GreenJackets Gameday: Augusta seeks a sweep

Sunday, April 7 - 2:05 p.m.

 

Lexington Legends (0-3)

LHP Colin Rodgers

vs.

Augusta GreenJackets (3-0)

RHP Kendry Flores

 

The GreenJackets are seeking a four-game sweep in the season-opening series for the first time since 2007 when they took four straight from the Rome Braves. Their 3-0 is their best since 2010 when they won the first three over the Greensboro Grasshoppers. The GreenJackets are already guaranteed a series win, which is the team's first in the opening series since 2010, as well.

 

The Legends are sending crafty lefty Colin Rodgers to the mound to avoid a sweep. Rodgers, ranked 25th in the Royals system by Baseball America, is the definition of crafty based on his fastball alone. Reports say his fastball fluctuates based on batter and place in the order, with the ability to run it anywhere from 84-93. His curveball and changeup are both plus potential offerings, and his delivery is easy with some deception. Rodgers isn't an imposing figure on the mound, but the Royals liked what they saw by popping him in the third round in 2012 out of high school.

 

From my pitching preview: Kendry Flores has been in the Giants system since he was 17 years old, making his stateside debut in 2010. The Giants have understandably taken it slow with Flores since then, giving him a season in the Arizona League and two in Salem-Keizer. He made a little noise as a sleeper prior to the 2011 season, but after ERAs of 5.06 and 4.46 in the past two years, his stock fell a bit. Flores maintains excellent walk rates (combined 2.5 BB/9 in 90.1 innings at Salem-Keizer) and is only 21 years old in his first attempt at full-season ball in Augusta's rotation.

 

Prized prospect Bubba Starling is off to a slow start at 1-9 with one walk and five strikeouts. His lone hit was a single through the hole in his first at-bat of the season. Starling has whiffed on a combination of high heat and spin in the dirt, and his energy level seems a little low. Starling also allowed a two-base error on a grounded single to center that went under his glove and to the wall, leading to a run scoring.

 

Ben Turner made an impressive season debut in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader. The big catcher, drafted in the 21st round last year, went 2-3 with a double and RBI, as well as nailing Lexington's Humberto Arteaga trying to steal. It was Turner's first game as a pro after not playing following signing last year. He was one of Missouri's leaders on the diamond in 2012.

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