Tremble …

We begin with a question … who has a better walk-to-strikeout ratio, Adam Eaton or Paul Goldschmidt? The answer is coming real quick, but before we spill the beans … 36 days before the home opener, 34 days before the season opener, and just a few days before more baseball hits the Ogren Park Allegiance Field turf again, with the Missoula Mavericks’ Memorial Day Tournament.

– With the scuttlebut about Goldy getting a strong look to move up the D-backs’ Organization Ladder, another player who has also hit his way into consideration of a promotion is Adam Eaton (2010), who is putting up a different kind of eye-popping numbers for Class A Advanced Visalia. Power numbers get a little out of whack in the Cal League, but Eaton will not be confused for Goldschmidt anytime soon.

Instead, Eaton is putting up on-base numbers (.488 through Sunday) close to what he did a season ago in Missoula, when he racked up a pair of team records with a .385 batting average and a .500 on-base percentage. Entering Monday’s action, Eaton’s .379 mark is 5th-best in the Cal League, while he is also in the Top 10 in the league in on-base (second) and stolen bases (13, which is 7th in the league). While he won’t be a power hitter (eight doubles, one triple, two home runs), the one small red flag is his strikeout total – he has 22, compared to 18 walks in 103 at-bats.

And to answer the question – Goldschmidt has more walks than strikeouts (30 to 26), thus the better BB-to-K ratio.

– One surprise – no DL for Blake Cooper (2010), at least for the moment. Apparently, he suffered no immediate ill-effects from the liner he took off of his forehead on Sunday while pitching for South Bend at Bowling Green. However, the D-backs will keep an eye on Cooper, as symptoms could arrive later. A similar episode (with a concrete wall, not a line drive) took place in Charles Brewer’s case before he went on the DL, several days following the initial trauma. And with the off-day for South Bend on Monday, the D-backs may make a move today instead.

-Scott Hairston (2001) has been relegated to spot-starting and pinch-hitting duty for the New York Mets since the return of two outfielders from the disabled list. So far, in 29 games, Hairston has just 45 at-bats, and is hitting .200 with a home run and five runs batted in.

– JD Closser (1999), who holds a rare Osprey mark, is putting together a decent season for Triple-A Albuquerque. The former Missoula backstop, who is also playing some first base for the Isotopes, is hitting .295 with two home runs (including one last night) and 15 RBIs. Oh, Closser’s mark – he is one of two former Osprey to have at least four hit streaks of seven games or more. The other player, Bobby Stone, needed three seasons to do it, while Closser collected all four of his in the 1999 season.

Minor League Update:

-Triple-A Reno:The Aces lost to the Iowa Cubs, 9-6, on Monday. Jordan Norberto (2006) pitched to one batter, allowed a hit, and was replaced. Unfortunately, it may involve an injury.

– Double-A Mobile: While Wes Roemer was taking a no-hit bid into the eighth inning (this begs a trivia question, see tomorrow’s post), the BayBears offense was mainly quiet – until the home half of the eighth, when Mobile erupted for five runs to take a 6-1 win over Carolina on Monday. A pair of 2008 Osprey played a role – Jake Elmore doubled home a run to cap off the rally, while Bryan Shaw picked up the last four outs to get the win on the mound. Fellow 2008 alumnus Ollie Linton singled, stole a base and scored a run, while Goldschmidt drew a pair of walks.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: Mike Belfiore (2009) gave up five first-inning runs (six total in four-plus innings) as the Rawhide took a 7-1 loss to Inland Empire on Monday. Adam Eaton (2010) had two hits and drove in Chris Owings (2009) in the seventh inning for the lone Rawhide run. Keon Broxton (2009) added a hit, while Christian Beltre (2007) pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief behind Belfiore.

– Class A South Bend: Had an off-day on Monday following a 3-5 road trip.

Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (24-15) vs. Iowa
AA Mobile (21-15) vs. Carolina – Charles Brewer (2009) will make the start for the BayBears.
A Adv. Visalia (18-20) at Inland Empire – Eric Smith (2009) gets the ball tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (16-22) vs. Lansing – David Holmberg (2010) gets the start for the Hawks.

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