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This Week in the Minors: Finnegan debuts, Lamb dominates, and lots more

Lots of pitchers turned in great performances in the week that ended with Omaha and Northwest Arkansas in first place in their divisions

John Lamb dominated on Wednesday, with 11 Ks in 7 innings.
John Lamb dominated on Wednesday, with 11 Ks in 7 innings.
Minda Haas


The Chukars won 5 of their 6 games since our last recap. Wander Franco, a 20-year-old Dominican infielder, piled on a ton of hits to help with that. He hit a homer (his first), 2 triples (his first and second), 3 doubles, and 7 singles. Ryan O'Hearn, who we led off with last week, had another huge week that included 4 multi-hit games.

Jake Newberry pitched well yesterday, tossing 5.1 innings of shutout ball in relief of the rehabbing Bryan Brickhouse. Newberry didn't walk anyone, and struck out 5. Brickhouse had a good outing, throwing two shutout innings. This was a much-needed positive step after his previous outing, a 6-run, 1-inning disaster back on July 2.

In  "Local Boy Makes Good" news, Logan Moon capped off a good week with a great Sunday. On Sunday alone, he homered twice, singled, and walked. The rest of the week, he had hits in 4 of 5 games, and brought his season line to .300/.329/.343 prior to Sunday's game.


Center fielder Alfedo Escalera-Maldonado had 8 hits this week, including 3 doubles and a triple. He had a sluggish start to the season, struggling in both April and May, but has picked things up since then. His line through his first 82 games is .246/.294/.372.

Frank Schwindel was feast or famine this week, with a 3-hit game, a 4-hit game, and a 5-hit game (feast!) sandwiching 3 games of 0fers (famine!). Schwindel's 5-hit game came in a 13-inning marathon, but teammate Mauricio Ramos had a 5-hit game the previous day in a regular-length game. In 68 games, Ramos is hitting .307/.371/.463.


The Blue Rocks lost most of their week to rainouts, with four games either postponed or suspended by rain. In what little baseball was left, Bubba Starling picked up two 3-hit games and a 2-hit game. Just as importantly, he only struck out 4 times all week.

Raul Mondesi, recently ranked #28 on Baseball Prospectus's midseason list, had a couple good games this week too. On Monday, he had a double and a triple.

Mark Peterson picked up 2 more saves, throwing a total of 2.1 perfect innings this week. Those were his 17th and 18th saves of the season. Glen Sparkman had another scoreless start on Friday, going 6 3-hit innings with 3 Ks and no walks. 7 of his last 10 appearances (9 starts) have been scoreless, so I'll stand by my assertion last week that he'll be moving upward soon.

The Brandon Finnegan Era has technically begun, but the 2 perfect innings he threw on Thursday won't count until the game, suspended by rain, is completed next week.

RHP Jason Adam was excellent on Friday, throwing 7 shutout innings with 7 Ks and 2 walks. He has has vacillated between getting beaten up and showing glimmers of excellence like this game. He's super young for his level, but this is his 2nd season at the Double-A level - do his inconsistencies concern you?

The Storm Chasers moved back into first place in their division Sunday, with Joe Saunders making his Royals organization debut. He threw just 3 innings, giving up 3 hits and a run.

Also in pitching: John Lamb!! Lamb was magnificent on Wednesday, racking up 11 - eleven! - strikeouts, with no walks and just 1 unearned run, in 7 innings. And he did all that with just 92 pitches. He didn't get a W, because the team went on to lose 2-1 in 14 innings. Baseball!

Johnny Giavotella is riding an 8-game hit streak.  Whit Merrifield is also streaking,  and has hit in every game in July, in everyday duty.  He's at .370/.411/.526.

Matt Fields had 4 hits, including a homer, in Sunday's win. It was his 3rd homer of the week and his 18th of the season.