D-backs Farm Rumblings: Vargas nearing Reno record streak

Aug 6, 2018, 7:33 AM
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Reno Aces (Triple-A Pacific Coast League)

For the Week: 4-2
On the Season: 58-55
In the Standings: 2nd place in Pacific Northern Division; 6.0 games behind Fresno

Let’s go streaking – It seems every week that Reno infielder Ildemaro Vargas has some prime real estate set aside for him in Farm Rumblings. When you uncork a 31-game hitting streak, that tends to happen. Vargas almost saw his streak end Friday night in a 13-3 loss to Colorado Springs, but with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, he laced a two-out triple to extend to 29 games. Saturday, Vargas went 2-for-5 with two RBI and followed that Sunday with a 3-for-5 game in a 12-9 loss to Oklahoma City.

The Aces themselves reminded everyone that Vargas has a ways to go before he approaches PCL history.

On the mend – D-backs infielder Deven Marrero is working his way back from an injury in the minors. Thursday night, Marrero went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI in Reno’s 6-2 win over Colorado Springs. The former Sun Devil standout has been on the disabled list since June 30.

Marrero also took the opportunity to sport his old college colors while playing the infield for Reno.

Making the jump – Jamie Westbrook, a Basha High grad and a fifth-round pick of the D-backs in 2013, got the call up to Triple-A and let’s just say he enjoyed his first weekend at that level. Westbrook batted .385 (5-for-13) with two home runs and four RBI in his first four games in an Aces’ uniform.

Jackson Generals (Double-A Southern League)

For the Week: 2-4
On the Season: 21-22 (2nd half)
In the Standings: 3rd place in North Division; 3.0 games behind Montgomery

Moving on up – Right-hander Emilio Vargas made his Double-A debut Thursday night for the Generals, going five innings, and allowing three hits and three runs while fanning one in a 4-3 win over Tennessee. The 21-year-old right-hander got the promotion after going 8-5 with a 2.50 ERA over 108 innings for Visalia in the California League.

A lot of zeroes – Taylor Widener combined with Kevin Ginkel and Bud Jeter on a six-hit shutout during a 1-0 win over Tennessee Friday night. Widener hurled six scoreless frames while allowing three hits and a walk while striking out seven before handing things over to the bullpen. He had to settle for a no-decision though, as the Generals couldn’t push across a run until Marty Herum knocked in Kevin Medrano with an RBI single with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Visalia Rawhide (High-A California League)

For the Week: 3-3
On the Season: 17-26 (2nd half)
In the Standings: 2nd place in North Division; 4.0 games behind Stockton

All about the Smiths – No, Morrissey and Johnny Marr didn’t reunite their iconic 80s British rock band Tuesday, but the Rawhide’s 8-1 victory over San Jose was fueled by the Smiths. Right-hander Riley Smith tossed five scoreless innings, allowing three hits while striking out six while Pavin Smith went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two RBI. Then on Sunday, Riley pitched well again, scattering 10 hits over 6.1 innings and allowing just one unearned run while striking out seven. Pavin went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored in a 5-3 win over Stockton.

Pretty jazzed – Jasrado Chisholm continued his hot streak Thursday, going 4-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored in the Rawhide’s 7-1 over San Jose. Right-hander Jeff Bain was solid on the mound, too, allowing six hits and one run over six innings for his first win at the High-A level.

Here’s more on Chisholm’s early days in Visalia.

Kane County Cougars (Single-A Midwest League)

For the Week: 3-4
On the Season: 20-22 (2nd half)
In the Standings: 6th place in Western Division; 6.5 games behind Cedar Rapids, Beloit and Peoria

Updating the roster – The Cougars’ roster was hit pretty hard at the MLB trade deadline with outfielder Ernie De La Trinidad and pitchers Brian Shaffer and Jhoan Duran all dealt for big league help from other teams. De La Trinidad was enjoying a very good season at Kane County, putting up a .311/.403/.442 line with eight homers and a team-leading 56 RBI at the time of the trade. Shaffer posted a 7-5 record and a 2.70 ERA in 106.2 innings of work. He was leading the team with 109 strikeouts. Duran, a hard-throwing Dominican, was 6-4 with a 4.27 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 71.2 innings.

And not to incite the masses, Duran’s been awesome for Cedar Rapids in the Minnesota organization since the deal.

Caballero cruising – Second baseman Jose Caballero had himself a week. The Panamanian 21-year-old batted .429 (12-for-28) with two home runs, two doubles, two triples and six RBI for the Cougars in seven games. His 1.341 OPS was the second-highest in the D-backs’ minor league system for the week. Only Missoula’s Zachery Almond’s (1.364) was higher. Another interesting note about Cabellero: He played his college ball at Chipola Junior College, the same school Arizona lefty Patrick Corbin played at, and batted .369 with 27 home runs and 111 RBI in two seasons.

Hillsboro Hops (Short Season-A Northwest League)

For the Week: 3-4
On the Season: 7-6 (2nd half)
In the Standings: 2nd place in South Division; 0.5 games behind Salem-Keizer

Big week – Right fielder William Gorman, a 32nd-round pick out of RPI in 2017, had a career night. The 23-year-old went 4-for-4 with two runs driven in during Hillsboro’s 8-6 road win at Spokane Monday. Gorman, who has already played at four different levels for the D-backs this season, followed that performance up by going 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI in an 8-5 win over Vancouver Wednesday.

Better than the rest – Since the Hops entered play in the Northwest League in 2013, they’ve pretty much been dominant. See for yourself.

Missoula Osprey (Rookie Pioneer League)

For the Week: 5-2
On the Season: 6-5 (2nd half)
In the Standings: Tied for 2nd place in North Division; 3.0 games behind Billings

Everybody contributes – The Osprey belted out 18 hits in a 14-7 win over Helena Monday night. Jesus Marriaga, Eddie Hernandez and Zachery Almond all had three hits apiece. Almond and Zack Shannon — the four and five hitters in Missoula’s lineup — combined to go 5-for-10 with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI.

Almond joy – Zachery Almond led Missoula’s 14-hit attack with three hits, including a two-run homer, in the Osprey’s 14-2 win over Helena Thursday night. Second baseman Brandon Leyton also went 3-for-4 with a single, a double, a triple, a run scored and two RBI in the rout.

Almond was one of four Osprey players selected to play for the Pioneer League All-Stars Tuesday night.

Getting hot – Alek Thomas, the D-backs’ sixth-best prospect according to, had a big night Sunday. Thomas led Missoula’s 18-hit attack with four of his own while scoring three runs and knocking in one in the Osprey’s 10-2 win over Great Falls. It was Thomas’ fifth multi-hit game over his last 10 contests. The 18-year-old, who was a second-round pick in June, is hitting .366 (15-for-41) over that span with 11 runs scored and five RBI.

DSL D-backs 1 (Rookie Dominican Summer League)

For the Week: 4-2
On the Season: 37-17
In the Standings: 1st place in Baseball City Division; 6.0 games ahead of Blue Jays

DSL D-backs 2 (Rookie Dominican Summer League)

For the Week: 2-4
On the Season: 18-36
In the Standings: 8th place in San Pedro Division; 18.0 games behind Rangers 2

AZL D-backs (Arizona Rookie League)

For the Week: 3-1
On the Season: 5-4 (2nd half)
In the Standings: Tied for 3rd place in East Division; 1.0 game behind Cubs 1

Vicious cycle – Catcher Daulton Varsho, the D-backs’ fifth-best prospect according to, hit for the cycle in his final rehab start in Arizona in a 13-11 win over Giants Black in a game that was completed Wednesday night. Varsho had a triple in the first inning, doubled in the fifth and led off the sixth with a home run. The 22-year-old completed the trick with a single in the eighth inning.

“I knew I needed the single, so after I reached, they grabbed the ball for me,” the backstop said. “It was a lot of fun to be out there playing again and a great time to be with these kids. They have so much energy and are just a joy to be around. They were probably more excited about [the cycle] than I was,” Varsho told

Axel A – Catcher Axel Andueza went 4-for-5 with two runs scored, two doubles and three RBI in the D-backs’ 11-2 win over the Reds Friday night at Salt River Fields. It was the Venezuelan 19-year-old’s first game in the Arizona League after spending time at both level of the Dominican Summer League for the D-backs.

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D-backs Farm Rumblings: Vargas nearing Reno record streak