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D-backs Farm Report: Jamie Westbrook on fire; defense and pitching shine

Another week down on the farm.

Here are all the happenings in the D-backs’ minor league system.


Reno Aces (Triple-A Pacific Coast League)

Week: 3-3|Overall: 19-23, 2nd place in Northern Division (7.5 games behind Tacoma)

O’Brien Update: It’s been a while since Peter O’Brien knocked in a run. In fact, the 25-year-old didn’t notch a single RBI last week in six games. He’s still tied for fifth in the PCL in that category with 31 on the season. O’Brien batted .214 on the week (6-for-28) with a double and a triple, but did strike out 12 times. His current six-game homerless streak is his longest of the season.

Getting ready for another call-up?: Archie Bradley has been outstanding for the Aces this season. Bradley threw eight scoreless innings Saturday night in a 3-1 win over the Omaha Storm Chasers. The right-hander allowed just three hits, walked three and struck out nine in notching his fifth win of the season. In the month of May, Bradley is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA, 24 strikeouts and six walks. He has not allowed a home run in 40.2 innings of work in Triple-A this season.

He can hit, too!: Right-hander Braden Shipley pitched very well in his last outing, allowing just three runs in seven innings in a 5-3 win over Iowa Monday. He also helped the cause offensively, going 2-for-3 with an RBI single in the fourth inning. His first hit of the game was a sharply-hit line drive right off the umpire. Professor Collmenter nearing a return?: Right-hander Josh Collmenter continued his rehab assignment at the Triple-A level, getting into two ball games last week. Collmenter pitched a total of 6.1 innings, allowing seven hits and one earned run while walking four and striking out three. The 30-year-old has been much better at Reno than he was in Single-A Visalia, where he posted an ERA of 10.57 in 7.2 innings of work.


Mobile BayBears (Double-A Southern League)

Week: 4-3|Overall: 19-24, 4th place in South Division (7.0 games behind Biloxi)

Westbrook is flammable: Infielder Jamie Westbrook, a fifth-round pick in 2013 out of Basha High in Gilbert, has been subject to streaks in his minor league career. But he may be hotter now than he’s ever been. The 20-year-old batted .556 (15-for-27) with four doubles, two homers and 10 RBI last week. Over the course of the week, Westbrook raised his season batting average from .239 to .301. It would be shocking if he’s not clearing space on the mantel for a Southern League Player of the Week Award.

Movin’ on up: Cody Regis, a former UCLA Bruin, was elevated to Double-A after starting the season in Visalia. Regis made his first Double-A start at third base Thursday night in a 7-2 win over the Mississippi Braves, going 1-for-4. He saw pinch-hitting duty the rest of the week.

Omahen turning things around: Right-hander John Omahen got off to a rocky (and that’s being kind) start to 2016. In April, the former 35th-round pick of the Marlins went 0-3 with an ERA of 11.93. He’s been much better in his last three starts, going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA. Thursday against Mississippi, Omahen went seven innings, allowing just five hits and one earned run.

Marathon loss: Playing a 16-inning game is grueling, but even more so when you’re on the losing end of things. That’s what the BayBears endured Sunday, losing to Mississippi 3-2 in a game that took four hours and 39 minutes. Mobile got a run in the bottom of the ninth on a sac fly from Kevin Medrano that scored Ildemaro Vargas. The score remained stuck at 2-2 until the top of the 16th, when Mel Rojas hit his first home run of the season off of reliever Myles Smith.

Honors for a pair: Medrano and Edgar Garcia both got Southern League honors last week.


Visalia Rawhide (High-A California League)

Week: 4-3|Overall: 27-16, 1st place in North Division (1.0 game ahead of San Jose)

Throwing zeroes: Brad Keller, Luis Ramirez and Austin Wright combined on a gem Wednesday night. The trio collaborated on a 4-hit shutout in a 1-0 win over Modesto. Keller started and hurled 7.2 scoreless innings — his longest stint of the season. Ramirez got out of the eighth and Wright notched the save, his first of the season. The only run of the game came in the seventh when Colin Bray scored on an error by Modesto shortstop Emerson Jimenez. Wright, who has a 0.46 ERA in 19.2 relief innings this season, was promoted to Mobile on Sunday.

Are you kidding me?: Oscar Hernandez made a dazzling play to end the game Thursday night when Modesto’s Luis Jean tried to score from third on a pitch that got away. Hernandez lunged and made an unbelievable twisting toss to Wright, who was covering home to record the out.


Kane County Cougars (Single-A Midwest League)

Week: 2-4|Overall: 21-21, tied for 3rd place in Western Division (3.0 game behind Cedar Rapids)

Welcome back, Zach: Outfielder Zach Nehrir, who had just come off the disabled list, enjoyed a five-hit day (all singles) Thursday in a 10-0 win over Peoria. Nehrir, a 16th-round pick out of Houston Baptist in 2015, had back-to-back four-hit games last season at Hillsboro in his first week as a minor leaguer.

Glove work: Galli Cribbs cooled off at the plate last week, batting just .150 (3-for-20), but he turned in a spectacular play in left field Friday night in a loss to Wisconsin.

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