Prospect Watch: Don’t run on Tucker Barnhart’s laser-rocket arm Doug Gray September 5, 2014 19 Comments The Billings Mustangs wrapped up the regular season last night with a loss. They will begin the playoffs tonight at home against Great Falls. In the final regular season game Josciel Veras reached base three times by going 2-3 with a walk and he also scored a run. After beginning his year with Billings, he only played three games before heading to Arizona for the next month to play for the Reds. He returned to Billings on August 1st and has been outstanding for the Mustangs since. In 18 games on the season he hit .292/.382/.521 for Billings with seven walks, 11 strikeouts and four stolen bases. Alex Greer capped off his regular season by extending his hitting streak to six games as he went 2-4 with a double and an RBI. Thursday night was the first of the games with multiple hits. In the stretch he has hit .318/.375/.500. Catcher Jose Duarte hadn’t gotten a hit since August 2nd entering the game last night for the Mustangs. It of course should be noted he had only played eight games since then, with three of them having just one at-bat. Still, it had been a long time since he had been on base. To close out the year Duarte went out in style as he had two hits in four trips to the plate Reliever Jose Williams threw 2.0 shutout innings for the Mustangs last night with a walk and three strikeouts. After missing all of the 2013 season, Williams returned for the 2014 campaign and posted a 3.21 ERA with Billings in 33.2 innings out of the bullpen. Tucker Barnhart had a nice day at the plate with the big league club last night where he had a hit, walk and scored two runs. He also threw out Kelly Johnson trying to steal second with his laser-rocket arm. On the mound when Barnhart threw out Johnson was Pedro Villarreal who had a good night of his own. The right hander struck out three batters with a walk over 2.0 innings pitched. After giving up two runs in his first appearance against the Braves he has tossed 5.0 shutout innings with five strikeouts to lower his ERA to 2.45 in 7.1 innings this season with the Reds. 19 Responses MK September 5, 2014 Tucker doubled clutched on the throw and still got him. We always talk about a back-up for Votto, I thought Mesoraco looked good in the DH role. Maybe he could go to first a day or two a week to keep that bat in the line- up. It sure works for the Giants with Posey. Doug Gray September 5, 2014 Yeah, that laser-rocket arm came in handy with the clutch. I’d love to see Mesoraco get a start or two a week at first just to keep his bat in the lineup and ideally keep Votto healthy for 140 games a year too. Alan Horn September 5, 2014 I agree. Barnhart needs to hit a little bit(.250) to make it work. MK September 5, 2014 Alan I think that is very possible for him. I realistically think he could become a switch hitting Ryan Hanigan. Doug Gray September 5, 2014 I think that is the upside area for Barnhart, MK. Switch hitting Ryan Hanigan like guy. In the good years you get .280/.350/.375 with strong defense. Alan Horn September 5, 2014 If he can become a switch hitting Hannigan, it would also be at a low cost. Krozley September 5, 2014 Playing an equally bad Mets team tonight, yet Pena is at 1B, Bourgeois in LF, and Santiago at SS. What is the point of playing guys who won’t be around next year at this point in the season (Pena will be around, but hopefully not at first)? Lutz could play 1B, YRod in LF, and Elmore or Negron at SS. I’ll never miss Dusty, but Price baffles me in all new ways. Doug Gray September 5, 2014 He can’t give up on the guys that have been with him all year. Those are his words. MK September 6, 2014 Was there tonight. They have given up on him. Rick in Va September 5, 2014 I was at the game in Baltimore last night, & the (partisan, of course) folks there thought the runner was safe. There was no replay. Did anyone see a replay on TV? The fact that the Orioles didn’t challenge it suggested to me that the umpire got it right. DaveCT September 5, 2014 Clearly out. Perfect throw. Rick in Va September 5, 2014 Thanks Dave. Confirms my suspicion. The throw looked great but it was difficult to see the tag from where I was sitting. JMO September 5, 2014 Play the prospects. Go for a Top 10 draft pick. Mesoraco should gets starts at 1B. Keep his bat in the lineup next year. Elmore and Negron battling for bench spots in 15′ Middle INF Barnhart over Pena is fine with me. MK September 6, 2014 I am a Tucker fan but think he could use another year in AAA to work on hitting. Unless they trade Pena they will have him, as it is one of Walt’s two year back-up player contracts. DaveCT September 5, 2014 I think Axelrod could be well suited to the long reliever role next year, aka Simon in years past. Seems as a starter he’ll have a hard time getting thru 5-6 innings — and we plan for and need the 6-8 that we get regularly. But I like the way he attacks the strike zone. rick in boise September 5, 2014 Frazier giveth and Frazier taketh away? :) 2 hits – but got caught stretching and caught stealing An error but also a homer. Corcino gave up 3… but how did his stuff look? Doug Gray September 6, 2014 By the time he made it into the game I had already turned on the Mustangs broadcast and turned off the Reds, so I don’t know. I do know that Carlos Contreras threw a 97 MPH cutter in the game and that even though I didn’t see it, I’m drooling over it. MK September 6, 2014 Corcino looked OK, learned he can’t throw high fastball by big league hitters. Looked as good or better than Ondrusek and Hoover. Crowd was rough when Hoover came in and got worse after he gave up HR to first batter Doug Gray September 6, 2014 He can’t at 90 MPH at least. His velocity is all over the place.