GLENDALE, Ariz., DANVILLE, Va. and TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - We continue our weekly updates of former Newberry College players in the Minor Leagues as Casio Grider, Thomas Berryhill and Jared Locke all contributed for their respective teams in the last week.
After being platooned at second base and shortstop in his first two weeks in the minors, Casio Grider has become a regular starter for the AZL Dodgers of the Arizona Rookie League. His tremendous speed has helped him steal eight bases in 11 games, ranking him third in the AZL. The Dodgers have an 8-6 record, a game behind the first place Mariners in the AZL West Division.
In the last week, Grider has scored six runs in six games and has stolen five bases. He helped the Dodgers in a win over the AZL Angels on July 1 with his first career double, which drove in a run. His work in the field has been primarily at second base, but he has been impressive, as he helped turn six double plays in the last week, including three in the July 1 win over the Angels and two on July 2 against the Athletics.
Grider hasn't had to hit the ball to be successful at the plate, although he is definitely looking to improve in that area. He is still batting .200 (7-for-35), but has an on-base percentage of .348 and an OPS (on-base plus slugging) percentage of .606. The Dodgers will play five games before our next update, starting with tonight's game against the Indians. Friday will be an off night before four straight days of games against the Padres, the Royals, the Mariners and then the Padres again.
Casio Grider statistics on MiLB.com --- AZL Dodgers --- Arizona Summer League
Thomas Berryhill experience both success and defeat in the last week, as he earned two more saves and was tagged with his first loss. He now carries an 0-1 record with four saves and a 3.00 ERA. He is tied for the Appalachian League lead in saves, as the Danville Braves have a 9-6 record and are tied with Bluefield for the Appy League East Division lead.
On July 1, the Aynor native struck out one batter and allowed no hits in the ninth inning to pick up his third save of the season in a 4-2 win over the Kingsport Mets. On July 3, Berryhill experienced the first blemish to his record and his ERA, allowing two walks and a two-out RBI single that gave the Princeton Rays a 3-2 lead. His D-Braves teammates could not make up the run in the bottom of the ninth and Berryhill was pegged with his first professional loss.
However, Berryhill bounced back on Monday night with a 1.2 inning save in a 4-3 win over the Pulaski Mariners. With a runner on first and one out in the eighth, Berryhill induced two straight flyouts to get out of the inning. Teammate Robert Hefflinger hit a solo homer in the top of the ninth to give Berryhill a little breathing room, which was crucial as Pulaski scored one run in the bottom of the ninth. After a wild pitch put the game-tying run on third base with one out, Berryhill struck out the final two batters of the game to earn his fourth save of the year.
The D-Braves play two series before our next update, starting with a rather odd three-gamer against the Bluefield Orioles. The two teams play in Bluefield at 1:30 this afternoon before traveling to Danville for two games on Thursday and Friday night. Danville will then play a three-game set at the Burlington Royals on Saturday through Monday before taking Tuesday off.
Thomas Berryhill statistics on MiLB.com --- Danville Braves --- Appalachian League
Jared Locke is continuing his career with the Traverse City Beach Bums of the independent Frontier League, and made two relief appearances in the last week. Unfortunately, both appearances came in Beach Bum losses.
On July 4, the Traverse City starter allowed three runs, none of which were earned, in six innings of work. Locke pitched a perfect top of the ninth, striking out one, but the Beach Bum offense couldn't push a run across in the bottom of the frame and Traverse City lost to the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti by a 3-2 count. Last night, Locke was tagged with his second loss of the season, allowing two runs - one earned - in a short 0.1 inning appearance as the Rockford River Hawks defeated the Beach Bums, 7-5.
For the season, Locke now has an 0-2 record with a 4.22 ERA and a save, striking out 16 batters over 21.1 innings in 19 appearances. With five games before the All-Star break, the Beach Bums have a 19-24 record and hold fifth place in the six-team Frontier League East Division. Traverse City is now a full 10 games behind division-leading Kalamazoo, having lost six straight games and eight of its last 10 contests.
Traverse City has four more games before our next update, as the Frontier League takes its All-Star break in the first half of next week at the same time as Major League Baseball. The Beach Bums have two more games at Rockford against the River Hawks tonight and tomorrow, followed by a Friday through Sunday three-game set at the Windy City Thunderbolts.
Traverse City Beach Bums --- Frontier League