Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the San Diego Padres

news

Padres News

Hosmer's 10th HR bright spot in Padres' loss

MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- Over the past month and a half, as Eric Hosmer fell into one of the worst slumps of his big league career, the Padres maintained that their prized first baseman would work out the kinks. He has quite the track record, after all.

An 11-6 loss to the Cubs on Saturday night at Petco Park offered reason for both optimism and skepticism regarding Hosmer. In his first at-bat, Hosmer demolished a fastball from Kyle Hendricks, sending it into the right-field seats. It was his first home run since June 12, and perhaps a sign he's poised to break out.

View Full Game Coverage

SAN DIEGO -- Over the past month and a half, as Eric Hosmer fell into one of the worst slumps of his big league career, the Padres maintained that their prized first baseman would work out the kinks. He has quite the track record, after all.

An 11-6 loss to the Cubs on Saturday night at Petco Park offered reason for both optimism and skepticism regarding Hosmer. In his first at-bat, Hosmer demolished a fastball from Kyle Hendricks, sending it into the right-field seats. It was his first home run since June 12, and perhaps a sign he's poised to break out.

View Full Game Coverage

"It felt good to get that one today," Hosmer said. "But it's something I want to get consistent with and get back to helping this team win."

Hosmer's next two at-bats served as something of a reality check. He hasn't been homering because he's hitting too many baseballs into the ground. Hosmer's 62 percent ground-ball rate is the second highest in the Majors. He's one of three players in baseball with at least 50 batted balls and a negative launch angle.

In the third, Hosmer bounced into an inning-ending double play with two men on base. He did the same in the sixth. Even with his two-run homer, Hosmer is just 5-for-54 this month. He still has work to do if he's going to return to the extra-base machine he was during his first two months as a Padre.

"From experience, you have the confidence to know you're going to get out of it," Hosmer said. "This game's tough. It'll knock you down. You put the work in, you execute your plans, sometimes you don't get the results you want. ... Today we definitely took a step in the right direction."

Hosmer says his movements in the box haven't felt synched up over the past few weeks. He's worked to minimize the moving parts in his swing. But without proper timing, he's hitting too many baseballs on the ground. Even when hit hard, there's only so much damage a ground ball can do.

"He can turn it around in a heartbeat in the second half," said Padres hitting coach Matt Stairs, prior to the game. "… Is he angry, yes. But it's same approach, same guy, same great teammate, same hard worker. He's just in a funk."

Hosmer's homer put San Diego on top by two in the first inning, but the Cubs answered quickly against Luis Perdomo, whose command was erratic over 4 1/3 innings. He surrendered five runs on six hits, including home runs from Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber.

Video: CHC@SD: Green on Perdomo's start, Hosmer in 11-6 loss

The Padres clawed two runs back in the bottom of the seventh on Hunter Renfroe's pinch-hit homer. They wouldn't get any closer than that. The Cubs plated three in the eighth and three more in the ninth, when Javier Baez put the game on ice with a three-run blast off Phil Hughes.

A month ago, the Padres crawled within four games of .500. They've dropped 20 of 26 since, and on Saturday night, they dropped to the bottom of the National League standings.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Renfroe in a pinch: Renfroe has battled an ailing hip flexor over the past three days. The Padres weren't taking any chances, and they kept him out of the lineup on Thursday and Friday. He returned to action Saturday night in a pinch-hit situation in the seventh inning, and Renfroe crushed the first pitch he saw from Cubs reliever Randy Rosario over the center-field fence, bringing the Padres within one. He's 6-for-11 with two homers in the pinch this season.

Video: CHC@SD: Renfroe crushes a 2-run homer to center

Franmil falters: Franmil Reyes is in the big leagues because of his bat. His defense -- which has improved incrementally over the past couple months -- still needs plenty of work. In the top of the eighth, Reyes raced into foul territory in pursuit of an Addison Russell pop fly. He arrived in time, but the ball caromed off his glove, giving Russell new life. He capitalized one pitch later with an RBI single, and the flood gates opened. Victor Caratini followed with a two-run double, and the Cubs led, 8-4.

Video: CHC@SD: Russell drives in Happ on single in the 8th

ASUAJE ON A ROLL
Since his late-June callup, Carlos Asuaje has been an on-base machine. He reached four times on Saturday night, courtesy of two singles and two walks, and he was on first base for Hosmer's first-inning blast.

In 42 plate appearances since his return, Asuaje has 12 hits and eight walks for a .476 on-base percentage. He saw 21 pitches on Saturday night.

"He's in a place where if you can continue to repeat those kinds of at-bats, you're going to be a really good offensive performer," said Padres manager Andy Green.

HE SAID IT
"He has a long track record. That gives him a lot of confidence. He's hit his whole life, not just the last couple years. He knows he's going to hit, we know he's going to hit and he's been a great teammate through his struggles, which I think is a great example for a lot of guys to see." -- Green, on Hosmer

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Perdomo came unglued in the fifth -- and he got no help from the replay room. With one out in the frame, Jason Heyward sprayed a line drive to left field. He attempted to turn a single into a double, but it first appeared as though Wil Myers' throw beat him at second. The Cubs challenged, and replays showed that Heyward beat Asuaje's tag. He was safe, and Baez gave the Cubs the lead with a two-run double on the next pitch.

Video: CHC@SD: Heyward reaches second safely after review

UP NEXT
Eric Lauer will be looking for an encore to his best start as a big leaguer when the Padres wrap up their first half against the Cubs at 1:10 p.m. PT on Sunday at Petco Park. Chicago counters with Jon Lester. Lauer pitched 8 2/3 innings of one-run ball against the Dodgers on Tuesday. He won't be given such a long leash on Sunday, after throwing a career-high 115 pitches.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Eric Hosmer

Villanueva reflects on time with Cubs

'It motivated me to work harder,' Padres rookie says
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- For years, Christian Villanueva envisioned playing in the big leagues alongside Javier Baez, Albert Almora Jr. and the rest of his longtime teammates in the Cubs organization. On Friday night, he finally got to do so -- albeit from an opposing dugout.

Villanueva's long journey to the Majors has been well chronicled. He spent eight years in the Minors before his September callup last season. Four of those seasons came with the Cubs.

View Full Game Coverage

SAN DIEGO -- For years, Christian Villanueva envisioned playing in the big leagues alongside Javier Baez, Albert Almora Jr. and the rest of his longtime teammates in the Cubs organization. On Friday night, he finally got to do so -- albeit from an opposing dugout.

Villanueva's long journey to the Majors has been well chronicled. He spent eight years in the Minors before his September callup last season. Four of those seasons came with the Cubs.

View Full Game Coverage

A highly regarded prospect in the Chicago system, Villanueva had his path to the big leagues blocked by Kris Bryant. Still, he moved quickly to Triple-A and appeared on the verge of a breakout in 2016.

Then, during a fielding drill at Spring Training in 2016, Villanueva leapt and fractured his right fibula upon landing. On the eve of the greatest season in Cubs history, Villanueva was in store for the roughest season of his career. He'd miss the entire year, and he was released by the Cubs that December.

"Obviously it wasn't the ideal way to end my time there with the injury," Villanueva said. "But at the same time, it motivated me to work harder. Thankfully, I've been able to have a good first season here, and I've been very blessed with the opportunity I was given here."

Villanueva has slumped lately, but he's still put forth an impressive rookie season. He's hitting just .226 but leads the team with 18 home runs. In April, Villanueva took home the National League's Rookie of the Month Award.

Video: Must C Classic: Villanueva homers thrice at Petco

It's quite the comeback tale, considering Villanueva's brutal 2016 setback. He signed a Minors deal with the Padres that offseason, then got off to a slow start at Triple-A in '17.

He's since turned things around in a big way. Now, he views joining the Padres as arguably the best thing that could've happened for his career.

"It was a great time with the Cubs," Villanueva said. "They gave me a shot. I don't think it's a secret that I was blocked by Kris Bryant. They were pretty honest with me when they let me move on. But I had a good time with that organization."

Villanueva went 1-for-5 on Friday. He was in the lineup batting seventh against Kyle Hendricks, his teammate at three different levels of the Minor Leagues, on Saturday.

"It's nice to see the guys that I came up with and played with during pregame warmups," Villanueva said. "But really once the game starts, they're my rivals."

Lyles takes the mound
Right-hander Jordan Lyles threw live batting practice on Saturday afternoon, facing a handful of Padres hitters on the Petco Park mound. It was the first time Lyles had thrown to hitters since he was scratched from his June 23 start against the Giants with elbow inflammation.

Manager Andy Green called Saturday's session "very encouraging." The next step for Lyles is likely a rehab assignment on Thursday at one of the team's affiliates.

Lyles is expected to throw three innings and around 45 pitches. If all goes well, he'll be re-evaluated afterward and could be recalled soon after that. That said, it's likelier the club opts instead for a second, lengthier rehab start.

Jankowski powers up
Travis Jankowski hit the longest home run of his career on Friday night, a 415-foot blast into the right-field home run deck at Petco Park.

"It was just a backup cutter up in the zone," Jankowski said. "It was just the perfect pitch to do that, right to the barrel."

Video: CHC@SD: Jankowski belts a 2-run homer in the 2nd

Clearly, that's the exception to the rule. Jankowski rarely puts the ball in the air. In the midst of baseball's fly-ball revolution, Jankowski is actively trying to hit the ball hard and on the ground.

He's one of four players in the Majors with an average launch angle below 1 degree. Given his speed, that's no accident.

"I always say, 'My goal is a line drive, but I want my misses to be ground balls,'" Jankowski said. "The other day against the Dodgers, I popped up twice to left field. That does nothing for me, it does nothing for the team. At least if I hit a ground ball ... anything can happen with me."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Christian Villanueva

Hedges' highs and lows loom large vs. Cubs

MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Since returning from the disabled list on June 24, Austin Hedges has been remarkable both behind the dish and with the bat. Usually known for his sound defense and play-calling -- and not usually for offensive production -- the 25-year-old has shown signs of turning his reputation around. He's batting .288 with two homers since rejoining the club and played a key role in San Diego's eighth-inning rally Friday night, when he hit an RBI single to give the Padres a 4-3 lead.

Unfortunately, the catcher also played a key role in the Cubs' go-ahead rally in extra innings, as the Cubs scored in the ninth and 10th innings to defeat the Padres, 5-4, at Petco Park.

View Full Game Coverage

SAN DIEGO -- Since returning from the disabled list on June 24, Austin Hedges has been remarkable both behind the dish and with the bat. Usually known for his sound defense and play-calling -- and not usually for offensive production -- the 25-year-old has shown signs of turning his reputation around. He's batting .288 with two homers since rejoining the club and played a key role in San Diego's eighth-inning rally Friday night, when he hit an RBI single to give the Padres a 4-3 lead.

Unfortunately, the catcher also played a key role in the Cubs' go-ahead rally in extra innings, as the Cubs scored in the ninth and 10th innings to defeat the Padres, 5-4, at Petco Park.

View Full Game Coverage

After the Cubs tied the game in the top of the ninth, Javier Baez led off the 10th with a slow roller to third base off Adam Cimber. Christian Villanueva thought about letting it roll foul. Instead, the ball hit the bag and ricocheted for an infield single.

The speedy Baez put pressure on the defense and stole second, leading to two of the Padres' most dependable defenders committing errors on the same play. Hedges' throw to second ended up in center field, and Manuel Margot booted the ball while Baez raced home to score the go-ahead run.

Video: CHC@SD: Baez scores after steal for lead in the 10th

That's all the offense the Cubs needed.

"It got away," Hedges said. "I probably tried to do a little too much. I have to stay more under control and make sure I make a good throw there. In that situation that can't happen."

The throwing error spoiled Hedges' third three-hit night of the season.

With the game deadlocked at three and two out in the eighth, Hedges sent Carl Edwards Jr.'s payoff pitch to right field, driving in Margot.

"He's played really well both sides of the ball," manager Andy Green said, "and for somebody that's played that well to not make a good throw and have it fall apart there on that play, that's tough."

Video: CHC@SD: Hedges hits a go-ahead RBI single in the 8th

Hedges' RBI set the table perfectly for closer Brad Hand, who has pitched well enough in the first half of the season to notch his second consecutive All-Star berth. However, with two outs, Hand hit pinch-hitter Victor Caratini with a pitch. Caratini gave way to pinch-runner Jason Heyward, and Anthony Rizzo made Hand pay next at-bat when he split the gap between Wil Myers and Margot with an RBI double to knot the game back up at four apiece. It was Hand's third blown save in his last six appearances.

"That [hit-by-pitch] is a tough one right there," Green said. "You don't want to do that, he doesn't want to do that. The Rizzo at-bat is just a grind at-bat between two All-Star-caliber players. The Caritini [at-bat], I'm sure he'd want back right now."

After Hand couldn't close the deal, the Padres led off the bottom of the ninth with high hopes in their Nos. 2, 3 and 4 hitters. But the trio of Carlos Asuaje, Myers and Eric Hosmer was no match for Cubs' reliever Pedro Strop, as the right-hander struck out the side.

CLAYTON BACK ON TRACK
Clayton Richard returned to his usual innings-eating form Friday after snapping a 10-game streak of starts lasting at least six innings on Sunday vs. Arizona. He tossed six innings of three-run ball (two earned) in his first home start since June 4. Of his 19 starts in the first half, 14 lasted six innings or more.

Richard ran into trouble in the second inning when Baez led off with a extra-base hit that needed a replay review to determine if it was a home run or double. It would fall for the latter, but Baez came around to score, anyway, when Ian Happ lined a two-run single four batters later. 

Video: CHC@SD: Richard fans Contreras in the 2nd 

SOUND SMART
As a speed-and-defense type, Travis Jankowski has never been known for his power. But he put a charge into his second-inning homer -- a two-run shot that gave the Padres a 3-2 lead. Jankowski's blast traveled a projected 415 feet, according to Statcast™, marking the longest of the six career home runs he's hit.

Video: CHC@SD: Jankowski belts a 2-run homer in the 2nd 

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Jankowski led off the Padres offense with speed -- both by his infield single and the time it took for replay to review it. Jankowski sent a chopper up the middle to shortstop Albert Almora Jr., but first-base umpire D.J. Reyburn called him out. A review overturned the call.

Video: CHC@SD: Jankowski hits infield single after review 

UP NEXT
Luis Perdomo's first half was a tumultuous one. He was hit hard in April and sent to Triple-A for a couple months. Perdomo returned in early July, and he's much been better since then. But the 25-year-old righty is still looking to find his big league footing. He takes the ball on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. PT, opposite Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks.

Katie Woo covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiejwoo.

San Diego Padres, Austin Hedges, Clayton Richard

Hand not picky about when he pitches in ASG

MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- Brad Hand doesn't care when he pitches on Tuesday night. He just wants to pitch.

The Padres closer is headed to Washington, D.C. for the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, his second consecutive Midsummer Classic, and he'll be looking for more success. A year ago, Hand pitched a perfect inning in Miami. He capped it by striking out eventual All-Star MVP Robinson Cano.

View Full Game Coverage

SAN DIEGO -- Brad Hand doesn't care when he pitches on Tuesday night. He just wants to pitch.

The Padres closer is headed to Washington, D.C. for the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, his second consecutive Midsummer Classic, and he'll be looking for more success. A year ago, Hand pitched a perfect inning in Miami. He capped it by striking out eventual All-Star MVP Robinson Cano.

View Full Game Coverage

"It doesn't matter to me when I pitch," said Hand, who owns a 2.91 ERA in 40 appearances this year. "You're trying to compete and have some fun. The game doesn't matter, but you still want to do well. It's an opportunity to pitch against some good hitters and show 'em what you got."

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

Hand pitched the seventh inning last year. He's probably bound for a similar role this time around.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is in charge of the National League squad. It's likely he uses his own Kenley Jansen as closer. Earlier this week, Roberts was asked how he plans to use Hand.

"I'm thinking three innings for Brad," Roberts said with a wry grin. "What a great competitor. It'll be great to have him on my side for a change."

Padres skipper Andy Green was informed of Roberts' joke.

"Three innings?" Green asked. "Might be the first time I've had to call him in a while."

In any case, here's how Hand matches up with the American League reserves, who he'll presumably be facing late in the game:

Michael Brantley: 0-for-1, K
Alex Bregman: never faced
Shin-Soo Choo: 1-for-2, HR, BB
Nelson Cruz: 0-for-1, BB
Mitch Haniger: 1-for-2
Francisco Lindor: 0-for-1, K
Jed Lowrie: never faced
Mitch Moreland: 0-for-2
Salvador Perez: 1-for-1, HR
Jean Segura: 0-for-3, BB
George Springer: never faced

While watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on Tuesday, fans can submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. PT on FOX will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Galvis dazzles
A day later, the Padres' clubhouse was still buzzing about Freddy Galvis' theatrics in the ninth inning of Wednesday's loss to the Dodgers. Galvis made a brilliant sliding stop on a Justin Turner ground ball, then spun from his knees and uncorked a perfect throw to first base, all in one motion.

"It defied physics," said right-hander Adam Cimber, who was on the mound at the time.

Video: LAD@SD: Galvis flashes brilliant defense at shortstop

"He's made some other big plays in bigger circumstances, but that was, from a highlight-reel perspective, the best one," said Green.

Eric Hosmer, who was on the receiving end of Galvis' throw, has begun to expect the spectacular from Galvis. In fact, he plans for it.

"There are times where I've been late getting to a cutoff spot on a base hit with a guy on second, just because I think you can't ever count him out on any ground balls up the middle," Hosmer said.

Galvis acknowledged Thursday's play as one of his finest. But he played down the praise.

"It's nothing you can plan," Galvis said. "I just reacted. You let your ability just play by itself."

Mitchell takes the mound
Right-hander Bryan Mitchell threw 43 pitches from the Petco Park mound on Friday afternoon. He did so in a pair of simulated innings, in which hitters from both sides of the plate stood in the box, but didn't take any swings.

Mitchell hasn't pitched since June 5 because of a right elbow impingement. He said he felt good, and his next step will be a session against live hitters.

Jordan Lyles, meanwhile, gets to face live hitters Saturday prior to the Padres' game against the Cubs. If all goes well, Lyles (right-elbow inflammation) will make a rehab start next week.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Brad Hand

Watch Tatis rep Padres in Futures Game

MLB.com

Twenty-eight of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects will take the field Sunday in the SiriusXM Futures Game. The 20th annual prospect showcase will feature several future big leaguers, including some who should arrive in the near future.

Fourteen of the 50 players from last year's game currently are in the Majors, including Ronald Acuna, Brian Anderson, Rafael Devers, Jack Flaherty and Yoan Moncada. And if you go back even further, the likes of Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant and Jose Altuve all suited up in the Futures Game, which tells you all you need to know about the type of talent on hand.

Twenty-eight of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects will take the field Sunday in the SiriusXM Futures Game. The 20th annual prospect showcase will feature several future big leaguers, including some who should arrive in the near future.

Fourteen of the 50 players from last year's game currently are in the Majors, including Ronald Acuna, Brian Anderson, Rafael Devers, Jack Flaherty and Yoan Moncada. And if you go back even further, the likes of Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant and Jose Altuve all suited up in the Futures Game, which tells you all you need to know about the type of talent on hand.

The game will be broadcast live at 4 p.m. ET on MLB Network and streamed on MLB.com. Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds and MLB.com's Jim Callis will call the action, with Lauren Shehadi reporting from the dugouts.

The game can also be heard on Sirius XM's MLB Network Radio (XM channel 89, Sirius channel 209).

Below is a snapshot of each of the 50 players, with links to scouting reports, tools and grades, stats and video on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Watch.

Video: Callis on the 2018 Futures Game U.S. roster

U.S. TEAM

Pitchers
Shaun Anderson, RHP, Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)
No. 7 on Giants' Top 30

A third-round pick by the Red Sox in the 2016 Draft, Anderson was traded to San Francisco in a deal for Eduardo Nunez. The 23-year-old offers three solid pitches, including a fastball that tops out at 96 mph, a strong slider and a changeup with sinking and fading action. Anderson has posted a 3.56 ERA for the Flying Squirrels this season, fanning exactly a batter per inning across 16 starts. More »

Dylan Cease, RHP, Birmingham Barons (AA)
No. 4 on White Sox Top 30/No. 40 on MLB Top 100
Cease started the season with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, but he quickly showed he was ready to test his stuff at the Double-A level. The right-hander went 9-2 with a 2.89 ERA through 13 starts with the Dash before he was promoted in late June. Cease has a very good fastball/curveball combination, which he has used to amass 96 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings this season. More »

Hunter Greene, RHP, Dayton Dragons (A)
No. 2 on Reds' Top 30/No. 18 on MLB Top 100
The No. 2 overall pick from the 2017 Draft, Greene got off to a slow start in 2017 but has found his rhythm lately. The hard-throwing right-hander posted a 14.63 ERA through four starts in April, but he has lowered that number each month this season. Greene threw seven scoreless frames in his last start and has allowed one or zero earned runs in six of his past eight starts. More »

:: 2018 Futures Game coverage ::

Dakota Hudson, RHP, Memphis Redbirds (AAA)
No. 3 on Cardinals' Top 30
Hudson has followed up a solid 2017 -- one in which he was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Year -- with a strong showing so far in 2018. Hudson has a mid-90s fastball that he throws with heavy sink, allowing him to generate a lot of ground-ball outs. He's pitched to a 2.33 ERA through 16 starts this season and has held the opposition to two earned runs or fewer in 12 of his 16 starts. More »

Mitch Keller, RHP, Indianapolis Indians (AAA)
No. 1 on Pirates' Top 30/No. 12 on MLB Top 100
Recently promoted to Triple-A, Keller has given Pirates fans plenty to be excited about since he was selected in the second round of the 2014 Draft. Keller's pro career got off to a slow start as he missed most of the 2015 season, but he reached Double-A at age 21 and was a standout last year in the Arizona Fall League. Keller used that momentum to springboard into 2018 when he began the season with six scoreless innings for Double-A Altoona. From there, Keller continued to post a 2.72 ERA through 14 starts before he was bumped up to Indianapolis. More »

Matt Manning, RHP, Lakeland Flying Tigers (A+)
No. 2 on Tigers' Top 30/No. 47 on MLB Top 100
Manning has a ton of potential, but he is still working to fine-tune his delivery. The Tigers have been cautious with Manning's development, and the 55 2/3 innings he's thrown this year are already a career high. After posting a 3.40 ERA through 11 starts for West Michigan, including back-to-back seven-inning outings, Manning was promoted to Lakeland on June 28. More »

Luis Ortiz, RHP, Biloxi Shuckers (AA)
No. 4 on Brewers' Top 30
Acquired along with outfielder Lewis Brinson (now with the Marlins) in the deal that sent Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress to the Rangers at the 2016 Trade Deadline, Ortiz is a big, physical right-hander who has a good feel for his above-average arsenal. Ortiz owns a 3.88 ERA in 206 1/3 career innings at the Double-A level. He replaced the Astros' Forrest Whitely, who left his most recent start with an injury. More »

C.D. Pelham, LHP, Frisco Roughriders (AA)
No. 19 on Rangers' Top 30
Pelham is a bit raw as he didn't start pitching until his senior season in high school, but he's made noticeable strides in his development. The 23-year-old lefty became a full-time reliever in 2017 and his results drastically improved. Pelham, who has an upper-90s fastball and a plus cutter, walked 8.9 batters per nine innings over his first two seasons, but he cut that to 3.8 in 2017 and is hovering right around 4.0 in 2018. More »

Justus Sheffield, LHP, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders (AAA)
No. 2 on Yankees' Top 30/No. 39 on MLB Top 100
After starting the season in Double-A, Sheffield was bumped up to Triple-A and has fared well at the Minors' highest level. The left-hander has a 2.61 ERA and has gone at least six innings in four of his past five appearances. Sheffield has the potential to boast three plus pitches, creates downhill plane with his delivery and has been durable for the bulk of his professional career. More »

Kyle Wright, RHP, Mississippi Braves (AA)
No. 2 on Braves' Top 30/No. 23 on MLB Top 100
One of several talented pitchers in the Braves' system, Wright pitched just 17 innings after being selected fifth overall in 2017 and is making his full-season debut this year at the Double-A level. The 22-year-old has struggled with command at times (3.89 walks per nine innings this year) but has four pitches -- a plus fastball, slider, curveball and changeup -- that all flash above average. More »

Catchers
Danny Jansen, C, Buffalo Bisons (AAA)
No. 6 on Blue Jays' Top 30
After injuries slowed his development early in his career, Jansen put together a breakout season (.323/.400/.484) in 2017 and is following that up with another strong campaign in 2018. Through 59 games, Jansen is hitting .289/.403/.458. The Blue Jays added the young catcher to the 40-man roster over the offseason and thus far he's reward them. Defensively, Jansen has made strides as well, most notably in his blocking, receiving and framing. More »

Andrew Knizner, C, Springfield Cardinals (AA)
No. 5 on Cardinals' Top 30
Knizner was originally a third baseman for North Carolina State before moving behind the plate following his freshman season. He was selected by St. Louis in the seventh round in 2016 and moved quickly through the Cardinals' system, jumping from Class A to Double-A during his first full pro season. The 23-year-old backstop is a two-way talent: He threw out 45 percent of would-be basestealers in '17 and is batting .315/.382/.427 with three home runs and 28 RBIs in 49 Double-A games this season. Knizner replaced the Athletics' Sean Murphy, who went on the DL on July 9. More »

Infielders
Peter Alonso, 1B, Las Vegas 51s (AAA)
No. 2 on Mets' Top 30/No. 69 on MLB Top 100
Alonso has done nothing but hit since entering pro ball. His bat allowed him to reach Double-A in his first full season, and after hitting .289 with 18 homers across 93 games in 2017, Alonso has continued to produce this season. The 23-year-old was slashing .314/.440/.573 through 65 games with Binghamton before he was bumped up to Las Vegas in mid-June. More »

Bo Bichette, SS/2B, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA)
No. 2 on Blue Jays' Top 30/No. 7 on MLB Top 100
Bichette's ability to produce at the plate was well-documented leading into the 2016 Draft, and he's done nothing but prove those scouting reports right so far. There's a reason he has a 70-grade hit tool and it's evidenced by the fact that he batted .427 in 2016 (22 games) and .362 in 2017 (110 games). Bichette began his age-20 season at Double-A and has fared well thus far, slashing .270/.331/.436 through 81 contests. More »

Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, Altoona Curve (AA)
No. 3 on Pirates' Top 30
Hayes got off to a slow start, but he has picked up the pace in his first taste of Double-A. After hitting .234 in April, the 21-year-old has raised his average each month since. Hayes is an above-average runner and swiped 27 bags last season, but he has stolen just six bases this year. Defensively, Hayes also grades out as above average and has a chance to be a top third baseman. More »

Keston Hiura, 2B, Biloxi Shuckers (AA)
No. 1 on Brewers' Top 30/No. 30 on MLB Top 100
Regarded as arguably the top hitter in the 2017 Draft, Hiura went out and proved he was worthy of the label as he batted .371 in his professional debut. To follow that up, he's continued to rake in his full-season debut, hitting .320 through 50 games with Class A Advanced Carolina before he was promoted to Biloxi, where he's batting .326 through 24 contests. Defensively, there are some questions about Hiura's ability to stick at second base, with left field a possibility in the future, but either way his bat will be his strength. More »

Carter Kieboom, SS, Harrisburg Senators (AA)
No. 2 on Nationals' Top 30/No. 62 on MLB Top 100
Kieboom began the season with Class A Advanced Potomac but was promoted to Double-A after 61 games, and he has quickly shown he's ready for advanced competition. It's been just 15 games with the Senators, but Kieboom is slashing .383/.431/.567 and has collected at least one hit in 14 of those 15 contests. More »

Nate Lowe, 1B, Montgomery Biscuits (AA)
A 13th-round pick from the 2016 Draft, Lowe, the brother of fellow Rays prospect Josh Lowe, is enjoying a bit of a breakout campaign in 2018. The 22-year-old reached Double-A in early June, but no matter where he's played this year, he's been able to hit. Across two levels, Lowe is batting .348 and has already set career highs in homers (15), RBIs (66) and total bases (162) through 74 games.

Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, Bowie Baysox (AA)
No. 1 on Orioles' Top 30/No. 80 on MLB Top 100
Mountcastle shifted from shortstop to third base in 2017, but it's his bat that will ultimately be his calling card. The 21-year-old got a late start to the season after dealing with a fractured hand, but he immediately showed off his offensive skillset, collecting three hits in his debut and batting .311 through 52 games. Mountcastle has an advanced approach at the plate and good pitch recognition, which help him project as an above-average hitter. More »

Brendan Rodgers, SS, Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
No. 1 on Rockies' Top 30/No. 6 on MLB Top 100
Rodgers, with his ability to hit for both average and power, was MLB Pipeline's No. 1 prospect entering the 2015 Draft, where he was picked third overall by the Rockies. Rodgers reached Double-A last year in his full-season debut, but he is getting his first full look at the Eastern League in 2018. Defensively, the 21-year-old doesn't have the best range at short, but his 60-grade arm and strong instincts allow him to get the job done. Rodgers has also spent some time at second and third this season, but of course his path at third is blocked in Colorado with Nolan Arenado already entrenched at the hot corner. More »

Outfielders
Jo Adell, OF, Inland Empire 66ers (A+)
No. 1 on Angels' Top 30/No. 36 on MLB Top 100
While Adell, a tremendous athlete, has an impressive collection of tools, the only questions when he was entering the 2017 Draft were whether he'd be able to hit consistently enough to succeed. So far, so good, as the 19-year-old batted .325 across two levels of Rookie-ball in his debut and has hit well across two levels so far this season. Adell has struck out a lot (71 times over 258 at-bats), but he has also shown an ability to make adjustments at the plate. Defensively, Adell has plenty of speed to roam center field and has a plus arm as well. More »

Alex Kirilloff, OF, Fort Myers Miracle (A+)
No. 3 on Twins' Top 30/No. 67 on MLB Top 100
After missing the 2017 season because of Tommy John surgery, Kirilloff is back to showing off the tools that led to him being a first-round pick back in 2016, when he also won Appalachian Player of the Year honors in his professional debut. Kirilloff has played all three outfield positions in his career, though he profiles best in right. However, if his elbow hampers him in the future, he could move to first base as well. The 20-year-old is an advanced hitter that utilizes all fields and will be able to hit for more power as he matures. More »

Kyle Lewis, OF, Modesto Nuts (A+)
No. 1 on Mariners' Top 30/No. 58 on MLB Top 100
Lewis offers up an exciting combination of tools, but knee injuries have hampered him ever since he was selected in the first round of the 2016 Draft. Lewis, 22, had his knee scoped in February and began the season in extended spring training before joining Modesto. When he is healthy, Lewis is able to hit for both average and power and has the potential to be a solid defender as well. More »

Buddy Reed, OF, Lake Elsinore Storm (A+)
Reed, a second-round pick from the 2016 Draft, has enjoyed a breakout campaign thus far in his first go-around in the California League. The 23-year-old is slashing .323/.373/.535 through 76 games, and with 11, homers he's nearly doubled his total from a season ago (six in 88 games). Reed got off to a scorching-hot start by hitting .366 in April, and although he's cooled off from that pace, he has hit over .300 in each month of the year.

Taylor Trammell, OF, Daytona Tortugas (A+)
No. 3 on Reds' Top 30/No. 34 on MLB Top 100
A multi-sport athlete from Georgia, Trammell has impressed the Reds with his feel for the game. Trammell's tools have always been evident and he uses them in a variety of ways. The 20-year-old stole 41 bases in 2017 and also relies on that plus speed to patrol center field. Offensively, Trammell has had trouble with strikeouts, though he has cut his K rate from 21.5 percent in 2017 to 18.9 percent so far in 2018. Through 70 games with the Tortugas, Trammell is hitting .313 with 19 extra-base hits and 12 stolen bases. More »

Video: Callis on the 2018 Futures Game World roster

WORLD TEAM

Pitchers
Jorge Guzman, RHP, Jupiter Hammerheads (A+)
No. 3 on Marlins' Top 30
Guzman's triple-digit fastball and high ceiling made him the key return for the Marlins in the offseason blockbuster that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York. He was previously traded in November 2016, going from Houston to the Yankees in the Brian McCann trade. The 22-year-old Dominican pairs his heater with a hard slider, and together they've helped him generate 10.3 strikeouts-per-nine since the start of 2017. More »

Yoan Lopez, RHP, Jackson Generals (AA)
No. 25 on D-backs' Top 30
A highly touted international prospect when he inked a deal north of $8 million with Arizona in January 2015, Lopez struggled early in his career, both on and off the field, before righting the ship in 2017 following a full-time move to the bullpen. The 25-year-old Cuban has built on that success this season in Double-A and could provide the D-backs' bullpen with another power arm when he finally arrives. More »

Kieran Lovegrove, RHP, Akron Rubberducks (AA)
A third-round pick in 2012, the 23-year-old Lovegrove will represent South Africa in this year's event after an outstanding first half across two levels in the Indians system. The 6-foot-4 right-hander has a prototypical late-inning bullpen profile, as he's adept at missing bats with a mid-90s fastball and a hard slider in the mid-80s.

Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Midland RockHounds (AA)
No. 1 on A's Top 30/No. 20 on MLB Top 100
Perhaps no pitching prospect has improved his stock this season as much as Luzardo, whose Futures Game selection comes amidst a five-start stretch in Double-A during which he's allowed just one earned run in his past 25 innings. Born in Lima, Peru, the 20-year-old southpaw's stuff and feel both are highly advanced, as he demonstrates exceptional feel for throwing a plus-plus fastball-changeup combo as well as a sharp breaking ball that together have helped him carve up considerably older hitters early in his career. More »

Bryan Mata, RHP, Salem Red Sox (A+)
No. 4 on Red Sox's Top 30
The second-youngest player on the World roster, Mata, a Venezuela native, signed with Boston for $25,000 early in 2016. He opened eyes last season as an 18-year-old in the Class A South Atlantic League, even helping Greenville win an SAL title, and has continued to showcase a big-league future this year in the Carolina League despite regressing with his control and command. More »

Adonis Medina, RHP, Clearwater Threshers (A+)
No. 2 on Phillies' Top 30/No. 74 on MLB Top 100
Medina has steadily rised through the Phillies' Minor League ranks since signing in 2014, breaking out last year with a 3.01 ERA in 22 starts for Class A Lakewood in his first taste of full-season ball. The 21-year-old righty continues to improve his stuff, headlined by a strong fastball with good life that leads to plenty of ground balls. He replaced fellow Philadelphia prospect Enyel De Los Santos, who made his MLB debut with the Phillies on Tuesday. More »

Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Chattanooga Lookouts (AA)
No. 11 on Twins' Top 30
Tommy John surgery followed by a bout of mono wiped out Thorpe's 2015-16 seasons, but the Australian left-hander returned fully healthy in '17, earned a spot on the Twins' 40-man roster after the season, and has continued to make strides in 2018 in Double-A. The 22-year-old's plus fastball-changeup pairing has long made him a strikeout artist and netted him a career-high 12 strikeouts in a June 21 start with Chattanooga. More »

Jesus Tinoco, RHP, Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
No. 12 on Rockies' Top 30
Tinoco signed with Toronto for $400,000 out of Venezuela in 2011 and went to the Rockies in the Troy Tulowitzki deal four years later. The 23-year-old righty has scuffled in each of the past three seasons but does possess power stuff, including a mid-90s fastball and a pair of above-average breaking balls. More »

Touki Toussaint, RHP, Gwinnett Stripers (AAA)
No. 10 on Braves' Top 30
Toussaint, 22, tossed 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball to earn the win in his Triple-A Gwinnett debut on July 5. The right-hander earned a promotion to Gwinnett after a dominant first half with Double-A Mississippi in which he logged a 2.93 ERA and racked up 107 strikeouts in 86 innings on the merits of his plus fastball-curveball pairing. Toussaint was a late addition to the World roster as a replacement for Indians top prospect Francisco Mejia, who was promoted to the Major Leagues on Saturday. More >

Alex Wells, LHP, Frederick Keys (A+)
No. 8 on Orioles' Top 30
Wells also hails from Australia, having signed with Baltimore for $300,000 in August 2015. A finesse left-hander with plus command of a mature three-pitch mix, Wells pitched to a 2.38 ERA with a 0.91 WHIP over 140 innings with Class A Delmarva to take home the organization's 2017 Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award. More »

Catchers
Miguel Amaya, C/1B, South Bend Cubs (A)
No. 10 on Cubs' Top 30
The Cubs signed Amaya for $1 million out of Panama in July 2015 based largely on his defensive prowess, but the 19-year-old backstop quickly has come into his own with the bat despite aggressive assignments early in his career. He earned Midwest League All-Star honors this year in his full-season debut after hitting .288/.356/.500 with nine homers in 59 first-half games. More »

Keibert Ruiz, Tulsa Drillers (AA)
No. 2 on Dodgers' Top 30/No. 44 on MLB Top 100
Known as an advanced defender when he signed for $140,000 out of Venezuela on his 16th birthday in 2014, Ruiz has exceeded offensive expectations and has the best all-around ability of all the Dodgers' young catchers. A switch-hitter with an advanced feel for the barrel and a line-drive approach, he ranked third in hitting (.316) among Minor League catchers and reached the California League in his first full season before opening 2018 as a 19-year-old in Double-A. More »

Infielders
Yordan Alvarez, OF/1B, Fresno Grizzlies (AAA)
No. 3 on Astros' Top 30/No. 51 on MLB Top 100
The Astros landed Alvarez, who had yet to make his pro debut after signing for $2 million as a Cuban defector a month earlier, from the Dodgers at the July 2016 non-waiver Trade Deadline. A Futures Game selection last season when he batted .304/.379/.481 between two Class A stops, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Alvarez continued to boost his stock this season in Double-A, putting up big numbers despite missing time while on the DL, before being rewarded with his first career promotion to Triple-A. More »

Luis Garcia, SS/2B, Potomac Nationals (A+)
No. 5 on Nationals' Top 30
The youngest player in this year's event, the 18-year-old Garcia -- born in 2000 -- was recently promoted to the Carolina League after hitting .297/.335/.402 for Class A Hagerstown to begin his first full season. A product of the Dominican Republic, Garcia ranked No. 9 on MLB Pipeline's list of the Top 30 international prospects for the 2016-17 period before signing with Washington for $1.3 million. More »

Andres Gimenez, SS, St. Lucie Mets (A+)
No. 1 on Mets' Top 30/No. 68 on MLB Top 100
Signed by the Mets in July 2015 for $1.2 million, Gimenez led the Dominican Summer League in on-base percentage and finished second in batting average and third in OPS during his pro debut. The 19-year-old Venezuelan shortstop more than held his own last year in full-season ball, and he's opening even more eyes this season as one of the youngest regulars in the Florida State League. More »

Dawel Lugo, 2B, Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)
No. 12 on Tigers' Top 30
The recipient of a seven-figure bonus from Toronto back in July 2011, Lugo since has been traded twice, going from the Jays to the D-backs in August 2015, and Arizona to the Tigers in 2017 (in the deal for J.D. Martinez). The Dominican native makes a ton of loud contact, giving him a chance to be an above-average hitter with 12-to-15-homer power, and the Tigers have been pleased with his improvements defensively at the keystone. More »

Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, San Antonio Missions (AA)
No. 1 on Padres' Top 30/No. 3 on MLB Top 100
Few prospects can match Tatis' upside of a perennial All-Star and MVP candidate. Acquired by the Padres from the White Sox in June 2016 as part of the James Shields trade, Tatis became the first 18-year-old in Midwest League history to post at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 2017 before finishing the season in Double-A. Back in the Texas League, the now-19-year-old shortstop ranks among the circuit leaders in a host of offensive categories, furthering his reputation as one of baseball's elite prospects. More »

Luis Urias, 2B/SS, El Paso Chihuahuas (AAA)
No. 3 on Padres' Top 30/No. 29 on MLB Top 100
Signed out of the Mexican League in December 2013, Urias is one of the more accomplished hitters in the Minor Leagues. The 21-year-old right-handed hitter makes up for being undersized with elite bat-to-ball skills and plate discipline that have led to high batting averages and on-base rates at every stage in his career. He profiles best as a second baseman but has the defensive tools to play anywhere on the infield. More »

Outfielders
Randy Arozarena, OF, Memphis Redbirds (AAA)
No. 7 on Cardinals' Top 30
Arozarena was MLB Pipeline's No. 19 international prospect in July 2016 when the Cardinals inked the Cuban for $1.25 million. He earned a promotion to Double-A in his first full season, ultimately posting a .783 OPS with 47 extra-base hits and 18 steals across two levels, and he has spent much of 2018 in Triple-A. Though it's a hit-over-power profile, Arozarena does make consistent contact with excellent bat speed and has some extra-base thump from the right side of the plate. More »

Luis Alexander Basabe, OF, Birmingham Barons (AA)
No. 13 on White Sox Top 30
Acquired from Boston with Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech in the Chris Sale blockbuster, Basabe, signed for $450,000 out of Venezuela in 2012, has a high ceiling as a switch-hitting center fielder with five-tool potential. The White Sox believe that the 21-year-old will tap into his raw power with further refinements to his swing, giving Basabe a chance to develop into a 20-homer/20-steal threat in his prime. More »

Yusniel Diaz, OF, Tulsa Drillers (AA)
No. 4 on Dodgers' Top 30/No. 85 on MLB Top 100
The Dodgers spent $31 million ($15.5 million for his bonus and an equal amount in penalty tax) in November 2015 to sign Diaz, just 19 at the time, and the Cuban outfielder rewarded the club by reaching Double-A in his second pro season. The 21-year-old shows the potential for solid tools across the board save for his power, though he does show pop to the gaps and adds value with improving on-base skills. More »

Seuly Matias, OF, Lexington Legends (A)
No. 3 on Royals' Top 30
A Dominican native who signed for $2.25 million in July 2015, Matias has put himself on the map in his first full season by pacing the South Atlantic League with 24 home runs. The 19-year-old outfielder produces tape-measure blasts with his electric bat speed, strength and leveraged right-handed swing, though it does come with a concerning amount of swing-and-miss. More »

Heliot Ramos, OF, Augusta Green Jackets (A)
No. 1 on Giants' Top 30/No. 70 on MLB Top 100
Selected 19th overall in the 2017 Draft out of Puerto Rico, Ramos showcased his five-tool potential during his professional debut by leading the Rookie-level Arizona League in slugging (.645) and finishing second in batting (.348) and OPS (1.049). While success hasn't come as easily for the 18-year-old outfielder in his full-season debut, he did enjoy his best month of the season in June (.272/.336/.408) after scuffling through April and May (.224/.302/.365). More »

Jesus Sanchez, OF, Charlotte Stone Crabs (A+)
No. 4 on Rays' Top 30/No. 35 on MLB Top 100
Sanchez's knack for getting the barrel to the ball has long impressed evaluators and fuels his profile as a plus hitter with plus raw power. Those traits have helped the 20-year-old Dominican make quick work of lower levels, as he's been among the more consistent hitters this season in the Florida State League after hitting 15 homers and finishing second in the Midwest League with a .305 average in 2017. More »

Leody Taveras, OF, Down East Wood Ducks (A+)
No. 1 on Rangers' Top 30/No. 28 on MLB Top 100
Taveras signed with Texas for $2.1 million out of the Dominican Republic as one of the top athletes on the 2015-16 international amateur market. One of the youngest regulars for his level in each of his first three seasons, Taveras has held his own at every stop despite posting solid-if-unspectacular numbers. The 19-year-old switch-hitter stands out for his plus hitting ability and speed that helps him impact the game on the basepaths as well as in center field. More »

William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Allen, Paddack star for Missions

MLB.com @wboor

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Friday.

Adam Haseley had so much fun hitting his first Double-A homer that he promptly went back and hit his second.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Friday.

Adam Haseley had so much fun hitting his first Double-A homer that he promptly went back and hit his second.

Haseley, the Phillies No. 4 prospect, led Double-A Reading to a 5-4 win over Bowie with a pair of homers as part of a 3-for-4, three-RBI performance.

 Haseley's first Double-A homer

The No. 79 overall prospect was promoted to Double-A on Tuesday and is 4-for-8 in the two games since. Haseley led off Friday's game with a solo homer and then extended the Fightin Phils lead with a two-run blast in the third, marking the first two-homer game of his career.

 Haseley homers again

Prior to his promotion the 2017 first-round Draft pick was hitting .299/.342/.413 through 79 games with Class A Advanced Clearwater.

Other top prospect performances from Friday's action:

• No. 30 overall prospect Keston Hiura (Brewers' No. 1) was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate for Double-A Biloxi. The 21-year-old came up clutch in the early stages of the game, collecting an RBI single in the first and hitting a solo homer in the third. Hiura added two more singles later in the game and also scored a pair of runs.

Hiura goes yard

• No. 73 overall prospect Stephen Gonsalves (Twins' No. 4) put together another strong start for Triple-A Rochester. Gonsalves, who has surrendered one earned run or less in five straight starts, struck out five and gave up one run on two hits over 5 2/3 innings. The lefty has struggled with command recently and walked two while throwing 68 of his 102 pitches for strikes.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

• No. 98 overall prospect Logan Allen (Padres' No. 9) fell one out shy of his first career complete game, but still picked up the win for Double-A San Antonio. Allen, who threw 6 2/3 innings, yielded one run on three hits. The 21-year-old walked one, struck out four and threw 77 of his 108 pitches for strikes. In the second half of the doubleheader, Chris Paddack (No. 96 overall, Padres' No. 8) spun his first career complete game, but was stuck with a loss. The right-hander gave up two runs on two hits over six innings.

Astros No. 15 prospect Framber Valdez notched double-digit strikeouts for the second time this season with Double-A Corpus Christi. The left-hander struck out the side in the third and recorded at least one strikeout in each of the six innings he pitched. Valdez finished with 10 strikeouts and didn't allow a run as he worked around three hits and a trio of walks.

Mariners No. 4 prospect Julio Rodriguez put together another multhit effort as his career gets off to a fast start in the Dominican Summer League. The 17-year-old went 2-for-4 with a homer, his second, and is slashing .336/.424/.507 through 35 games.

Pirates No. 24 prospect Brandon Waddell set a career high as he notched nine strikeouts in a win for Triple-A Indianapolis. Waddell, who surrendered just two hits over seven scoreless innings, threw 59 of his 91 pitches for strikes in what was his best appearance since he was promoted to Indianapolis in late May.

Waddell's ninth strikeout

Rangers No. 4 prospect Hans Crouse fired the best start of his young career for Class A Short Season Spokane. The 2017 second-rounder set career highs as he struck out 11 over seven innings. Crouse was incredibly dominant on the mound as he didn't issue a walk, gave up one hit and threw 58 of his 82 pitches for strikes in the scoreless outing.

Red Sox No. 7 prospect Darwinzon Hernandez put together another string of zeros for Class A Advanced Salem. Hernandez extended his scoreless streak to 16 2/3 innings after throwing five scoreless frames in what was his third straight scoreless start. The lefty walked two and scattered six hits while fanning six and lowering his ERA to 4.04.

• Blue Jays first-round pick Jordan Groshans turned in the first three-hit game of his career, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles in the Rookie-level GCL. Groshans also drove in five runs, a career high, and boosted his average to .354.

• Marlins Draft picks Osiris Johnson (2nd-round, 53rd overall) and Will Banfield (Competitive Balance Round B, 69th overall) combined for five hits and four RBIs to lead the GCL Marlins to a win. Johnson, who has hits in six of his eight professional games, went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Banfield went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Lucchesi to pitch in Minors over All-Star break

Rookie left-hander is likely to rejoin Padres in second half
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- When rookie left-handers Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer arrived in San Diego this April, they did so well ahead of schedule. The Padres were always up-front about that fact.

If not for Dinelson Lamet's elbow injury on the final day of Spring Training, Lucchesi isn't in the Opening Day rotation. If not for Luis Perdomo's early struggles, Lauer doesn't earn a callup.

View Full Game Coverage

SAN DIEGO -- When rookie left-handers Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer arrived in San Diego this April, they did so well ahead of schedule. The Padres were always up-front about that fact.

If not for Dinelson Lamet's elbow injury on the final day of Spring Training, Lucchesi isn't in the Opening Day rotation. If not for Luis Perdomo's early struggles, Lauer doesn't earn a callup.

View Full Game Coverage

There are challenges that come with those early arrivals, the most glaring being the need to limit workloads on two pitchers drafted only two years ago. In that regard, the Padres plan to use the All-Star break to their advantage.

On Thursday, Lucchesi was optioned to Triple-A El Paso, a day after his final first-half start. It's not a performance-based move. The 25-year-old will almost certainly be recalled and merely pushed to the back off the rotation after the All-Star break.

"Our expectation right now is that he's going to go down and have a Minor League start between now and his next Major League start," Green said. "We had every anticipation of pushing our younger guys to the backside of the rotation coming out of the break, and he's one of those guys. He'll have every opportunity to be in New York pitching for us, assuming he goes through the next 10 days healthy."

Lucchesi's start in the Minors will likely be a shortened one, designed to "keep some rhythm with him and trying to find some rhythm in some instances," Green said.

After missing a month with a right hip strain, Lucchesi's workload has been limited by default. Things are different for Lauer, who has pitched 93 2/3 innings between Triple-A and the Majors this season. He's already just 29 innings shy of last season's total mark.

Video: LAD@SD: Lauer fans 8 over 8 2/3 superb innings

That said, Lauer has pitched so well lately that the Padres have been forced to alter their plans. Originally, the 23-year-old's start against the Dodgers on Tuesday was to be his last before the break -- giving him similar treatment to Lucchesi.

Then the lefty came within one out of recording the first shutout by a Padres rookie since 2006. He owns a 2.33 ERA since the start of June. Now it seems likelier the Padres will limit Lauer's innings by giving him a breather late in the season instead, as he is set to start the first-half finale on Sunday.

"We'll pick our times to ease off," Green said. "It doesn't have to be right at the All-Star break. He's been in too good a rhythm. ... We feel good about the way he feels and letting him pitch again, and [we'll] make a determination later on if we need to rest him."

Green did acknowledge that Lauer won't be pushed on Sunday, as the Padres will be looking to get their relievers some game action before the four-day break.

"[Lauer] won't pitch into the eighth and the ninth this time," Green said. "I feel pretty certain saying that."

Video: SD@ARI: Richard gets double play with the bases full

Richard likely to open second half
The Padres plan to finalize their second-half rotation plans in the next day or two, but Green noted it's likely that veteran left-hander Clayton Richard will get the ball on July 20 in Philadelphia -- the first game after the All-Star break.

Richard owns a 4.50 ERA in 19 starts this season, and he'll wrap up his first half on Friday against the Cubs. The Padres signed him to a two-year extension in September, in large part so he could be the staff's workhorse -- limiting the burden on the bullpen and the youngsters.

He's pitched six frames in 11 of his last 12 starts and is on pace to eclipse 200 innings easily.

Video: OAK@SD: Lopez rips an RBI double to right in the 2nd

Lopez recalled
With Lucchesi headed for El Paso, the Padres recalled catcher Raffy Lopez to provide some depth on their bench. Lopez's presence should allow the Padres to use A.J. Ellis as a pinch-hitter, with some extra insurance behind starting catcher Austin Hedges.

Lopez has spent the season moving between Triple-A and the Majors. In 34 games with the big league club, he's hitting .180/.263/.290. Lopez was packing to return from the Triple-A All-Star break when he got a late-night phone call on Wednesday.

"You get used to it -- this is my role," Lopez said of the back-and-forth between levels. "At times it can be frustrating, and at times it's exciting. It's a call to the big leagues. That is still exciting."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Eric Lauer, Joey Lucchesi

40-save season Hoffman's success 'benchmark'

Hoffy had nine 40-save seasons in his Hall of Fame career
San Diego Padres

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

As a player, Trevor Hoffman did not set goals going into any of his 18 Major League seasons. But he did have benchmarks ... statistics at the end of seasons that he would see as meaningful accomplishments.

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

As a player, Trevor Hoffman did not set goals going into any of his 18 Major League seasons. But he did have benchmarks ... statistics at the end of seasons that he would see as meaningful accomplishments.

At the top of that list was 40 saves.

"As a closer, if you reached 40 saves it was the mark of a good season -- usually for both the player and the team," Hoffman said recently.

"Getting to 40 saves usually meant the team was successful more often than not. And 40 saves also meant you were out there doing your job as often as possible. And it probably meant you hadn't messed up too many times."

Hoffman had nine 40-save seasons, topped by his personal high of 53 during the Padres 1998 National League championship season.

The nine 40-save seasons is tied for the most in Major League history with Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees.

Twice in his career (1998-2001 and 2004-07), Hoffman had runs of four straight 40-save seasons. He was the first closer to post four straight 40-save seasons and remains only one of three closers who have done it twice.

As noted before, Hoffman puts a lot of weight on consistency and longevity. Nine 40-save seasons speaks to both categories.

Hoffman's first 40-save season came during the Padres run to their second National League West title in 1996. He converted 42 of 49 save opportunities.

His second came in 1998 when he converted 53 of 54 opportunities with a 1.48 ERA. He tied the then single-season NL record for saves as the Padres won both the division title and their second NL championship.

The 1998 season also launched the first of Hoffman's runs of four straight 40-save seasons. He had 40 in 43 chances in '99, 43 in 50 chances in 2000 and 43 in 46 chances in '01. In '02, he fell two saves short of a fifth straight 40-save season.

After missing most of the 2003 season following surgery, Hoffman launched his second run of four straight 40-save seasons, with 41 in 45 opportunities during the inaugural Petco Park season of 2004.

During the Padres run to their fourth NL West title in 2005, Hoffman had 43 saves in 46 tries. In '06, as the Padres won a second straight division title, Hoffman led the NL in saves for the second time, converting 46 of 51 chances. He had his ninth and final 40-save season in '07 with 42 in 49 chances.

In addition to the nine 40-save seasons, Hoffman had three other seasons with 37 or 38 saves. He had 14 seasons of 30 or more saves in his storied career.

San Diego Padres

Ross takes no-no into 6th, loses footing in 7th

Veteran returns to form, but Padres offer little offensive support
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- Tyson Ross has authored too good a comeback story this year for it to be wrecked by a couple of poor starts.

And so, on Thursday night, Ross finished his first half with a bounce-back effort that seemed to represent his season as a whole.

View Full Game Coverage

SAN DIEGO -- Tyson Ross has authored too good a comeback story this year for it to be wrecked by a couple of poor starts.

And so, on Thursday night, Ross finished his first half with a bounce-back effort that seemed to represent his season as a whole.

View Full Game Coverage

San Diego dropped its series finale with the Dodgers, 3-2, as Ross pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on three hits. That line was particularly harsh on Ross, who carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and only allowed the game's first run in the seventh on Andrew Toles jam-shot into left field.

For Ross, it was the latest strong showing in a first half that has completely revitalized his career.

"Looking back at the last two years, it's crazy to be here, over 100 innings and feeling like myself again," Ross said. "I'm looking forward to a having a few days to rest up, and I'm looking forward to a strong second half."

In December, the Padres signed Ross to a Minor League deal with no guarantees. He missed all of 2016 with a shoulder injury and spent the '17 season with Texas struggling as he worked his way back from thoracic outlet surgery. He was released in September.

Ross came back with a vengeance this spring, winning a rotation spot and slowly becoming the Padres' best starting pitcher. He posted a 3.32 ERA through June, but that mark jumped by more than a full run in his first two starts this month. On Saturday in Arizona, Ross allowed eight runs over two innings in one of the worst starts of his career.

As he's clearly done before, Ross responded with resilience. He tweaked his positioning on the rubber during his mid-week bullpen session. He made a couple of other minor mechanical adjustments. They paid dividends.

"Coming into this thing this year, I didn't know what I was going to be, what kind of pitcher I was going to be, if I still had it in there," Ross said. "I just wanted to put my best foot forward during spring. I was able to make the team. Every time I take the hill, it's just a bonus for me right now."

It's worth wondering how many more times Ross will take the hill at Petco Park. He will be a free agent this offseason and is viewed by many as a useful trade piece. After two poor starts, Thursday's outing served to reinforce his value.

Ross didn't allow a hit until Joc Pederson's one-out double in the sixth, but he managed to escape that jam and returned for the seventh. With a runner on second and Toles at the plate, manager Andy Green sprung from the top step of the dugout. After a brief discussion with Ross, he allowed his starter to continue. Moments later, Ross threw an inside fastball that jammed Toles.

"Sometimes you execute, and they get enough of it," Ross said. "That's what happened tonight."

Ross' night was done, and the Dodgers tacked on two more in the frame. The Padres' offense -- all of which came courtesy of Wil Myers' two-run double in the bottom of the inning -- was too little too late.

Video: LAD@SD: Myers brings home 2 runs with a double in 7th

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Scuffling Stammen: Righty reliever Craig Stammen followed Ross by hitting two batters and allowing two hits. Stammen owned a sub-2.00 ERA on June 24. In eight appearances since, he's allowed eight runs (seven earned) and 15 hits. On Thursday, Stammen found himself on the wrong end of some standard Chase Utley hijinks. With men on first and second in the seventh, Utley appeared to move his leg purposefully into a Stammen slider. He was awarded first base.

"You don't get hit by pitches more than anyone else in baseball history if you don't have some savvy turns into baseballs from time to time," Green said. "It wasn't one of the most egregious ones I've seen, but it definitely looked like he created contact with the baseball."

Myers left stranded: Myers' two-out rocket to right-center field put the Padres within one run in the bottom of the seventh. But Myers, who is hitting .358 with six homers in July, didn't make it past second base. Eric Hosmer -- as ice-cold as Myers is red-hot -- grounded to third base, ending the Padres' best chance to tie the game.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Freddy Galvis has made some brilliant plays at shortstop this season, but it'd be hard to find one better than what he pulled off with two outs in the top of the ninth.

Pinch-hitter Justin Turner sent a cue shot up the middle. Galvis ranged to his left, made a sliding stop, and in one motion transferred the ball and threw to first -- all while rolling on his knees.

Video: LAD@SD: Galvis flashes brilliant defense at shortstop

HE SAID IT
"I was looking for a fastball down the middle, and I was trying to hit it to right-center. That's how you hit. Every hitter in baseball, when they are hot, is looking for a fastball down the middle to do whatever they want with it. You just trust that your eyes and your hands will know what to do with it."-- Myers, on his two-run double

UP NEXT
Clayton Richard, coming off his shortest start in two months, gets the ball at Petco Park in Friday night's 7:10 PT series opener against the Cubs and right-hander Tyler Chatwood. Richard is on pace to become the first Padres pitcher to surpass 200 innings in three years, and he'll look to gobble up more against his former team. Chicago released Richard in July 2016, prompting his signing with San Diego two weeks later.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Tyson Ross

Predicting Padres' Trade Deadline strategy

How deals in recent past could foretell moves this month
MLB.com @AJCassavell

Three weeks from now, the makeup of the five National League West rosters could be decidedly different.

• Catch up on the latest Trade Talk

Three weeks from now, the makeup of the five National League West rosters could be decidedly different.

• Catch up on the latest Trade Talk

With the non-waiver Trade Deadline fast approaching, MLB.com went back to the future to look at recent deals made by all five NL West clubs -- and how those moves might impact decision making between now and July 31.

D-BACKS
The deal: On Feb. 20, the D-backs traded Brandon Drury, Anthony Banda and two players to be named later in a three-team deal with the Rays and Yankees to acquire outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and Minor League pitcher Taylor Widener.

How it matters for this year's team: Souza strained his right pectoral muscle in Spring Training and has spent most of the year on the disabled list. Now back, he is still looking to regain the form he showed with the Rays. Meanwhile, those prospects turned into Sam McWilliams and Colin Poche, who have been strong in Tampa Bay's system this season.

Video: SD@ARI: Souza hammers a 2-run homer to deep center

What it tells us about the next 19 days: The D-backs are definitely buyers. But the Souza deal is the latest example of a trade that served to drain the farm system. With an already-thin crop of prospects, Arizona is hesitant to part with more inventory. (Plus, the loss of Banda dug into its starting-pitching depth.)

du

DODGERS
The deal(s): Los Angeles acquired Yu Darvish (in 2017), Rich Hill (in '16) and Alex Wood (in '15) leading up to the past three Trade Deadlines.

What it has meant for this year's team: Darvish proved an expensive rental. Hill and Wood are still in the rotation, and they could play an important role in the Dodgers' quest for a sixth straight NL West title. Both have struggled at times this season, but they'll figure prominently if Los Angeles makes another push toward October.

Video: COL@LAD: Hill K's 10 over 6 2/3 innings of 1-run ball

What it tells us about the next 19 days: Clearly, the Dodgers aren't afraid to work out a deal for a big name -- which is why they've been linked to Manny Machado and Zach Britton of the Orioles. They will likely make multiple deals in the coming weeks, finding creative ways to move payroll and stay under the tax threshold.

GIANTS
The deal: Earlier this month, the Giants dealt Cory Gearrin, Austin Jackson and Jason Bahr to the Rangers for a player to be named later.

What it has meant for this year's team: San Francisco lost two pieces from its roster, but both had struggled and neither was going to play much of role in the second half anyway. More than anything, the Giants gave themselves some operating room under the Competitive Balance Tax threshold.

Video: TEX@DET: Rangers acquire Jackson, Gearrin and Bahr

What it tells us about the next 19 days: Without Jackson and Gearrin, the Giants have room to maneuver before they hit the tax threshold. They'll conceivably be more active before the Deadline than many initially thought. Then again, San Francisco always takes an active approach toward the Deadline. They could use an outfield bat -- to upgrade from Jackson. The Giants could use a veteran reliever -- to upgrade from Gearrin. And now they have the financial flexibility to do so.

PADRES
The deal: At last year's Deadline, the Padres sent starter Trevor Cahill and relievers Ryan Buchter and Brandon Maurer to the Royals for Matt Strahm, Esteury Ruiz and Travis Wood.

What it has meant for this year's team: Strahm is cementing himself as an integral part of San Diego's future pitching staff -- though it's uncertain whether that's as a starter or a reliever. He owns a 2.67 ERA in 17 appearances -- including five starts. Ruiz, meanwhile, is the Padres' No. 11 prospect and has held his own as a 19-year-old infielder at Class A Fort Wayne.

Video: SD@SF: Strahm gets McCutchen looking to end the 1st

What it tells us about the next 19 days: Closer Brad Hand was available at last year's Deadline, too, but San Diego set a high price, and he wasn't moved. If the same thing happens in 2018, it's entirely possible we see a repeat of the Deadline deal last summer. Like Cahill, the Padres have a solid righty starting option in Tyson Ross. Like Buchter and Maurer, they have relief weapons available in Kirby Yates and Craig Stammen. If the Friars create a package of multiple pitchers, it could fetch them a nice return -- like it did a season ago.

ROCKIES
The deal: A year ago, the Rockies swung two trades in the span of a week, netting catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Rangers and reliever Pat Neshek from the Phillies. The key pieces in both trades were young, controllable prospects.

What it has meant for this year's team: Lucroy is with Oakland, Neshek is back with Philadelphia, and Colorado is two prospects lighter. (But the duo did help lift the Rockies to their first postseason berth in eight years.)

What it tells us about the next 19 days: Colorado hasn't yet decided whether it's a buyer or a seller this summer. But general manager Jeff Bridich has established a philosophy for both possibilities. If the Rockies continue to push toward contention, a similar trade or two might be in the works. If they fall too far back in the NL West, they'll look to replenish the prospects they lost at last year's Deadline.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies

Hoffman turned All-Star Games into family affairs

Tony Gwynn only Padre to appear in more All-Star Games
MLB.com

It was the eve of the 1999 All-Star Game and a packed house was watching the Home Run Derby at Fenway Park.
     
But Trevor Hoffman was in the shower room of the visiting clubhouse playing his own version of Home Run Derby with two of his three young sons.
     
Trevor Hoffman's favorite All-Star Game memories are not exactly what one would expect.
     
Yes, there is the thrill of having your named announced and tipping your cap to an adoring crowd. There is the experience of being surrounded by the other greats of the game.
     
"Being selected for the National League All-Star team was always an incredible honor and experience," Hoffman said recently. "You are representing your team and your city in a classic event. It is one of the ultimate experiences in baseball. The pregame introductions choke you up."
     
But Hoffman's best memories of his All-Star Game experiences involve his family more than b