Gilbert off to hot start in minors

2014-07-13T17:30:00Z 2014-07-13T19:47:11Z Gilbert off to hot start in minorsBy Andrew Cockrum Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

In the last nine games of his collegiate career, Trent Gilbert collected 13 hits for the University of Arizona.

The second baseman has recorded the same number of hits in his first nine games as a professional player with the Arizona League Athletics. He has been off to a hot start in his pro career, batting .326 with six RBIs and six runs scored.

Gilbert, who led the Wildcats with 111 total bases earlier this year, has already accumulated 20 total bases with the Athletics.

The 15th-round pick by the Oakland Athletics had a stretch of five consecutive games this week in which he produced multiple hits, which included a pair of three-hit performances.

Gilbert’s next game will be Wednesday in Scottsdale when the AZL Athletics take on the Giants’ rookie affiliate.

Three up

Johnny Field, CF, Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays’ Class-A affiliate)

Field clubbed his first career walk-off home run Wednesday, sealing a 4-3 victory for the Hot Rods over West Michigan. The former Pac-12 batting champ is hitting .514 in his last nine games.

Konner Wade, RHP, Asheville Tourists (Rockies’ Class-A affiliate)

Wade picked up his seventh win for the Tourists after tossing seven shutout innings Monday against the Rome Braves. The ex-Wildcat tied his season-high with seven strikeouts in his following start Saturday.

Stefen Romero, RF, Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate)

The Pima College and Sunnyside High School product tallied nine hits and five RBIs this week with Tacoma. Romero finished a triple shy of his second career cycle on Tuesday.

Three down

Brandon Dixon, 2B, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers’ High-A affiliate)

Dixon suffered a strained left oblique on July 6 and was placed on the disabled list Tuesday. The UA alum, who was batting .267 before his injury, is expected to be out for a few weeks.

Tim Crabbe, RHP, Louisville Bats (Reds’ Triple-A affiliate)

The former Sabino High Sabercat has been out of commission for the past week with a right elbow strain. Crabbe (4-7) has pitched 80ª innings.

Joey Rickard, CF, Montgomery Biscuits (Rays’ Double-A affiliate)

The UA product has been out of Montgomery’s lineup for the last eight games dealing with a swollen left ankle. Rickard’s injury originated when he was hit by a pitch on July 3.

Player of the week

Bryce Bandilla, LHP, San Jose Giants (Giants’ High-A affiliate)

Bandilla tossed three shutout relief appearances this week, extending his scoreless innings streak to 11.

During that streak, the former Arizona Wildcat has racked up 15 strikeouts and allowed just nine batters to reach base.

Bandilla was sent down to San Jose on May 27, after making his Double-A debut with the Richmond Flying Squirrels to start the 2014 season.

Since his arrival at San Jose, he has appeared in a California League-high 18 games and owns the fourth-best ERA among the league’s relief pitchers with a 1.06 mark. Bandilla’s .172 opponents’ average and 0.94 WHIP both rank fourth in the High-A league. His ability to preserve leads late in games has allowed him to record seven holds.

The left-hander is currently in his third season in the San Francisco farm system after being selected in the fourth round of the 2011 draft out of UA.

The big number

5 Call-ups Preston Guilmet has received to the Baltimore Orioles from Triple-A Norfolk this season, after going back to the AL East leaders on Thursday. The Arizona alum has struck 11 batters for the Orioles in 9⅓ combined relief innings.

Coming up

  • Friday: Daniel Slania and Class-A Augusta will hit the road to Charleston, South Carolina. Of the 10 saves the Salpointe graduate has recorded this season, only one has come against the Charleston RiverDogs.

He said it

“Gap power and aggressive base running should tally up a large amount of doubles. With time he will show better plate discipline and power should improve,”

— Gabe Ortiz, a scout with Perfect Game, said that about Alex Verdugo’s skills at the plate with the AZL Dodgers. The Sahuaro High product has hit safely in his last seven games and has struck only twice in 54 at-bats to start his pro career.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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