Triple-A: It's been a slow opening week for the Nashville Sounds, 1-4 after their first five games. Last night was a painful 7-6, 11 inning loss in which Chris Barnwell (the infielder!) gave up the game-winning single to Iowa Cubs prospect Felix Pie. The Sounds' offense hasn't really gotten rolling so far, though Vinny Rottino did hit his 2nd homer last night, and Jermaine Clark is hitting .357 in his first 14 ABs.
On the mound, there's more hope: Zach Jackson's first start resulted in a loss, but he only allowed two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Ben Hendrickson, Dana Eveland, and Dennis Sarfate have each gotten no-decisions though none gave up more than a single earned run in their starts. This afternoon, Nashville will have a promising young hurler on the hill: a lad named Ben Sheets, making his second (and, I hope, last!) rehab start. That game is at 12:05 CT.
Double-A: Huntsville has also been the scene for some excellent pitching performances. The Stars are 3-2, and have gotten excellent starts from Jeff Housman and sleeper prospect Tim Dillard. The bats came alive as they crushed the Mississippi Braves yesterday, 12-5.
Advanced A: The Baby Brewer story of the week is happening in Brevard County, where last night the Manatees made it a five-game win streak. They've outscored their opponents 40-15 so far this season behind major offensive contributions from...just about everybody. Steve Sollmann had a 3-5 night yesterday, while Charlie Fermaint and Freddy Parejo added home runs. Mark Rogers had a shaky start, but both Yovani Gallardo and Josh Wahpepah opened their season with scoreless outings. Mike Jones started last night and threw three innings, giving up just one walk and a hit, striking out five.
Single-A: Catcher Angel Salome has been the star of the West Virginia Power season thus far, going 5-for-5 with a HR and a 2B on Sunday. Salome is only 19, and if he keeps hitting, we may find ourselves with a credible Major League catcher a year or two after the Damian Miller contract runs out. Unfortunately, Salome's start has been one of the few highlights, as the Power are 2-3 so far.
Tags: Freddy Parejo, Charlie Fermaint, Hunstsville Stars, Felix Pie, Jeff Housman, Steve Sollmann, Tim Dillard, West Virginia Power, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Jermaine Clark, Chris Barnwell, Mississippi Braves, Angel Salome, Mike Jones, Iowa Cubs, Brevard County Manatees, Nashville Sounds, Vinny Rottino, Josh Wahpepah