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Matt Sauer pitching in the season opener (John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)

Yankees MiLB Previews

Pinstriped Previews: Tampa finally getting back on the field

Since Hudson Valley’s game is rained out tonight (doubleheader on Friday), only three affiliates are scheduled to play on Thursday and Tampa hopes to play a doubleheader after not playing a game since Sunday. Find out who is scheduled to take the mound in our Pinstriped Previews:

Deivi Garcia (Photo by Matt Bufano)


Syracuse Mets (16-39) vs. Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (36-17)

PNC Field I 6:35 PM ET

RHP Akeem Bostick (0-2, 7.66 ERA) vs. RHP Deivi Garcia (1-3, 8.55)

For the first time in 12 games, the Syracuse Mets were able to defeat the RailRiders in Game 2 of a doubleheader last night, 5-0. The RailRiders were able to win Game 1, 3-2 thanks to a two-run single from Estevan Florial and an RBI double from Armando Alvarez. Plus, Brody Koerner started the game by throwing four perfect innings before a Brandon Drury home run in the fifth.

Tonight, Deivi Garcia will look to get back on track for Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Garcia had a rough June as he had a 11.50 ERA in six appearances (five starts) with opponents hitting .342 against him. His last appearance came on June 30 against Worcester when he appeared as a reliever to complete a previously suspended game.

In that game, Garcia’s command of his pitches appeared to be much better despite taking the loss. He went four innings, allowed three runs on six hits, walked a batter, and struck out seven on 79 pitches (41 strikes). It was the first time Garcia had struck out seven batters in a game since June 4.

Garcia has had a rough time facing Syracuse this season as he has allowed 13 runs in eight innings pitched over the course of three starts. He last faced Syracuse on June 20 and went 4.1 innings, allowed three runs on six hits, walked a batter, and struck out two in a no-decision.

Akeem Bostick will take the ball for Syracuse. The 26-year-old last pitched out of the bullpen on July 3 against Rochester when he threw two perfect innings and struck out three batters. Before that game, he had a 8.20 ERA in five starts during the month of June.

One of those June starts was against the RailRiders on June 15. In that game, Bostick went five innings, allowed two runs on five hits, walked three batters, and struck out two on 93 pitches (54 strikes) in a no-decision. The one home run he gave up was to Florial, who has recorded at least one hit in 10 of the 11 games and has five RBIs in his last four games.

JP Sears pitching for the Somerset Patriots on May 7, 2021. (Chris Jones)


Erie SeaWolves (33-23) vs. Somerset Patriots (36-19)

TD Bank Ballpark I 7:05 PM

RHP Elvin Rodriguez (2-0, 3.86) vs. LHP JP Sears (3-0, 2.10)

Like the RailRiders, the Patriots had a doubleheader on Wednesday. After winning the first game, 6-1, Erie rallied to take the second game by a final score of 4-3. In Game 1, Oswaldo Cabrera homered from both sides of the plate and drove in five runs. Plus, Oswald Peraza had two hits in each of the games. On the mound, Ken Waldichuk and Janson Junk combined to give up two earned runs against a good Erie lineup.

Tonight, JP Sears takes the ball for Somerset and he is coming off of a good outing in his last start against Harrisburg on July 2. In that start, he allowed two hits and struck out six over four scoreless innings. 40 of his 59 pitches were for strikes. Over his last seven outings (four starts), the 25-year-old has allowed a total of two earned runs.

Sears last faced Erie on June 9 and did not allow a run and surrendered only one hit over 3.1 innings of work (33 of 59 pitches for strikes). However, in addition to the five strikeouts he had, he walked four batters (second-highest total of the season).

Erie will send Elvin Rodriguez to the mound. After having a great month of May (2-0, 1.40 ERA, 23 strikeouts, 7 walks in four starts), the 23-year-old right-hander had a rough month of June as he had a 7.43 ERA in three starts and opponents hit .321 against him.

Rodriguez’s last start was on June 30 against Reading and he had his longest outing of the season in terms of innings pitched. He went 5.2 innings, allowed two runs on eight hits, walked a batter, and struck out five on 91 pitches (62 strikes). He faced Somerset back on June 11 and went three innings. He allowed two runs on two hits, walked two batters, struck out two, and allowed a home run to Peraza.

As for Cabrera, he has four home runs and 13 RBIs in his last seven games. The 13 RBIs are already more runs batted in than he had in 19 games in June (12) and he is slugging .778 this month.

Randy Vasquez (Photo by John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)


Tampa Tarpons (36-16) vs. Dunedin Blue Jays (21-32)

TD Ballpark I 5:00 PM (Game 1)

Game 1: RHP Matt Sauer (1-1, 4.05) vs. RHP Sem Robberse (2-2, 4.54)

Game 2: RHP Randy Vasquez (1-3, 2.77) vs. TBD

Well, Tampa and Dunedin will try to play six games in four days beginning tonight with a doubleheader as rain has prevented the Tarpons from getting on the field since Sunday’s doubleheader.

If these two teams play, Matt Sauer will take the ball in Game 1 coming off of one of his best outings ever as a professional. On July 1 against Jupiter, Sauer allowed only one hit and struck out 10 over six scoreless innings as he completed a suspended game. He threw 59 of his 85 pitches for strikes in relief of Clay Aguilar.

Sauer has faced Dunedin twice this season and has allowed three runs on seven hits, struck out six, and walked two over the course of nine innings. This includes his only other start in which he went six innings back on May 25 (6 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 4 K’s).

As for Dunedin, they will go with 19-year-old right-hander Sem Robberse. Robberse signed with the Blue Jays in July 2019 as an international free agent born in the Netherlands. After making five appearances (three starts) in the GCL back in 2019 (0.87 ERA), he has held opposing hitters to a .190 average in nine outings (seven starts) in Low-A.

Robberse is coming off of his best outing of the season on July 1 as well. Against Palm Beach, he threw five hitless innings of relief, walked two batters, and struck out eight (season-high) on 75 pitches (53 strikes).

In two previous outings against Tampa, Robberse has allowed six earned runs on five hits , struck out eight, and walked four in 4.2 innings of work. The one home run he allowed came on May 28 by Chad Bell, who is now with Hudson Valley.

Tampa is slated to go with Randy Vasquez in Game 2, but that is subject to change. The 22-year-old right-hander has not allowed an earned run in four of his last five starts and he has struck out six or more batters in five straight outings.

Vasquez’s last start came on July 2 against Jupiter and he ended up taking the loss. He allowed one unearned run on four hits and struck out seven on 84 pitches (55 strikes). He has faced Dunedin twice and his most recent start against them on May 28 was his worst outing of the season. In that game, he allowed eight runs on seven hits, walked three, and struck out three over just two innings of work.

There is no starter listed for Dunedin, so we will see if Tampa can get at least one of the two games in.

Written By

I am an alum of St. John's University, where I majored in sports management.

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