Searching for Sunshine: 8/8 Nats Minor League Report; 8/9 Minors Tracker

Tough Sunday for us yesterday in Natstown with Jason Marquis continuing to rack up cringe inducing losses. The kids on the farm continue to labor on their path to The Show. has their weekend summary up of all the doings in the minors. One of the interesting links on's weekend summary was Harrisburg reporter Geoff Morrow's  perspective on Espinosa's callup.  One team's gain is another team's loss and I can understand why their perspective is different. Morrow also attaches some names to my fears about promoting players too quickly.

Under former GM Jim Bowden, the Nationals built a reputation of rushing certain position player prospects, possibly causing longterm harm. Think Bill Rhinehart and Leonard Davis.

I still don't have any problems with Espinosa's callup. I was slightly surprised at the timing right after his 3HR game, but I hope that he will help Syracuse to a strong finish while cementing his prospect status.

April Whitzman's has her summary of Sunday's games top to bottom.             

Yesterday's upper minors results after the jump.


AAA Syracuse: Matt Chico and the Chiefs win 7-4 over the Rochester Red Wings.Many familiar names and prospects contribute to a Chiefs 7-4 win.

  • Fan favorite Boomer Whiting, OF: 1-5, K.
  • Fan favorite Michael Martinez, 2B: 0-4.
  • Danny Espinosa, SS: 1-3, 2R, 2R HR, 2RBI, BB. Espinosa's doing everything he can to make his case for getting into the DC mix. So far, he's 3-12 with 2HR and a BB in 3 games at Syracuse.
  • Wilson Ramos, C: 1-4, 2R, K
  • MOAR Pete Orr, 3B: 2-4, 2RBI, K
  • Leonard Davis, 1-4, R, 2R HR, 2RBI, 3K. Once upon a time, Leonard Davis was Minor League Player of the Year for the Nationals in 2008. He's struggled some at the higher levels, but looks to be stabilizing himself as a AAA player this year.
  • Fan favorite Matt Chico, LSP: Win, 5.2IP, 8H, 4R, BB, 2K, HR. Chico has a 3.88 ERA now at Syracuse.
  • Atahualpa Severino, LRP: Hold, 1.1IP, 1H, 1BB, 2K Hualpa's ERA is now at 3.52 and he remains on the radar as a potential internal LOOGY.
  • GW's favorite Josh Wilkie, RRP: Save, 2IP, H, 2K. I continue to lobby against all hope for a callup for undrafted free agent and GW grad Josh Wilkie.

AA Harrisburg: Aaron Thompson, the starter obtained in the Nick Johnson trade, continues to frustrate. He should be on our prospect lists, but it will be hard to put him there after his struggles at Harrisburg. His teammates overcome his weak start, though. Harrisburg beats the Altoona Curve 9-6 to raise their record to 61-54, 5.5 games back in the Western Division of the Eastern League. Chuck James, yes that Chuck James formerly of the Atlanta Braves, got the win with 3IP of 1 run relief. Cole Kimball earned his 4th save for Harrisburg. I'm not familiar with Kimball, but I'm going to start caring about him a bit more. He seems to be a classic case of one of those power arms that you covert to relief when they struggle in longer stints. He's got 78K in only 66.1IP combined between Potomac and Harrisburg.

  • Aaron Thompson, 5IP, 4H, 5ER, 5BB, 6K, 2HR. Not too good. 
  • Chris Marrero, 0-4, 2K

High A Potomac: Potomac wins 4-3 to go 5-1 on a road trip and extend to a 1.5 first place lead in their division. Potomac is a bit older than I'd like to see right now, but it's good to see some of our young players contributing to a playoff push. Today was kind of a patched together pitching effort from minors journeyman and recent acquisition  Jimmy Barthemaier making a spot 3 inning start. Tyler Moore is a man that I'd be interested to learn more about from Brian at Natsfarm or Sue Dinem at Nationalsprospects. He's had a major late season surge to vault his stats to .298/.510/.808 but the low OBP raises concerns to me that he might have holes in his swing that can be exploited at AA Harrisburg.

  • Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B: 1-5, R, K
  • Michael Burgess, RF: 1-3, RBI, BB, K
  • Derek Norris, C: 0-3, BB, 2K, 1SB against
  • Tyler Moore, 1B: 2-4, R, RBI

Low A Hagerstown: Hagerstown split a doubleheader with Kannapolis, losing 5-4 in the first but winning 9-4 in the nightcap. Paul Demny got hit around in the opening game, although his defense didn't help him very much. Eury Perez made an error in center and catcher Adrian Nieto made a throwing error on a stolen base attempt to contribute to a 5R Kannapolis 2nd inning. Demny didn't help his own cause, though, with a bawk and a wild pitch in the inning. JP Ramirez had an outstanding doubleheader going 5-7 overall with a double and a HR. Hopefully he can improve his defense. This 20 year old 2008 15th round draft pick has hit better this year in his second year at Hagerstown posting a line of .340/.447/.817. Hagerstown is kind of a testimony to how little you can tell from minor league records. Their 16-27 second half record puts them last in their division, but Hague, Ramirez, and Bloxom (and Perez and Hood to some extent) seem to be either on pace or improving players deserving promotion to Potomac.

  • Rick Hague: Game 1, SS: 0-4;  Game 2, DH: 2-4, 2R, 2 2B, RBI
  • Adrian Sanchez, 2B: Game 1, 2-3, 2R, K; Game 2, 2-4, R, RBI
  • JP Ramirez: Game 1, DH: 2-3, 2R, 2B, 2run HR, 2RBI, K; Game 2, LF: 3-4, 3R, RBI, GIDP
  • Sullyzz favorite Destin Hood, RF: Game 1, 1-3, 2RBI, picked off by catcher; Game 2, 1-3, R
  • Eury Perez, CF: Game 1, 0-3, fielding error; Game 2, 1-4, R

Looking forward to your feedback and hopefully we'll get some wins and outstanding performances from the kids tonight while the adults are out on the town.

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