Birmingham (6-7) vs. Pensacola (4-8) – Game 5 Preview

 

Game 4 Recap

Birmingham saw its comeback fall short on Thursday night, as the Pensacola Blue Wahoos evened the five-game series at two games apiece with a 5-3 win at Regions Field.

The Barons fell behind 5-0 before beginning their comeback attempt in the fourth. Courtney Hawkins led off the inning with a triple and scored on a Christian Marrero RBI groundout. Brian Fletcher then hit a double and scored on a base hit from Danny Hayes.

Fletcher knocked in the Barons’ final run in the sixth on a double that scored Marrero from first.

Mike Recchia (0-1) struggled again for the Barons, allowing five runs (four earned) over five innings on seven hits.

Read the full recap here.

Game 5 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Tyler Danish (2-0, 5.40 ERA) – After a strong first start, Danish struggled in his second outing against Chattanooga, allowing five earned runs in five innings on nine hits. Overall, the righty has allowed six earned runs in 10 innings, while striking out nine and issuing just three walks.
  • CHATTANOOGA: Wandy Peralta (1-1, 3.72 ERA) – Through two starts, Peralta has allowed four earned runs in 9 2/3 innings, with four strikeouts and five walks. He earned the win in his first start against Biloxi, throwing five shutout innings, but struggled against Tennessee, allowing four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. The left-hander is in his first season at the Double-A level, and finished 2014 with a 4.82 ERA over 142 innings at high-A Bakersfield.

Game 5 Promotions

  • Superhero Night: The Barons will wear special superhero jerseys in the spirit of the release of The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
  • Regions Field Baseball Giveaway: Given to the first 500 kids, presented by Regions.
  • Friday Night Fireworks: Synced to the music of the Marvel cinematic universe.

Roster Update: Coats, Garcia to Charlotte; Jirschele, Fletcher to Birmingham

The Barons announced a couple of roster moves prior to Thursday night’s game against Pensacola.

Jason Coats, who hit .340 with nine doubles in 12 games, was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte, along with Drew Garcia, who went 5-for-10 with the Barons.

Replacing them are Justin Jirschele and Brian Fletcher.

Jirschele has played in four games this season – two with Winston-Salem and two with Charlotte. Overall, he has just one hit in 12 at-bats. Last season he batted .298/.339/.339 between the same two teams. He’s played primarily at second, third, and short, but also has some outfield experience.

Fletcher, drafted out of Auburn University, is in his first season with the White Sox organization after spending the past five years with the Kansas City Royals. He played in 59 games split between three different levels last season, batting .274/.333/.413. Fletcher, who’s been used mostly as a left fielder, has not played yet this season, as he joins the Barons from extended spring training.

Birmingham (6-6) vs. Pensacola (3-8) – Game 4 Preview

Game 3 Recap

Birmingham evened it’s record at .500 with a tight, 3-2 victory against Pensacola on Wednesday afternoon at Regions Field.

Myles Jaye (1-1) turned in his best start of the season, tossing six shutout innings while allowing just four hits and no runs. He struck out four and walked three, earning his first win while lowering his ERA to 4.11.

The Barons scored their first run in the second inning, when Jason Coats hit a double to bring home Christian Marrero. They added two more in the fifth when Marcus Lemon came up with the bases loaded and knocked a single up the middle that would prove to be the game-winning hit.

Onelki Garcia allowed two runs in 1 2/3 innings before Cody Winiarski came in to earn his first save of the season, striking out three of the four batters he faced.

Marrero, Coats, and Jacob May each recorded two hits for the Barons.

Read the full game recap here.

Highlights and Interview

Game 4 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Mike Recchia (0-0, 6.30 ERA) – Although Recchia has allowed seven earned runs in 10 innings, all seven of those runs have come on just two swings. Mobile’s Alex Glenn hit a three-run homer in Recchia’s first start, and Miguel Sano crushed a grand slam off of him in Chattanooga his last time out. It’s extremely unlikely that he’ll continue to give up a homer every five innings, which would lead his numbers to stabilize around where they’ve been in past seasons.
  • PENSACOLA: Josh Smith (0-0, 8.31 ERA in Triple-A) – Smith will be making his first start for the Blue Wahoos since 2013. He spent all of the 2014 season with the Triple-A Louisville Bats, where he appeared in 28 games (starting 24) and recorded a 4.70 ERA in 159 innings. Smith returned to Louisville to begin the 2015 season, and was shelled in his only start, allowing four runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Game 4 Promotions

  • Thirsty Thursday: $2 beer and wine specials, presented by Liv Parkside, Miller Lite, Woodbridge, and Buffalo Wild Wings.
  • Mardi Gras in April: Check out the crawfish boil in the courtyard throughout the game, along with other Mardi Gras-themed activities, presented by Cajun Steamer.
  • College Night: Groups of 10 or more receive $2 off regular-priced tickets.
  • Thursday Night Concert Series: Andy Spain performs a pre-game concert in the courtyard, presented by Birmingham Mountain Radio and Tin Roof.

Birmingham (5-6) vs. Pensacola (3-7) – Game 3 Preview

Game 2 Recap

Birmingham used a late rally on Tuesday night to even its series against Pensacola at one game apiece, defeating the Blue Wahoos, 8-4, at Regions Field.

Pensacola jumped out to a three-run lead, but the Barons scored four runs in the sixth and added four more in the eighth for their third home win of the season.

The top of the lineup excelled for Birmingham, as Jacob May, Tim Anderson, and Courtney Hawkins each recorded two hits, with a combined four RBI and three runs scored.

Mark Blackmar received a no decision for the Barons after throwing 4 2/3 innings and allowing two earned runs on eight hits. J.B. Wendelken (1-0) earned the win for the Barons, allowing one run – his first of the season – in 2 1/3 innings. Nolan Sanburn picked up the save.

Read the full game recap here.

Highlights and Interview

Game 3 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Myles Jaye (0-1, 6.75 ERA) – Jaye, who will be making his third start of the season, has allowed seven earned runs in 9 1/3 innings. After a rough start in the season-opener against Mobile, Jaye showed some improvement against Chattanooga, allowing two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Overall, he’s struck out five batters while walking only three, but has allowed an opponents average of .378.
  • PENSACOLA: Daniel Wright (0-1, 7.04) – Wright’s numbers are heavily inflated due to a rough start against Biloxi, in which he allowed six earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings. He then rebounded against Tennessee, throwing five shutout innings and allowing just two hits. Wright was a 10th round draft choice out of Arkansas State in 2013, and has a 4.17 career ERA in the minor leagues over 202 2/3 innings.

Game 3 Promotions

  • AAA Wednesday
  • School Day

Birmingham (4-6) vs. Pensacola (3-6) – Game 2 Preview

Game 1 Recap

The Barons jumped in front of Pensacola early on Monday night but couldn’t hang on, as the Blue Wahoos tied the game in the eighth inning and scored the winning run in the ninth en route to a 6-5 victory at Regions Field.

Pensacola struck first with a run in the top of the third, but the Barons answered with three runs of their own. Third baseman Jeremy Farrell led off the inning with a solo home run – his first of the year – and Joey DeMichele followed with a triple. Tim Anderson then recorded an RBI single, stole second and third base, and came in to score on a sacrifice fly.

Birmingham would plate another in both the fourth and sixth innings, but the bullpen failed to hold onto the lead. Miguel Chalas allowed two earned runs in 1 1/3 innings, and Raul Fernandez (0-1) received a blown save and the loss after giving up a run in 1 2/3 innings.

Frankie Montas started for the Barons and struggled with his control, issuing six walks in five innings. He allowed three earned runs on five hits.

Courtney Hawkins and Jason Coats each recorded two hits for Birmingham.

You can read the full game recap here.

Game 2 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Mark Blackmar (0-1, 13.50 ERA) – Blackmar will be making his second start of the season for the Barons. His first start, against the Mobile BayBears, began on a positive note but unraveled in the third inning when he allowed five earned runs while recording just one out. Overall, he allowed five earned runs in 3 1/3 innings on eight hits while striking out three and walking two.
  • PENSACOLA: Tim Adleman (0-1, 0.82 ERA) – Adleman has arguably been the best player in the early-going for the Blue Wahoos, having made two starts and allowing just one earned run in 11 innings. He’s struck out eight and walked only one, but has allowed an opponent average of .308, which can be seen as a sign that he’s had some luck on his side. Adleman split 2014 between high-A and Double-A, and recorded a 3.72 ERA in 87 innings. He was used mostly as a reliever, appearing in 38 games but only starting six.

Game 2 Promotions

  • 50-Cent Hot Dog Night: Presented by Kayem, Flowers Bakery, Birmingham Zoo, WIAT 42, and Jeff. Co. ALFA Agents
  • Social Media Night: Fans have a chance to win great prizes through social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Faith Night: Church groups of 10 or more receive $2 off regular-priced tickets.

Birmingham (4-5) vs. Pensacola (2-6) – Series Preview

Yesterday’s Recap

The Barons and Lookouts saw the final game of their series cancelled due to inclement weather and poor field conditions. The Barons took two games of the series and will enter this homestand with a 4-5 record.

Series Preview

The Blue Wahoos, a Cincinnati Reds affiliate, come to Regions Field with a 2-6 record, which places them alongside the Jackson Generals for the worst record in the Southern League. Pensacola has already had three games postponed due to the weather (one of which was already made up as part of a doubleheader), and has gone 1-3 in each of its two series. Most recently, the Blue Wahoos traveled to Tennessee and saw the Smokies take three out of four. The Blue Wahoos’ lone win in the series came in game two of a Friday night doubleheader. The Barons will be hosting their second series of the season, and enter with a home record of 2-3.

Game 1 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Frankie Montas (0-0, 1.69 ERA) – Montas has now gone over a week since his first appearance of the season. Originally scheduled to pitch on Saturday night, he was pushed back to Sunday because of Thursday night’s postponement. However, Sunday’s game was also rained out, which pushed him back to the series opener against Pensacola. Montas was strong in his first start of the season, throwing 5 1/3 innings without allowing a hit last Sunday against Mobile. He did allow an earned run while walking two, but also struck out eight.
  • PENSACOLA: Robert Stephenson (0-1, 4.76 ERA) – Cincinnati’s first round draft choice in 2011, Stephenson is currently a top-25 ranked prospect in baseball, and the number-one prospect in the Reds’ system according to both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. He took the loss in his first start of the season against Biloxi, allowing three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, while walking two and striking out seven. Between three levels last season, Stephenson recorded a 2.99 ERA in 22 starts and 114 1/3 innings, recording 136 strikeouts and allowing an opponent average of just .217.

Pensacola Players to Watch

  • Robert Stephenson, RHP  See above.
  • Jesse Winker, OF – Winker was selected in the first round (49th overall) in 2012, and has become a top prospect for the Reds (#2 per BP, #3 per BA). The 21-year-old has gotten off to a rather slow start this season, with a line of .222/.276/.296 after 29 plate appearances in eight games. He split the 2014 season between high-A and Double-A, hitting .287/.399/.518 with 15 home runs in 74 games. Winker could move quickly through the Reds’ system, and is seen as somebody who could be contributing to the big-league club by the middle of next season barring any setbacks.
  • Tim Adleman, RHP – Adleman has been one of the lone bright spots in the early-going for Pensacola. He’s started two games and allowed just one earned run in 11 innings, good for a 0.82 ERA. He’s allowed 12 hits, but has walked just one batter while striking out eight.

Who’s Hot for the Barons

  • Jacob May, CF – After a very slow start to the season, May saw his bat come alive in the Barons’ series against Chattanooga. In those four games, May went 8-for-15 with 4 RBI to raise his average from .050 to .257.
  • Tim Anderson, SS – The Barons’ leadoff hitter has excelled early, and has now hit safely in eight out of nine games, including six in a row. His .359 average is among the tops on the team, and he’s also stolen four bases without getting caught. If there’s one downside to his season stats thus far, it’s that he’s struck out eight times while failing to draw a walk.
  • J.B. Wendelken and Miguel Chalas, RHP’s – Wendelken and Chalas have both been bright spots in the Barons’ bullpen so far. The two right-handed relievers have combined to throw 12 1/3 shutout innings, allowing just five hits and two walks while striking out 13. They are the only two pitchers on Birmingham’s staff that have yet to allow an earned run.

Birmingham (4-5) @ Chattanooga (6-3) – Game 5 Preview

 

Last Night’s Recap

The Barons pounded out 16 hits in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday, scoring 11 runs in the first three innings and defeating the Lookouts, 11-5, at AT&T Field.

Tyler Danish (2-0) earned the win while allowing five earned runs in five innings.

Birmingham’s offense didn’t sustain the same success in the second game, as the Barons failed to score a run while falling, 1-0.

Junior Guerra (0-1) made a spot start for the Barons to keep their rotation in order, and was a hard-luck loser after allowing just one run in 3 2/3 innings while striking out five.

You can read the full doubleheader recap here.

Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Frankie Montas (0-0, 1.69 ERA) – Montas didn’t allow a hit through 5 1/3 innings in his season debut last Sunday, but did walk two and allowed an earned run. He also recorded eight strikeouts. Montas is beginning his first full season at the Double-A level after making one start with the Barons at the end of 2014, and was added to the White Sox 40-man roster in the offseason.
  • CHATTANOOGA: TBD – The Lookouts’ website currently lists DJ Baxendale as Sunday’s starter. Baxendale, however, started game two of the doubleheader last night while earning the win. The Lookouts may very well use a spot starter to fill in, much like the Barons did last night with Junior Guerra.

Birmingham (3-4) @ Chattanooga (5-2) – Doubleheader Preview

 

Game 2 Recap

Birmingham snapped Chattanooga’s five-game win streak on Friday night, defeating the Lookouts 6-4 at AT&T Field.

Courtney Hawkins hit a two-run home run, and Jacob May and Jason Coats combined for seven hits.

Twins prospect Miguel Sano hit a grand slam off of Barons starter Mike Recchia, who received a no decision.

Miguel Chalas (1-0) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief, and J.B. Wendelken followed with two scoreless innings of his own for the save.

You can read the full game recap here.

Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM (Game 3): Tyler Danish (1-0, 1.80 ERA) – Danish was strong in his first start, tossing five innings against the Mobile BayBears and allowing just one run while helping the Barons to their first win of the season. He struck out three and walked one in what was his first start at the Double-A level.
  • CHATTANOOGA (Game 3): Greg Peavey (1-0, 2.84 ERA) – Peavey allowed two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Montgomery Biscuits in his first start, while striking out six. Last season he recorded a 4.64 ERA over 24 starts split between Double- and Triple-A.
  • BIRMINGHAM (Game 4): Frankie Montas (0-0, 1.69 ERA) – Montas didn’t allow a hit through 5 1/3 innings in his season debut on Sunday, but did walk two and allow an earned run. He also recorded eight strikeouts. Montas is beginning his first full season at the Double-A level after making one start with the Barons at the end of 2014, and was added to the White Sox 40-man roster in the offseason.
  • CHATTANOOGA (Game 4): D.J. Baxendale (1-0, 0.00 ERA) – Baxendale threw shutout ball over 6 1/3 innings in his debut, striking out four while allowing six hits and one walk. He was selected in the 10th round of the 2012 draft and spent the 2014 season at three different levels, finishing with a 5.48 ERA over 90 1/3 innings.

Get to Know: Martin Medina

Martin Medina will begin the 2015 season with the Barons after splitting 2014 between Winston-Salem and Birmingham.

Martin Medina was drafted by the White Sox in the 20th round of the 2011 draft out of California State University of Bakersfield, and has now served as a catcher (and occasional first baseman) in Chicago’s organization for nearly five years. Last season, he appeared in 54 total game between Winston-Salem and Birmingham, slashing .286/.354/.357. In 2015, he is expected to backup Adrian Nieto as the Barons’ catcher. He’s appeared in one game so far, going 0-for-4 with a walk.

Where were you born?

Ventura, California

Where do you live in the offseason?

Ventura

Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?

Ken Griffey Jr.

Who was your biggest influence?

My parents

What’s your favorite sport other than baseball?

Football

What’s your favorite movie?

Good Will Hunting

What’s your favorite food?

Pizza and steak.

What’s your favorite thing to do other than play baseball?

Eat

What other hobbies do you have?

Anything outdoors

If you could have dinner with any three people, who would they be?

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly at the same time; me 50 years from now

Roster Update: Winiarski returns to Birmingham

Two days ago, RHP Cody Winiarski was reassigned to Winston-Salem from Birmingham, and RHP Jarrett Casey was reassigned to Birmingham from Charlotte.

Today, they’re both back with the teams they started the season with.

The Triple-A Charlotte Knights have been hit by a rash of injuries, placing RHP Brad Penny, RHP Matt Lindstrom, and IF/OF Matt Tuiasosopo on the DL, leading the White Sox to send Casey back up before he made a single appearance with the Barons.

Winiarski did make one appearance for Winston-Salem, throwing two innings against the Potomac Nationals on Wednesday, allowing two hits and no runs. He walked two and struck out one.

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