Saturday Farm Report: Nikorak Takes Small Step Forward
It was just an inning in Short-Season A Boise's 9-4 loss at Everett on Friday night, but for Mike Nikorak and the Rockies organization it was a moment to celebrate. Nikorak drew the start, faced four batters, walking one. He was not only starting a game, but also what he and the Rockies hope will be the resumption of his baseball career.
It was the first time Nikorak appeared in a game in 23 months. He underwent Tommy John surgery and it has been a slow rehab process for the right-hander, who the Rockies selected with the 27th pick overall in the 2015 draft. With a fastball that hit 97 miles per hour, Nikorak received a $2.3 million bonus to pass on a scholarship to Alabama.
He is still only 21 and will be monitored carefully in the remainder of Boise's season. The expectation is he will max out at three innings this summer, and then build up his endurance during the off-season.
The Nikorak Files
AAA Albuquerque (53-58) won 8-6 against Round Rock. Matt Holliday, after one game with Grand Junction, joined the Isotopes and went 2-for-4 with a walk and run scored. Noel Cuevas (.367) was 2-for-3 with a grand slam. Jeff Hoffman (5-6, 4.58) earned the victory despite giving up five runs, four earned, on 10 hits and a walk, striking out two, in six innings. DJ Johnson (4.43) earned his 14th save.
AA Hartford (51-58) at Trenton. Matt Pierpont (1-2, 1.93) was charged with two unearned runs in the ninth inning on his own errant pickoff attempt, and a botched double play. Mylz Jones (.276) homered in the bottom of the ninth.
High A Lancaster (25-17 2nd half; 58-54) won 21-1 against Rancho Cucamonga. The Jet Hawks scored 16 runs in the first three innings. Wes Rogers (.296) had two-run singles in the first and second innings. Vince Fernandez (.287) was 2-for-4 with three runs scored, four RBI, a double, and his 19th home run. Tyler Nevin (3.21) was 3-for-4 with five RBI, three runs scored and a double.
Low A Asheville (19-20 2nd half; 46-62) lost 6-3 to Columbia, committing five errors. Frederis Parra (2-2, 4.63) allowed five runs, three earned, on 10 hits, striking out four, in five innings. Ryan Vilade (.269) was 3-for-5 with an RBI, and Tyler Bugner (.220) was 3-for-4 with a run scored.
Short-season A Boise (3-8 2nd half, 24-25) lost 9-4 at Everett. Keinter Olivares (1-3, 6.67), in relief of Nikorak, allowed five runs on six hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings. Cole Anderson (.233) was 2-for-4 with three RBI, a run scored and his 14th home run.
Rookie Grand Junction (7-3 2nd half; 27-21) won 3-1 at Idaho Falls. Will Tribucher (2-1, 3.45) won in relief, working two perfect innings, striking out four. Ryan Feltner (1.08) started and allowed one hit, striking out seven, in four innings Alexander Martinez (2.66) earned his 13th save. Daniel Montano (.291) was 2-for-4 with a double and run scored.
Dominican Summer League South (19-34) lost 8-7 at the Nationals. Gregoris Chalas (1-2, 8.76) was the victim of a four-run ninth. Brayan Castillo (2.75) started and allowed an unearend run on three hits and two walks, striking out two, in two innings. Catcher Jose Cordova (.274) was 3-for-5 with a run scored and RBI.
Dominican Summer League North (36-16) won 11-8 against the Giants. Julio Carreras (.259) was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, two RBI and his 14th home run, and Yeikel Blandin (.383) was 3-for-6 and scored two runs. Carlos Gonzalez (3.40) started and allowed five runs on six hits, walking two and striking out two, in four innings. Anderson Pilar (3-3, 1.52) worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings striking out four for the win. Raymells Rosa (1.95) earned his 13th save.