After a walk-off win in Tampa and another Somerset offensive explosion on Friday, Yankees affiliates went 3-1 once again. On Saturday, some of the top arms in the organization will take the mound with Deivi Garcia pitching for Scranton Wilkes-Barre and Ken Waldichuk for Hudson Valley. Read about who they will face and more in our Pinstriped Previews:
Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (12-4) vs. Rochester Red Wings (3-13)
Frontier Field I 5:05 PM ET
With a win in their next two games, the RailRiders will clinch their third consecutive series victory and they have the pitcher they want on the mound to make that happen in Deivi Garcia.
Garcia had a dominant series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs last week. In the two starts that he made, the 22-year-old went five innings in both of his starts. He combined to allow one unearned run on five hits, walked two, and struck out 16, including 9 in his last start on May 16. Out of those 86 pitches, 52 were for strikes.
Garcia’s opponent today will be Tyler Eppler. The 28-year-old who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the sixth round back in 2014, signed with the Nationals as a free agent this past winter. This season is his first year pitching in professional baseball since 2018.
Today will be Eppler’s second start of the season. His first start came against Buffalo on May 11. He went 5.2 innings, allowed three runs on seven hits, walked three, and struck out five on 93 pitches (55 strikes) in a no-decision. 5 days later, he came in relief for Stephen Strasburg (on rehab assignment). He went 2.2 innings, allowed two runs on four hits and walked a batter on 53 pitches (34 strikes) in a loss.
Armando Alvarez went 2-for-4 in Friday night’s win with a walk and he hit his second home run of the season. Alvarez’s first multi-hit performance of the season helped him extend his current hit streak to seven games.
Somerset Patriots (11-5) vs. Hartford Yard Goats (5-11)
Dunkin’ Donuts Park I 6:05 PM ET
Somerset clinched a series victory last night as the offense continued to be on a roll in a 14-3 win. In their last two games, the Patriots have outscored the Yard Goats by a combined score of 25-4. Shawn Semple will be hoping that the run support continues for him on Saturday night.
The 25-year-old right-hander had a good opening start to the season, but has since struggled in his last two starts. On May 16 against New Hampshire, Semple took the loss. He allowed five runs on nine hits, walked a batter, and struck out three on 72 pitches (44 strikes) in 3,2 innings of work. In two starts against the FisherCats, he allowed nine runs over 7.2 innings.
Semple will go up against Schilling, who was the Rockies’ 18th Round pick back in 2017. The 25-year-old (16 days younger than Semple) has made 64 career outings in professional baseball and is 17-16 with a 4.60 ERA and opponents are hitting .299 against him.
Schilling’s last start came against Portland on May 16 and he took a no-decision in that game. He went 4.1 innings, allowed two runs on six hits, walked a batter, and struck out four on 87 pitches (61 strikes) in a no-decision. He has shown good control of his pitches this season as he only has four walks in three starts, However, opposing hitters have hit .345 against him.
Dermis Garcia continues to hit home runs. Last night, he went 3-for-4 with a three-run home run (5th of the year) and he drove in four runs. His hit streak is now at eight games and he has driven in a run in four straight games (nine over that span). Keep an eye on Michael Beltre as well. The outfielder is 7-for-12 the last two nights with a double, a triple, and five RBIs.
Hudson Valley Rengades (8-8) vs. Brookyn Cyclones (6-9)
Maimonides Park I 4:00 PM ET
For the second straight day, it is a battle of southpaws in Brooklyn. Last night, the Cyclones evened the series with a 4-1 victory over the Renegades as Hudson Valley was held to four hits in the loss.
This afternoon, Hudson Valley will send Ken Waldichuk to the mound after the great series he had against the Aberdeen Ironbirds. In the two starts that he made, the 23-year-old went 7.1 innings, allowed five hits, walked two, and struck out 17 without allowing a run. This season, he has just five walks in three games and has thrown nearly 60% of his pitches for strikes (59.6).
Runs might be hard to come by today as the Cyclones will face a pitcher who makes his High-A debut after a strong start to his season in Low-A. Cam Opp pitched for Army as a walk-on in college and had a 2.66 ERA in his junior year of college. You can read more about his story in a great article by Rob Terranova over at MILB.com.
Opp’s last start came against Daytona on May 16 and he was very good in that game. He allowed four hits, walked a batter, and struck out two over five innings of work for Low-A. 45 of 68 pitches were for strikes. With the St. Lucie Mets, he allowed one earned run on 10 hits, struck out nine, and walked six over 11.1 innings.
Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (7-9) vs. Tampa Tarpons (12-4)
George M Steinbrenner Field I 6:30 PM ET
The Tarpons can clinch a series victory with a win in the next two games and they are probably feeling great after Pat DeMarco’s walk-off, two-run home run in last night’s 9-7 victory. In the last three games, Tampa has outscored Fort Myers by a combined score of 40-13.
Sean Boyle has been a pitcher that has flown under-the-radar for the Tarpons this year and he has shined in any role given to him by the coaching staff. In the four games he has appeared in, Boyle has a 0.84 ERA and has allowed one earned run and struck out nine without walking a batter over the course of 10.2 innings. Tonight will be his second start of the season.
Boyle got the start in the opening game of this series and took the loss on May 18. The 24-year-old allowed an unearned run on four hits and struck out three over 3.2 innings of work. 27 of his 40 pitches were for strikes.
The command of his pitches has not been an issue for Boyle in his professional career so far. The 25th Round pick back in 2018 has walked only nine batters in 30 career appearances (64.2 innings) and opponents have hit .200 against him in those games.
Boyle’s opponent will be Louie Varland, who the Twins selected in the 15th Round back in 2019. Varland has thrown the ball well in each of his first appearances this year out of the bullpen and tonight will be his first start of the year.
While Varland has not been a starter, he has been a bulk reliever for the Mighty Mussels. On May 16 against Clearwater, the 23-year-old right-hander allowed three hits, walked two, and struck out seven over four shutout innings (43 of 72 pitches for strikes). Varland has 17 strikeouts this year in 8.1 innings of work.
DeMarco was the hero last night as he hit his fourth home run of the season and the outfielder now has 21 RBIs on the season (driven in a run in three straight games). Meanwhile, Austin Wells was 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs. The catcher has driven in a run in three straight games as well (6 RBIs over that span).