Tag Archives: PCL

Dave Brundage Returns As Sacramento River Cats Manager To Defend Title In 2020

New pitching coach Glenn Dishman will join returning hitting coach Damon Minor and fundamentals coach Jolbert Cabrera

West Sacramento, Calif. – The Sacramento River Cats, in conjunction with the San Francisco Giants, are thrilled to welcome Dave Brundage back for his fourth season as manager of the River Cats as they defend their Triple-A National Championship during the 2020 season.

Brundage will be joined by Damon Minor, who will return for his fifth season as the River Cats’ hitting coach, and fundamentals coach Jolbert Cabrera, who will enter his second season in Sacramento. One of two newcomers for 2020 will be pitching coach Glenn Dishman. The training staff will be made up of athletic trainer David Getsoff and strength and conditioning coach Andy King who are each returning for their third seasonas well as athletic trainer Hiro Sato, who returns for his second year. Also joining the staff for 2020 is bullpen coach C.J. Picerni

In 2019, Brundage led the River Cats to the franchise’s 12th division title, fifth Pacific Coast League crown, and a record third Triple-A National Championship. An Oregon native, he joined the River Cats in 2017 and has compiled a 192-229 record in his three seasons at the helm in Sacramento. Before coming to Sacramento, the veteran manager spent the previous four seasons with the International League’s Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies Triple-A). 

Brundage, 54, made his managerial debut in 1995 with the Riverside Pilots (Seattle Mariners Class A-Advanced) but has spent most of his managerial career at the Double- and Triple-A levels. Prior to his four seasons with Lehigh Valley, Brundage helmed the Richmond/Gwinnett Braves (Atlanta Braves Triple-A) for six seasons from 2007 through 2012. He made his Triple-A debut in 2006 with the Pacific Coast League’s Tacoma Rainiers (Seattle Mariners Triple-A). Brundage has a career record of 1,563-1,544 (.503) in 22 seasons as a manager including a 985-1010 (.494) mark at the Triple-A level.

Selected in the 4th round of the 1986 Amateur Draft out of Oregon State University, Brundage spent 10 seasons as a player in the minor leagues with the Phillies and Mariners organizations.

Minor, 44, returns to the River Cats for his fifth season as hitting coach. In his fourth year with the team, Minor worked closely with River Cats players Mike Yastrzemski, Jaylin Davis, and Zach Green, who would eventually go on to make their Major League debuts in 2019.

A former Giant, Minor was drafted by San Francisco in 1996 before making his Major League debut in 2000. In 136 games over parts of four seasons, Minor hit .232 with 13 home runs. He set a career-high in 2002 when he played in 83 games and slugged 10 home runs, helping the Giants claim the National League pennant. While in the Giants farm system, he compiled a .277 batting average with 179 home runs and 648 RBI across nine seasons.

Cabrera, 47, is back with the River Cats’ coaching staff as fundamentals coach following managerial stints with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (San Francisco Giants’ Class-A Short Season) in 2017, and Augusta GreenJackets (San Francisco Giants Class-A) in 2018. 2020 will be his fifth season with the San Francisco Giants as a coach.

As a player, Cabrera signed with the Montreal Expos in 1990, and played in the Major Leagues for the Cleveland Indians (1998-2002), Los Angeles Dodgers (2002-2003), Seattle Mariners (2004), and Cincinnati Reds (2008). Cabrera also played in 1,274 minor league games over the course of his career, and even visited Sutter Health Park in 2007 as a member of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Colorado Rockies Triple-A). 

Glenn Dishman joins the club from Richmond, Va. after serving two seasons as pitching coach for the Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants Double-A). The former left-handed Major Leaguer will replace fellow lefty Steve Kline, who will swap clubs with Dishman and rejoin the Richmond staff where he had previously spent three seasons prior to his two-year stint in Sacramento.

Dishman, 49, grew up in the Bay Area and attended Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward. He would go on to appear in 33 Major League games spread across three teams, most notably his rookie season in 1995 when he made 16 starts for the San Diego Padres totaling 97 innings pitched.

Sacramento’s training staff will return unchanged for the 2020 season. David Getsoff is back with the River Cats as athletic trainer in his 12th season with the Giants organization, while Andy King will be the River Cats’ strength and conditioning coach in what will be his seventh season with the Giants. Finally, Hiro Sato will work alongside Getsoff as athletic trainer for the second consecutive season. He spent 2018 with the Richmond Flying Squirrels and will be entering his sixth season with the Giants.

CJ Picerni, 27, rounds out the River Cats field staff for 2020. Picerni was drafted by the Washington Nationals as a catcher in 2016, and is entering his second season as a minor league bullpen catcher and coach for the San Francisco Giants.

The Sacramento River Cats will kick off 2020 by taking on the San Francisco Giants in an Exhibition Game on Sunday, March 22 at Sutter Health Park in West Sacramento. The club’s PCL and Triple-A title-defense will officially begin on Thursday, April 9 in Reno, with Opening Night at Sutter Health Park coming on Tuesday, April 14 against the Tacoma Rainiers.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats’ Zach Green Named PCL Player Of The Week For July 1-7

Jesuit High School product hit .385 with four home runs and 13 RBI for the week

West Sacramento, Calif. – The Pacific Coast League office announced Monday their Player and Pitcher of the Week for the period of July 1-7. Sacramento River Cats infielder Zach Green was named Player of the Week, while left-handed starter Sean Nolin of the Tacoma Rainiers took home Pitcher of the Week honors. 

For the week, Green hit .385 and led the PCL with 13 RBI and tied for the league lead with 4 home runs. Green finished among league leaders in runs (7), hits (10), total bases (24) and had a slash line of .515/.923/1.438. Green hit in six of seven games with two three-hit games, including a two-home run game on July 5 against the Reno Aces. On July 7 against the Aces, the 25-year-old went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, five RBI, three walks and scored two runs.

Green, who was selected in the third round by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2012 draft out of Jesuit High School in Sacramento, CA, is batting .320 (62-for-194) with 22 home runs and 55 RBI. Green has notched 17 multi-hit games, five multi-home run games and 14 multi-RBI games this year for the River Cats. This is the second Player of the Week honor for Green in his career (June 24, 2018 with Double-A Reading Fightin Phills).

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Walk-off Homer Dooms Sacramento River Cats In Slugfest

Green tacks on two more homers, Rickard doubles three times

West Sacramento, Calif. — The Sacramento River Cats (44-43) found themselves locked in a back and forth battle with the Reno Aces (39-48), losing in heartbreaking fashion on a walk-off home run from Pacific Coast League journeyman Cody Decker.

Third basemen Zach Green continues to smash the baseball, blasting two more home runs on Friday night, giving him 21 this season. He has now hit 10 homers in his last 14 games, while hitting .309 (17-for-55) with 19 RBI over that span.

Sacramento found themselves trailing by one run headed into the ninth, but rallied to take the lead on back-to-back doubles from outfielders Joey Rickard and Mike Gerber, followed by a Chris Shaw RBI-single, the 500th minor league hit of his career. 

Shaw looked poised to be the hero, but Reno’s left fielder Cody Decker blasted a two-run walk-off homer against Jandel Gustave to hand the River Cats their second straight loss.  

Lefty Conner Menez (0-0, 5.32) will look to get the River Cats back on track Saturday evening against the Aces. Reno will toss right-hander Matt Koch (1-5, 9.64) for game three of the four-game set. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT). Catch all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, on Money 105.5 FM.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats’ Bullpen Highlighted As PCL Reveals 2019 All-Stars

Left-handers Fernando Abad and Sam Selman, plus ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte to represent PCL in 2019 Triple-A All-Star Game

West Sacramento, Calif. – With the 2019 RMHC Triple-A All-Star Game less than two weeks away, the Pacific Coast League has unveiled its roster. The 32nd annual contest, which pits the top talent from each of the two Leagues at Minor League Baseball’s highest level, will be played on Wednesday, July 10 at Southwest University Park, home of the El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego). The roster is made up of 13 elected players who have received the most votes from ballots submitted by club’s field managers and general managers, members of the media and broadcasters, and online fan voting. The elected players are joined by 20 additional All-Stars selected by Pacific Coast League officials. 

Dave Brundage, the Sacramento River Cats manager, will skipper the PCL roster which features players from all 16 clubs, including a trio of relief pitchers from the Sacramento River Cats, each of whom is having a fantastic 2019 season.

Left-handed veteran Fernando Abad is in his first season with the River Cats, and has a 2.30 ERA in 27.1 innings, with a team-leading nine saves. The 33-year old has made 363 Major League appearances with five different clubs. Abad will be joined by fellow lefty Sam Selman who joined the San Francisco Giants organization this season after spending his entire career in the Kansas City Royals system. The 28-year old boasts a 1.82 ERA with an incredible 49 strikeouts in 29.1 innings pitched. Finally, the third All-Star selection from the Sacramento bullpen is ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte. The switch-pitching veteran has reach the big leagues with five different organizations, and has a 2.56 ERA in 38.2 innings for Sacramento this season.

The PCL will look to claim its third consecutive All-Star victory after last season’s 12-7 victory at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio. Josh Fuentes (Albuquerque) earned PCL Top Star honors after going 2-for-3 with a solo home run and two RBI. In the 21 years since the event changed to the current IL vs. PCL format, the International League has taken 13 of the 21 contests.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cat’ Late Home Runs Not Enough To Avoid Sweep

Gerber extends hit streak to five games as club falls to Aviators 11-3

Summerlin, Nev. — The Sacramento River Cats (4-4) fell victim to their first sweep of the season as the Las Vegas Aviators (7-1) took three out of three to kick off their inaugural season at the brand new Las Vegas Ballpark.

Right-hander Shaun Anderson lasted just three innings for the River Cats as the Aviators nearly tied a Pacific Coast League record with four triples in one inning. Las Vegas put up three runs in the third as Anderson was chased in his shortest start since August 23, 2017 with the San Jose Giants.

The Garcias, designated hitter Anthony and catcher Aramis, provided half of the club’s hits during Thursday night’s series finale while third baseman Zach Green raked his third home run of the year.

The River Cats will catch a flight to Salt Lake City to begin a four-game series with the Salt Lake Bees. Lefty Ty Blach (0-0, 6.75) will be on the mound for the River Cats facing right-hander Forrest Snow (0-1, 5.40) for the Bees. First pitch is set for 5:35 p.m. (PT). Catch all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and on the air on Money 105.5 FM beginning at 7:00 p.m. (PT).

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Fall To Tacoma Rainiers In Blowout

Austin Slater leads offensive output with league-leading sixth double

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA — The third and fourth innings doomed the River Cats (5-6) on Sunday as 12 runs crossed the plate in the two frames, leading to a 15-4 loss at the hands of the Tacoma Rainiers (5-6).

River Cats starting pitcher Jose Flores issued seven walks in his three innings and allowed nine runs, though only six were earned due to a pair of errors. Things didn’t go well for lefty Steven Okert in relief either, as he finished the third inning with six hits to his name, including two home runs.

The offense did scratch across five runs, including infielder Alen Hanson’s first home run of the season. Austin Slater doubled twice in a three-hit day, giving him six doubles on the year to lead the Pacific Coast League.

The homestand will conclude Monday afternoon with Giants’ No. 10-ranked prospect LHP Andrew Suarez (0-0, 0.00) returning from his spot start in San Francisco. The Rainiers will send RHP Josh Smith (0-2, 7.11) to the mound. First pitch is set for 12:05 p.m.

Catch all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and at 7:05 p.m. on Money 105.5 FM.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Implodes Late In 9-2 Loss To Albuquerque Isotopes

River Cats’ streak ends as they drop first game of August

Albuquerque, NM – The Sacramento River Cats (53-62) came into Saturday night’s contest against the Albuquerque Isotopes (49-64) winners of six straight games and an undefeated record in the month of August. In their 9-2 loss tonight however, the River Cats weren’t able to continue their hot hitting while their pitching let the game slip away late.

Right-hander Clayton Blackburn was on the bump for Sacramento making his 19th start of the season and fourth against Albuquerque. Blackburn has struggled on the road this year to the tune of a 6.12 ERA away from Raley Field but pitched well early in this one. Through the first six innings, the 23-year-old allowed two runs on six hits while leaving the Isotopes 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Blackburn hit a skid in his seventh and final inning, however, allowing a leadoff double to start the trouble. A sacrifice bunt and single gave the ‘Topes a 3-2 lead, and things snowballed from there. One out later Albuquerque’s best hitter Jordan Patterson stepped to the dish with one on and two out. The clean-up hitter blasted a two-run home run off the righty, extending the lead to 5-2.

Of the five earned runs by Blackburn tonight, four came with two outs. He finished the night facing a season-high 32 batters, and tied his season-high with eight strikeouts. The game would get away from the River Cats late, as left-hander Steven Okert was roughed up for four runs on five hits during his eighth inning appearance.

The offensive highlight came courtesy of third baseman Grant Green tonight, who hit his seventh home run for Sacramento in the fourth inning, a solo-shot which at the time gave the River Cats a 2-1 lead. That would be all the scoring, however, as over their next five innings Sacramento scattered just four hits.

Centerfielder Austin Slater, right fielder Chris Denorfia and Green all registered two-hit games and catcher Tony Sanchez tallied in his first RBI with the club on a sacrifice fly. Tonight’s two runs were the fewest in a game so far this month, a month in which the River Cats lead the Pacific Coast League in batting average (.344) and home runs (9). The offensive couldn’t emulate the success of their 5-0 record this month, finishing the game tonight 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and leaving nine men on base.

Sacramento will hit the road for an early flight tomorrow morning to Tacoma. Right-hander Chris Stratton (8-5, 4.81) will take the hill for the River Cats in the opener and is 1-0 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts against the Rainiers this season. Tacoma will send righty Zach Lee (0-4, 5.74) to the mound, who has a 6.00 ERA against Sacramento in two starts. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. (PT) and can be heard live online at rivercats.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sactown Slugfest Ends In Sacramento River Cats Rout

Photo by Shawn Jonas

Adrianza and Pence lead cast of rehabbers, former Giants in win

West Sacramento, CA – The best offense in the Pacific Coast League took the field Saturday night and then looked on as the Sacramento River Cats (45-56) ran up the score early en route to a 12-0 win over the El Paso Chihuahuas (57-42). Sacramento struck for nine runs in the first two innings and coasted to the win behind an excellent combination effort from the bullpen.

Sacramento’s five-run first inning followed last night’s six-run outburst and was highlighted by a two-run blast off the bat of Ehire Adrianza. Adrianza joined the River Cats this afternoon as he continues his rehab for a broken foot and wasted no time getting comfortable, driving the first pitch he saw out to left. Overall, the switch-hitting shortstop went 3-for-5 with two RBI.

“It felt good being back in Sacramento,” Adrianza said after the game. “My foot feels great. I’m ready to help out the big club whenever they think I’m ready.”

In 10 rehab games, Adrianza is hitting .368 (14-for-38) with six home runs, 13 RBI and 10 runs scored between San Jose and Sacramento.

Hunter Pence also made his 2016 River Cats debut tonight, going 1-for-4 with a double in six innings. The two-time World Champ and two-time All-Star is working his way back from hamstring surgery and in three games with the River Cats is hitting .500 (4-for-8) with two doubles, a home run, and an RBI.

“It feels good to be out on a baseball field playing and competing. The crowds here are so passionate and fun. I’m trying to get back out there as quick as I can.”

Austin Slater homered for the River Cats, his fourth, as did Andrew Susac, his eighth. Since returning from the All-Star break, the two have combined to hit .299 (20-for-67) with seven home runs, 15 RBI and 16 runs scored. Juan Ciriaco and Rando Moreno each drove in a pair and Kelby Tomlinson was 3-for-5 with two runs scored. As a team, the River Cats racked up 19 hits, matching their third highest total this season.

Behind an explosive offensive performance, the bullpen quietly put together an excellent outing, led by spot-starter Austin Fleet. Fleet got the start after throwing just two days ago in San Jose and went three scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out two.

The Chihuahuas entered this series with a PCL-best .314 team batting average while scoring over six runs per game. In their last 18 innings against River Cats pitching, though, the Chihuahuas have pushed just three runs across while generating 15 hits. Tonight, Fleet combined with Alex Torres, Duke Welker, Matt Reynolds, and Jake Dunning to hand the Chihuahuas their third shutout loss of the season.

The River Cats and Chihuahuas will play two tomorrow to close out this series. Left-hander and PCL wins-leader Ty Blach (10-5, 3.70) will take the mound for game one against El Paso’s Aaron Northcraft (4-0, 4.46). Game two, which will start a half hour after the end of game one, features two bullpen arms going head to head. River Cats reliever Vin Mazzaro (2-1, 2.64) will take on Eric Yardley (2-0, 4.91). Both games can be heard live online at rivercats.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Ride Hot Start To Third Straight Win

Offense erupts early, Gregorio shuts down Chihuahuas

Sacramento, CA – It was a Welcome Home party of sorts for the Sacramento River Cats (44-56) as they took care of the El Paso Chihuahuas (57-42) 7-3 in front of a packed Orange Friday crowd at Raley Field. The River Cats pounced first on the Chihuahuas, scoring a season-high six runs in the first inning while starter Joan Gregorio kept the best offense in the Pacific Coast League at bay the rest of the way.

Sacramento started off hot, as the first three hitters of the order all reached base safely setting up the veteran catcher Miguel Olivo with bases loaded and no outs. The 13-year-old MLB veteran did not let his opportunity go to waste, clearing the bases with a 389-foot grand slam home run. Olivo, who came in hitting just .208 at home this season, registered his eighth home run and the first grand slam for Sacramento this season.

The first inning saw another first for the River Cats this year. Four batters later, shortstop Rando Moreno launched his first home run this season, a two-run shot that brought the score to 6-0. The shortstop has been on a tear of late, hitting .500 (6-for-12) over his last four games while bringing his average to .307 for the season. Moreno’s home run was his third in 1,917 career plate appearances over six minor league seasons.

From then on, the right-hander Gregorio shut the door on El Paso over his next six innings, giving up just one run on four hits. The 6’7” fireballer came into tonight with a 1-1 record in three starts against the Chihuahuas, having allowed 13 earned runs over 12.2 innings against them. In tonight’s victory, not only did he earn his third win on the season, but he also picked up his 500th career strikeout in the first inning.

Gregorio had all his pitches working tonight, striking out a season-high nine El Paso hitters, six of which came in the first 10 batters he faced. The 19th ranked prospect in the San Francisco Giants organization, Gregorio threw 99 pitches, 67 of which went for strikes en route to shutting down the best offense in the league.

Despite being outscored 62-49 by El Paso in their first 12 meetings, Sacramento was unfazed tonight and have now outscored the Chihuahuas 14-6 in their last two meetings. Of the River Cats’ nine hits tonight, four came courtesy of the top four hitters in the lineup, who also scored four of the team’s seven runs.

Sacramento will seek to win their fourth straight game tomorrow night, a feat they have only accomplished twice this year. Right-hander Austin Fleet (0-1, 4.15) will make his second start for Sacramento this season. He will square off against El Paso’s southpaw Frank Garces (4-3, 4.41), who is 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA in two starts against the River Cats. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com and on the air on ESPN 1320.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Unable To Stop Express In Its Tracks

Round Rock wins battle of the bullpens

West Sacramento, CA – It was a back and forth battle between Pacific Coast League bullpens Thursday night as the Round Rock Express (47-45) took the 6-5 win over the Sacramento River Cats (38-54) in 12 innings.

After falling into a July slump, Clayton Blackburn looked to break his three game losing skid with a fresh start coming out of the All-Star break. However, the young right-hander struggled through the first inning and gave Round Rock the early 3-0 lead off three hits and a wild pitch. He later settled in for four scoreless innings, retiring the side in the fourth with three-straight flyouts before an injury removed him from the game in the bottom of the sixth. He finished with 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on six hits with five strikeouts and a season-high four walks.

Sacramento’s offense struck back in the fifth with a long home run from the Triple-A All-Star Gorkys Hernandez, who steamed straight past the Express defense with a two-run homer to tie the game at three. The centerfielder entered tonight hitting .279 with runners in scoring position with two outs and proved again tonight his ability to capitalize on clutch situations. He went 1-for-3 on the night with a run, a walk, and 2 RBI and remains the RBI-leader for Sacramento with 39 on the year.

Manager Jose Alguacil looked to his bullpen to quiet the Round Rock bats and secure the win, but could not quite find what he needed. With the veteran Mazzaro on the mound in the eighth, Round Rock broke through the tie with a two-run double from Doug Bernier with two outs to push the score to 5-3.

The Cats were not finished just yet. Travis Ishikawa was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game to lead off the ninth and was followed by a double from Andrew Susac to put two runners in scoring position with no outs. Austin Slater then cut the deficit with an RBI groundout and Chris Denorfia followed with a sacrifice fly to bring in the tying run.

The battle of the bullpens continued as the River Cats used a total of seven relievers. Inning after inning, the defense shut down the Express offense, forcing the game into 12 innings. Combined, the pen allowed three runs on seven hits over 5.2 innings of work.

However, it was River Cats who lost again in heartbreak fashion in the bottom of the twelfth. A leadoff double followed by back-to-back base hits loaded up the bases with no outs for Jake Dunning. The right-hander just couldn’t hold on and finished the game by walking in the winning run for Round Rock.

The River Cats look to halt the “E-Train” tomorrow in game two with left-hander Adalberto Mejia (1-1, 4.81) on the mound. He faces off against Round Rock’s righty Nick Martinez (6-4, 4.50). First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be head live online at rivercats.com and on the air on ESPN 1320.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations