Rainy Lara’s advanced-A debut was very nice: 8 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. One opposing manager in the SAL who I talked to thought Lara (pictured) could be a mid-rotation starter because of his strike-throwing ability, but that’s a much more optimistic assessment than most scouts, the most optimistic of whom think he could be a back-end starter or middle reliever.
Both members of the left side of the St. Lucie infield 3B Aderlin Rodriguez and SS Matt Reynolds committed errors, their 10th and 9th respectively. Yeesh. On the more positive defensive side, LF Dustin Lawley threw out a pair of runners at the plate, which is cool.
DH Travis Taijeron had two hits, including his fifth homer of the year to push his season line to .292/.383/.503 in 49 games. The 19 doubles are nice, but the 51 strikeouts are scary. The 24-year-old is lean and strong, but he’s old for the FSL and there’s too much swing and miss in there for me to think he’s a big league regular.
A: @ Savannah Sand Gnats 8, Kannapolis Intimidators 2 (continuation of suspended game from May 3)
@ Kannapolis Intimidators 5, Savannah Sand Gnats 4 (11 innings)
These two teams played a lot of baseball on Thursday. They picked up game one, which was suspended by rain at the beginning of May, in the fourth inning and then took the nightcap, which was scheduled for seven innings, all the way to 11 for a 17-inning evening of baseball.
LF Stefan Sabol had a big game one, going 4-for-4 with a homer, his second of the year. Oh, and C Kevin Plawecki had two doubles in game one and two more hits in game two? Of course he did.
RHP Matt Koch (3-2, 4.91) started game two and was ok: 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. He’s 92-95, sitting 93 or 94 on good nights and he’s fanned 34 and walked just one. However, he gives up hits – 49 in 40.1 innings. There’s plenty to work with here, but the results have been less impressive than the fastball velocity might suggest.
After sitting in game one, CF Brandon Nimmo was 2-for-5 with two strikeouts in game two, his first two hits since returning from the DL on May 28. The 20-year old is now hitting .304/.405/.402 in 26 games.