LumberKings pitcher traded to Rays

RHP Tommy Romero made nine starts for the Clinton LumberKings this season. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Clinton LumberKings RHP Tommy Romero was one of two prospects the Seattle Mariners traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Denard Span and closer Alex Colome on Friday. That was followed by another Rays trade involving a former Midwest Leaguer.

Romero went 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA, 54 strikeouts and 15 walks in 44 innings/nine starts for the LumberKings this season. The Rays announced he will be assigned to the Bowling Green Hot Rods, who beat Romero in his May 2 start at Clinton’s Ashford University Field. His most recent start was on Wednesday vs. the Burlington Bees; he took the loss after giving up two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven.

Span played for the Quad City River Bandits in 2004, when he was a Minnesota Twins prospect. He batted .267 with four doubles, three triples, 14 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 64 games.

Colome was a starter for the Hot Rods in 2010. He went 6-6 with a 3.95 ERA, 118 strikeouts and 45 walks in 114 innings/22 starts.

After the trade involving Romero, the Rays swapped RHP Peter Bayer for RHP Wilmer Font from the Oakland Athletics. Bayer pitched for the Hot Rods last season, going 2-3 with a 4.84 ERA, 95 strikeouts and 48 walks in 67 innings (25 games/four starts).

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Posted in Bowling Green Hot Rods, Burlington Bees, Clinton LumberKings, Midwest League, Quad Cities River Bandits | Leave a comment

Adell, Mondile named Midwest League players of the week

Burlington Bees outfielder Jo Adell is the Midwest League offensive player of the week. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Burlington Bees outfielder Jo Adell and Dayton Dragons RHP Tyler Mondile respectively were named the Midwest League’s offensive player and pitcher of the week for May 14-20.

Adell got at least one hit in each of the seven games he played during that period. He batted .407 (11-for-27) with 5 HR and 10 RBI. His best game was on Tuesday, when he went 4-for-5 with 2 HR and 5 RBI vs. the Kane County Cougars.

The Los Angeles Angels prospect is batting .326 with 6 HR and 29 RBI in 25 games with the Bees this season.

Mondile was nearly perfect in his only start last week. He allowed only one baserunner (on a one-out double in the 1st inning) and struck out eight batters in a seven-inning complete game in the nightcap of a Friday doubleheader vs. the Great Lakes Loons.

The Cincinnati Reds farmhand is 1-3 with a 7.51 ERA, 35 strikeouts and nine walks in 38.1 innings/eight starts for the Dragons this season.

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All three Bees-Timber Rattlers games won by one run

Brewers pitcher Zach Davies was excellent in his rehab start for the Timber Rattlers on Saturday.

All three games in the weekend series between the Burlington Bees and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers were won by one run. After the opening contest was won 3-2 by the Bees — I wrote about that game here — the Timber Rattlers won the second game 1-0 and the third game 2-1.

The second game featured a rehab start by Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Zach Davies, who is coming back from a rotator cuff injury. Davies was excellent, giving up only two hits while striking out nine batters and walking none in 4.2 scoreless innings. He was relieved by Alec Bettinger, who scattered one hit and three walks while striking out three batters in 4.1 innings. Bettinger walked the first three batters he faced, but escaped the two-out, bases-loaded jam by getting Torii Hunter Jr. to pop out.

Timber Rattlers right-hander Alec Bettinger was the winning pitcher in Saturday’s game against the Bees.

Pitching was excellent for the Bees, too. Starter Simon Mathews allowed only two hits and a walk while striking out eight batters in five innings. Reliever Jorge Tavarez gave up three hits and the game’s only run (on an RBI single by Tristen Lutz), struck out three batters and walked none in three innings.

Burlington Bees RHP Simon Mathews

Wisconsin’s Joantgel Segovia was the only player with more than one hit in the game.

Timber Rattlers LF Joantgel Segovia went 2-for-4 in Saturday’s game.

The series finale was another pitchers’ duel, though it involved twice as many pitchers and lasted 10 innings. Burlington scored first on a solo homer by Jo Adell in the top of the 6th inning. Adell — the top Los Angeles Angels prospect still playing in the minors — has homered five times during his current seven-game hitting streak.

An RBI double by Lutz tied the score in the 8th before the Timber Rattlers won on two-out RBI single by Payton Henry in the 10th.

Timber Rattlers catcher Payton Henry

Want to see more photos from this game and others I attend this season? Bonus photos are among the exclusive content you can see on my Patreon site by pledging a minimal $1 per month to help support and defray costs associated with my Midwest League coverage. Read more about it here.

*All photos by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler

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Adell homers in Bees’ 3-2 win over Timber Rattlers

Jo Adell homered again for the Bees on Friday. He is 8-for-20 with four homers in his last four games.

The last time I was at Fox Cities Stadium, I watched an 18-11 slugfest between the Quad Cities River Bandits and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. My return visit Friday saw a lower-scoring game, as the Burlington Bees beat the Timber Rattlers 3-2.

The Timber Rattlers scored first, plating both of their runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Joantgel Segovia singled home Nick Roscetti (who had doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch), and Tristen Lutz tripled home Segovia. Lutz was thrown out at home on the next play, trying to score on a ground ball by Demi Orimoloye.

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers rightfielder Tristen Lutz bats during the 1st inning of Friday’s game.

The Bees responded with a run of their own in the next frame, thanks to a triple by Torii Hunter Jr. followed by an RBI groundout by Keinner Pina. Burlington tied the score on a solo homer by Jo Adell in the top of the 6th before Pina singled home Leonardo Rivas to plate the decisive run in the 8th.

Burlington Bees catcher Keinner Pina plays catch during pre-game warm-ups.

Bees reliever Oliver Ortega got the win in his Midwest League debut. He pitched innings four through seven, scattering two hits and one walk while striking out three batters.

Burlington Bees RHP Oliver Ortega

Game 2 of the series — which I will be at — is Saturday afternoon and will feature a rehab appearance by Milwaukee Brewers RHP Zach Davies, who will start for the Timber Rattlers. (He is coming back from a rotator cuff injury.) RHP Simon Mathews will start for the Bees. He is 0-2 with a 5.96 ERA, 30 strikeouts and six walks in 22.2 innings (six games/four starts) for Burlington this season.

LEGO Night

It was LEGO Night at Fox Cities Stadium. The first 1,000 fans received a LEGO-compatible OYO Sports mini-figure of Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson, who played for the Timber Rattlers in 2011. A LEGO mascot roamed the ballpark for awhile, and everything was awesome because all the players were part of a team! (That’s a LEGO Movie reference, in case you didn’t know.)

Best of all, fans could see this cool LEGO version of Milwaukee’s Miller Park. The “retractable roof” even moved!

Want to see more photos from this game and others I attend this season? Bonus photos are among the exclusive content you can see on my Patreon site by pledging a minimal $1 per month to help support and defray costs associated with my Midwest League coverage. Read more about it here.

*All photos by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler

Posted in Burlington Bees, Midwest League, Quad Cities River Bandits, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment

Captains pitcher Jimenez suspended 80 games

Lake County Captains RHP Domingo Jimenez was suspended 80 games after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance.

The suspension, which is effective immediately, was announced Friday.

Jimenez, a 24-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, has pitched in the Cleveland Indians organization since 2014. This season he was 3-0 with a 4.63 ERA, 18 strikeouts and 10 walks in 11.2 innings/six relief appearances for the Captains. He also pitched part of last season with the Captains, posting an 8.18 ERA with four strikeouts and eight walks in 11 innings/nine relief appearances. He didn’t fare much better with the short-season Mahoning Valley Scrappers last season, posting a 5.65 ERA with 16 strikeouts and 12 walks in 14.1 innings/10 relief appearances.

Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospect Joel Espinal also was suspended 80 games Friday after testing positive for the same drug. He pitched in only one game this season, a three-inning relief appearance for the High-A Dunedin Blue Jays. The 21-year-old Dominican Republic native previously pitched for rookie-level teams in the Blue Jays organization.

Posted in Dunedin Blue Jays, Florida State League, Lake County Captains, Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Midwest League, New York-Penn League | Leave a comment