We continue to take a look back at the happenings of the past weekend. This time we will take a look at the Rays’ farm system. Hopefully we will get through this post without a bat being thrown at us.
Durham Bulls. The D-Rays’ other top prospect, SS B. J. Upton had an up and down weekend. He went 2-13 in four games. He did pick up his 13th stolen base but did commit his 10th error, yet another throwing error. The good news is, he ONLY committed one error in 4 games, which is indeed a good stretch for Upton. There does not appear to be any truth to the rumor that the Bulls used a shift on ALL batters in which the 3B and 2B moved closer together and Upton sat in the bullpen…Elijah Dukes had a solid game on Thursday going 2-3 with 2 RBI to continue what has been a torrid pace he has been on the last week or so. Unfortunately, Dukes has not been seen in the lineup since then. He has left the team for what was termed “personal reasons”, and is expected to rejoin the Bulls later this week…Chris Seddon and Jamie Shields each had rough outings over the weekend. Edwin Jackson had his first start back at Durham since being send back to AAA. He worked into the 7th inning giving up only 3 hits and 2 runs, but he did surrender 5 walks. His control continues to plague him and as soon as he can find the strikezone on a more consistent basis, he will be in the Bigs to stay.
Montgomery Biscuits. OF Jason Pridie also had a rough 4-day stretch, going 1-14, to lower his batting average to .234. 1B Gabriel Martinez, who started the season on a tear has cooled off considerably, going 4-15 and his average now sits at .303. 3B Wes Bankston who is attempting to make the switch from 1B was placed on the DL with a strained oblique muscle. We assume that must be what happens when too many ground balls go through your legs. SP Tony Peguero had a strong outing going 6 innings giving up 3 hits, 1 walk and 1 unearned run, striking out 3. Chuck Tiffany, the other pitcher the D-Rays received along with Edwin Jackson, got knocked out in the 4th inning of his start after surrendering 8 hits, 6 walks and 8 runs.
Visalia Oaks. SS Reid Brignac, went 4-13 and is now hitting a robust .356. More importantly, he did not commit an error in 4 games. So to sum up the defensive question marks in the Rays’ system. Three of their top prospects all have struggled mightily in the field. Upton, Brignac and Bankston. In the past 4 days they committed a total of 1 error. May not seem that impressive, but for those three it is. Of course, Bankston was on the DL, but whatever it takes. The only notable performance by a starting pitcher came from Brandon Mann. On Sunday, he went 5 innings and gave up 7 hits, 2 walks, 2 runs and struck out 8.
Southwest Michigan Devil Rays. The Devil Rays got three outstanding pitching performances from the past weekend. On Thursday, Michael Wlodarczyk picked up his first win going 7 innings, giving up 3 hits, 1 walk, 2 unearned runs and struck out 4. He lowered his ERA to 1.65…On Friday Jacob McGee worked into the 9th giving up 2 hits, 3 walks and 1 run. He struck out 10 and his ERA is now 2.30…On Sunday, our personal favorite, Wade Davis, improved his record to 3-0. Davis worked 6 innings surrendering 4 hits and 1 run. He also struck out 11 while only walking 1. We just get downright giddy every time we read his boxscore.