Wednesday Journal is following former area ballplayers as they try to make it to the pros. Every week the Watch will keep readers updated on their progress. Stats are through Sunday.
Tim Dennehy returned to the starting rotation Saturday and tossed five scoreless innings for the Yankees of the rookie Gulf Coast League. Denney allowed just two hits and only one runner past first base, leaving a scoreless game the Yankees would eventually win 5-0. After a horrible pro debut on June 22 (2 1/3 innings, five earned runs), Dennehy has posted an excellent line in his four outings since: 13 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 8 K. Overall, he is 3-1 with a 4.70 ERA.
Vasili Spanos had a decisive hit Thursday, a three-run homer (his ninth of the year) that put Double A Midland up 4-0 in a 5-2 victory over San Antonio. Spanos added three doubles and three more RBIs elsewhere in the week, recording hits in all seven games to boost his average to .294. After batting .203 in April, Spanos has hit .325 in 52 games since.
Second baseman Caleb Fields is emerging as an everyday player for the rookie GCL Pirates. After playing in just six of the team’s first 15 games, he has now started seven straight, including all six last week as the leadoff hitter. Fields hit .250 (7-for-28) last week with three doubles and two RBIs and is at .259 for the season.
Orem reliever Derek Schlecker was credited with his first blown save of the season on Saturday, although it came in the seventh inning and he allowed only inherited runners to score. Schlecker entered with his team up 4-2 and runners at first and third with one out. He went double-sac-fly-walk-strikeout as Billings tied the game before winning it in 12 innings. Schlecker has a 4.22 ERA in seven outings for the Owlz of the rookie Pioneer League.