Minor League Roundup: Rough Start for Jameson Taillon; Big Day for Kelson Brown

Wednesday's action:

-P- Indianapolis dropped a 1-0 game to Lehigh Valley. Considering the players on their roster, you'd think the Indians would have a good, or at least solid, offense, but they've been pretty terrible. Well, not Pirate Terrible, not even close to that historic level of ineptitude, but bad just the same. They're last in the International League in OPS by a comfortable margin. They wasted their usual strong start, this one by Daniel Cabrera, who allowed the one run on five hits and a walk in six innings. He fanned five. Bryan Morris went two innings, allowing no hits, walking two and fanning one. Chase d'Arnaud went 0-4 and is now hitting .150, which seems to be about the norm for a starting shortstop in Pirateland. Starling Marte went 1-4 with two more strikeouts; unfortunately, no, he's not ready for The Show yet. Jeff Clement and Matt Hague each went 2-4.

-P- Altoona won in ten innings, 4-3, over Bowie. Kelson Brown went 3-3 with a double and triple. The latter hit came with two outs in the top of the tenth and drove in the winning run. (The leftfielder failed to make a diving catch on what would have been a single, but the run still would have scored.) Nate Baker started and managed to hit his pitch count with two outs in the fifth, having thrown 94 pitches. He allowed two runs on three hits and five walks, fanning one against a weak Bowie lineup. Vic Black came on with Altoona up 3-2 and gave up the tying run on a balk when he stumbled in his delivery with a runner on third and two outs. He threw two innings, allowing two hits and no walks, and fanning four. Duke Welker threw scoreless innings in the 9th and 10th to get the win. He walked one and fanned one. Robbie Grossman went 1-5 with a triple. Ramon Cabrera went 1-3 with a walk and an RBI double; believe it or not, he leads the Curve with 20 RBIs. Quincy Latimore went 2-4 and cut down a runner at the plate with a picture perfect throw.

Side Note on Black and Welker: Both these guys have been part of recent roster discussions, Black in Vlad's post on Rule 5 eligibles and Welker as part of speculation on who might get removed from the 40-man roster if Jake Fox gets called up, which he won't be. Black looked totally different from when I saw him last year. His fastball is sitting at 94, although he actually started hitting 96 consistently toward the end of his second inning, and he has a good breaking ball. He also wasn't struggling to throw strikes, as he has in the past. Command within the zone is another issue, but he's made a lot of progress and has excellent stuff. As for Welker, in his first inning he threw 96-99. He ain't coming off the roster, unless it's in some alternate dimension where Spock has a goatee and Neal Huntington likes undersized finesse pitchers.

-P- Bradenton dropped a doubleheader to FSL powerhouse St. Lucie. In game one, Jameson Taillon had his worst start of the year as the Marauders lost, 6-3. Taillon went 5.2 IP and allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks, with four Ks. He gave up his first two longballs of the season. Gift Ngoepe went 3-4 with a double and Carlos Paulino 2-3 with a triple. Bradenton was shut out in game two by a 4-0 count. Hunter Strickland got knocked out with one out in the third. He gave up four runs on seven hits, including two HRs, while walking and fanning none. For the two games, Drew Maggi went 1-7, Mel Rojas, Jr., 2-6 and Alex Dickerson 0-5.

-P- West Virginia had yet another pitching meltdown, losing to Lexington, 13-7. Ryan Hafner allowed seven runs, six earned, on seven hits and four walks in 3.2 IP. He fanned two. Jordan Cooper allowed another five runs, three earned, in two innings. Both have ERAs over 8.00. Alen Hanson went 3-5 with a double and his sixth HR, but he committed four (4, or f-o-u-r) errors. He now has 17 in 38 games. Junior Sosa went 2-3 with his first HR.

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