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D-backs Farm Rumblings: Lamb’s back and Clarke might be getting a call

Another week is in the books for the minor league affiliates of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Good week for Kane County. Not so much for the once-red hot Jackson Generals.

Team League Week/Overall Standing
Reno Aces Pacific Coast League (Triple-A) 3-4 / 16-22 4th place in Pacific Northern Division (7.0 games back)
Jackson Generals Southern League (Double-A) 1-6 / 20-16 Tied for 2nd place in North Division (2.5 games behind Chattanooga)
Visalia Rawhide California League (High-A) 3-3 / 21-16 3rd place in North Division (1.0 game behind Stockton and San Jose)
Kane County Cougars Midwest League (Single-A) 4-1 / 16-16 Tied for 4th place in Western Division (3.0 games back)

Here’s a look at some of the happenings in the D-backs’ system over the past week.

Lamb back on the diamond – D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb finally got to play a real baseball game Sunday. In the first game of his rehab stint with the Rawhide, Lamb played third base and batted third, going 0-for-3 in a 3-2 loss to Rancho Cucamonga. Lamb lined out to center in his first at-bat, then flied out to center in the third inning before lining out to center in the sixth. He’s been out since April 3 with shoulder and elbow injuries.

Taylor Clarke’s time could be coming – Reno right-hander Taylor Clarke got two starts for the Aces over the past week. The first was not great, not bad; Clarke went 5.0 innings and yielded six hits and two earned runs in a 3-1 loss to Tacoma. But Saturday against El Paso, the 25-year-old was on. Clarke allowed just two hits and one earned run (on a solo HR) over 7.0 innings while striking out nine in a 2-1 win. With the Diamondbacks’ rotation issues still lingering, Clarke might be a candidate for spot starting duty in the big leagues with the Kris Medlen and Troy Scribner experiments failing to pay dividends.

Buchholz Update – Buchholz also got two starts this week for Reno and pitched OK. The 33-year-old went 11.2 innings, allowing 12 hits, seven earned runs, five walks and 10 strikeouts.

Kevin Medrano: Hitting Machine – The Jackson infielder hit .444 (12-for-27) on the week and is now hitting .373 on the season — which is good for second place in the Southern League, behind teammate Juniel Querecuto, who is hitting .381. Querecuto, a 25-year-old third baseman from Venezuela, is in his first year in the D-backs organization after six years with Tampa Bay and a one-year stint playing in the Giants’ chain.

What’s up with Duplantier? – Arizona’s top prospect, right-hander Jon Duplantier, started Friday night on the road at Chattanooga and allowed just one earned run over five innings while striking out four in a game Jackson lost 6-2. Duplantier is 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA, 24 strikeouts and only three walks in 19.1 innings this season.

Vargas still flinging – Visalia right-hander Emilio Vargas has been terrific in the California League this season. In his lastest outing Wednesday against Stockton, Vargas pitched 5.1 scoreless innings with a walk and six strikeouts. He left the game with a 2-1 lead, but the Rawhide pen couldn’t hold it in a 4-2 loss. Vargas lowered his ERA to 1.04 on the season and has yet to give up more than one earned run in any of his seven appearances (six starts).

First win for Shaffer – Right-hander Brian Shaffer, a sixth-round pick out of Maryland last summer, went 7.0 innings, allowing six hits, one earned run, two walks while striking out three in a 7-1 win over Lake County on Monday. It was Shaffer’s first professional win. Shaffer went 20-8 during his three-year collegiate career with the Terrapins.

Quick Hits

• The D-backs named Jackson infielder Galli Cribbs and Visalia right-hander Bo Takahashi as their Minor League Player and Pitcher for the month of April.

• Reno infielder Kevin Cron hit his first Triple-A home run on Thursday in a 7-4 loss to Albuquerque. Pinch-hitting in the bottom of the ninth inning for pitcher Jared Miller, Cron connected on a two-run blast to center field off of Isotopes reliever D.J. Johnson. Cron now has 91 home runs in his pro career, which began in 2014 after the D-backs took him in the 14th round out of TCU.

Cron was also immortalized in bobblehead form over the weekend, courtesy of the Jackson Generals.

• Reno slugger Christian Walker really enjoys playing on Mother’s Day, apparently.

• Visalia first baseman Pavin Smith went 3-for-3 with three doubles in a 3-1 win over Rancho Cucamonga Saturday night.


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