Posts Tagged ‘Mitch Hilligoss’

Game 6: Trenton @ Altoona

April 8, 2008

Game 6 – Trenton Thunder @ Altoona Curve
April 8, 2008
Blair County Ballpark – Altoona, PA

Pitching Matchup: TRE Chase Wright (0-1, 3.00) vs. ALT Kyle Bloom (0-1, 14.73)

Starting Lineups:

Trenton (3-2) (3-2 road record, 1-0 vs. Altoona)

1 – Ramiro Pena, SS
2 – Austin Jackson, CF
3 – Jose Tabata, RF
4 – Colin Curtis, LF
5 – Matt Carson, DH
6 – Cody Ehlers, 1B
7 – P.J. Pilittere, C
8 – Marcos Vechionacci, 3B
9 – Reegie Corona, 2B

Altoona (1-4) (1-4 home record, 0-1 vs. Thunder)

1 – Boone
2 – Cruz
3 – Pacheco
4 – Corley
5 – Delaney
6 – Bowers
7 – Webster
8 – Perez
9 – Finegan

Farm Fresh: In Charleston, Zach McAllister picked up the win last night.  Brad Suttle is smokin’ hot in the first week of the season, hitting .474 with a homer and three RBI.  The River Dogs have five other regular players hitting .300 or better: David Williams (.444), Justin Snyder (.357), Wady Rufino (.333), Austin Krum (.300) and Abe Almonte (.300).

Dellin Betances is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA after a five-inning start, and Jesse Hoover has made two scoreless relief appearances, collecting a win along the way.

Edwar Gonzalez is hot in Tampa, hitting .278 with two home runs and seven RBI in his first five games.  He has accounted for all of his team’s longballs, and half of their RBI.  Mitch Hilligoss is also doing well for the T-Yanks, hitting .273, but he has made two errors already.

Mark Melancon, who all eyes will be on in Tampa until he’s inevitably shipped north to Trenton, is 0-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two games and 3.2 IP.

In Scranton — home to the lovely Pam Beesly, by the way — Jason Lane’s already got three home runs in the first five games of the year.  Brett Gardner has missed the past two games, but is 4-for-11 with one steal in his first three.

Alberto Gonzalez is hitting just .091 in his first four games, and Juan Miranda is 2-for-17 (.118) for the SWB Yanks.

Pre-Game Notes: The Thunder have announced that their new puppy will be named Derby.  Derby was the puppy the team kept from the litter that came from Chase, their bat-collecting, ball-delivering, loveable mascot.

Despite the Thunder playing Altoona ten million 17 times last year, Chase Wright did not face the Curve last year.  Kyle Bloom was picked in the fifth round by the Pirates in 2004, and is making his fourth career Double-A start. 

Starts one and two, made last year, went really well. 

Start three did not, as he comes in with a loss and 14.73 ERA next to his name. 

Of players considered prospects in the Pirates system, Baseball America has him dead last on the depth chart for lefty starters.

As expected, Daniel McCutchen has been pushed back a day, and will now go on his regular four days rest…meaning he gets the ball for the home opener on the 10th against Harrisburg. 

George Kontos is now slated to get the start tomorrow. 

The problem with that, of course, is that he’d now be going on three days rest.  He only went three innings on April 5th against Binghamton, so that may be the reasoning…but if he didn’t start, I wouldn’t be surprised either.

Remember Juan Francia?  He hit .198 in 31 games for the Thunder last year.  He’s resurfaced in the independent Atlantic League, signing with the Lancaster Barnstormers.  That’s the same team that Scott Patterson came from.  Jason Bowers, an infielder on Altoona, is a former teammate of Scott’s in Lancaster.

Radio Links: Click here for the links to each team’s broadcast.

Live Box Score: The MILB.com direct link is here.

Around the Eastern League: For scores from around the EL, go here.

In-Game Updates: I’ll be at the ballpark again starting Thursday, but these updates are from the comforts of the couch.  Anyway, it’s 4-1 Thunder in the top of the 5th.

The only big mistake Chase Wright has made so far was a second inning home run to Jason Bowers.

Reegie Corona’s got his first two RBI of the year, and Jose Tabata and Marcos Vechionacci have got the others.  Both Tabata and Austin Jackson have stolen a base as well.

Not a real great outing out of Altoona’s Kyle Bloom so far.  Four runs on five hits through four innings of work so far.

Bottom 7th, and Trenton is up 5-1 now.  Colin Curtis has driven in a run.  Chase Wright is out, Steven Jackson is in.  Wright’s line: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR. 

You’d like to see him go a little deeper, but that’s two straight solid performances out of Sebern Chase Wright.

A-Jax is the only Thunder player with two hits so far.

Final Score: 5-2, Thunder.

Post-Game Notes: Steven Jackson, ladies and gentlemen.  Three innings of relief, no hits, seven strikeouts.  Wow.

Two-hit nights for the top three in the order: Ramiro Pena, Austin Jackson and Jose Tabata. 

Another 0-fer out of Matt Carson, who has had two straight rough games now.

0-for-2 with two walks and two K’s for Cody Ehlers.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

How Was The Yankees Offer Not Enough?

January 30, 2008

It’s been rumored in numerous places that the Yankees final offer for Johan Santana included Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera and a prospect.  Some places say Jeff Marquez was involved, others say it was Marquez and another prospect — MLB.com reported that Mitch Hilligoss was in the deal at one point.

Whatever the deal was, how is any combination of that not enough?  It certainly isn’t that the Yankees are going down the tubes and needed Santana to survive, it’s far from that.  But what team couldn’t use Johan Santana?

But in any event, it’s widely believed that the Twins took a lesser offer from the Mets instead.  And I’d have to agree to an extent.

There isn’t one player in that deal that is definitively ready for a full season in the big leagues this year.  Humber and Gomez are the closest of the bunch, but Humber has yet to re-gain the lights out stuff he had before Tommy John surgery and Gomez didn’t exactly set the world on fire in his first stint at the highest level, hitting just .232 in 125 at-bats.

But you can’t say either player is an absolute lock to play in the big leagues this year.  Best case scenario, Gomez sees some regular time in the outfield, and Humber ends up in the back end of your rotation.

Mulvey, who grew up a Mets fan, would be best suited to spend his 2008 season in Rochester, home of the Twins Triple-A affiliate.

And Guerra, who spent all season in High-A ball despite being just 18 years old, will likely throw the majority of his pitches in a New Britain Rock Cats uniform.

With what the Yankees were reportedly offering, the Twins would be getting two players who were definitively ready for Major League play right now.  Nobody who’s ever seen him pitch has any doubt as to what Phil Hughes is capable of, and he’s shown glimpses of that at the big league level so far.

As for Cabrera, he’s been a regular big leaguer for the past two seasons now, so there’s really no question he could have been an everyday guy in Minnesota.

Perhaps the issue with the deal, at least in the Twins eyes, was with the depth of it.  But Jeff Marquez is highly regarded in baseball circles, and has the numbers to prove it — after all, he did lead the Eastern League in wins with 15.  I’m not drinking the Jeff Marquez Kool-Aid just yet, but it’s hard to argue with what he’s accomplished so far.

As for Mitch Hilligoss, the scouting reports I’ve seen on the kid have all been impressive, and I think everyone knows about his lengthy hitting streak with Charleston last year.  You could easily see him in Trenton this year, no doubt about it.

So where was the issue with the New York Yankees offer?  And what possessed them to take the Mets deal?

Nobody knows how this deal will ultimately turn out, but for right now, it does look like the Twins got robbed.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com