Moving On Up: Holle, Rivera make the jump to Double-A

INF Yadiel Rivera (pictured) and RHP Greg Holle have been called up to Double-A Huntsville over the last 24 hours.

INF Yadiel Rivera (pictured) and RHP Greg Holle have been called up to Double-A Huntsville over the last 24 hours.

Two of the Brevard County Manatees’ best are making the jump up. Within 24 hours, both RHP Greg Holle and INF Yadiel Rivera were transferred from Brevard County to Double-A Huntsville. It is no surprise that the duo got called up as both put up ridiculous numbers over their final few games with the ‘Tees. Lets take a look:

Greg Holle

After suffering an injury early in Spring Training, Holle spent time in extended camp before being added to the Manatees roster on April 30. Despite plentiful success while in Brevard in 2014, the injury troubles remained with him. The right-hander was on the disabled list from May 29 until June 6 and missed extra time with flu-like symptoms.

However, when Holle was on the bump for the ‘Tees it spelled trouble for opponents. The 6-foot-8 righty did not surrender a run in seven of eight appearances he made with the team, which included a nine-inning scoreless streak before getting the call.

Holle finished his tenure in Brevard with a flourish. On June 20 at Daytona, Holle entered the ballgame with the bases loaded and dominated. The former TCU Horned Frog threw 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to close out the Manatees 7-3 victory over the Cubs, which he discussed the following day:

Holle made first 2014 appearance with the Stars last night. He threw a scoreless inning of relief and did not allow a baserunner in Huntsville’s triumph over Pensacola. Holle went 4-3 with a 3.96 ERA and 10 saves with the Double-A club a year ago.

Yadiel Rivera

Rivera was one of the surprising returnees to Brevard in 2014. The supremely talented middle infielder hit .241 with 23 extra-base hits and 37 runs batted in with the ‘Tees last year, but due to a logjam at the higher levels he returned to Space Coast Stadium.

After a bumpy start at the plate (.224 AVG) through the first two months of the year, Rivera found his rhythm in the month of June. In the 16 games he played in the month before being transferred, Rivera hit at .351 clip with a .403 on-base percentage.

Almost improbably, over his final seven games, Rivera was even better. He tallied a base-hit in six of his final seven games with the ‘Tees and left with a four-game hit-streak. In total, Rivera batted .462 (12-for-26) with five runs scored, three doubles, a home run, two RBI and a stolen base.

Yesterday, in his final game with the ‘Tees, Rivera went an astounding 3-for-4 with a ground-rule double and a stolen base in a Manatees win over the Dunedin Blue Jays. We had a chance to speak with him after the game:

‘Tees Tidbits: UT Nathan Orf is at it again…Since June 17, Orf has the highest batting average (.483) and on-base percentage (.545) in the Florida State League…During this stretch, the lead-off hitter has scored 10 runs, hit four doubles, driven in four runs and walked three times…He also recorded five multi-hit games during the seven-game streak…During their four-game road trip, the Manatees bats were on fire…The team recorded double-digits in hits in three of the four games…The ‘Tees went 3-1 on the trip and had a .297 batting average (44-for-148).

‘Tees First Half Highlights – TBT 6/19

Do you have a favorite moment from the first half of the 2014 Brevard County Manatees season? If you’re having trouble deciding, we understand. It was quite the eventful first half: The ‘Tees turned a triple play, Tyrone Taylor hit for the cycle, Victor Roache hit three home runs in one game and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

So yeah, a lot happened, and before you go racking your brain to pick a favorite highlight, we thought we would give you a refresher course. Here are all of our favorite Manatees moments from the first half:

 

Taylor Hits for the Cycle

 

‘Tees Turn a Triple Play

 

Roache Blasts 3 HR’s

 

Magnifico Deals a 2-Hit Complete Game Shutout

 

Taylor Tallies 4 Hits and 4 RBI

 

1st Annual Jackie Robinson Celebration Game

 

Well, those are our favorites, but can you think of some more? If we left out one of your top moments from the first half, let us know on Twitter @BCManateesRadio or on Facebook at Facebook.com/ManateesRadioNetwork.

 

‘Tees New and Old Earn All-Star Honors

It’s finally the middle of the season across Minor League Baseball and it’s about that time of year when All-Star Games take center stage. This past Saturday, a trio of Manatees represented the North Division at the 53rd Florida State League All-Star Game, as the North rallied back in the ninth to beat the South Division, 6-4.

Cameron Garfield, Tyler Wagner and Damien Magnifico were all adorned in North Division jerseys, but not all of them fulfilled their regular baseball roles:

 

Indeed, Damien now has an extra bullet point on his resume and it’s fair to say he had a little fun with his new title. As for Wagner, the right-hander pitched a scoreless fifth inning with a little help from his regular catcher. Garfield caught four innings and went 0-for-1 at the plate with a sharp lineout to second base.

 

‘Tees of Yesterday Shine Tonight

 Milwaukee’s Double-A affiliate, the Huntsville Stars, will send a whopping 10 men to AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tenn. tonight for the Southern League All-Star Game. Of that Stars-stacked crew, nine were former Brevard County Manatees.

Tyler Cravy (’13) leads a six-man pitching crew into the All-Star Game with the most wins (eight) in all of Double-A. The Huntsville ace also has the best ERA (1.76) and lowest WHIP (0.86) in the Southern League. As a result of his dominating first half, the right-hander will get the start for the North Division tonight.

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Tyler Cravy owns the most wins, second-best WHIP and third-best ERA in all of Double-A.

Cravy is joined by fellow-ex-‘Tees David Goforth (’13), Drew Gagnon (’13), Brent Suter (’13) and Taylor Jungmann (’12). Arcenio Leon is the only Huntsville All-Star representative who did not play for Brevard County.

As far as position players go, first baseman Nick Ramirez (’13) is in the top-five in the league in home runs (10) and RBI (40). Ramirez was originally only joined on the All-Star roster by Jason Rogers (’12), but Josh Prince (’11) and Shawn Zarraga (’12) were late additions to the North Division roster last Wednesday.

#TBT – Former ‘Tees Continue to “Star”

OF D'Vontrey Richardson (left), OF Mitch Haniger (center) and C Jonathan Lucroy (right) all impressed this week at various levels.

OF D’Vontrey Richardson (left), OF Mitch Haniger (center) and C Jonathan Lucroy (right) all impressed this week at various levels.

As we reach the halfway point of the Minor League season, it is easy to see that the Milwaukee Brewers organization as a whole has had incredible success. Throughout the system, including the Major League level, four of the six teams currently playing are at least tied for first place in their division. Even more impressive, all six teams are above the .500 mark at this moment. With that being said, let’s take a look at which former Manatees impressed this week!

Say Hey D’Vontrey!

After being out of baseball for the entire 2012 season, outfielder D’Vontrey Richardson (’11, ’13) has returned in a big way. The 25-year-old hit .325 with 13 stolen bases with the ‘Tees last year and made the jump to Double-A Huntsville for 2014.

The bat has not been as consistent at the next level (.218 AVG in 54 games), but his incredible athletic ability has not wavered.

On Tuesday night, in a matchup against the Chattanooga Lookouts (Dodgers affiliate), Richardson may have made the top Minor League defensive play of the year. With O’Koyea Dickson at the plate, the former ‘Tee made an absolutely stupendous catch.

The remarkable play robbed Dickson of a two-run home run. This proved to be huge as Huntsville went on to win by just one run, 7-6.

Home Run Haniger

With D’Vontrey Richardson making waves in the field, fellow Huntsville outfielder Mitch Haniger (’13) has been doing the same at the plate.

Over his last 10 games, the former Brevard star is hitting .333 (12-for-36) with nine runs scored, SIX home runs and 11 RBI. During this span, Haniger has four multi-hit games and THREE multi-home run games.

Even more incredible has been the California native’s last two outings. On Tuesday and Wednesday nights, Haniger combined to go 4-for-8 at the dish with multiple home runs in each game.

Here’s a look at the first multi-homer game of this 10-game stretch back on June 4 against Jackson:

Haniger hit .250 with six home runs and 43 RBI in 88 games with Brevard County last year.

Can’t Stop Lucroy

While Haniger and Richardson are starring in the minors, Jonathan Lucroy (’08) is mashing up in Milwaukee. The Brewers catcher is currently on a seven-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .542 (13-for-24) with six runs scored, a home run and four RBI. Over the course of this stretch, Lucroy has bumped his average up by 17 points.

However, the former Ragin’ Cajun has been on a tear all season long. Lucroy enters today leading all Major League catchers in batting average (.341), runs scored (28), hits (79), doubles (25) and OPS (.912).

The Brew Crew backstop is well on his way to becoming the first catcher to represent Milwaukee in the All-Star Game since Dave Nilsson received the honor in the 1999 Mid-Summer Classic in Boston.

Lucroy hit .292 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 64 games with Brevard in 2008.

‘Tees Tidbits: RHP Damien Magnifico was named to the Florida State League All-Star Game on Wednesday afternoon…Magnifico will replace Dunedin LHP Daniel Norris, who is unable to pitch, on the North roster…Magnifico is 3-4 with a 3.05 ERA this year in 12 starts… Similarly, INF Josh Prince (’10, ’11) and C Shawn Zarraga (’10-’12) of the Huntsville Stars were named to the Southern League All-Star Game on Wednesday.

Nate the Great: Versatile Orf on a Tear

If you’ve been following the Manatees Radio Network on Twitter (@BCManateesRadio), you probably already know that Nathan Orf (@NateOrf4)is hitting at a remarkable clip over the last 10 games. How good has he been?

https://twitter.com/BCManateesRadio/status/475998236906643456

 

As good as that is, Orf’s numbers since May 29 could further improve if the Manatees and Bradenton Marauders complete their game that was suspended due to rain on Saturday night.

In that game, Orf was the only Manatee to get a hit against Bradenton RHP Tyler Glasnow. That hit was Orf’s first career home run…

https://twitter.com/BCManateesRadio/status/475422927782150145

 

Well, it might be Orf’s first home run if the game is ever completed:

 

Regardless, at least Orf’s family was on hand to see the ball fly over the left field wall… And if the long ball doesn’t end up counting on the stat sheet, it’s good to know Nate and his teammates can still have some fun with the phantom homer:

 

Orf has been more than a menace in the batter’s box. The Manatees’ Jack of all trades has spent most of his time in right field, but moved to left field when Michael Reed returned from an oblique injury. Manager Joe Ayrault simply needed to keep Orf’s bat in the lineup and the Baylor product made his skipper look like a genius on Sunday:

https://twitter.com/BCManateesRadio/status/475771776707072000

 

Long story short, it looks like Orf has earned himself an everyday spot in the Manatees lineup, no matter what position he has to play.

 

‘Tees Tidbits:

Chad Pierce and Austin Ross began the 2014 season in the Manatees’ bullpen, but their contributions as starters have been exemplary.

Pierce has made two spot starts for Brevard County and did not allow a run either time. In 10.1 innings, Pierce has surrendered just five hits, walked three and struck out seven. Astoundingly, the ‘Tees lost both of Pierce’s starts by one run.

After making 10 relief appearances to begin the year, Ross has transitioned to a starting role and has done exceptionally well. In three starts, the right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA. Ross has not allowed more than four hits in any of his starts and struck out a season-high eight men last time out against Bradenton.

Neither Pierce nor Ross are strangers to starting. Pierce had made 28 career starts prior to this season and Ross had 49. So, perhaps it should come as no surprise that those two have combined for a 0.92 ERA (3 ER/29.1 IP) over five starts.

Draft Day Rewind – TBT 6/5

If you tune in to MLB Network tonight at 7 p.m., chances are you will get your first look at some future Brevard County Manatees, as the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft commences. Of course, most of today’s ‘Tees were once part of this exciting and nerve-racking event. With that in mind, we thought we would take a peek back and revisit the draft days of this year’s crop of Manatees.

 

2009

This Brevard County catcher was just named to his second consecutive Florida State League All-Star team. Back in 2009, however, he was just a high school backstop from southern California, looking to make an impression in pro ball.

 

2010

Last night, this right-handed hurler tossed a gem against the Bradenton Marauders to pick up his third consecutive victory. But, when the Brewers selected him in the eighth round of the 2010 draft, this Shreveport kid had to decide between going back to Louisiana State University or joining the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization. I think we know where he landed

Austin Ross Draft

 

2011

The Brewers went after young pitching in 2011 and they found a keeper in this young Puerto Rican right-hander… And if you watch closely, you may see another familiar name or two.

 

2012

Oh boy! There sure were a lot of current Manatees in this draft class. For starters, let’s begin with the big power bat the Brewers picked up in the first round.

 

How many other current ‘Tees were selected two years ago? Check it out for yourself in MLB.com’s full recap of Milwaukee’s 2012 selections.

 

‘Tees Tidbits:

Curious who the Brewers might take in the 2014 draft? Take a look at Jonathan Mayo’s mock draft on MLB.com.

Orlando Magic

Orlando Arcia has been stellar all year for Brevard, both in the field and at the plate.

Orlando Arcia has been stellar all year for Brevard, both in the field and at the plate.

In the small town of Anaco, Venezuela lays a growing, impressive baseball family. Already home to former Major Leaguer (and former Vero Beach Dodger) Miguel Cairo, Anaco has been the residence of the Arcia brothers, Oswaldo and Orlando.

Oswaldo, a former Florida State Leaguer in his own right (2011-12 Fort Myers Miracle), has already reached and thrived at the Major League level, hitting 14 home runs last year with the Minnesota Twins. However, the youngest brother is causing quite a stir so far in Viera.

Orlando, the youngest player in the FSL at the age of 19, has not been overwhelmed by his older adversaries. To this point, Arcia has been an absolute workhorse and despite the lengthy Minor League schedule has continued to thrive.

So far, Arcia is tied with Tyrone Taylor for team lead in games played (53), second on the squad in hits (54), triples (3) and stolen bases (10), third in runs scored (22) and is tied for fourth in doubles (9) and runs batted in (13). With all those impressive numbers, Arcia has also managed to piece together a respectable .262 batting average.

Even though it is just the beginning of June, the Venezuelan native has already put together two majorly impressive streaks so far.  From April 29 to May 12, Arcia recorded an 11-game hit-streak, the longest by a Manatee in 2014. During that stretch, he hit .340 (17-for-50) with three doubles and three RBI. Arcia also scored seven runs, stole four bases and walked five times compared to just four strike outs.

The most impressive outing during that streak was his first. On April 29 against Clearwater, in a 20-0 ‘Tees rout of Clearwater, Arcia recorded a career-high four base-hits (two doubles) and tied a career-high with three runs scored.

The middle infielder has been equally as impressive over his most recent stretch. Since the first game of Brevard’s series against the Palm Beach Cardinals on May 20, Arcia has been on fire. During those 12 games, he is hitting .370 (14-for-76) with five multi-hit games and four doubles. Anaco’s own has also driven in five runs and swiped two more bases.

What makes these streaks more impressive is that Arcia has done it all while playing multiple positions. A natural shortstop, the Brewers prospect has had to split time at the position with another talented player, Yadiel Rivera.

Both prospects have swapped between short and second base every series. However, neither has lost a beat despite the lack of consistency at one spot. Both incredible athletes and defenders, Arcia and Rivera have contributed to what is, arguably, the best defensive middle infield in all of Minor League Baseball, with incredible plays made on a daily basis. This, of course, includes Arcia helping turn the ‘Tees first triple play in over a decade.

Showing no ill effects from a fractured right ankle, which cost him his 2012 season, Arcia has been a treasure for the Manatees so far this year. It is clear that the sky is the limit for the FSL’s youngest star.

‘Tees Tidbits: For the first time in 11 days, OF Victor Roache will be in the lineup for Brevard County…Roache has been out since May 21 with the virus that has gone through the Manatees clubhouse…Roache will hit sixth and play left field in game one of today’s doubleheader…The Manatees’ bullpen has given up one run in 15.0 innings (0.60 ERA) over their last eight games…The bullpen’s collective strikeout rate has been staggering, as well…Brevard’s relievers have struck out 18 men for a 10.80 K/9 rate

Three’s Company: Trio of former ‘Tees pitchers dominate – #TBT 5/29

 

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RHP Josh Beckett (left), RHP Jimmy Nelson (top right) and RHP Yovani Gallardo (bottom right) all impressed at the Major League level this week.

What a week it has been for former Manatees pitchers! Three different hurlers, their time in Brevard ranging over a span over 11 years, made waves in the press for three very different reasons.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the trio of ‘Tees hurlers that shined this past week!

Josh Beckett (’01)

Let us start with the former Manatee who made the biggest headlines. Beckett, who has already done so much in his Major League career (three All-Star appearances, two World Series titles and a World Series MVP), added another achievement to his mantle on Sunday afternoon.

In a matinee against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, Beckett was spot on from the beginning. Despite walking Chase Utley in the first and Marlon Byrd in the second, the right-hander did not allow a base-hit all the way into the game’s final frame.

With the no-hitter still intact, Beckett walked Jimmy Rollins with two outs. That brought Utley to the plate again with the former ‘Tee just one out away from history…

Beckett’s no-no was the first in the majors this year and the 24th in Los Angeles Dodgers history. It was the first by a Dodger since Hideo Nomo no-hit the Colorado Rockies back in September of 1996.

Space Coast Stadium is no stranger to dominant outings by the Spring, Tex. native. The righty pitched in 13 games with Brevard back in 2001 and put up some staggering numbers. During his time here, Beckett posted a 6-0 record with an absurd 1.23 ERA. The two-time World Champion managed to strike out 102 batters compared to 19 walks in 65.2 innings before being called up to Double-A.

Jimmy Nelson (’12)

The most recent Manatee on this list also made personal history on Sunday afternoon. Nelson, who made four appearances (including one start) with the Brewers last September, was called up to make a spot start for a banged up Yovani Gallardo against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park.

Similar to Beckett, Nelson dominated the Fish from the get go. The Alabama Crimson Tide star shutout the Marlins over 5.2 innings to pick up his first Major League victory. Nelson issued five hits and three walks with six punch outs.

Despite the dominant outing, Nelson was optioned back to Triple-A Nashville after the game.

Back in 2012, Nelson was a Florida State League All-Star with ‘Tees and put up some impressive numbers himself. Even though his record was just 4-4, the right-hander had a 2.21 ERA in 13 starts with the ‘Tees before jumping up to Double-A Huntsville.

Yovani Gallardo (’06)

The last pitcher of note from our triumvirate of former ‘Tees stars is Gallardo who turned heads this week off the mound.

With an empty bench and the Brewers tied at six with the Baltimore Orioles in the bottom of the 10th inning, manager Ron Roenicke called on his ace to pinch-hit for reliever Francisco Rodriguez.

Despite the fact that there were two outs and the bases were empty, O’s manager, Buck Showalter, put the winning run on base by issuing an intentional walk to power-hitting Mark Reynolds in order to face Gallardo.

On a 2-0 count, Gallardo, who has 12 career home runs, got a pitch he could drive from Baltimore reliever T.J. McFarland and he did not miss it…

The right-hander followed up his walk-off double on Tuesday night with a strong outing on the mound on Wednesday. The former Manatee allowed three runs on four hits over 6.2 innings to pick up his third win of the season.

Like Nelson and Beckett, Gallardo was dominant on the Space Coast. An FSL All-Star in 2006, Gallardo went 6-3 with a 2.09 ERA in 13 starts with the ‘Tees before getting his call up to Huntsville.

‘Tees Tidbits: OF Khris Davis (’11) has been a monster at the plate for the Brew Crew lately…Davis has homered in each of his last three games with five runs batted in during that span…RHP Taylor Jungmann (’12) picked up his first Triple-A win last night in a victory over Colorado Springs…Jungmann allowed just one run on four hits over six innings in a Sounds victory…Brevard County made a few roster moves this afternoon…RHP Greg Holle went on the disabled list, retroactive to May 27…RHP Scott Lieser was added to the roster from the Rookie Arizona League and RHP Jose De La Torre was transferred to Brevard after being activated from the DL at Triple-A Nashville.

The “Killer B’s”: Bradley to AA, Berberet on Fire

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LHP Jed Bradley (left) and C Parker Berberet (right) paced the Manatees in a 7-5 win over Tampa on Sunday.

In the 1990’s and early 2000’s the Houston Astros were noted for having the “Killer B’s”. Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Derek Bell, and Lance Berkman were key pieces on some talented Houston teams. On Sunday night, the Manatees rallied behind their own “Killer B’s” to defeat Tampa. Both Jed Bradley and Parker Berberet put together strong outings in Brevard’s 7-5 victory in what was a historic night for both players, but for different reasons.

Movin’ On Up!

When rosters were released in the days leading up to the season, it came as a surprise to some that Jed Bradley was returning to Space Coast Stadium for a third consecutive season. After dealing with some rocky performances and a slew of injuries in the past, Bradley came to Viera a new man in 2014.

The left-hander tied Jorge Lopez for the team lead in victories on Sunday with five. Bradley surrendered just two runs into the seventh inning, but tired in that final frame. The lefty finished the day with five runs allowed (four earned) on nine hits in 6.1 innings of work.

Control, which had been a problem for Bradley in his first two pro seasons, was not an issue for him on Sunday. He issued just one walk compared to six strike outs. For the year, Bradley has issued just 10 free passes, while striking out the second-most batters in the Florida State League (53).

Unlike any start Bradley has had in the past, the best part of his day came when manager Joe Ayrault removed him from the ball game. As the left-hander handed the ball over to his skipper, Ayrault turned and told him the news he had waited almost two and a half years to hear. He was going home to Double-A Huntsville.

After a rough first outing against Daytona on April 5, Bradley was a revelation for the team. In his final nine starts with the club, Bradley went 5-1 with a 2.08 earned run average. Over that stretch, the former Georgia Tech product received the FSL Pitcher of the Week Award twice and had two of the most impressive outings of his career. On May 20, Bradley threw nine innings of four-hit, shutout baseball in a no-decision against the Palm Beach Cardinals. As well, he struck out a career-high nine batters against the Daytona Cubs on April 27.

Blazing Berberet

If not for the efforts of his backstop, Parker Berberet, Bradley may not have won his final start with the Manatees. Berberet, who has received limited playing time this year due to the success of Cameron Garfield, has been on an absolute tear over the last few days.

In his last three games, dating back to May 22, Berberet has picked up at least one hit in every outing. In all three of those games, Berberet has recorded at least one double and one RBI.

However, Sunday night’s performance was the high mark for Berberet’s season. Starting back-to-back games for the first time all year, Berberet tied a career-high with four base-hits in the win over the Yankees. The catcher lined two doubles to right, singled twice, stole a base, scored and drove in a run.

Over the two games he has played during this homestand, Berberet has yet to be retired (6-for-6 at the plate) with three doubles, three runs scored and two RBI.

‘Tees Tidbits: Due to a virus that has ravaged the Manatees clubhouse, the team has been extremely short-handed over the last few days…Brevard County only had nine position players and two pitchers (excluding Bradley) available during Sunday’s ballgame…In order to aid the depleted bullpen, RHP Mark Williams was transferred to the roster from Class-A Wisconsin…1B Garrett Cooper, who had has played since May 20 with flu-like symptoms, was placed on the disabled list to make room on the roster for Williams…With Bradley’s departure, the ‘Tees roster currently sits at 24, one below the FSL limit.

Mow-‘Em-Down Magnifico – TBT 5/22

When we left you on Monday, we made a promise. After RHP Damien Magnifico spun a complete game, two-hit shutout to defeat the Jupiter Hammerheads, we vowed to take an in-depth look at Magnifico’s outing and take a Throwback Thursday-style look back at recent complete game shutouts by Brevard County pitchers.

Rest assured, we never break our promises. First, though, let’s take a listen to the highlights from that gem:

So, that’s how Magnifico’s complete game sounded, but what made him so effective? The right-hander kept the ball on the ground. Of the 27 outs Magnifico recorded, 15 of them were on the ground. He also fanned five Hammerheads, which means that just seven of his outs were in the air.

As a hard-throwing right-hander – who has been clocked at 100 mph with his fastball in the past, but is more consistently between 94-96 mph – you might expect Magnifico to keep the ball up in an attempt to get hitters to chase. That would, hypothetically, lead to more fly ball outs and sometimes home runs.

Magnifico, however, has not given up a homer this season. That is because his success has largely come from mixing inside fastballs with sliders low and away to produce ground balls, as he explained to MiLB.com after his performance on Monday morning.

If you look even deeper into Magnifico’s propensity for ground balls, you will notice that three men who reached base against the starter in his complete game performance did so on ground balls. Jupiter’s two singles were on grounders and the ‘Tees infield committed an error behind Magnifico on a ground ball in the sixth.

With all those ground balls, it would appear Magnifico’s fastball-slider strategy was working well against the Hammerheads. The right-hander’s Manatees teammates gave him their own special brand of congratulations:

 

Do you remember?

After Magnifico stifled Jupiter, it got us wondering… When was the last time we saw a performance like that from somebody in a Manatees uniform? As it turns out, that question has two correct answers:

As Manatees broadcaster Dave Walkovic noted, RHP Drew Gagnon’s performance was of the seven-inning variety, as it was the first game of a doubleheader. That, however, should not diminish Gagnon’s accomplishment. The right-hander struck out seven men, walked one and only allowed three hits. In the second game of the doubleheader, Brevard County RHP Nick Bucci and LHP Alan Williams combined to strike out 10 Flying Tigers in a 4-1 win.

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Drew Gagnon struck out seven Lakeland hitters over seven innings in his complete game shutout.

So, Gagnon holds the last official complete game shutout by a Brevard County Manatee before Magnifico. Who, though, was the last to pitch a complete game shutout over nine innings?

RHP Evan Anundsen had everything working in a 10:35 a.m. start against the Daytona Cubs. That much was clear, as the right-hander turned in a no-hitter to beat the Manatees’ I-95 rivals, 1-0. Anundsen allowed four baserunners on a walk, a hit-batsman and a pair of errors in the infield.

Other than that, Anundsen was flawless, despite waking up at 6 a.m. to catch the team bus. On that April 28 morning and into the early afternoon, the then 20-year old struck out 10 Cubs batters, including the final hitter of the game.

In fact, Anundsen had to compose himself to strike out the game’s final batter. The previous batter had popped up to shortstop, but Nate Brewer had trouble with the afternoon sun in Daytona Beach and dropped the ball. With a runner on second, Anundsen fanned Tyler Colvin to complete the second no-hitter in Manatees history.

Finally, did anybody notice a common thread between Magnifico, Gagnon and Anundsen? Each one of their complete game shutouts came on the road.

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Evan Anundsen hurled a no-hitter at Daytona on April 28, 2009.

‘Tees Tidbits:

After Magnifico’s complete game shutout, LHP Jed Bradley came back the next day and pitched nine scoreless innings against the Palm Beach Cardinals. The Manatees lost the game in 11 innings, however, by a score of 1-0.

Bradley’s performance continued a trend of dominance by Brevard County’s starting pitchers. Over the first five games of the Manatees’ road trip to Jupiter and Palm Beach, the starting staff maintained a startling 0.25 ERA.