Durham 6, Charlotte 2 (gm 1). Chris Mason was knocked out with 2 outs in the 4th inning after allowing 5 hits and 2 walks which led to 2 runs…Juan Salas picked up the win after getting the next 4 outs…Grant Balfour retired the last 5 batters for his 7th save…Reid Brignac was 3-3 with his 14th double and 4th home run…Joel Guzman and Chris Richard added home runs.

Durham 3, Charlotte 1 (gm 1). Jeff NIemann was limited to 58 pitches, but only allowed 1 unearned run in 4 innings, on 4 hits and no walks. He struck out 4…Reid Brignac hit his 2nd home run of the double header, his 5th on the year…Fernando Perez and Dan Johnson added 2 hits apiece…

Montgomery 4, Mobile 1. Jake McGee had his most dominating performance of ’08, striking out 9 in 7 shutout innings. He allowed only 3 hits and 2 walks…Gabby Martinez was 2-3 with a double and 2 RBI.

Vero Beach 10, Tampa 6. Matt Walker picked up his 1st win of the season, holding the Yankees to 3 runs on 5 hits in 5.1 innings…Neal Frontz pitched the final 2 innings for his 8th save….The D-Rays had 17 hits, with 7 players collecting at least 2….JT Hall was 3-5 with a double and his 3rd home run. He drove in 2 and is now hitting .324…Ryan Royster was 2-3 with 2 walks, ad he drove in 2…Willy Aybar played second base and went 2-5.

Columbus 2, Hickory 1. Brian Flores made his 6th start and improved to 4-1 with 6 shutout innings in which he allowed only 1 5th inning single and 2 walks. He struck out 2…. struck out the side in the 9th for his 2nd save…Austin Hinkle struck out the side in the 9th for his 2nd save…Mike McCormick went 2-4 with his 7th double…Greg Sexton had his 15th double and drove in one of the runs.


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  1. Robert Rittner says:

    It was nice to see the McGee performance, and Niemann seems to pitch well in these short outings since his return to Durham. I wonder if he becomes the righty version of Howell for us.

    Brignac has been on a tear for a while getting his BA up to the .280s from the .240s and hitting with power. I did see a note though that he is striking out a ton and not walking at all, which reverses the progress he made last year.

  2. rz says:

    willy aybar payed second base, possible super utility in majors??

  3. The Professor says:

    in Brignac's last 7 games played he is 13-26 with 5 doubles and 2 home runs. but yes, on the season his K:BB is 35 to 8 and it hasn't gotten any better recently with 11 strike outs and no walks in his last 9 games.

    Aybar is definitely being readied to be a backup utility player.

  4. Hazleton Jason says:

    Hey Prof, whose roster spot does Aybar take when he gets back? Zobrist? I fell bad for Benny Boo, he has played well since his return... He seems to get shuttled quite a bit...

    I'd like to see the cajun god of baseball walk some more, but to see him heat up is encouraging...

  5. The Professor says:

    if Aybar was getting playing time at short on his rehab stint then I would think that Zobrist would be the guy to go since he has a minor league option left. but Aybar has no experience at short and the Rays need at least one guy that can backup Bartlett. So somebody else has to go. and it will be Hinske or Gross. clearly Friedman would prefer to make a trade, but i am not sure there is much of a market right now for these type of players. look at Dan Johnson. He is not much different and he has been placed on waivers twice this year.

  6. Robert Rittner says:

    I doubt this will happen but it what I would prefer. Replace Glover with Aybar.

    Teams have increasingly specialized bullpen roles so that they need more relievers, going from 10-11-12 man staffs over the years. I dislike that trend as it limits offensive and defensive replacements and I think also limits the value of each individual pitcher.

    As a matter of fact, it seems to me that Maddon is moving in the opposite direction, stretching his relievers. Part of Howell's value are his 3 inning stints, and Wheeler often goes 2. I think Reyes can as well, while even Miller does more than loogy work.

    If Hammel (or as I suggest above, Niemann) can be the righty complement to Howell, that would make the 12th man almost superfluous. At the same time, it would increase both offensive and defensive flexibility to have a bench of Zobrist, Aybar, Hinske, Gomes and Gross (in addition to Riggans).


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