By Ashley Varela
The Giants clinched their first series of the year with yesterday’s 4-2 win over Colorado, and refocus their attention on the first homestand of the season. In a vain attempt to distract you from the ever-present question—will Brandon Belt start today?—let’s take a look at some of the Giants’ more successful minor league teams this week.
"@shaneloux so there are 27 guys in this clubhouse right now before the game. No joke, all but 2 are on some sort of device. oh how times have changed."
The Grizzlies are off to a strong start this season, leading the Pacific Southern division of the PCL with a 6-2 record, 94 hits, and 56 runs. Tonight, they host the 4-4 Tacoma Rainiers at 7:05pm for their home opener.
Among those twiddling their thumbs in Fresno is backup catcher Eli Whiteside and starter Ryan Vogelsong. Vogelsong is expected to re-join the Giants’ rotation on April 15 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2 starts and 10 IP, Ryan issued 9 hits, 2 runs, 4 walks, and 12 strikeouts. Whiteside is currently batting .333/.333/.444 with 3 hits and 2 RBI in two appearances.
Also waiting for a call-up is center fielder Justin Christian, who is closing in on Roger Kieschnick with 13 hits, 7 runs, 2 RBI, and a home run off Las Vegas’s RHP Andrew Carpenter. Kieschnick leads the team in hits and runs, going 17-for-34 with 33 total bases and 3 home runs.
Richmond Flying Squirrels
"@garybrown909 Taylor swift cool down sesh. Engage."
The Squirrels split their first eight games 4-4, claiming a 7-3 victory over the Altoona Curve in last night’s home opener. After three consecutive losses to open the season, Richmond caught a break against the New Britain Rock Cats, picking up a 3-1 win after 12 innings.
Familiar faces include right-handed starter Justin Fitzgerald, relievers Austin Fleet and Daryl Maday, shortstop Ehire Adrianza, and center fielder Gary Brown. After a 2-3 loss on Opening Day, Fitzgerald pitched 5.2 innings to the Bowie Baysox on Tuesday, allowing 5 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks and striking out 2 of 23 batters faced.
Brown and Adrianza each picked up 3 runs and 2 RBI in their first 8 games. In Richmond’s latest win, Brown went 2-for-3 batting leadoff, scoring Wes Hodges on a walk and taking a HBP from RHP Kris Harvey for the 7th and final run.
San Jose Giants
"@sharrold19 25 hits tonight… hitters were locked in all night. It was pretty fun to watch."
The SJ Giants are 6-2 through their first full week of the season. In a 3-1 series against the Modesto Nuts and High Desert Mavericks, the Giants put up sixty runs, three double-digit wins, and one shutout. Their second shutout came against the Bakersfield Blaze on Thursday, when Joe Panik walked in the winning run and the umpires called the game after 6 innings due to a rainout.
Leading the pitching staff is RHP Justin Schumer, who put up his first win against Modesto with six scoreless frames and three strikeouts in Sunday’s 8-0 series clincher. In the bullpen, right-handers Seth Rosin and Stephen Harrold each have three games under their belts. Rosin has a slight edge, giving up 3 H, 1 BB, and 6 SO, while Harrold has 5 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, and 2 SO.
At the plate, outfielder Jarrett Parker is tearing up Single-A pitching, going 10-for-30 with 10 runs, 7 extra base hits, 3 home runs, and 5 RBI. Infielders Ricky Oropesa and Joe Panik are also making their presence felt this season with 17 hits, 13 runs, and 12 RBI between them.