Saturday, April 7, 2012

By Scott Stedman - Prospect Reporter

Salt Lake Bees: The Bees lost a heart breaker on Friday, as they blew a 7-1 lead to lose the ballgame 8-7. 2011 Angels Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Matt Shoemaker started the contest and turned in a quality start going 6 innings while surrendering 3 earned runs. The bullpen was not anything to write home about, but the offense was clicking on all cylinders. Uber-prospect center fielder Mike Trout once again led the Bees at the top of the lineup, going 2-5 with a double, raising his average to .500 for the first 2 games of the year. Hank Conger went just 1 for 4, but his 1 knock was a long home run to right field in the first inning. Outfielder Kole Calhoun who opened many eyes in the Angels front office this spring, got his first hit in Triple-A with a triple in the 1st innings. Tonight, veteran Eric Hurley will toss for the Bees.

Arkansas Travelers: The Mr. Hyde Johnny Hellweg showed up in his first start as a Traveler, yet he only surrendered 1 run which is a testament to his grit on the mound. Hellweg walked 5 guys in his 5 innings of work, throwing a total of 81 pitches. Command has been Hellweg's only real Achilles heel throughout his minor league career. After Hellweg came Matt Oye and Mike Piazza who had unspectacular outings. Offensively, there really isn't much to report. Shortstop Jean Segura went 1-3 with a single for the second night in a row. 22 year old strikeout machine Ariel Pena will start for the Travs' tonight.

Inland Empire 66ers: Starting pitcher Donn Roach was wonderful for the 66ers in a 3-0 win. Roach worked 7 innings, allowing no runs and just 4 hits while striking out 3. The 22 year old righty Roach was selected in the 3rd round of the 2010 June draft. Last year, Roach had a 3.45 ERA as a reliever for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. This year, he is being transitioned to a starter, and his first outing couldn't have gone much better. The 66ers big hitters, Cron, Grichuk and Witherspoon all had 2 knocks in the winning effort. 'Spoon the speedy center fielder, went 2-4 with a double and played terrific defense as usual. Outfielder Randal Grichuk and first baseman/DH CJ Cron, a pair of 1st rounders, both went 2-3. Today, former Florida closer and 2011 3rd rounder Nick Maronde will start for Inland Empire.

Cedar Rapids Kernels: The Kernels won a thriller, 3-2. Mike Clevinger, making his first professional start, began the game for Cedar Rapids and went 6 innings giving up just 1 run and 4 hits. After Jacob Negrete gave up the lead in the 7th, Ty Kelley came in with 2 shutdown innings, earning the win. Third baseman Kaleb Cowart collected 2 more hits which puts him at 6-9 to start the year. 20 year old shortstop Wendell Soto went 2-4 with a stolen base in the winning cause. Soto was a 3rd rounder in the 2010 draft, but has struggled mightily in his first two years pro in the Arizona League. Today, lefty Ryan Crowley will be the on the bump for the Kernels.

Prospect of the day: SP Donn Roach
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