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:
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.
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).
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.