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Minor league notes

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I came home last night to find a great email from Buck Rogers, GM of the Brevard County Manatees:

We had a crazy one last night, down 1-0 in the bottom of the 9th and wham, bam, slam it was over with some theatrics, 2-1. Manatees are 8-1 and have won three one-run games in a row. This team is on fire. The only loss was game one of a DH when pitching changes were inevitable as we began the night in the top of the 2nd inning in game #1 of a suspended game, played nine, played seven in game #2 and still lost game #1 after scoring nine runs.

The players and team stats are simply gaudy, and that's an understatement. The team abtting average is .307, ERA is 2.85. Josh Wahpepah has started two games, chunked 11 innings, allowed six hits, divvied up four walks and struck out eight. ERA of 0.0, Mister Blutarsky...all courses incomplete. The pitchers have 28 walks, 81 hits and 91 strikeouts and that's including the one night they allowed 18 hits in the 11-9 loss. There's something going on here that you don't see every year, but you can feel it just by walking into the clubhouse.

I was gone all day yesterday so I didn't read about this before, but Friday night was a great one in Nashville: Dana Eveland gave up one run in seven innings--he had a perfecto going through five--and Nelson Cruz was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a home run.

In other news, John Sickels picks out WV Power outfielder Michael Brantley as a sleeper prospect:

The Brewers drafted Michael Brantley in the seventh round last year, out of high school in Florida. He is the son of former major league outfielder Mickey Brantley. Michael is fast, athletic, and has an interesting bat from the left side. He hit .343/.426/.377 last year in rookie ball, with 16 steals in 21 attempts. He runs well and has the plate discipline to make that speed meaningful in a leadoff role if he continues to develop offensively. The main question is power; he might not have much, although his father had some decent pop in his bat.

In still other news: the Yankees signed Carlos Pena to a minor league deal. It amazes me that he remained a free agent for so long; he's had his ups and downs, but he's a solid major league hitter, and a decent or better defender as well. I'm shocked the Reds didn't sign him in all this time he's been available. Heck, the Pirates could've used him after Sean Casey got hurt.

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