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May 19, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bazardo leaves with arm injury; Santana makes his case

5/19 Cup of Coffee: Several strong performances on the farm may be overshadowed by an arm injury to 19th-ranked prospect Eduard Bazardo. While there is no word on his status, the video did not look good. Worcester still took home the win in the game behind home runs from Jarren DuranDanny Santana, and Jonathan Araúz (pictured). In Greenville, Cameron Cannon and Brandon Howlett paced the offense once again, and Jordan DiValerio continued his impressive run in Salem. 


It's still too early to gauge exactly how hitter-friendly Polar Park is playing, but right now the WooSox offense is firing on all cylinders at home. The team hit four home runs on Tuesday, with Jarren Duran, Danny SantanaJonathan Araúz, and Michael Gettys all going deep. It marked the fifth time in seven home games that Worcester has scored seven runs or more. Santana, who reportedly will be called up to Boston this week, also had a double and a single, and Araúz, who was just optioned to Worcester, also had a double. 

The biggest story from this game will likely be Eduard Bazardo leaving the game with an injury after just five pitches. After throwing a pitch to the backstop he immediately grabbed his right triceps area. The top reliever in Worcester, a significant injury to Bazardo would be a big blow to the organization's pitching depth. The win went to Daniel Gossett who allowed four runs in six innings, walking one and striking out six. 


The Portland bullpen blew a four-run lead in the seventh, but the offense picked them up as they pulled away for a win in the series opener. While he has yet to hit for much power Jeisson Rosario continues to get on base, going 3 for 6 with a stolen base. He was caught stealing once, but the 21-year-old is now hitting .311 with a .392 on-base percentage out of the leadoff spot. Pedro Castellanos also notched three hits, and Joey Meneses went 2 for 4 with a home run, double, and two walks. 

Josh Winckowski left the game with the lead but ultimately did not factor into the decision. He struck out five in five innings while allowing two runs as his ERA doubled to 1.88. Dominic LoBrutto allowed one run to score and left the game with runners on second and third and both came around to score after Durbin Feltman gave up a three-run home run to tie the game. Feltman ultimately got the win, and Joan Martinez locked things down with a scoreless ninth. 


Greenville homered three times but it was not enough to slow down the Tourists. Cameron Cannon continues to impress, hitting his third home run of the year which is the same amount he hit in 45 games in 2019. He is sporting a 1.024 OPS after 12 games. Tyler Esplin and Luke Bandy each hit their first home runs of the year, and Brandon Howlett went 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI. Howlett once ranked as high as 11th in the system, but he is currently number 40 after a rough 2019 season that saw his strikeout rate jump to 31 percent. His strikeout rate early this year is down to 23 percent, and he is hitting .350 with a .911 OPS. 

Brian Van Belle saw his ERA rise to 6.57 after allowing five runs (four earned) in four innings. His six strikeouts and two walks now leave him with a solid 17-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio on the season in 12 1/3 innings, but he has not been able to keep runs off the board. Yusniel Padron-Artiles was once again the piggyback starter allowing two runs in three innings, and Alex Scherff pitched a scoreless ninth. After a poor first appearance, Scherff has rebounded with four straight scoreless outings. 


Salem entered the game an even 6-6 on the year, but they had a significant edge on a Fredericksburg team that is now 0-13 with a -99 run differential. Gilberto Jimenez set the tone at the top by going 2 for 4 with a double and a walk to raise his average to .388. Joe Davis went 3 for 5 and drove in four runs, and Wil Dalton hit his first home run of the season. Every Salem starter had at least one hit, and as a team also drew eight walks. 

The matchup with the Nationals was just what Ryan Zeferjahn needed to get back on track as he fired four shutout innings while allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out three. Jordan DiValerio continued to breeze through the competition, twirling two perfect innings while striking out four. He improved to 3-0 and he has now struck out 16 without allowing a walk or a run in 9 2/3 innings. The 23-year-old is doing his best to prove he is ready for High-A. 


Player of the Day: This may be the last time we get to write about Danny Santana in the Cup of Coffee for a while, as it looks like he will be called up to Boston any day now. He has done everything he can to ensure that happens, hitting .423/.467/.846 in seven minor league games while playing first base, second base, shortstop, third base, left field, and center field. He went 3 for 4 with a double and a home run on Tuesday and Red Sox fans will soon find out if he can help alleviate some of the production issues Boston has had at the bottom of its lineup. 

Photo Credit: Jonathan Araúz by Kelly O'Connor