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Link Report for Wed. 6/27 -- Back-on-track outings for Wily Peralta, Jed Bradley

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Offline  Re: Link Report for Wed. 6/27 -- Back-on-track outings for Wily Peralta, Jed Bradley
#41

Posted: June 28, 2012, 11:00 AM Post
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Short Siesta Pays Off For Cardinals Shelby Miller

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
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Offline  Re: Link Report for Wed. 6/27 -- Back-on-track outings for Wily Peralta, Jed Bradley
#42

Posted: June 28, 2012, 11:01 AM Post
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Brett Jackson’s K-Troubles Continue

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
- Plato


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Offline  Re: Link Report for Wed. 6/27 -- Back-on-track outings for Wily Peralta, Jed Bradley
#43

Posted: June 28, 2012, 11:04 AM Post
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Cingrani dazzles in best outing as pro
Reds prospect strikes out 15, pitches eight one-hit innings
By Sam Dykstra / Special to MLB.com

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Tony Cingrani has recorded four double-digit strikeout games in his two-year career. (Chris Nelson)

Tony Cingrani couldn't decide where Wednesday's start ranked in his baseball career.

The Reds' No. 10 prospect had just taken a no-hitter into the seventh and finished with 15 strikeouts over eight shutout innings in Double-A Pensacola's 5-0 win over Jackson. It was the highest strikeout total in the longest outing of his two-year Minor League career.

When pressed about what could best such an outing, the 22-year-old left-hander mentioned a six-inning no-hitter he threw for Lincoln-Way Central High School in Lenox, Ill., in March 2007. That start stood out because it came against St. Rita of Cascia High School, one of the better baseball programs in Chicago's south suburbs.

Then he remembered his opponents on Wednesday and changed his mind.

"This was probably the best," he said. "This was better because it's obviously against better hitters and guys who have been in the pros for a while."

Cingrani retired his first 14 batters -- 10 on strikeouts, including three in the opening inning -- before issuing a two-out walk to Denny Almonte in the fifth. The former Rice closer promptly picked off the Generals center fielder.

He didn't surrender his first hit until Leury Bonilla lined a single to left field with one out in the seventh. And while he lost a chance at an even more historic evening, Cingrani admitted he wasn't miffed.

"I was obviously aware of it, but I wasn't worried about it," he said. "A no-hitter would've been nice, but it was a single hit and I try not to get worried about that kind of thing."

Bonilla was caught trying to steal second one batter later as Cingrani faced the minimum through seven innings.

In the eighth, Kalian Sams singled, but Jesus Sucre bounced into a double play. After Almonte tripled, Cingrani struck out Joe Dunigan on his 100th and final pitch.

The 15 strikeouts for Cingrani -- who employs a fastball, changeup and slider that he's continually working on -- eclipsed his previous high of 13, established over six hitless innings for Rookie-level Billings last Aug. 27. The eight innings were one better than his previous best, established for Class A Advanced Bakersfield on April 20.

What makes Wednesday's outing even more impressive is that it followed a 3 2/3-inning stint a week ago in which Cingrani allowed two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out three.

"I felt like I was rushing too much," he said of his last start. "My body was coming in way too fast and it affected my command -- I didn't know where anything was going. But I worked with [pitching coach Tom Brown], and that's something we really focused on in my bullpens and side sessions. "I feel like I've figured it out."

The 2011 third-round pick is 2-1 with a 2.15 ERA and 38 strikeouts in five starts with Pensacola after going 5-1 with a 1.11 ERA in 10 appearances with Bakersfield. He's recorded 109 strikeouts over 86 innings across both levels, ranking third in the Minor Leagues behind A's farmhand Daniel Straily (124) and D-backs top prospect Trevor Bauer (116).

With numbers like that, the Reds prospect has the confidence level to repeat Wednesday's performance -- the one he now believes was his best ever -- and, in fact, even improve upon it.

"[My confidence level is] always high," Cingrani said. "Obviously, after the last two starts, it's not extremely high, but it's back up there now. Today was just another day. I've got to go out there and do it all over again in four or five days.

"I definitely I feel like I can do this again. I can do even better."

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
- Plato


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Offline  Re: Link Report for Wed. 6/27 -- Back-on-track outings for Wily Peralta, Jed Bradley
#44

Posted: June 28, 2012, 11:08 AM Post
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Miller bounces back in Redbirds' win
Cardinals prospect fixes mechanical flaw, returns to form
By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com

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Shelby Miller had allowed 32 runs over his previous six starts. (Allison Rhoades/MiLB.com)

The Memphis Redbirds skipped Shelby Miller's last turn in the rotation to give him time to regain his composure and work on some mechanical changes after a disappointing first half of the season.

Miller spent the time regrouping and analyzing his starts in the video room. After all, he had never done anything but win in his baseball career.

MLB.com's No. 2 prospect allowed one hit -- a solo homer -- over five innings Wednesday night as Memphis edged the Albuquerque Isotopes, 3-2.

"It was a huge eye-opener. I've never really struggled in any other league or faced this adversity," Miller said. "I got together with my pitching coach and he told me to put it behind me and to just try and have a good second half. "It helped with clearing my head of the first half and working on my mechanics -- looking at old film and working out what grips to use when and what leg kicks work best for me. I'm just trying to get it all together and making a solid effort to get my numbers where they should be."

Against Albuquerque, the Cardinals' top prospect was perfect the first time through the lineup, but Matt Angle homered to right field leading off the fourth to knot the game at 1-1.

Home runs have been Miller's Achilles' heel all year. Angle's blast was the 16th he's allowed in 15 Pacific Coast League contests. The 20-year-old right-hander has given up at least one longball in 11 starts, including one in each of his last seven.

"It could have been better. I had three great innings at first and then gave up the home run," said Miller, selected 19th overall in the 2009 Draft. "It was a bad pitch that I should not have thrown. It was a 3-1 fastball inside, and when you're in a hitter's count, you don't want to throw that. You just try to eliminate all of the bad stuff.

"That is how I have been beat all year -- it's been the home run, it's been the longball. I would walk a guy and give up a base hit to put two runners on base and then I would give up a homer and that would be three earned runs right there. I've not been going deep into games, and that's been a difference-maker."

In the fifth, Miller loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a hit batter, but he struck out Isotopes starter John Ely, retired Angle on a popup and fanned Alex Castellanos to end the threat and his night.

"I had a four-pitch walk, then I hit a guy going inside and then another walk out of the stretch," Miller said. "I wasn't in a groove throwing out of the stretch. I lost focus, I can't explain it. But I got the next three outs with the bases loaded and I felt really good."

The Texas native fanned eight, threw 50 of 87 pitches for strikes and lowerd his ERA to 5.70 without figuring in the decision. He remains 4-6 on the year and without a victory in seven starts since May 15.

"I had really good command of my fastball. That was the biggest thing for me," Miller said. "It was a righty lineup with seven right-handers, so I didn't throw my changeup much. There were only two lefties and I had only seen one of them three times, so there wasn't really situations to throw my changeup tonight. When the time was right, I threw it, but it was mainly curveball-fastball. I was able to throw my fastball down in the zone and I was hitting my spots with it."

After tossing six shutout innings against Colorado Springs six weeks ago, Miller's struggles intensified. He yielded at least three runs in each of his next six starts, including seven over 3 2/3 innings at Tucson on May 21 and seven more over 4 2/3 frames against New Orleans on June 16.

The difficulties are new to Miller, who fanned 140 over 104 1/3 innings with Class A Quad Cities in 2010 and combined to go 11-6 with a 2.77 ERA and 170 strikeouts over 139 2/3 frames a year ago.

Even in school, Miller cruised. He went 10-2 as a senior at Brownwood High School in Texas, throwing three straight no-hitters while making a name for himself as an All-State punter and All-District wide receiver.

"I've not been pitching that great this year," Miller admitted. "The biggest thing was throwing bad pitches in hitters' counts and leaving a cookie for them to hit. It's always been one bad pitch per game that makes my numbers look ugly. I just need to keep the ball down, hit my spots and work on my off-speed pitches when they need to be thrown."

Miller came to Spring Training, ready to compete for a spot in St. Louis' rotation. He posted an 8.31 ERA in two Grapefruit League starts, then lost his first two regular-season starts for Memphis. But he followed that with a stretch in which he was 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA in six outings.

"I wouldn't be too disappointed if I didn't get called up this year. We have a great staff in the big leagues right now, but I want to pitch so good that they have no choice but to call me up. But my focus is on pitching my best at Triple-A. There are not many [21-year-old] guys pitching at Triple-A, so I'm blessed."

Jess Todd (1-1) ended up getting the win Wednesday, despite allowing one run on two hits over two innings.

Mark Hamilton was 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a run scored and Eugenio Velez contributed two hits, including his 10th homer, for the Redbirds.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
- Plato


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Offline  Re: Link Report for Wed. 6/27 -- Back-on-track outings for Wily Peralta, Jed Bradley
#45

Posted: June 28, 2012, 11:12 AM Post
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Maddox is a Cincy prospect and the H-Crew gets mention at the bottom
PIO notes: Maddox shifts his approach
Billings slugger focused on hitting to all fields in third season
By Greg Rachac / Special to MLB.com

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Robert Maddox has two homers in eight games for the Mustangs. (Paul Ruhter/Billings Gazette)

Robert Maddox had a fine 2011 campaign with the Billings Mustangs, hitting .282 while leading the team with 16 home runs and 51 RBIs. But an integral element of Maddox's approach was missing.

For the last couple of seasons, the book on the left-handed Maddox was that he was a dead-pull hitter. In turn, teams gave the power hitter the Barry Bonds treatment. By shifting to the right side of the diamond, defenses dared Maddox to hit the ball the other way.

Now in his third season with Rookie-level Billings, Maddox is starting to make opponents think twice about that type of alignment.

Maddox saw the shift significantly with the Mustangs last season, and he's seen it to a lesser degree already in the early part of 2012. It's a strategy big league teams used for years against Bonds, who rarely hit to the opposite field.

Because of his penchant for pulling the ball, Maddox says the defensive approach is "self-inflicted." But the difference now is that Maddox knows his best opportunity to advance through the Cincinnati Reds' farm system is to learn to hit to all fields -- even though it may cut into some of his power numbers.

"I know I can pull the ball very well, with power," Maddox says. "But this year I'm working on driving the ball to center field and left field a lot better.

"If going the other way with the ball will help my overall game, then losing a couple home runs won't bother me. It will increase my batting average overall, my on-base percentage, doubles, triples, runs scored ... the pros outweigh the cons. I'm not really concerned about home runs, because I know I have the power. I'm not worried about the numbers. As long as I become a better overall hitter, that's the most important thing."

Maddox, an 18th-round pick in 2010 out of Ohio University, flashed signs of improvement last week, going to the opposite field for a two-out RBI double in the first inning against Missoula. Maddox drove the ball to the deepest part of Dehler Park -- about 420-feet from home plate -- off the wall in the left-center-field gap.

He did the same thing two nights earlier. Leading off the fifth inning, Maddox doubled to the gap in left to break up Chris Pack's no-hit bid. It ignited the Mustangs' offense, which eventually delivered the winning run to beat Missoula in the 10th.

Finally, in the team's first road trip through Helena, Maddox hit an opposite-field home run -- one of his two homers in the game -- to ignite a 9-4 victory.

"In Rookie ball, you don't see shifts like they do in the big leagues with left-handed hitters, yet with Robert we've seen it a lot," said second-year Mustangs manager Pat Kelly. "It was pretty apparent to everybody what type of pull hitter he was, so that was a great sign to see, for him to be able to take the ball the other way."

Maddox is hitting .345 with two homers and eight RBIs in eight games for Billings and is slugging .655 and had an OPS of 1.067.

Kelly said Maddox's attitude "has been outstanding. I thought he really worked hard in extended [spring training]. But it's hard. He was a college player, and this is his third year of Rookie ball. He'd probably tell you this is not where he wants to be. But at the same time it's an opportunity to play and an opportunity to get better."

In brief

Ominous Owlz: The Orem Owlz fell to a surprising 1-8 after a 12-7 loss in Grand Junction before rebounding Wednesday with a 7-6 victory over the Rockies. Under longtime manager Tom Kotchman, Orem is a perennial playoff team and one of the most respected franchises in the league, having won three championships in the last seven seasons.

Oops! Helena outfielder Raul Mondesi Jr. made a huge gaffe in a 2-1 loss to Missoula on June 25. Mondesi hit what would have been a game-tying solo home run in the 10th inning, but he failed to touch home plate. The Osprey appealed, and Mondesi was called out to end the game. Mondesi is one of two sons of former Major Leaguer Raul Mondesi currently in the Pioneer League. Adalberto Mondesi is with Idaho Falls.

Four more years: The Arizona Diamondbacks reached an agreement with Missoula to extend their Player Development Contract last week. The deal will last through the 2016 season. Missoula is currently in its 14th season as an affiliate of the Diamondbacks

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
- Plato


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Offline  Re: Link Report for Wed. 6/27 -- Back-on-track outings for Wily Peralta, Jed Bradley
#46

Posted: June 28, 2012, 11:15 AM Post
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a local interest piece
Appy notes: Walker ready to 'wow'
E-Twins outfielder embracing the challenges of pro ball
By Bob Sutton / Special to MLB.com

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Adam Walker was a third-round pick out of Jacksonville University. (Todd Drexler/JUPhotos.com)

Besides the typical changes from college ball to the pros faced by many players, Elizabethton's Adam Walker has the additional challenge of fitting into an outfield with a distinctly international flavor.

The Wisconsin native, who signed quickly after the Minnesota Twins made him a third-round choice out of Jacksonville University in June's Draft, said he was ready for whatever was in front of him when the Appalachian League season got under way last week.

"It wasn't too tough. I was ready to start my career in pro ball," Walker said of the decision to leave college after his junior year. "It's nice to get started and get the at-bats. It's nice to be able to sign and get out here."

So Walker will try to settle in and stand out at the same time. He's pegged primarily as a corner outfielder, looking the part with a 6-foot-4, 232-pound frame.

The Elizabethton outfield might be the definition of a baseball melting pot. There's Romy Jimenez from the Dominican Republic, Max Kepler from Germany and Rory Rhodes from Australia.

That might create some diverse outfield chatter during a pitching change.

"It's cool to meet people from different parts of the world," Walker said. "It's definitely interesting, learning where everyone was from, and it was 'wow.'"

It's the "wow" factor that Walker might eventually provide with his bat. He said consistency must be one of his priorities at the plate. He hit his first professional home run Tuesday in his seventh game.

"Just plate discipline and being more consistent out there," said Walker, who won't turn 21 until after the season. "It will help me get more consistent every day."

Walker said he was always one of the bigger players on youth teams growing up in Wisconsin. Then he arrived at college and filled out.

"Obviously, you look at him, he has the prototypical body [and] moves well," Elizabethton manager Ray Smith said. "I think his makeup is good. I know [the organization] thinks a lot of him."

Walker, who played in the 2011 NCAA Regionals, toyed with some time as a first baseman at Jacksonville, but he was primarily stationed in the outfield.

Now it's about refining his skills.

"I think I have what it takes -- just sharpen up everything," Walker said.

Elizabethton's players had plenty of bonding time as the Twins began the season with a six-game road trip. That should have provided time for players and staff to discover their teammates' backgrounds.

Smith said the Minnesota organization has been willing to tap the less traditional baseball areas in its scouting. In this case, Elizabethton is directly experiencing the impact of that.

"The game is so international now," Smith said. "It's almost become commonplace. [International players] haven't had the experience a lot of our guys have had, but they have the wide-eyed enthusiasm."

Rhodes, in his second go-around in the league, hasn't missed a beat, starting the season with five consecutive multi-hit outings. He batted a league-leading .485 (16-for-33) through the first eight games of the season.

In brief

Walk this way: Bluefield first baseman Art Charles drew a league-leading 11 walks over the first nine games. The 21-year-old California native, a 2011 Appy League All-Star, is 7-for-22 with five extra-base hits.

One at a time: Kansas City's 2011 fifth-round pick, Patrick Leonard, homered in his pro debut with the Burlington Royals. "I was thinking I wanted to get my first hit," Leonard said of the homer at Pulaski. "I hit it good, but I didn't know it was going to [clear the fence]. I was running hard to first base." The third baseman had a league-best four homers across the first six games, all solo shots.

On the mark: Princeton Rays left-hander Blake Snell notched 13 strikeouts over his first 8 2/3 innings and did not allow a run during that span. He went 3 2/3 innings in his second outing without yielding a hit or walk.

Right spot, right time: Greeneville Astros right-hander Jordan Jankowski has picked up a win in his first three appearances out of the bullpen. He's a first-year pro out of Division II Catawba College in North Carolina after transferring from Miami of Ohio.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
- Plato


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