Game Notes: 4-8-14 vs Rochester
DOUBLE DIPPING: Schedule makers always have great intentions. But the
ultimate schedule maker, Mother Nature, sometimes has other ideas. A day’s worth
of rain and the forecast for more combined to postpone play for the RailRiders and
the Rochester Red Wings at Frontier Field on Monday night. The teams will make
it up as part of a twinbill today starting at 4:35 p.m. Last season the RailRiders
went 5-2-4 in their 11 doubleheaders and started 5-0-4.
LAST TIME OUT: The RailRiders split their first doubleheader of this season on
Sunday in Syracuse with each game resulting in a shutout. The host Chiefs
claimed a 3-0 win in the opener, but the RailRiders responded with a 5-0 triumph
in game two.
LET’S GET SERIESOUS: Sunday’s win gave the RailRiders a series win on the
weather-shortened three-game set. The series was scheduled to last for four games,
but rainouts on back-to-back days meant one of the affairs was moved to June 26.
RAIN KINGS: The RailRiders have as many rainouts (3) as they do games
played since starting the season on Thursday.
FAMILIAR FACE: When the RailRiders and Red Wings finally clash, the
RailRiders may notice someone across the diamond. The New York Yankees dealt
SWB alumnus Eduardo Nunez on Monday to the Minnesota Twins. The shortstop
has been assigned to Rochester. Over four seasons and 270 games with the
big club, Nunez hit .267/.313/.379. He spent time with SWB in both 2010 and
2012. Over 156 career Triple-A games, his slashes sit at .273/.319/.357. His
38-game tour in 2012 included a number of games at Frontier Field, which served
as the usual surrogate home for the vagabond SWB Yankees as PNC Field was
reconstructed. He played 18 games against the Red Wings over the two seasons
and hit a composite .270 (20-for-74), 5XBH, 9RBI, 14R, 11BB, 14K, 5GIDP. The
Yankees received southpaw Miguel Sulbaran from the Twins in the deal. The
20-year-old is 21-10 with a 3.15 ERA in 55 career minor league games (45 starts)
in the Dodgers and Twins organizations. In 2013, he combined with Low-A Great
Lakes and Low-A Cedar Rapids to go 9-4 with a 2.96 ERA (112.2IP, 32BB, 101K).
This season he made one Cedar Rapids relief appearance (1.0IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 1K).
MOVIN’ ON UP: Earlier today, the Yankees placed closer David Robertson on
the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to April 7) with a left groin strain and recalled
SWB southpaw Cesar Cabral. Cabral was part of the team’s three-hit shutout
defeat of the Chiefs on Sunday. He retired Eury Perez and walked Will Rhymes.
Last season, the Dominican Republic native allowed just one run over eight
appearances (3.2 innings) as a September call-up. He also struck out six while
walking just one and allowing one hit.
BULLISH ‘PEN: Four relievers – Cabral, Yoshinori Tateyama, Fred Lewis and
Jim Miller – combined with starter Brian Gordon’s efforts to blank the Chiefs on
Sunday. The bullpen has tossed a total of 10.1 innings on the young year and has
allowed just six hits and one unearned run.
WHO’S HOT: The sample sizes are small, but some names have earned early
separation with Scott Sizemore leading the way. The versatile infielder is 5-for-9
(.556) with a double, two walks and a run scored. The RailRiders’ usual shortstop,
Zelous Wheeler, has gone 4-for-8 (.500) with three doubles and three runs scored.
WHO’S NOT: The everyday three-hole hitter, Zoilo Almonte, is 1-for-11 with four
strikeouts and two groundball double plays through three games played. Adonis
Garcia, Corban Joseph and John Ryan Murphy are a combined 1-for-21.
Today’s Game 1 Probables
SWB: RHP Bruce Billings (1-0, 1.80)
ROC: LHP Kris Johnson (10-4, 2.39) – 2013 AAA
FIT THE BILLINGS: Bruce Billings led the hitter-friendly PCL
last season with 13 wins and ranked 2nd with 135K while hurling for
Sacramento (OAK). The San Diego St. alumnus has mostly started as
a pro (201G/130GS) since COL made him a 30th-rounder in 2007.
He has big league time with COL and OAK (4G/GS, 0-0, 10.29) with
his debut coming on May 27, 2011 against STL. Coincidentally
enough, he relieved current SWB closer Matt Daley in that game.
Billings was traded to OAK on June 30, 2011 in a package deal for
Mark Ellis. He signed with NYY this past Dec. as a free agent. He won
his first Opening Day start as a professional at SYR on Thu.
Kris Johnson was with the Red Sox from his ’06 drafting (1st
Rd/40th overall) through ’11. He spent the last two years of that run
in PAW before brief time in Indy ball led him to PIT’s farm in ’12. Last
season he made his MLB debut on Aug. 18 vs. ARI (6IP, 5H, 2R,
2BB, 5K) and took the loss in the 16-inn. game. The former Wichita
St. lefty won the IL’s ERA crown last season while with IND
(26G/21S, 10-4-2, 2.39) and ranked 4th in WHIP (1.17). He also
dominated SWB in ’13 (2GS, 1-0, 12IP, 7H, 0R, 3BB, 8K, .171 BAA).
MIN acquired him in a trade for RHP Duke Welker on Nov. 19.
Red Wings Report
NOT-SO-MEAN GENE: It is subjective, but third-year Rochester
skipper Gene Glynn’s greatest claim to fame perhaps comes from the
hardwood more than the diamond. The first-ever “Mr. Basketball” in
his native state of Minnesota never made the bigs as player, but has
been there multiple times as a coach. He spent five full seasons on the
staff of the Colorado Rockies (1994-98) before spending one year
with the Montreal Expos (1999). He was last in the bigs as the thirdbase
coach for the Chicago Cubs (2000-02) and San Francisco Giants
(2003-06). From 2007-11, Glynn served as a pro scout for the Tampa
Bay Rays. He shifted back to the dugout in 2012 with Rochester.
AFFILIATION HISTORY: The Rochester franchise was an affiliate
of the St. Louis Cardinals for 32 years (1929-60) and was the top farm
club of the Baltimore Orioles for 42 years thereafter (1961-02). The
allegiance shifted to the Minnesota Twins starting in 2003.
THE LONGEST GAME: The history-rich team shares a record that
has stood since 1981. On April 18 of that year, the Red Wings and
Pawtucket Red Sox started what would prove to be the longest game
in the history of professional baseball. The 33-inning game took eight
hours and 25 minutes to complete over three different days. It was
suspended just after 4 a.m. on April 19 and concluded on June 23 as a
3-2 Pawtucket win at McCoy Stadium. The game started 30 minutes
late due to issues with the stadium’s lights. It included two future Hall
of Famers in Rochester’s Cal Ripken, Jr. (2-for-13) and Pawtucket’s
Wade Boggs (4-for-12) who tied the game in the 21st inning off of
reliever Steve Luebber.