Birmingham (3-2, 36-38) @ Chattanooga (1-4, 44-29) – Series Preview

Last Time Out

The Barons will head to Chattanooga for their first road series of the second half after taking three of five against Jackson at home. Birmingham had a chance to get greedy and take four of five, but fell flat in Monday’s matinee, as the Generals won 4-0.

Chattanooga won the North Division first half title, but is off to a rough start in the second half, having dropped four of five at Montgomery. The Lookouts have already clinched a playoff birth, but could have a drastically different team the rest of the way. Top prospect Byron Buxton is now in the big leagues with the Twins (and currently on the DL), and ace pitcher Jose Berrios recently earned the call to Triple-A Rochester. Prospects Miguel Sano, Adam Walker, and Max Kepler are also candidates to be called up throughout the second half.

Birmingham struggled against Chattanooga more than any other team in the first half, going 4-11.

Southern League Second-Half Standings

Southern League North
Club W L PCT GB ELIM # Home Away L 10 Streak
Montgomery Biscuits (TB) 4 1 .800 4-1 0-0 4-1 W1
Birmingham Barons (CWS) 3 2 .600 1.0 65 3-2 0-0 3-2 L1
Tennessee Smokies (CHC) 3 2 .600 1.0 65 0-0 3-2 3-2 L2
Jackson Generals (SEA) 2 3 .400 2.0 64 0-0 2-3 2-3 W1
* Chattanooga Lookouts (MIN) 1 4 .200 3.0 63 0-0 1-4 1-4 L1
Southern League South
Club W L PCT GB ELIM # Home Away L 10 Streak
* Biloxi Shuckers (MIL) 3 2 .600 0-0 3-2 3-2 L1
Mississippi Braves (ATL) 3 2 .600 3-2 0-0 3-2 W2
Jacksonville Suns (MIA) 2 3 .400 1.0 65 2-3 0-0 2-3 W1
Mobile BayBears (ARI) 2 3 .400 1.0 65 2-3 0-0 2-3 W2
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (CIN) 2 3 .400 1.0 65 0-0 2-3 2-3 L2
Who’s Hot for the Barons?
  • Myles Jaye, RHP: See “Game 1 Probable Pitchers” below.
  • Nick Delmonico, 3B: Delmonico joined the Barons just in time to begin the second half, and has been a welcome addition early on. In five games, he’s batting 7-for-18 (.389) and already has four doubles. His OPS currently sits at 1.032. Delmonico, in his first year with the White Sox organization, played just five games at Kannapolis before being called up, going 8-for-20 with 8 RBI.
  • Christian Marrero, IF: Marrero continues to put together one of the best seasons of his career, and began the second half by going 5-for-18 with a home run against Jackson. Over his last ten games, Marrero is hitting .303. His overall batting line is up to .284/.386/.452 and he currently leads the Barons with nine homers.
Game 1 Probable Pitchers
  • BIRMINGHAM: Myles Jaye (6-3, 2.93 ERA) – The Barons have had several starting pitchers on a roll recently, but Myles Jaye may be the hottest of them all at the moment. In five June starts, Jaye went 4-0 while allowing only four earned runs in 32 innings, good for a 1.13 ERA. Jaye currently leads the Barons in wins (six) and WHIP (1.15), and is second to Frankie Montas in ERA (2.93). He’s fared better away from Regions Field so far this season, posting a 3-0 record and 2.53 ERA on the road.
  • CHATTANOOGA: David Hurlbut (3-3, 6.53) – Hurlbut has struggled in six starts with the Lookouts since being promoted from high Class-A Fort Myers, posting a 6.53 ERA over 30.1 innings. He’s coming off his worst start of the season against Montgomery, where the Biscuits rocked him for seven runs over just 2.1 innings. However, Hurlbut did find success in his only start against the Barons, shutting them out for seven innings while allowing only four hits and striking out five.

Roster Update: RHP Tim Crabbe joins Birmingham

Right-handed pitcher Tim Crabbe is the latest addition to the Barons roster, after being reassigned to Birmingham from Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday.

It’s been a whirlwind year so far for Crabbe, who has now suited up for four different teams. After several seasons in Cincinnati’s organization, Crabbe was drafted in the Minor League Rule 5 Draft by Arizona in December and began the season with Triple-A Reno. With the Aces, Crabbe appeared in 19 games, allowing 21 earned runs in 34.1 innings for a 5.50 ERA before being reassigned to Double-A Mobile. Crabbe appeared in just one game with the BayBears, allowing one earned run in three innings, before the Diamondbacks shipped him to the White Sox for cash considerations.

Crabbe began his stint with Chicago at Triple-A Charlotte, making one appearance and tossing two hitless innings before being assigned to Birmingham. He made his Barons debut on Monday afternoon against Jackson, allowing one run on two hits over two innings.

Crabbe was originally drafted by Cincinnati in the 14th round of the 2009 draft out of Westmont College. The 27-year-old is in his seventh professional season.

Birmingham (3-1, 36-37) vs. Jackson (1-3, 30-42) – Game #5 Preview

Yesterday’s Recap

Birmingham clinched a series win to begin the second half on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Jackson Generals, 4-3, in extra innings at Regions Field.

Trailing by a run entering the bottom of the ninth, Barons catcher Adrian Nieto led off with a solo home run to tie the game at three. In the bottom of the tenth, Nieto came to bat with the bases loaded and drew a walk to end the game.

Nieto finished 1-for-3 with two walks and two RBI.

Frankie Montas pitched effectively for the Barons while receiving a no decision, striking out six over six innings while allowing three runs (two earned). J.B. Wendelken (5-2) earned the win for Birmingham.

Read the full game recap here.

Highlights

Game 5 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Tony Bucciferro (0-4, 7.23 ERA) – Bucciferro will be making his seventh start with the Barons, and his 11th appearance overall. It’s been a rough season so far for him, as he’s allowed 30 earned runs in just 37.1 innings while allowing an opponents average of .386. In his last appearance against Jackson, he allowed three earned runs in three innings.
  • JACKSON: Anthony Fernandez (0-0, 0.00 ERA) – Fernandez will be making his return to the Double-A level after recovering from Tommy John surgery. After five starts with Triple-A Tacoma in 2014, where he went 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA, he underwent surgery in May and is just now returning. He made one start with the rookie-league AZL Mariners last week, throwing four innings and allowing one run while striking out two.

Game 5 Promotions

  • Kids Camp Day
  • YP Monday: Presented by YP.

Birmingham (2-1, 35-37) vs. Jackson (1-2, 30-41) – Game #4 Preview

Last Night’s Recap

Birmingham took its first loss of the second half on Saturday night, as the Jackson Generals notched a 4-2 victory at Regions Field.

After the Generals jumped out in front in the third inning on a Marcus Littlewood home run, the Barons answered with a sacrifice fly from Keenyn Walker. Jackson would quickly add two more runs the following inning to reclaim its lead.

The Barons added their second and final run in the eighth. Walker came to the plate in the ninth with the tying run at second base and two outs, but his drive into the left-center gap was caught to end the game.

Tim Anderson, Adrian Nieto, and Nick Delmonico all recorded two hits for Birmingham.

Tyler Danish (4-5) took the loss after allowing three runs over five innings.

Read the full game recap here.

Highlights

Game 4 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Frankie Montas (1-1, 2.55 ERA) – Montas, Chicago’s number-two prospect behind Tim Anderson, has been on a roll for the Barons, having allowed just three earned runs over his last 25 innings. He faced Jackson on June 20, but tossed just one inning due to his scheduled appearance in the Southern League All-Star Game. Overall, Montas has allowed just 17 earned runs over 60 innings while striking out 48, and a promotion to Triple-A Charlotte may be in the cards before the season is over.
  • JACKSON: James Gillheeney (3-2, 3.27 ERA) – This will mark Gillheeney’s 15th appearance with the Generals this season, but only his eighth start. He had arguably his worst start of the season against Birmingham, when he was knocked around for five earned runs in five innings on eight hits.

Game 4 Promotions

  • Salute to Armed Forces Sunday: Show your military ID to receive $2 off regular-priced tickets, presented by The Home Depot and NAPA.
  • YP Night: Presented by YP.

Birmingham (2-0, 35-36) vs. Jackson (0-2, 29-41) – Game #3 Preview

Last Night’s Recap

Birmingham continued its strong start to the second half of the season on Friday night, defeating Jackson for the second straight evening, 3-1, at Regions Field on Ovarian Cancer Awareness Night.

All three Barons runs came on solo home runs, as Danny Hayes, Rob Brantly, and Brian Fletcher all went deep. It was the first time three Barons have gone deep in the same game all season. Hayes’ and Brantly’s bombs were back-to-back, also a Barons first this year. Hayes finished the game 3-for-3.

Mark Blackmar (2-4) took care of the rest, earning his second straight win while allowing just one run in 6 2/3 innings while striking out five. Raul Fernandez struck out three of the four batters he faced in relief, and J.B. Wendelken tossed a scoreless ninth for his third save.

Read the full game recap here.

Highlights

Game 3 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Tyler Danish (4-4, 4.63 ERA) – Danish will be looking to rebound from his worst start of the season, when then Generals knocked him around for eight earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings. Danish has been a completely different story when pitching at Regions Field compared to on the road this season. He’s dominated the opposition at home, posting a 1.74 ERA over seven starts, but on the road he’s been knocked around to a 9.11 ERA and .400 opponents batting average.
  • JACKSON: Misael Siverio (2-7, 4.55 ERA) – The left-handed Siverio has struggled over his past ten starts, recording a 5.74 ERA while going 2-6. His most recent start was against the Barons, where he took the loss after allowing just two earned runs over five innings. Like Danish, he has significant home/road splits, except in his case, he’s been much better on the road, where he’s recorded a 3.71 ERA.

Game 3 Promotions

  • Breakin’ BBoy McCoy Appearance: Presented by Red Diamond, Barber’s, and The Tutwiler.
  • Grill Giveaway: One lucky fan will have the chance to take home a brand-new grill, presented by All-South Appliance.
  • Ed Randall Bat for the Cure

Birmingham (1-0) vs. Jackson (0-1) – Game #2 Preview

Last Night’s Recap

The Barons offense didn’t waste any time coming alive to begin the second half of the season, as they thrashed the Jackson Generals, 13-0, at Regions Field on a sold-out Thirsty Thursday.

Eight of the nine Barons starters recorded a hit, and Danny Hayes, the only player who didn’t hit safely, walked three times.

Christian Marrero walked three times, hit a two-run home run, and scored three runs, Rob Brantly added three RBI, and Nick Delmonico recorded three hits in his Barons debut.

Birmingham starter Myles Jaye (6-3) continued his red-hot June, tossing seven shutout innings and earning the win. Kyle Hansen then closed the door, allowing just one hit over the final two innings.

Read the full game recap here.

Highlights and Interview

Game 2 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Mark Blackmar (1-4, 3.38 ERA) – Blackmar finally earned his first win of the season in his last start, which coincidentally enough came against Jackson. Against the Generals, he threw seven shutout innings and allowed just three hits while striking out two. Despite it being his first win, Blackmar has been one of the more consistent starters for Birmingham, and has a 3.03 ERA over his last ten starts.
  • JACKSON: Moises Hernandez (3-2, 4.25 ERA) – Hernandez, the brother of Mariner’s ace Felix Hernandez, is in his fifth straight season with the Generals. He’s appeared in 18 games, but has started just four, allowing 25 earned runs in 53 innings. His worst appearance of the season came his last time out against the Barons, where he was shelled for six runs on 11 hits in just five innings.

Game 2 Promotions

  • Tim Anderson Bobblehead Giveaway: Presented to the first 1,000 fans by Auto-Owners Insurance.
  • Ovarian Cancer Awareness Night: The Barons will wear special teal-colored jerseys that will be auctioned off, with the proceeds benefiting the Norma Livingston and Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundations.
  • Friday Night Fireworks: Synced to the greatest hits of Bon Jovi, presented by Coca-Cola and Alabama Power.

Birmingham (0-0) vs. Jackson (0-0) – Series Preview

With the first half of the season and All-Star break now firmly in the rear-view mirror, the Barons and Generals will meet to open the second half of the season at Regions Field on Thursday night, with both teams looking to rebound from disappointing first halves. The Generals finished the first half with a 29-39 record, which was last in the North Division, and the Barons finished just 3.5 games better at 33-36. The two teams met to close out the first half of the season, with Birmingham taking three out of five games.

Generals to Watch

  • D.J. Peterson, 1B/3B: Peterson is arguable the best prospect in the Mariners system, being ranked #1 by Baseball Prospectus and #2 by Baseball America. He was a first-round draft choice (12th overall) by Seattle in 2013 out of the University of New Mexico. After a strong start to his professional career, he’s stumbled this season with the Generals, hitting .207/.288/.326 with only four home runs. The disappearance of his power is a surprising development that has to concern Seattle, after he hit a combined 31 bombs between High Desert and Jackson last season.
  • Edwin Diaz, RHP: Diaz is another big prospect in the Mariners’ system, ranking in at #5 by Baseball Prospectus and #6 by Baseball America. He began the season with high Class-A Bakersfield, but quickly earned a promotion to Jackson after recording a 1.70 ERA with 42 strikeouts in just seven starts. The Double-A level has been an adjustment for the 21-year-old Diaz, who has allowed 21 earned runs in his first 38 innings for the Generals. The strikeouts are still there, as he’s averaging 8.1 K/9, so he likely just need some more time to adjust to this level.

Who’s Hot for the Barons?

  • Tim Anderson, SS: Anderson finished the first half on an absolute tear, going 11-for-21 over his last five games, before winning the Southern League All-Star Game MVP award after going two-for-three with a double, triple, RBI, and run scored. The White Sox top prospect is now batting .313/.337/.414 and could earn himself a promotion before too much longer at this rate.
  • J.B. Wendelken, RHP: Wendelken has been a bright spot out of the Barons bullpen lately, allowing just three earned runs over his last 15 innings for a 1.80 ERA. He’s also struck out 17 batters in that time frame while walking only six. His overall ERA is now at 2.70, and he sports a 4.0 K/BB rate while opponents are batting just .238 against him.

Game 1 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Myles Jaye (5-3, 3.23 ERA) – Jaye has been absolutely dominant over four starts in June, going 3-0 while allowing only four earned runs in 25 innings for a 1.44 ERA. He dominated Jackson in his last start, tossing seven shutout innings while allowing only four hits.
  • JACKSON: Edwin Diaz (2-4, 4.97 ERA) – See “Generals to Watch” section above.

Game 1 Promotions

  • Thirsty Thursday: $2 beer and wine specials, presented by Liv Parkside, Miller Lite, Woodbridge, and Buffalo Wild Wings.
  • Thursday Night Concert Series: Presented by Birmingham Mountain Radio and Tin Roof.

Roster Update: Curley to Charlotte, Delmonico to Birmingham

The Barons have made a series of roster moves heading into the second half of the season.

Infielder Chris Curley has been promoted to Triple-A Charlotte to replace Leury Garcia, who was moved to the disabled list. Curley has split the 2015 season between Kannapolis and Birmingham, hitting a combined .220/.269/.416 with seven home runs and 30 RBI. In 23 games with the Barons, he hit just .145/.195/.263.

Curley will be replaced on the Barons roster by fellow infielder Nick Delmonico, who will be making his first appearance at the Double-A level. Delmonico is in his first season in the White Sox organization, and in five games with Kannapolis went 8-for-20 with a home run and eight runs driven in before being promoted. Delmonico previously spent time with both the Orioles and Brewers organizations.

Birmingham also placed infielder Jeremy Farrell on the disabled list, putting their current active roster at 24 players.

 

Birmingham (31-34) @ Jackson (27-37) – Game #2 Preview

Last Night’s Recap

The Barons offense finally came to life on Wednesday night, as they pounded out 16 hits en route to a 8-1 win over the Jackson Generals in the first of a five-game series.

Every Barons starter recorded a hit in the victory. Jeremy Farrell led the way with a four-hit performance. Tim Anderson added two doubles and drove in three runs.

Myles Jaye (5-3) had a strong performance on the mound for Birmingham, tossing seven innings and allowing just one unearned run on four hits. Zach Isler tossed the final two innings in relief, allowing just one hit.

Read the full game recap here.

Game 2 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Tyler Danish (4-3, 3.70 ERA) – After struggling through May, Danish has rebounded through two starts in June, allowing just one earned run over 12 innings. He was a hard-luck loser against Chattanooga in his last start after allowing just one run over six innings while striking out seven. This will be his first career start against Jackson.
  • JACKSON: Edwin Diaz (1-4, 5.57 ERA) – Don’t be fooled by Diaz’s ERA. He’s one of the top prospects in Seattle’s system. He began this season with the high Class-A Bakersfield Blaze, recording a 1.70 ERA over seven starts while striking out 42 and walking just nine. Last season, he was a Midwest League All-Star with the Clinton LumberKings, starting 24 games and recording a 3.33 ERA.

Birmingham (30-34) @ Jackson (27-36) – Series Preview

The Barons and Generals will meet for the first time this season beginning tonight, as they wrap up the first half of the Southern League season with a five-game series. Both teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention, as Jackson sits in last play in the North Division, with the Barons just 2.5 games ahead of them.

Birmingham is coming off a tough series against soon-to-be division champion Chattanooga, as the Lookouts took four in a row after dropping the opener. The only way the second-place Tennessee Smokies can overtake the Lookouts to win the first-half division title is to win out while the Lookouts lose out.

Jackson enters this series on its hottest streak of the season, having just swept Mobile on the road, outscoring the BayBears 31-17. Prior to that series, the Generals had lost seven straight games.

Although there’s nothing to play for for either team, it’s still important they get a good look at each other, as they’ll open the second half of the season by going head-to-head again at Regions field.

Generals to Watch

  • D.J. Peterson, 1B/3B: Peterson is arguable the best prospect in the Mariners system, being ranked #1 by Baseball Prospectus and #2 by Baseball America. He was a first-round draft choice (12th overall) by Seattle in 2013 out of the University of New Mexico. After a strong start to his professional career, he’s stumbled this season with the Generals, hitting just .204/.286/.316 with only four home runs. The lack of power is a surprising development that has to concern Seattle, as he hit 13 homers with the Generals last season in four fewer plate appearances than he has this season.
  • Edwin Diaz, RHP: Diaz is another big prospect in the Mariners’ system, ranking in at #5 by Baseball Prospectus and #6 by Baseball America. He began the season with high Class-A Bakersfield, but quickly earned a promotion to Jackson after recording a 1.70 ERA with 42 strikeouts in just seven starts. The Double-A level has been an adjustment for the 21-year-old Diaz, who has allowed 20 earned runs in his first 32 1/3 innings for the Generals. The strikeouts are still there, as he’s averaging 8.1 K/9, so he likely just need some more time to adjust to this level.

Game 1 Probable Pitchers

  • BIRMINGHAM: Myles Jaye (4-3, 3.59 ERA) – Jaye has had a strong month of June so far, allowing just four earned runs over 18 innings while striking out 17. Over his past 10 starts, he’s recorded a 3.07 ERA and earned four wins. Jaye was originally a 17th-round selection by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010, but was traded to the White Sox along with Daniel Webb for Jason Frasor in 2012.
  • JACKSON: James Gillheeney (3-1, 2.70 ERA) – Edwin Diaz might be the big name in the Generals rotation, but Gillheeney has certainly earned some attention with his results. The former eighth-rounder out of North Carolina State is already 27 and has kicked around in the minors between Double- and Triple-A for several seasons, but is putting together the best season of his professional career. In 13 appearances (six starts) for the Generals, he’s allowed just 15 runs in 50 innings. He also made one start with Triple-A Tacoma, earning the win after allowing two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 34 other followers