The only full-season team in play got absolutely rocked tonight.
Hello, short-season ball! Vincent Velasquez made his triumphant return from Tommy John surgery. Carlos Correa and a host of players from the 2012 Draft class made their professional debuts.
Corpus was the only full-season team in action tonight, and they were just absolutely pummeled 10-1 by San Antonio in their series opener. Andy Simunic had 3 of the 5 Hooks hits. Jonathan Villar stole home for the Hooks' only run. Jake Buchanan took one for the team, as he allowed all 10 runs (on 8 hits) in the space of 2 2/3 innings. He walked 3 and fanned 3. Alex Sogard and Josh Zeid stopped the bleeding, as they combined to throw 6 1/3 scoreless (Sogard: 3.1 IP, 5 H, BB, 4 K; Zeid: 2 IP, H, 4 K). Travis Buck was 0-2 in his 1st rehab appearance.
Tri-City opened up their season with a 10-2 romp in Vermont. The big story of the game was Vince Velasquez's first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery. And it looks like he didn't miss a beat in this one, as he allowed only 2 hits and struck out 6 in 5 shutout innings. From listening to the game, it looks as if his velocity is back to where it was before he went down with the injury. John Neely allowed both Lake Monsters runs (1 earned) in the 6th. Jamaine Cotton pitched 2 scoreless, allowing 3 hits and fanning 2, and Blake Ford finished off the game, allowing a hit and a walk.
Offensively, 5 guys had 2 hits apiece, and Jesse Wierzbicki had one of his own, an RBI single in the 9th. Emilio King scored the ValleyCats' first run of the year when he came home while Wierzbicki grounded into a double play in the 2nd. He was 2-5 with a double and scored twice. Andrew Aplin went 2-4 and scored twice out of the leadoff spot. He stole 3rd and scored on an error in the 9th. The first home run of the season was hit by Austin Elkins, who sent a 3-run shot out of the park in the 5th inning. He finished 2-5 and scored twice as well. Before that, Joe Sclafani hit a sac fly. Dan Gulbransen had an RBI groundout, and Jobduan Morales ripped a 2-run double to center in the 6th. Morales had himself 2 hits.
Carlos Correa made his much-anticipated debut.... in the GCL. Well, it took 25 half-innings, but the GCLstros were able to scrounge a run in the bottom of the 13th to defeat the Cardinals 1-0. Kelvin Vizcaino scored the winner on an error. Correa started at SS and went 1-5 with a walk, a stolen base, and a K out of the 2 spot. Teoscar Hernandez was 2-6 with a double, the only extra-base hit in the game. Brett Phillips went 1-6 with a hat trick in his debut. The Astros struck out 17 times in this one. The kids must have felt jittery. Michael Feliz had a nice 2012 debut, as he allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 in 5 shutout innings. Ambiorix De Leon was the first man out of the pen, and he threw 1 2/3 scoreless, allowing a hit and striking out 1. Alan Abreu threw 2 2/3 scoreless, scattering 3 hits and 2 walks. Juan Mojica pitched 2 2/3 perfect innings, striking out 2. Jose Montero, in his first appearance since missing the entire 2011 season, got the win by pitching a 1-2-3 13th inning.
The Academy dropped another one to the Athletics, losing 7-4. Randy Cesar went 1-3 with an RBI groundout and an RBI single. Jarico Reynoso had an RBI force out in the 6th, and Pedro Coa scored on an error committed during a pickoff attempt. Samil De Los Santos allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4 in 4 innings. Elieser Hernandez only got 1 out in the 5th, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits and walked 1. Geronimo Franzua didn't allow a hit while getting the last 2 outs of the 5th and the 1st out of the 6th, but he did allow a run and 5 walks. Frangy Colon finished the game with 3 2/3 scoreless, allowing 2 hits and striking out 5.
Jake Buchanan: Uh... let's not discuss this.
Vince Velasquez: 69
Michael Feliz: 64
Samil De Los Santos: 50
Corpus Christi bullpen: Alex Sogard and Josh Zeid
Sogard: 3.1 IP, 5 H, BB, 4 K
Zeid: 2 IP, H, 4 K
Well, these guys were the lone bright spots in a very forgettable night for the Hooks.
Austin Elkins, 2B, Tri-City
2-5, 3-R HR (1), 2 R
Great debut. The homer really sent the ValleyCats on their way.
Vince Velasquez, P, Tri-City
W, 5 IP, 2 H, 6 K, 69 Game Score
Welcome back. He's right back where he left off since TJ surgery. I hope he stays healthy and continues to make progress every start.
Jobduan Morales, C, Tri-City:
Frangy Colon, P, DSL Astros: Usually, being released in the DSL usually dooms one's career (he was released by the Indians). Colon has pitched very well since becoming part of the Astros' academy, and has probably put himself in consideration to come to the U.S.
Andrew Aplin and Ryan Dineen, Tri-City: Solid pro debuts for the two of them, as they played their parts in the first ValleyCat win of the year.
Michael Feliz, P, GCL Astros: Hmm... he's pretty good without the juice. He might get a shot with Greeneville.
Throw this one in the trash, Jake Buchanan. Yikes.
The GCLstros did strike out 17 times, but most of those guys were playing their first game in America, or professionally. They'll get better with time.
OKC will begin the 2nd leg of their roadtrip in Nashville at 7:05. Wes Musick gets the start for the Redhawks; he'll be opposed by Claudio Vargas.
Corpus and San Antonio are back at it again at 7:05. Jarred Cosart will oppose Andrew Werner.
Lexington and Lancaster are just chillin'. Matt Duffy advanced to the final round in the SAL Home Run Derby in Charleston. It'll be George Springer's turn tomorrow night in the California-Carolina Home Run Derby in Winston-Salem. Both A All-Star Games will be tomorrow night.
Tri-City plays one more in Vermont before the series shifts to Troy at 7:05 Eastern.
Greeneville kicks off their season in Johnson City, as Adrian Houser will be getting the start. First pitch will be at 7 Eastern.
The GCLstros head to Palm Beach where they'll face the Cardinals at their complex. All GCL games will start at Noon Eastern.
The DSLstros will head to the Mariners compound where they'll play at 10:30 AM Eastern.