Aaron Vaughn’s run as a closer for the Gulf Coast League Astros didn’t last long.
The Pusch Ridge Christian graduate finished seven games for the rookie affiliate and recorded a team-high three saves, before earning a promotion Monday to Class-A Quad Cities in Davenport, Iowa.
The undrafted free agent signee by the Houston Astros made his debut with the River Bandits on Wednesday. He retired all five batters he faced, including two by strikeout.
Through 11 combined innings at the two stops, Vaughn has a 2.45 ERA and eight strikeouts.
Vaughn is the second Pusch Ridge alum to play professional baseball, joining catcher Daniel Vavrusa, who is in the New York Yankees’ farm system. Vavrusa is currently rehabbing from a shoulder injury with the Yankees’ rookie affiliate in the Dominican Republic. Vaughn and Vavrusa were teammates during the Lions’ 2009 Class 2A state championship season.
Ryan Perry, RHP, GCL Nationals (Nationals’ rookie affiliate)
Perry began his rehab assignment in Viera, Florida, with a scoreless relief appearance Tuesday. The UA and Marana High School product pitched five games for Double-A Harrisburg in April before being placed on the Senators’ disabled list.
Trent Gilbert, 2B, Vermont Lake Monsters (Athletics’ Low-A affiliate)
Gilbert’s stint in rookie ball ended Wednesday when he was moved up to Vermont in the short-season New York-Penn League. The former Wildcat has collected six hits in his first four games with the Lake Monsters.
Johnny Field, CF, Charlotte Stone Crabs (Rays’ High-A affiliate)
Three days after coming a triple short of the cycle with Class-A Bowling Green, Field was promoted to High-A Charlotte of the Florida State League. The Arizona alum blasted his first home run for the Stone Crabs on Friday and is hitting. 400 through five games.
Kurt Heyer, RHP, Springfield Cardinals (Cardinals’ Double-A affiliate)
The former Wildcats’ ace was charged with his seventh loss of the season, after yielding four runs in five innings Wednesday to Arkansas. Heyer’s 4.80 ERA through 93º innings is the fourth highest in the Texas League.
Brad Boyer, 2B, New Britain Rock Cats (Twins’ Double-A affiliate)
The UA graduate recorded one hit in six games for the Rock Cats this week, lowering his average to .226 for the season in 201 at-bats. Boyer has struggled on the road in 2014, hitting just .183 away from New Britain Stadium.
Nick Cunningham, RHP, Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles’ Class-A affiliate)
Cunningham lost his second consecutive start for the Shorebirds on Wednesday when Greensboro tagged him for five runs off seven hits. South Atlantic League hitters are batting .323 against the ex-Wildcat this season.
Player of the week
Julio Felix, RHP, West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers’ Class-A affiliate)
Felix has been one of the most dominant relievers in the Midwest League this season with a 1.64 ERA in 60⅓ innings.
This week he stretched his scoreless inning streak to 23 after recording two saves for the Whitecaps. During that span, opposing batters are hitting just .098 against him.
The Pima College and Sunnyside High School alum has struck out 62 batters this season, which is the fifth-most among Midwest League relievers. Felix’s high strikeout total has been helped by a fastball that has been clocked at 97 mph.
He has also shown pinpoint control on the mound for West Michigan with only 10 walks this season, good for a mark of 1.34 per innings, which ranks fourth in the league.
Felix is in his third season in the Detroit Tigers’ farm system after being selected in the 12th round of the 2012 draft out of Pima.
The big number
Outfielder Stefen Romero’s slugging percentage with Triple-A Tacoma before receiving a call back up to the Seattle Mariners on Thursday. The former Aztec and Blue Devil ripped three home runs and produced nine RBIs in 11 games with the Rainiers. Romero went 1 for 4 for Seattle on Sunday and scored a run. He’s 1 for 9 overall since returning to the majors.
Today: Hyrum Formo will take the mound for the Princeton Rays in Kingsport, Tennessee, looking for his second straight victory. The Pima College product earned the first win of his pro career win last Monday
against Bluefield. He has a 5.09 ERA in 17º innings this season.
He said it
“Just want to thank the Yankees, Charleston RiverDogs Tampa Yankees, Trenton Thunder and all of the coaching staff that helped me in my years. It was a great eight seasons with the Yankees organization,”
– Manny Barreda, after being released by the New York Yankees on Thursday.
The former Sahuarita High School pitcher did not have to wait long to find a new organization as the Milwaukee Brewers signed him to a minor-league deal that same day.
Barreda had a 3.40 ERA in 30 games for Trenton this season before being released.