Starting pitcher Brady Rodgers starts in Triple-A for the first time in his career and will make his Fresno Grizzlies debut. Rodgers, a 2012 third-round pick, was considered to have the best control in the Houston Astros farm system upon coming out of Arizona State three years ago. Rodgers, 24, went 5-12 with a 4.77 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 1202/3 innings at Double-A Corpus Christi last season. He made one start in Triple-A and threw six shutout innings with just two hits allowed. Rodgers will face Salt Lake Bees RH Zach Stewart, who has spent most of the past six years in Triple-A.
•On the horizon:
The Grizzlies have four at home against the Bees then go on the road for the first time, starting with a four-game series at Las Vegas.
Making his first start of the season, Grizzlies left-hander Luis Cruz looked solid and gave up three runs off four hits and one walk in five innings on Sunday. The Grizzlies bullpen, however, allowed four runs as Fresno lost 8-7 to the Las Vegas 51s to close out the four-game series. “I feel more confident because of my experience last year (at Triple-A),” Cruz said after spending most of last season in Double-A then getting promoted to Triple-A during the final month. “I’m happy with my start. I was a little nervous, but after the first pitch, everything felt normal. All my pitches were there.” The 5-foot-9 Cruz is on the Astros’ 40-man roster.
•Stat of the day:
Though the Grizzlies fell just short Sunday and hit into a bases-loaded double play to end the game, their offense is proving to be quite potent. The Grizzlies amassed 10 hits on Sunday, including a towering home run from Matt Duffy in the first. And still, the Grizzlies could’ve added more if they hadn’t stranded nine on base for the game. In the young season, the Grizzlies are averaging 4.75 runs and eight hits a game.