23-year old Elizardo Ramirez made his 2006 debut giving up 6 hits, 1 HR and 3 ER with 4 Ks in 5 innings.
28 year old Rob Stratton appears to be the only offensive player on this pathetic excuse for an offensive AAA team, either that or Ottawa has the best pitching staff in the history of AAA baseball. The Bats mustered just 4 runs in 3 games to start the season. On the bright side, they are fast which comes in handy going from first base back to the dugout after a groundout. Stratton has done well early, and in Game 2 went 2 for 2 with a double, a homer, 2 R, an RBI, and a walk.
25-year old Mike Gosling looked excellent in his Reds’ farm system debut. Gosling went 5 innings giving up 6 hits, and 1 ER. He struck out 5 and walked 0.
25 year old Aaron Herr went 3-4 with a two run homer in the 7th to win the game for the Lookouts. As a 24-year old at AA Springfield last year, Herr hit 21 homers. Repeating in AA is probably a bad sign for the right handed 3rd baseman. He needs to make a move soon as his baseball-age clock is ticking.
26-year old Steve Kelly, who has put up together a solid minor league career, opened the season with a gem going 5 innings allowing only 1 hit and 1 walk. Kelly only struck out one. He pitched 19 games at AAA last year posting a 4.82 ERA after 161 innings of AA in 2004 with a 2.96 ERA. A trip back to AA this year is probably a bad sign for Kelly his 5.76 K/9 rate along with his 3.53 BB/9 rate last year at AAA, must have scared off the Reds brass, and deservedly so.
36 year-old Quinton McCracken, taking at-bats away from a DESERVING youngster went 2-3 with a R. 25 year old Jay Garthwaite playing in his 6th season at Single A went 3 -4 with a 2B, a HR, a R, and 3 RBI. Garthwaite’s career is proof that if you don’t have plate discipline you will have trouble making it to the show. He has always shown some power (.491 career SLG), but still hasn’t learned the strike zone. Despite a respectable .282 BA, his OBP for his career is only .333, and mostly playing against players that are younger than him.
South Bend 7, Dayton 0
The Dragons could only muster 6 hits against South Bend, and starting pitcher, 22-year old Zach Ward, who is an impressive 6’5″ 225 pounds, held South Bend scoreless for 6 innings. Ward, a 3rd rounder in the 2004 draft, recorded 3 Ks and 3 BB. 25-year old Andy Weimer got knocked around giving up 7 R (3 Earned), with 4 hits and 2 BB, in his one inning of work.