-- Jameson Taillon returned to game action for the first time in two and a half years, and allowed just one run over six strong innings in a 4-2 win against Toledo. Facing a lineup heavy on major league experience -- like Cameron Maybin, Casey McGehee and Nate Schierholtz -- Taillon gave up five hits, walked none, and fanned six. He threw 58 of 85 pitches for strikes. The only run off Taillon scored in the first, when a bloop triple was followed by a double. Adam Frazier and Jason Rogers led the offense. Frazier went 3-5 with a double, and Rogers 2-4 with a double and three RBIs. Others:
Josh Bell: 0-3, BB, 2 K
Max Moroff: 0-3, BB, 3 K
Willy Garcia: 2-3, BB
Trey Haley: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K, Sv
-- I made it up to Altoona to watch the Curve beat Akron, 9-5. The Curve sent ten men to the plate and scored five times in the bottom of the first, only to see Jason Creasy surrender a grand slam in the top of the second. Things would have been worse, but Justin Maffei made a great throw to cut down a runner trying to score on a fly to fairly deep left field. The Curve eventually got the five-run lead back, before Montana DuRapau allowed a solo HR in the ninth. Some observations on individual players:
Harold Ramirez has been slumping so far. He went 2-5 in this game, but both hits were slow rollers toward third that traveled about 50 feet combined. He did hit one long drive to center.
Erich Weiss was 3-5, including a bunt single and a long double.
Anderson Feliz, batting third with Jose Osuna sitting, hit two doubles, one a drive over the centerfielder's head and the other a smash down the first base line. Feliz had a strong spring and is hitting 438/500/688 so far in the regular season. He's nearly 24, but he had only limited playing time with the Yankees, averaging well under 50 games per season. It's a very small sample size, but so far he seems to have a good bat. I don't know about his glove; he booted a grounder in this game.
Reese McGuire, as always, looked highly skilled behind the plate. He went 1-3 with a walk and a line single off the third baseman's glove.
Creasy does not throw hard, mostly 88-89. He has good command and a good curve, but the below-average fastball isn't enough to set up anything else. He pitched much better after the grand slam, but there were still a number of hard-hit outs. He gave up the four runs, with seven hits and no walks, in five innings. He had two strikeouts, oddly both of them the Indians' top prospect, Bradley Zimmer.
Jhondaniel Medina threw two scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk while fanning four. Medina changes speeds constantly, with velocity ranging from the low-80s to about 94. It's difficult to tell exactly what he's throwing much of the time, because pitches come in anywhere in that velocity range. Medina could probably be called "creatively wild" and it worked well in this game.
DuRapau is similar to Medina in that he changes speeds a lot. They both have jerky motions that seem to be hard to pick up. DuRapau has a little less velocity than Medina, but better control. He lunges toward the plate at the end of his motion, so his velocity may play up a little due to releasing the ball closer to the plate, although he's not tall. He got some pitches up, which could account for the HR and a drive to the fence in right-center. The HR was the only hit off him, while he walked none and fanned three. He threw 19 of 23 pitches for strikes.
-- Brandon Waddell had his second strong start as Bradenton beat Tampa, 4-1. Waddell threw six shutout innings, allowing three hits and a walk, and striking out three. Taylor Gushue went 2-3 with a double and a walk, and Pablo Reyes 2-4 with a double. The Marauders had nine hits, raising their team average to .196. Others:
Kevin Newman: 1-3
Kevin Kramer: 0-3
Connor Joe: 1-3, 2B, 1 BB
Edgar Santana: 2 IP, 1 H
-- West Virginia beat Greenville, 4-2. Tito Polo! and Ke'Bryan Hayes each went 2-4 with a double. Hayes is hitting .375. John Bormann was 2-3 with a double. Starter Logan Sendelbach allowed two runs on seven hits in four and a third innings. Tate Scioneaux threw two hitless innings for the save. He walked one and struck out three. Others:
Mitchell Tolman: 1-4, BB
Casey Hughston: 0-4, 3 K