Home runs number 12 and 13 cleared the fence on Saturday for Ryder Jones, who is letting his bat do the talking when it comes to pushing for a shot at the newly-open, big-league third base position.
Jones hit number 11 on Friday, then clubbed two solo shots for the River Cats the next day, including his second in the seventh which put his team ahead of New Orleans for good. Both homers were part of a 3-for-4 night, giving Jones 13 hits in his last nine games.
Jones had 20 hits in the 15 games before he was called up to San Francisco, including six doubles and four home runs. So, over his last 24 Triple-A games, comprised of 103 plate appearances, Jones has eight doubles and seven home runs, which have pushed his batting line from .275/.358/.500 on June 3 to .313/.400/.578 now.
Jae-Gyun Hwang, who was recalled to join the Giants in Los Angeles to face a trio of left-handed starters, is 1-for-8 with no walks and three strikeouts thus far. Unless Hwang, who has just seven hits in 47 major-league plate appearances with a .463 OPS, gets hot fast, I can't imagine why Jones would not be recalled to replace him, especially considering the left-handed Jones has hit lefties well over the past two seasons in Double-A and Triple-A.
Since the beginning of 2016, Jones has a slash line of .265/.335/.497 off left-handers featuring an impressive 17.9 strikeout percentage.
And upon returning from the disabled list, Jones has played a mixture of third base and right field, totaling five games at third and four in right. He even took over at shortstop for the ninth inning in Saturday night's contest.
— Newly-acquired right-hander Shaun Anderson was introduced to the California League with a debut start in Lancaster — the town with the ballpark potentially more juiced for home runs than Coors Field. "The Hangar" was actually relatively tame on Saturday, only surrendering one home run to each side, and it was Anderson who gave up the shot for San Jose. On a 60-pitch limit, the former Red Sox third-rounder struck out two and walked one in 3.1 innings while giving up three earned runs on five hits. Other than the dinger, the other four hits off Anderson were singles. Anderson is scheduled to make his Municipal Stadium debut on Friday.
— A second organizational debut took place in Sacramento as Casey Kelly, another former Red Sox selection, made the start for the River Cats. Kelly, who was released last week by the Chicago Cubs, was signed to a minor-league deal by San Francisco and assigned immediately to Triple-A, where he had made 11 starts this season for the Iowa Cubs. On Saturday, Kelly was solid, throwing 68 pitches in five innings for two earned runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
— Domenic Mazza struck out double-digits for the first time in 2017, and first time since he sent 11 Columbia Fireflies packing on July 7 of last season. It was those same Fireflies Mazza was facing on Saturday, where beside the 10 punchouts, Mazza allowed one earned run on three singles and two walks. He lowered his ERA to 3.25 and is rocking legit peripherals like a 15.7 K-BB%, 3.02 FIP, and .235 opposing batting average.
— Cory Taylor threw a one-hitter in the first half of Richmond's doubleheader, going the maximum seven innings and surrendering a triple and a walk while striking out five. Taylor now has three consecutive high-quality outings, which combine for a line of 19 innings, nine hits, one earned run, five walks, and 15 strikeouts. It's helped to lower his ERA from 5.14 to 4.20 and his WHIP from 1.54 to 1.38.
- Sacramento: Roberto Gomez (5.10 ERA, 1.55 WHIP)
- Richmond: Dan Slania (5.90 ERA, 1.60 WHIP)
- San Jose: Mark Reyes (5.92 ERA, 1.88 WHIP)
- Augusta: Stephen Woods (3.59 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
- Salem-Keizer: Jason Bahr (6.47 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)
TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP
- Christian Arroyo: DNP
- Tyler Beede: DNP
- Chris Shaw: 1-for-4, 3 SO
- Heliot Ramos: DNP
- Bryan Reynolds: 2-for-5
- Austin Slater: DNP
- Steven Duggar: DNP
- Aramis Garcia: 1-for-4, SO
- Sandro Fabian: 0-for-4, 2 SO
- Heath Quinn: 0-for-3, R, BB
- Andrew Suarez: DNP
- Joan Gregorio: DNP
- Seth Corry: DNP
- Ryder Jones: 3-for-4, 3 R, 2 HR, SO
- Jacob Gonzalez: DNP
- C.J. Hinojosa: 1-for-6
- Shaun Anderson: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
- Kyle Crick: DNP
- Garrett Cave: DNP
- Garrett Williams: DNP
- Sam Coonrod: DNP
- Jordan Johnson: DNP
- Melvin Adon: DNP
- Miguel Gomez: DNP
- Kelvin Beltre: 1-for-3, BB
- Matt Krook: DNP
- Reyes Moronta: DNP
- Rodolfo Martinez: DNP
- Stephen Woods: DNP
- Bryce Johnson: 2-for-4, R, SO, SB, CS