two hits and three walks in six scoreless innings. The Biscuits scored first on a Nathan Lukes RBI groundout in the second, and he drove in the fifth run of the game in the seventh.
3B Jake Cronenworth: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HBP
LF Ryan Boldt: 0-for-4, 1 BB, 2 K
DH Nick Solak: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
2B Brandon Lowe: 3-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB
SS Jermaine Palacios: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 K
RF Nathan Lukes: 3-for-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI
RHP J.D. Martin: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K
LHP Matt Krook: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (25-27)
Charlotte hammered Bradenton by a 10-1 score. The Stone Crabs only outhit the Marauders 12-11, but they also drew 10 walks to maintain a steady parade around the bases. Already leading 4-0, Charlotte blew the game open in the fifth when it batted around and scored four runs, capped by Brendan McKay’s bases-loaded walk. After J.D. Busfield threw a scoreless first, Kenny Rosenberg struck out six and allowed a run in 4 1⁄3 innings.
SS Lucius Fox: 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB
1B Brendan McKay: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K
RF Jesus Sanchez: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI
CF Josh Lowe: 0-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K
LHP Kenny Rosenberg: 4 1⁄3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
Charlotte’s site offers this recap.
Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (36-19)
Bowling Green scored six unanswered runs to earn a 7-2 win over West Michigan. An inning after the Whitecaps went up 2-1, the Hot Rods scored four in the fifth to go ahead for good. Jim Haley led off the inning with a home run, and Moises Gomez’s two-run single capped the scoring. Tobias Myers pitched the longest outing of his season, allowing two runs — one earned — in six innings.
2B Vidal Brujan: 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SB, 1 CS
SS Taylor Walls: 0-for-4, 1 K
DH Ronaldo Hernandez: 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
1B Jim Haley: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
3B Adrian Rondon: 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
RHP Tobias Myers: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 5 K
Monday’s games (probables courtesy of milb.com)
Durham is off.
Montgomery @ Mississippi 8 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Genesis Cabrera (4-3, 3.62) vs. Touki Toussaint (2-5, 3.90)
Charlotte vs. Dunedin 6:35 p.m. ET (radio stream)
Brock Burke (1-4, 4.84) vs. Zach Logue (0-0, 0.00)
Bowling Green is off.
*Listed as TBA on milb.com
Scouting the opposition
25-31 (3rd in SL South)
Offense: 225 R (8th) .687 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.93 ERA (6th) 1.43 WHIP (9th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Kyle Wright (4), C Alex Jackson (10), RHP Bryse Wilson (12), RHP Touki Toussaint (14), LHP Ricardo Sanchez (19), RHP Enderson Franco
Dunedin Blue Jays
21-32 (6th in FSL North)
Offense: 196 R (9th) .659 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 3.54 ERA (5th) 1.31 WHIP (7th)
Top-30 prospects: RHP Nate Pearson (4), SS Logan Warmoth (8), C Riley Adams (21), IF Kevin Smith (26), RHP Yennsy Diaz (30)