Category Archives: CAL LEAGUE NORTH

STORM SWEEPS PORTS WITH 6-3 WIN

The Lake Elsinore Storm reached the .500 mark on the season with a 6-3 win over Stockton on Thursday night to complete a three-game sweep over the Ports. DH Ty France hit a bloop double in the third inning that drove in two runs and LHP Joey Lucchesi went five innings for the win.

With the home victory and Rancho Cucamonga’s loss in San Jose, the Storm are now one game out of first place.

Lucchesi was named Cal League Pitcher of the Week on April 30 and after notching the win to go to 3-0, he now has a WHIP of 0.86 and an ERA 1.66. Over 38 IP he has walked just 10 and struck out 44.

After France’s double, a popup that got lost in the sun, put the Storm up 2-0 in the third inning, Stockton came back with three runs in the top of the fourth. Lake Elsinore tied it in the bottom of the fourth, then went up 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth with a WP that scored a run and an RBI single from 2B Peter Van Gansen.

The loss dropped Stockton to 16-18, four games behind Modeso in the North.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE

Friday-through-Monday four-game series are on tap:

STOCKTON at LANCASTER

INLAND EMPIRE at SAN JOSE

MODESTO at LAKE ELSINORE

RANCHO CUCAMONGA at VISALIA

TRANSACTIONS OF NOTE

A couple of big-leaguers are included in the Cal League transactions this week:

  • OF Denard Span has been sent to San Jose on a rehab assignment and went 0-for-2 last night against Rancho Cucamonga. Span has played in 14 games with the San Francisco Giants and has had two different stints of missing time big-league due to injury.
  • RHP Rubby De La Rosa had three one-inning outings with the Visalia Rawhide and has now been sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ extended spring training. In his three outings with Visalia, De La Rosa allowed one hit and no runs with no walks and two strikeouts over 3IP.

TONIGHT’S GAMES

STOCKTON at LAKE ELSINORE

MODESTO at LANCASTER

RANCHO CUCAMONGA at SAN JOSE

VISALIA at INLAND EMPIRE

WEEKEND MATCHUPS

All eight Cal League teams are 21 games into the season with the Modesto Nuts (13-8) and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (13-8) atop the divisions. Modesto has a two-game lead in the North over Stockton (11-10) and Visalia (11-10) and is three games up on San Jose (10-11).

The Quakes are four games clear of Lake Elsinore and Lancaster, both 9-12, while Inland Empire sits five games out at 8-13.

Three game sets are on tap for the weekend as follows:

RANCHO CUCAMONGA at LANCASTER
STOCKTON at SAN JOSE
LAKE ELSINORE at INLAND EMPIRE
VISALIA at MODESTO

Starting for Rancho Cucamonga tonight is RHP Mitchell White (1-1, 2.35). White is the Dodgers #10 prospect per MLBPipeline and ranks #19 by Baseball America. Opponents are hitting .248 against the 2016 second-round draft pick and White’s WHIP is 0.98.

In San Jose tonight, the Giants will send RHP Mike Connolly to the mound. Connolly is making his fourth start and checks in with a record of 1-2 with a 1.26 ERA. The 2013 draftee out of Maine has walked four against 13 strikeouts on the season.

 

 

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – JONAH ARENADO, SJ GIANTS

Arenado drilled three homers and slashed .346/.393/.846 over last week to be named Cal League Offensive Player of the Week. The Giants’ 3B also scored eight runs and drove in six. After hitting nine homers in 134 lo-A games last season, Arenado already has six a month into this year.

ORTIZ SHINES FOR HIGH DESERT WITH 6IP, 1H

Photo: MiLB.com

Photo: MiLB.com

The High Desert Mavericks rode the arm of Luis Ortiz and a 14-hit attack to pound out a 9-1 victory over the Visalia Rawhide on Saturday night. The home Rawhide hurt their own cause with a season-high six errors as well.

The visiting Mavericks broke open a 1-1 contest with a string of deuces in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, then put up two more runs in the ninth.

Ortiz, the Rangers’ #4 prospect in Baseball America’s rankings, allowed just one hit over six innings, a solo homer to Colin Bray in the third inning. The right-hander threw 59 pitches with 41 of them strikes while striking out five against 0 walks.

The Mavericks (24-12) have taken the first two games of the four-game set in Visalia and remained a game back of first-place Rancho Cucamonga (25-11) in the South division. The Rawhide (23-12) saw their lead in the North trimmed to two games as the San Jose Giants knocked off Modesto.

SCOREBOARD

MODESTO – 7
SAN JOSE – 11

LAKE ELSINORE – 1
LANCASTER 5

HIGH DESERT – 9
VISALIA – 1

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – 5
INLAND EMPIRE – 3

STOCKTON – 6
BAKERSFIELD – 9

 

MODESTO’S HOWARD SILENCES GIANTS

Photo: MiLB.com

Photo: MiLB.com

The Modesto Nuts scored three late runs to make a Sam Howard masterpiece stand up for a 5-2 win Friday  night in San Jose. The lefty Howard (2-1) went seven strong innings, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out 10 against no walks to notch his second win of the season and give the Nuts a series-opening victory.

Modesto got on the board in the first with an RBI single by Ronnie Jebavy, only to see San Jose come back to tie it up in the bottom of the second. The Giants went ahead in the bottom of the fourth when 3B Jonah Arenado left the yard for the fifth time this season.

Single runs in the fifth and seventh innings put the visitors back on top and Howard was back in position the get the win for his strong effort. A two-run rally in the eighth saw SS Luis Jean double in two runs for all the insurance the Nuts would need, providing the final margin at 5-2.

Howard is on the fringe of the Colorado Rockies’ prospect list, sitting at #24 by MLB.com and #25 by Baseball America. His first pro season in 2014 had some pretty big rough spots but the Georgia Southern alum had a solid second-half in low-A Asheville last year. He’s alternated good and bad starts with Modesto over his last few outings, but Friday night’s effort was clearly his best of the season, and the first one in which he has finished the seventh inning.

 

SAN JOSE, STOCKTON INK PDC EXTENSIONS

downloadThe Stockton Ports and San Jose Giants will continue to be affiliated with their big-league organizations through the 2020 season as both clubs announced Player Development Contract extensions.

On April 4th, San Jose agreed to an extension with the San Francisco Giants, continuing a relationship that dates back to 1988.

StocktonStockton did the same yesterday, extending their agreement with the Oakland A’s. The Ports have been an A’s affiliate since 2005.

Many of the Cal League teams are in the final years of their PDCs, as can be seen on BallparkDigest.com’s Affiliate Dance 2016 page. The stickiest situation is probably High Desert, which is embroiled in a dispute with the city of Adelanto.  the city is attempting to have the Mavericks evicted from Stater Bros. Stadium, but the legal process has been stalled at this point.

There is a lot to the High Desert/Adelanto story and you can follow it at the Victorville Daily Press local sports section HERE.

No such drama in Stockton and San Jose. Those harmonious situations are set to go to the next decade.

NAVA TAKES HELM OF 2016 SJ GIANTS

downloadThe San Jose Giants have a new field boss for 2016, as former hitting coach  Lipso Nava has been announced as the new manager. Also returning from 2015 are Pitching Coach Mike Couchee and Athletic Trainer Garrett Havig.

New to the staff will be Hitting Coach Todd Linden and Strength and Condidtioning Coach Andy King.

Nava served as hitting coach for San Jose from 2013-2015. The Giants had an overall record of 72-68 in 2015 and landed a wildcard playoff berth after a red-hot second half of 42-28. Series wins over Stockton and Visalia put the Giants in the finals, where they lost to Rancho Cucamonga.

BAKERSFIELD ANNOUNCES 2016 COACHING STAFF

f1b6a883-8f83-43b5-9b55-19a1f19c2f7cFour members of the Bakersfield Blaze 2015 coaching staff will return for 2016, with a new pitching coach coming aboard. Field Manager Eddie Menchaca, Hitting Coach Max Venable will be back in their 2015 capacities, as will Athletic Trainer Geoff Swanson and Performance Specialist Andy Lyon.

New to the staff for 2016 is Pitching Coach Ethan Katz.

Read the full announcement from the Blaze HERE.

The Blaze had a rough first-half last season, finishing at the bottom of the North division at 26-44. But the second half saw a .500 mark at 35-35, winning seven of its last 10 games and ending on a five-game winning streak.

 

 

POST-SEASON AWARDS ANNOUNCED

The California League handed out post-season honors on Friday with A.J. Reed taking home the MVP award while Antonio Senzatela was named Pitcher of the Year. Reed tore up the league in 82 games with Lancaster before being promoted to AA in July. Senzatela has made 23 starts for the Modesto Nuts and leads the circuit in ERA (2.40) and  WHIP (1.05).

The full list of honorees is as follows:

2015 CALIFORNIA LEAGUE POSTSEASON ALL-STAR TEAM
NAME POS TEAM MLB ORG
Tyler Ogle C Rancho Cucamonga LAD
A.J. Reed* 1B Lancaster HOU
Jamie Westbrook 2B Visalia ARI
Ryan McMahon 3B Modesto COL
Christian Arroyo SS San Jose SF
Eric Aguilera UT Inland Empire LAA
Cody Bellinger DH Rancho Cucamonga LAD
Tyler O’Neill OF Bakersfield SEA
Brett Phillips OF Lancaster HOU
Raimel Tapia OF Modesto COL
Dan Altavilla P Bakersfield SEA
Anthony Banda P Visalia ARI
Chase Johnson P San Jose SF
Antonio Senzatela P Modesto COL
J.R. House Manager Visalia ARI
Gil Heredia Coach Visalia ARI
Rex Whitney Turf Manager Rancho Cucamonga LAD
Vic Zapien Clubbie Stockton OAK

* Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year
† Pitcher of the Year

(Table from official California League webpage)