Jason Patterson’s Eye On The Southern League – June 29, 2015

Eye On The Southern League

EYEONSLJUNE29

By Jason Patterson / Jacksonville Suns

First Glances…
→The second half of the 2015 Southern League season is underway. In case you missed it, the North Division shut out the South 9-0 at the All-Star showdown at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium. Biloxi and Chattanooga secured first half division titles, locking down spots in the coming post-season.
→The Shuckers picked up right where they left off at the break separating the schedule’s seventy game symmetry. Biloxi has won a league best three straight on the road heading into Monday.
→Three North Division clubs served immediate notice of their intentions related to the second half pennant race. Birmingham, Montgomery and Tennessee all matched Biloxi’s performance with a 3-1 start to second half action.
→Big League impact remains visible around the league. Next week’s “EYE” will include a special feature on the Southern League representatives in the upcoming 2015 Futures Game. In rehab news, last week began for Jacksonville with Marlins slugger Michael Morse homering in Chattanooga and ended with Jose Fernandez on the hill in the River City.
→Congrats are in order for the Barons and the city of Birmingham. Regions Field was voted best Double-A ballpark in the country this past week in a national poll conducted by Ballpark Digest.

Southern League Spotlight…
This week’s spotlight rests on the extremely talented German born baseball star appearing nightly at AT&T Field in Chattanooga. Max Kepler (#12/#14) is quickly becoming one of the more recognizable names in Double-A.

Overshadowed for most of the first half by high-profile prospects Byron Buxton (#1/#1), Miguel Sano (#2/#2) and Jose Berrios (#3/#4), as well as, high-impact slugger Adam Brett Walker II (#17/#12), Kepler has quietly posted attention getting numbers.

Minnesota’s scrappy outfield prospect is coming into his own as multi-tool player who drills the ball effectively to all fields. Take in his current season stats: a league leading .349 AVG, alongside 3 HR, 32 RBI and 11 SB. Perhaps most impressive are his eight triples, second only to the Twins newest big league lineup staple, Buxton, who finished his time in the Southern League with twelve.

Kepler has been tabbed by several media outlets as a player to watch heading into the Major League Baseball Futures Game. As mentioned above, next week’s spotlight will be a full exploration of Southern League representatives in the minor league showcase to be held Sunday July 12 at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.

Prospect Watch…
-Rankings listed use the format Baseball America/MLB.com-

Pensacola– Reds starting pitcher Timothy Adleman provided eight shutout innings of work on Saturday in Mississippi to begin his second half with a splash, striking out five Braves and scattering just four hits.
Top infield prospect Jesse Winker (#3/#2) is leading the club at the plate, hitting .364 with twelve hits, 3 RBI’s and 6 runs scored in the Wahoos past ten contests.

Montgomery– Rays center-fielder Joey Rickard is off to the best second half start for the Biscuits. Fresh off hosting the All-Star Game, fans in the Alabama state capitol have watched the outfielder post a .500 average (8-for-16) with a pair of homers, 6 RBI’s and 6 runs scored in his last five games.

JacksonvilleTerrence Dayleg is 6-for-15 with a homer, 5 RBI’s and 3 runs scored across his past four games, leading the way offensively for the Suns. His offensive surge and the rehab appearance of Jose Fernandez (MLB Starter) stood as the initial highlights of the second half for the Marlins farm club.

Birmingham– White Sox prospects Christian Marrero and Danny Hayes have sparked the Barons solid start to the second half with two home runs apiece and a combined six driven home in the past five games. All-Star Game MVP Tim Anderson (#2/#2) has started the second half strong, the short-stop is 7-for-22 with four runs scored in his past five contests. Anderson is still tied with teammate Jacob May (#10/#13) for the league lead in steals with 25 each.
Tyler Barnette has accumulated twelve punch-outs in his last ten innings of work, the numbers stretch across his past three appearances as a starter/reliever for the Barons.

Chattanooga– The dynamic trio of Adam Brett Walker II (#17/#12), Max Kepler (#12/#14) and Miguel Sano (#2/#2) are reaching heights unseen night after night on the banks of the Tennessee River. Walker remains the league leader in HR’s (22) and RBI’s (66), going 14-for-39 with 5HR and 14 RBI’s in his last ten contests. Sano secured player of the week honors with an 11-for-20 clip marked by three homers and ten RBI’s in just his last five. Kepler’s average in the ten game stretch was an eye-popping .553, he scored eight times, drove in nine runs and posted twenty-one hits including half of his eight triples this season.
It hasn’t been offense alone grabbing headlines in Chattanooga, Jose Berrios (#3/#4) notched his league best eighth win with a strong seven innings during which he allowed just a single earned run and struck out six in Montgomery on Sunday.

Mobile– The Outfield combo of Sacrates Brito (#19/#15) and Zach Borenstein (#26/-) have led the BayBears into the final seventy games. Brito has become proficient in three-baggers tying the highlighted Kepler for the lead among active players with eight. Triples have been just a part of Brito’s 6-for-14 performance across the past five contest. Borenstein contributed by driving in six runs and scoring four across the same stretch.

Tennessee– Cubs catching prospect Taylor Davis has homered three times in his past four games for the Smokies. His sudden display of power alongside a combined thirteen RBI’s in the same stretch by infielders Stephen Bruno and Dan Vogelbach (#25/#13) have forged a solid second half beginning in Kodak.
Picture Perfect…
-Weekly honors handed down by the league office each Monday at Noon-
▪ Player of the Week: Miguel Sano (Twins #2/#2), 3B, Chattanooga
▪ Pitcher of the Week: Tim Adleman (Reds), RHP, Pensacola

Series To Focus On…
Montgomery Biscuits @ Tennessee Smokies
July 1 – July 3

A pair of North Division playoff hopefuls seek separation atop the standings during this brief three-game set heading into Independence weekend.

The Smokies and Biscuits finished as the first and second runners up to Chattanooga across the first seventy games and no one in the North is off to a faster start than these two in the second half.

If Birmingham stumbles against Chattanooga, the winner of this series could be alone in first place as fans file into Southern League ballparks for 4th of July celebrations this weekend.

A Look At The Standings…

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 2.20.49 PM

Brice, Suns Charge Past Shuckers 12-1

Game Recap

By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Suns (2-3, 31-43) powered past the Biloxi Shuckers (3-2, 46-27) 12-1 using a 10-run third inning and strong pitching from Austin Brice Monday afternoon from Bragan Field.

Hear from Suns manager David Berg postgame:

Austin Brice (W, 3-6) worked a season-high eight innings surrendering one hit while walking one and striking out a career-best 13 batters. Brooks Hall (L, 7-4) in his start for Biloxi took the loss manufacturing two innings surrendering eight runs all earned while walking two and not striking out a batter.

The scoring would begin in the bottom of the first, after J.T. Riddle worked a one out walk that was soon followed up by a Carlos Lopez single to put runners on the corners for Matt Juengel’s RBI sacrifice fly to center, putting the Suns in front 1-0.

In the bottom of the third, the Suns loaded the bases after three straight singles to set the table for a Lopez RBI base knock making the tally 2-0. After Juengel provided the fifth straight single for Jacksonville, the Suns would lead 3-0. Next batter David Adams generated the third consecutive RBI single in the frame to balloon the lead to 4-0. Ryan Rieger, Zack Cox, and Brice worked three straight walks to bring in three more runs and make it a 7-0 ballgame. Then Kenny Wilson would bounce into a RBI fielder’s choice that was then followed up by J.T. Riddle’s (HR, 1) first double-A home run, a three run shot, making it an 11-0 contest. This frame provided the highest run total in a single inning from the Suns this year with 10 runners touching home.

In the fifth, Jacksonville tallied a solo run courtesy of a Wilson RBI double that made it a 12-0 contest.

In the ninth, against Suns reliever Craig Stem, Biloxi generated the bases loaded then to bring in a run courtesy of a passed ball ending any hopes of a Jacksonville shutout victory.

Brice retired 20 batters in a row while the Shuckers only manufactured two baserunners against the Suns starter. The former ninth-round draft pick would finish with more hits at the plate (2) then he had relinquished on the mound (1). J.T. Riddle finished 3-for-4 and was a triple shy of the cycle.

All members of the Suns lineup collected an RBI except Chadd Krist, and everyone in the order tallied a hit with the exception of Zack Cox.

The Suns will head out on the road to take on the Pensacola Blue Wahoos for three games with the series opener set for Wednesday night at 7:35 p.m. ET from Pensacola Bayfront Stadium. The Suns will send out right-hander Jake Esch (5-4, 3.65 ERA) while the Wahoos have yet to announce their starter.

Suns fans can also listen to Wednesday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 600 AM & 100.3 FM “The Answer” or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, coverage will start with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 7:20 p.m. ET.

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Here are highlights from tonight’s contest:

Keys Returns to Jacksonville Suns

Breaking News, Roster Moves

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Miami Marlins announced a transaction that impacts their Double-A affiliate Jacksonville Suns roster prior to tonight’s game against the Biloxi Shuckers at 12:05 p.m. at Bragan Field.

Outfielder Brent Keys has been added to the Suns active roster after having a minor league rehab assignment. With the GCL Marlins, Keys was 2-for-17 (.118) at the plate with two RBI in five games. Keys began the season on Jacksonville’s disabled list with a right hamstring strain.

Keys played for the Suns last season, hitting .242 with 18 RBI in 89 games, and was on Jacksonville’s postseason roster during the 2014 Southern League championship run. Keys also saw playing time with the Suns in 2013, where in eight games he hit .281 (9-for-32).

Keys was the 2013 Miami Marlins Minor League Player of the Year, after winning the Florida State League batting title with a .346 average with a pair of homers and 33 RBI for the Jupiter Hammerheads. Keys also won the 2012 South Atlantic League batting title with a .335 average for the Greensboro Grasshoppers.

Keys, a native of Simi Valley, California, was selected by the Marlin sin the 17th round of the 2009 draft from Simi Valley High School.

The Suns roster now stands at 25 active players, plus Bryan Morris and Jose Fernandez on their rehab assignments, and a revised roster is attached.

The Suns and Shuckers will play the finale of their series on Monday afternoon with a first pitch set for 12:05 p.m. ET from Bragan Field. The Suns will send out right-hander Austin Brice (2-6, 6.37 ERA) while the Shuckers will counter with righty Brooks Hall (7-3, 3.39 ERA).

Monday the homestand comes to a close with Camp Day! All area camps are invited to come out to the Baseball Grounds and support the Suns during this special Monday afternoon game!

Suns fans can also listen to Monday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 102.3 FM “The Beach” or through www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, coverage will start with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 11:50 a.m. ET.

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Suns and Shuckers Gear Up for Series Finale

Game Preview

Austin Brice Photo 6-3

By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

The Jacksonville Suns (1-3, 30-43) will square off with the Biloxi Shuckers (3-1, 46-26) for the final time in 2015 this afternoon from Bragan Field with a first pitch slated for 12:05 p.m. ET.

In the 11-1 loss yesterday to the Shuckers, that now sets the bar for Jacksonville’s largest losing margin this season. The 10-run loss surpasses a nine-run defeat the Suns had against Tennessee on 6/13, in which Smokies outfielder Jacob Hanneman had six RBI and came up a single short of the cycle. The Suns now are at their lowest point below .500 this year (30-43).

Hobbs Johnson (W, 5-4) earned the victory in five scoreless innings he relinquished three hits while walking three and striking out seven. Bryan Morris (L, 0-1) in a MLB rehab appearance took the mound for the Suns and tossed one and two-thirds frames surrendering one run (earned) on two hits while not walking or striking out a batter.

The scoring would begin in the top of the first when Nick Ramirez provided a RBI single to give Biloxi a 1-0 lead. Moving to the third, against Suns right-hander Trevor Williams, Orlando Arcia generated a run scoring single into center that brought in Nate Orf and made it a 2-0 Biloxi advantage. To the top of the sixth the Shuckers mounted a four-run rally courtesy of Brandon Macias pinch-hit two run single that was then followed up by Orf’s two RBI double. The Biloxi lead was now 6-0. To the seventh the Suns got on the board courtesy of Kenny Wilson’s RBI single that made it a 6-1 deficit for Jacksonville.

In the eighth Biloxi blew the game wide open thanks to a five-run frame. Against Suns reliever Fabian Williamson, Biloxi managed a two RBI double from Macias, a two-run home run (HR, 2) off the bat of Orf, and a fielding error by the Suns second baseman Terrence Dayleg, that provided Biloxi with an 11-1 advantage. Trevor Williams originally slated to start for the Suns tossed four frames surrendering five runs (all earned) on five hits while walking three and striking out five. Scott McGough hurled a scoreless inning and a third while Fabian Williamson allowed five runs (four earned) in one inning, and Blake Logan generated a perfect ninth out of the bullpen for Jacksonville.

Today’s pitching matchup will feature right-hander Austin Brice taking the ball for Jacksonville to be opposed by Biloxi righty Brooks Hall. Brice enters this start 2-6 alongside a 6.37 ERA in 13 starts. His last start came on 6/19 in Chattanooga in what was a performance that saw him last four and two-thirds innings allowing two runs (both earned) on four hits while walking five and striking out six in a no decision. The North Carolina native has made a pair of starts against the Shuckers and has allowed 11 runs (all earned) in six and two-thirds. In the month of June, Brice has manufactured a 0-2 record while sporting a 3.66 ERA. The 23-year old is a former ninth-round draft pick of the Marlins in 2010.

Hall takes the ball this afternoon for Biloxi with a 7-3 record with an ERA of 3.39. His last start came on 6/19 against Montgomery, in which he would last four innings relinquishing five runs (four earned) on seven hits while walking and striking out a batter in a no decision. The right-hander is coming off a first half that earned him Southern League Mid-Season All Star honors for the second time in his minor league career. His last all-star nod came in 2013 with High-A Brevard County. The former fourth-round draft pick of the Brewers in 2009, also was rewarded as the S.L.’s pitcher of the week on 6/15. The 25-year old made one start against Jacksonville on 5/17, and took the loss in two frames of work allowing eight earned runs on nine hits.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover providing play by play. Roger Hoover and Kyle Crooks will host the Memorial Hospital Suns Pre-Game Show beginning at 11:50 a.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Listen Live to Shuckers and Suns: Live- June 29, 2015:

You can also keep up with all the game action on the Suns Baseball Network and by following the Suns on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Matchup: Biloxi Shuckers (3-1, 46-26) @ Jacksonville Suns (1-3, 30-43)

Starters: BLX: RHP Brooks Hall (7-3, 3.39 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Austin Brice (2-6, 6.37 ERA)

Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez has hit safely in 22 of his last 25 games, and during that stretch he has manufactured a .348 average (32-for-92). David Adams has posted a .313 in his last five games, and in this series, has collected four hits in 11 total plate appearances. Kenny Wilson has provided the lone run for JAX in the last two ballgames. He’s hitting .300 in his last five games.

Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:

-Closer Sean Donatello is first in saves (14) in the Southern League. Matt Juengel rests third in home runs (13), fourth in total bases (121) and extra base hits (28) while he’s fifth in RBI (43). Viosergy Rosa sits fifth in walks generated (40). For relievers, Brian Ellington controls the third-best ratio (9.32) of fewest baserunners/9IP, K/9 ratio (9.80), and average against (.201). Starter Austin Brice has the fifth-best K/9 ratio for starters (8.80).

Suns Toppled By Shuckers 11-1

Game Recap

By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Suns (1-3, 30-43) were toppled by the Biloxi Shuckers (3-1, 46-26) 11-1 Sunday afternoon from Bragan Field.

Hear from Suns manager David Berg postgame:

Hobbs Johnson (W, 5-4) earned the victory in five scoreless innings he relinquished three hits while walking three and striking out seven. Bryan Morris (L, 0-1) in a MLB rehab appearance took the mound for the Suns and tossed one and two-thirds frames surrendering one run (earned) on two hits while not walking or striking out a batter.

The scoring would begin in the top of the first when Nick Ramirez provided a RBI single to give Biloxi a 1-0 lead.

Moving to the third, against Suns right-hander Trevor Williams, Orlando Arcia generated a run scoring single into center that brought in Nate Orf and made it a 2-0 Biloxi advantage.

To the top of the sixth the Shuckers mounted a four-run rally courtesy of Brandon Macias pinch-hit two run single that was then followed up by Orf’s two RBI double. The Biloxi lead was now 6-0.

To the seventh the Suns got on the board courtesy of Kenny Wilson’s RBI single that made it a 6-1 deficit for Jacksonville.

In the eighth Biloxi blew the game wide open thanks to a five-run frame. Against Suns reliever Fabian Williamson, Biloxi managed a two RBI double from Macias, a two-run home run (HR, 2) off the bat of Orf, and a fielding error by the Suns second baseman Terrence Dayleg, that provided Biloxi with an 11-1 advantage.

Trevor Williams originally slated to start for the Suns tossed four frames surrendering five runs (all earned) on five hits while walking three and striking out five. Scott McGough hurled a scoreless inning and a third while Fabian Williamson allowed five runs (four earned) in one inning, and Blake Logan generated a perfect ninth out of the bullpen for Jacksonville.

The Suns and Shuckers will play the finale of their series on Monday afternoon with a first pitch set for 12:05 p.m. ET from Bragan Field. The Suns will send out right-hander Austin Brice (2-6, 6.37 ERA) while the Shuckers will counter with righty Brooks Hall (7-3, 3.39 ERA).

Monday the homestand comes to a close with Camp Day! All area camps are invited to come out to the Baseball Grounds and support the Suns during this special Monday afternoon game!

Suns fans can also listen to Monday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 102.3 FM “The Beach” or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, coverage will start with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 11:50 a.m. ET.

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Here are highlights from tonight’s contest:

Morris Joins Suns on Major League Rehab Assignment

Breaking News, Roster Moves

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Miami Marlins announced a pair of transactions that impact their Double-A affiliate Jacksonville Suns roster prior to tonight’s game against the Biloxi Shuckers at 3:05 p.m. at Bragan Field.

Miami Marlins right-handed relief pitcher Bryan Morris has had his major league rehab assignment transferred from High-A Jupiter to Jacksonville. Morris, who was placed on the disabled list on June 7 with a lower back strain, had pitched in three games with Jupiter where he had no wins or losses and a 7.71 ERA (2 ER/2.1 IP).

Morris joins a long list of 2015 Marlins that have appeared for the Suns: catcher Jeff Mathis, pitchers Steve Cishek, Jarred Cosart, Jose Fernandez, and first baseman Michael Morse.

Morris earlier this season for the Marlins was 3-1 with a 3.95 ERA in 28 appearances out of the Miami bullpen. Morris, 28, was acquired by the Marlins in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Miami’s competitive balance round A selection (39th overall pick) for the 2014 draft. The trade was completed on June 1, 2014.

Morris started the 2014 season with the Pirates where he was 4-0 with a 3.80 ERA in 21 outings for Pittsburgh prior to the trade. After he came to the Marlins, he went 4-1 with a 0.66 ERA (3 ER/40.2 IP). That was the lowest ERA for any reliever in the majors after June 1, and overall his 1.82 ERA was sixth best among National League relievers and the 15th best in the majors. His 2014 season ended early with a right groin strain, he made his last appearance on September 9.

Morris made his major league debut for the Pirates in 2012 pitching in just five games, but in 2013 he was 5-7 with a 3.46 ERA in 55 appearances. Overall in parts of four major league seasons, Morris has a career record of 16-9 with a 2.84 ERA in 148 games pitched in relief.

Morris was originally selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round (26th overall pick) of the 2006 draft out of Motlow State Community College in Lynchburg, Tennessee. In 2008 Traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Los Angeles Dodgers with Andy LaRoche to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Boston Red Sox sent Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Boston Red Sox sent Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pittsburgh Pirates sent Jason Bay to the Boston Red Sox.

Additionally, Suns infielder Austin Nola has been transferred from the Suns to Triple-A New Orleans. Nola was hitting .211 with a homer and 26 RBI in 69 games played for Jacksonville this season. A key member of the 2014 Southern League Champion Suns, Nola in two Jacksonville seasons hit .242 with two homers and 79 RBI in 203 games played. Nola, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was selected by the Marlins in the 5th round of the 2012 draft out of LSU.

The Suns roster now stands at 24 active players, plus Morris and Jose Fernandez on their rehab assignments, and a revised roster is attached.

The Suns and Shuckers will continue their series on Sunday afternoon with a first pitch set for 3:05 p.m. ET from Bragan Field. The Suns will send out right-hander Trevor Williams (3-7, 4.23 ERA) while the Shuckers will counter with let-hander Hobbs Johnson (4-4, 3.61 ERA).

Sunday is Family Faith Day, Racing Day, Kids Run the Bases & Ed Randall’s Bat for the Cure!  Join us for Family Faith Day and a special post-game concert from several local congregations band’s and choirs!  It’s also Racing Day and be sure to register for your chance to win one of our great prizes including tickets to the Coke Zero 400, courtesy of Coca Cola & 97.9 KISS-FM! Plus see the #13 Geico Car driven by Casey Mears which will be on hand! Plus join us as we raise awareness of prostate cancer with Ed Randall’s Bat for the Cure. Plus after the game and before the concert all kids can run the bases, courtesy of VyStar Credit Union!

Suns fans can also listen to Sunday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 102.3 FM “The Beach” or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, coverage will start with a special “Suns Sunday” edition of the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 2:35 p.m. ET.

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Suns Battle Shuckers This Afternoon From Bragan Field

Game Preview

Trevor Williams3 (Suns)

By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

The Jacksonville Suns (1-2, 30-42) will try to stave off a series loss to the Biloxi Shuckers (2-1, 45-26) this afternoon at Bragan Field with a first pitch set for 3:05 p.m. ET.

In last night’s 4-1 loss, Jose Fernandez made his first start in a Suns uniform, and his last start in his major league rehab en route back to the Marlins.

Last night was a special night for those in attendance at Bragan Field, as they saw Miami Marlins starter Jose Fernandez work in his fifth and final rehab start before his eventual July 2nd return to Miami. Fernandez generated five innings allowing four runs (all earned) on six hits (one home run) while walking two and striking out eight. The Marlins ace joined “Suns Last Call,” on the Suns Baseball Network to recap his start, “I felt healthy, my pitch count went up to 90, and I thought the last two innings were good and what I wanted to see, overall it was fun and exciting pitching in double-A for the first time.” As far as how Jose felt from start to start throughout this rehab process he stated that most importantly he felt healthy, but getting a chance to go out and pitch every five days is special considering the injury, this experience made him realize how grateful he was to have the opportunity to pitch.” The Marlins ace went on to say that there are still pitches that he needs to work on, and there were a couple of pitches that he left up in the zone, and they (Biloxi) hit it well. Fernandez went back to memory lane after he was originally supposed to start the 2013 season with Jacksonville, but was called up to the Marlins due to injuries, “I had my apartment picked out, but I got lucky with my early call up to the big leagues.” The right-hander’s first impression of the Bragan Field environment was described through his own eyes as “beautiful,” and he went on to point out that the packed ballpark gave him a generous welcome. He went on to highlight some of the things that stood out to him from his 2013 season that saw him attain National League Rookie of the Year, “it was a period of learning all the players, umpires, and strike zones.” When he gets set to take the mound on July 2nd against the San Francisco Giants in his first MLB game of 2015, Fernandez said simply “he’ll be ready.” The scoring would begin in the top of the first for the Shuckers, after a walk and an infield single put two runners on for Michael Reed’s run-scoring ground rule double, to give Biloxi a 1-0 edge. To the second, and Fernandez would walk Victor Roache on four pitches, to then relinquish a two-out RBI triple to Nathan Orf and score Biloxi’s second run. In the top of the third Biloxi’s Arcia generated a lead off double against Fernandez, to then give way to a Nick Ramirez (HR, 10) two-run blast to put Biloxi ahead 4-0 in the third. Flashing ahead to the eighth Kenny Wilson (HR, 4) provided a solo home run over the left field wall off of Shuckers starter Lopez to make it a 4-1 deficit for the Suns. The Jacksonville bullpen between Raudel Lazo, Juancito Martinez, and Brian Ellington tossed a perfect four innings retiring 12 straight batters in order.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover providing play by play. Roger Hoover and Kyle Crooks will host a special “Suns Sunday” edition of the Memorial Hospital Suns Pre-Game Show beginning at 2:35 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Listen Live to Shuckers and Suns: Live- June 28, 2015:

You can also keep up with all the game action on the Suns Baseball Network and by following the Suns on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Matchup: Biloxi Shuckers (2-1, 45-26) @ Jacksonville Suns (1-2, 30-42)

Starters: BLX: LHP Hobbs Johnson (4-4, 3.61 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Trevor Williams (3-7, 4.23 ERA)

Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez has hit safely in 21 of his last 24 games, and during that stretch he has manufactured a .341 average (30-for-88). Backup catcher Chadd Krist has collected a hit in five of his last six starts. David Adams has posted a .333 in his last five games, and in this series has collected three hits in seven total plate appearances.

Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:

-Closer Sean Donatello is first in saves (14) in the Southern League. Matt Juengel sits tied for third total bases (121) and third for home runs (13), while he’s fourth in extra base hits (28) and fifth in RBI (43). Viosergy Rosa sits fifth in walks generated (38). Zack Cox is eighth in the S.L. in bating average (.312). Austin Nola is tied for second in games played (68). For relievers, Brian Ellington controls the third-best ratio (9.32) of fewest baserunners/9IP and average against (.201) while sitting fifth highest for K/9 ratio (9.80). Starter Austin Brice has the fifth-best K/9 ratio for starters (8.80).

Fernandez, Suns Fall 4-1 to Shuckers

Breaking News

By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Suns (1-2, 30-42) were dropped by the Biloxi Shuckers (2-1, 45-26) 4-1 Saturday night from Bragan Field.

Hear from Suns manager David Berg postgame:

Shuckers starter Jorge Lopez (6-2) in eight frames of work surrendered one run (earned) on three hits (one home run) while walking four and striking out eight in a winning decision. Jose Fernandez (L, 0-1) in his MLB rehab start lasted five frames relinquishing four runs (all earned) on six hits (one home run) while walking two and striking out eight. Biloxi reliever Damien Magnifico (S, 8) notched his eighth save after tossing a scoreless ninth.

The scoring would begin in the top of the first for the Shuckers, after a walk and an infield single put two runners on for Michael Reed’s run-scoring ground rule double, to give Biloxi a 1-0 edge.

To the second, and Fernandez would walk Victor Roache on four pitches, to then relinquish a two-out RBI triple to Nathan Orf and score Biloxi’s second run.

In the top of the third Biloxi’s Arcia generated a lead off double against Fernandez, to then give way to a Nick Ramirez (HR, 10) two-run blast to put Biloxi ahead 4-0 in the third.

Flashing ahead to the eighth Kenny Wilson (HR, 4) provided a solo home run over the left field wall off of Shuckers starter Lopez to make it a 4-1 deficit for the Suns.

The Jacksonville bullpen between Raudel Lazo, Juancito Martinez, and Brian Ellington tossed a perfect four innings retiring 12 straight batters in order.

The Suns and Shuckers will continue their series on Sunday afternoon with a first pitch set for 3:05 p.m. ET from Bragan Field. The Suns will send out right-hander Trevor Williams (3-7, 4.23 ERA) while the Shuckers will counter with righty Jorge Lopez (5-2, 3.02 ERA).

Sunday is Family Faith Day, Racing Day, Kids Run the Bases & Ed Randall’s Bat for the Cure!  Join us for Family Faith Day and a special post-game concert from several local congregations band’s and choirs!  It’s also Racing Day and be sure to register for your chance to win one of our great prizes including tickets to the Coke Zero 400, courtesy of Coca Cola & 97.9 KISS-FM! Plus see the #13 Geico Car driven by Casey Mears which will be on hand! Plus join us as we raise awareness of prostate cancer with Ed Randall’s Bat for the Cure. Plus after the game and before the concert all kids can run the bases, courtesy of VyStar Credit Union!

Suns fans can also listen to Sunday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 102.3 FM “The Beach” or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, coverage will start with a special “Suns Sunday” edition of the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 2:35 p.m. ET.

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Here are highlights from tonight’s contest:

Hear from Jose Fernandez after his start:

Hear from Marlins rehab coordinator Wayne Rosenthal:

Fernandez Highlights Suns Roster Moves

Breaking News, Roster Moves

Jose Fernandez will start tonight for the Suns against the Shuckers.

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Miami Marlins announced a series of transactions that impact their Double-A affiliate Jacksonville Suns roster prior to tonight’s game against the Biloxi Shuckers at 7:05 p.m. at Bragan Field.

Miami Marlins right-handed starting pitcher Jose Fernandez is joining the Suns on a transfer of a major league rehab assignment from High-A Jupiter to Jacksonville. Fernandez will start for the Suns tonight against Biloxi.

Fernandez has made four rehab starts with the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads, going 1-1 with a 3.20 ERA in four starts. In his last start on Monday night, Fernandez earned the win in his seven innings against the St. Lucie Mets. In his seven innings he allowed only a run on four hits with a walk and nine strikeouts.

The Marlins plan for Saturday’s start in Jacksonville to be his last in the minor leagues, allowing him to make his 2015 major league debut on Thursday July 2 against the San Francisco Giants at Marlins Park in Miami at 12:10. Fernandez is recovering from Tommy John surgery that he underwent on May 16, 2014 by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. Last season Fernandez made eight starts for the Marlins, going 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA.

After being slated to begin the 2013 season in Jacksonville, Fernandez made the Marlins’ Opening Day roster due to injuries and went on to become a National League All-Star and the N.L. Rookie of the Year after going 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA in 28 starts for Miami. That year he set rookie records in ERA, strikeouts (187), average against (.182)., and WHIP (0.98). Finished with second-lowest ERA and WHIP (min. 162.0 IP) in Club history for any pitcher, behind only Kevin Brown in 1996 in both categories (1.89 and 0.94, respectively).

Fernandez was selected by the Marlins in the first round (14th overall pick) of the 2011 draft out of Alonso High School in Tampa, Florida. Fernandez, 22, is a native of Santa Clara, Cuba, and attempted to defect unsuccessfully three times, with each failed attempt followed by a prison term in Cuba. He and his mother did defect in 2008, although on that attempt his mother fell hit in turbulent waters, and Jose had to dive into the water to save his mother’s life.

Additionally, infielder J.T. Riddle has been transferred from High-A Jupiter to Jacksonville. Riddle has played in 45 games with the Hammerheads, and is hitting .270 with nine RBI, six doubles and a triple. Riddle, a native of Frankfort, Kentucky, was selected by the Marlins in the 13th round of the 2013 draft out of the University of Kentucky. This is the first call-up to the Double-A level of Riddle’s career.

Also, right-handed relief pitcher Sean Donatello has been transferred from Jacksonville’s disabled list and placed on a rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Marlins. This season Donatello is 0-3 with a 3.95 ERA in 24 appearances and a Southern League-best 14 saves.

The Suns roster now stands at 25 active players, plus Fernandez on his rehab assignment, and a revised roster is attached.

The Suns and Shuckers will continue their series on Saturday night with a first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET from Bragan Field. Fernandez will be opposed by Biloxi right-handed pitcher Jorge Lopez (5-2, 3.02 ERA).

Saturday celebrate Madame Chairman Mary Frances Bragan’s 91st Birthday with Mary Frances Bragan Bobblehead Giveaway, Blood Alliance Blood Drive & Post-Game Fireworks! Be sure to arrive early as the first 3,000 fans will get a Mary Frances Bragan Bobblehead, courtesy of the Nimnicht Family of Dealerships, CBS-47 & WOKV! The Blood Alliance Bloodmobile will be on hand and the Suns encourage all fans to donate blood! The first 25 donors receive 2 tickets to the game plus a hot dog and soda voucher! It’s also the Saturday Night Shrimp Buffet courtesy of Sea Best!  Get unlimited Butterfly Breaded Shrimp and sides from 6-8 in the Sundowner Lounge! Plus stick around for a special Saturday Fireworks Show for Mrs. Bragan!

Suns fans can also listen to Saturday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 600 AM & 100.3 FM “The Answer” or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, coverage will start with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET.

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Fernandez, Suns Gear Up for Exciting Night at Bragan Field

Game Preview

Jose-Fernandez

By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

The Jacksonville Suns (1-1, 30-41) will send out Jose Fernandez in his final major league rehab start to face off against the Biloxi Shuckers (1-1, 44-26) tonight from Bragan Field with a first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. ET.

The Jacksonville Suns are proud to announce that 2013 National League Rookie of the Year and Miami Marlins ace right-handed pitcher Jose Fernandez is scheduled to make his last start in his major league rehab assignment tonight. So far Fernandez has made four rehab starts with the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads, going 1-1 with a 3.20 ERA in four starts.  In his last start on Monday night, Fernandez earned the win in his seven innings against the St. Lucie Mets. In his seven innings he allowed only a run on four hits with a walk and nine strikeouts. The Marlins plan for tonight’s start in Jacksonville to be his last in the minor leagues, allowing him to make his 2015 major league debut on Thursday July 2 against the San Francisco Giants at Marlins Park in Miami at 12:10. Fernandez will throw around 90 pitches for the Suns, and the Marlins hope he can continue to have good results in the minors. Fernandez is recovering from Tommy John surgery that he underwent on May 16, 2014 by Dr. Neal El Attrache in Los Angeles. Last season Fernandez made eight starts for the Marlins, going 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA.

Fernandez will look to help Jacksonville bounce back after a 7-3 loss a night ago at the hands of the Shuckers.

Tyler Wagner (W, 6-2) generated seven innings in his start for Biloxi allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits while walking one and striking out five. Suns starter Scott Lyman (L, 0-2) worked three innings allowing five runs (all earned) on four hits while walking five and striking out two.

The scoring would begin in the top of the first after Josh Fellhauer generated a one out walk, to then get knocked in by Orlando Arcia’s RBI triple pushing Biloxi ahead 1-0. With Arcia on third, a wild pitch from Suns starter Lyman brought him home and doubled up the lead to 2-0. Moving to the last of the second three straight singles with one out courtesy of Ryan Rieger, Terrence Dayleg, and Zack Cox loaded the bases for Sharif Othman. Othman then grounded into an RBI fielder’s choice plating a run, and a throwing error by Shuckers shortstop Arcia brought home another baserunner on the same play to tie the score at two through two innings of play.

In the top of the fourth the Shuckers worked the bases loaded against Suns starter Lyman who offered up a walk to Nathan Orf to force in a run from third and give Biloxi a 3-2 lead. Now with Jacksonville bullpen arm Chipper Smith on the mound, he would relinquish a walk to force in the inning’s second run and provide Biloxi with a 4-2 edge. Arcia’s run-scoring double completed the scoring in the frame and set the scoring at 5-2.Flashing to the sixth frame Biloxi worked a pair of runners on with one out for Michael Reed’s run-scoring single making it a 6-2 ballgame. Next batter Nick Ramirez then lifted a RBI sacrifice fly to center to bring in a runner from third pushing the Suns deficit to 7-2.The Suns tacked on a solo run in the bottom of the seventh, via a David Adams pinch-hit RBI double that brought in Zack Cox after he worked a one out walk. The Suns were now trailing 7-3. Chipper Smith in relief for Jacksonville hurled three frames surrendering two runs (none earned) while walking one striking out four. Fabian Williamson hurled a perfect seventh inning out of the bullpen for the Suns. Blake Logan tossed a scoreless two innings in the eighth and ninth innings.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover providing play by play. Roger Hoover and Kyle Crooks will host the Memorial Hospital Suns Pre-Game Show beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.

Saturday celebrate Madame Chairman Mary Frances Bragan’s 91st Birthday with Mary Frances Bragan Bobblehead Giveaway, Blood Alliance Blood Drive & Post-Game Fireworks! Be sure to arrive early as the first 3,000 fans will get a Mary Frances Bragan Bobblehead, courtesy of the Nimnicht Family of Dealerships, CBS-47 & WOKV! The Blood Alliance Bloodmobile will be on hand and the Suns encourage all fans to donate blood! The first 25 donors receive 2 tickets to the game plus a hot dog and soda voucher! It’s also the Saturday Night Shrimp Buffet courtesy of Sea Best! Get unlimited Butterfly Breaded Shrimp and sides from 6-8 in the Sundowner Lounge! Plus stick around for a special Saturday Fireworks Show for Mrs. Bragan!

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Listen Live to Shuckers and Suns: Live- June 27, 2015:

You can also keep up with all the game action on the Suns Baseball Network and by following the Suns on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Matchup: Biloxi Shuckers (1-1, 44-26) @ Jacksonville Suns (1-1, 30-41)

Starters: BLX: RHP  Jorge Lopez (5-2, 3.02 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Jose Fernandez (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez has hit safely in 20 of his last 23 games, and during that stretch he has manufactured a .342 average (29-for-85). Backup catcher Chadd Krist has set his longest hitting streak of the year at five games while hitting .333 in his last five contests. Terrence Dayleg with a 3-for-4 night on Thursday that saw him blast his first home run of the year, and collect four RBI, has now driven in nine men in his last 10 games.

Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:

-Closer Sean Donatello is first in saves (14) in the Southern League. Matt Juengel sits second in total bases (121), third for home runs (13), and extra base hits (28), while he’s fourth in slugging percentage (.522) and fifth in RBI (43). Viosergy Rosa sits fifth in walks generated (38). Zack Cox is eighth in the S.L. in bating average (.312). Austin Nola is tied for second in games played (68). For relievers, Brian Ellington controls the third-best ratio (9.57) of fewest baserunners/9IP and average against (.206) while sitting fifth highest for K/9 ratio (9.82). Matt Tomshaw now controls the league’s eighth-best ERA (2.81). Starter Austin Brice has the fifth-best K/9 ratio for starters (8.80).