Around The Minors; Postseason Excitement


Aug 20, 2013; Ft Myers, FL, USA; Charlotte Stone Crabs pitcher

Lenny Linsky

(37) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Fort Myers Miracle at Hammond Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Just some news from around the Minor Leagues on the same day that the one-handed Jim Abbot tossed a no-hitter in a 4-0 Yankees victory over the Indians.

>The Charlotte Stone Crabs, the Rays’ A+ affiliate, took game one of their playoff series with the Fort Myers Miracle, the Twins affiliate, with a 1-0 victory last night. Felipe Rivero, 21, tossed six shutout innings in the victory, extending his scoreless streak to 21 2/3 innings. Ranked as Tampa Bay’s 19th overall prospect by, Rivero’s latest hot streak has raised his stock and will likely earn him a promotion to AA next season.

>In the final game of the Appalachian League, the Kingsport Mets took on the Greeneville Astros with the winner clinching a playoff spot. The Mets had a 3-2 lead in the ninth before the Astros rallied to score five runs, finished off by a 2-run Chase McDonald double. McDonald, 21, wad selected by the Astros in the 12th round of this year’s amatuer draft after showing plus power in college, but he only knocked out six homers this summer in rookie ball. Already relegated to first base, McDonald will have to utilize more of his raw power if he is to make it up the ranks of the minors.

> Two nights ago, the Indians’ A ball affiliate, three Mahoning Valley Scrappers pitchers combined to no-hit the Batavia Muckdogs, last night, they almost did the same to the Auburn Doubledays. Scrappers pitcher Cole Sulser shut down the Doubledays for six innings, not allowing a single base runner while striking out 10. When he came out to pitch the 7th, the game’s final inning, however, he hung a slider to leadoff hitter William Rodriguez, who drilled it for his team’s first hit. Sulser left the game, but Kerry Doane closed out the night with a perfect inning of relief. Sulser, 23, was plucked by Cleveland in the 25th round of this year’s amateur draft and has performed well since, posting a 1.85 ERA over nine starts and 6 relief appearances. With a good fastball that produces tons of strikeouts, Sulser has a shot at being a dominant reliever in the majors.

>With a MLB-high five other Astros farm clubs already in the playoffs, the Tri-City Valley Cats of the New York Penn League decided not to fall behind. After five straight losses put their playoff hopes in jeopardy, the Valley Cats won two straight and went into last night’s games with an opportunity to clinch the division. Evan Grills was terrific in the game, striking out 8, while giving up just two runs over six innings, and Tri-City clinched. Grills, 21, has been inconsistent since he was taken in the 10th round of the 2010 draft, but he seems to have found himself this season, putting up a 3.34 ERA and a 7.8 SO/9 in 62 innings between the rotation and bullpen.