Pregame Meal: Tuesday, June 18th

By Matt Appel

Good Tuesday evening ‘Cats fans! In case you missed it, the ValleyCats opened their season last night with an offense-driven 9-3 win over Vermont. 15 Tri-City hits led the way, as the home team plated runs in 6 of their 8 offensive innings. Before these teams go at it again tonight, here’s what you need to know:


-Two roster transactions of note for Tri-City before tonight’s game. IF Michael Martinez, most recently with Greeneville, has been assigned to the ValleyCats. The same goes for C Jon Carnahan, who appeared last with the GCL Astros. Both will be on the bench to start Tuesday night’s game.

-The tandem starting rotation that we discussed yesterday worked out pretty well for the ‘Cats last night, as Evan Grills and Kevin Comer combined to throw eight innings of one-run ball. Comer received the win after throwing a very impressive final four innings of the game, allowing just a single in the ninth. Tonight’s pair will feature Tanner Bushue, a 2009 2nd round pick of Houston, and Adrian Houser, a 2011 2nd rounder of the ‘Stros. Bushue will start the game.

-Got a chance to speak around the BP cage today with Astros Director of Player Development Quinton McCracken. That name might ring familiar for some fans out there, as McCracken played for parts of 12 MLB seasons from the mid 90’s to mid-2000s (isn’t it amazing as a society, we still haven’t figured out what to call last decade?). This is his first year on the job, and he said that so far, he loves it. He enjoys working individually with all the talent the Astros currently have in their minor league systems.

-Tony Kemp and Jon Kemmer will have to do a lot to improve upon their debuts last night. The duo went 7-8 with 4 RBI, one of which came in the form of a 2nd inning HR from Kemmer, who you will hear from on the pregame today. Kemmer’s story is a very interesting one, as he did not play at a Division-1 school in college, but still finds himself playing with some of the D1 elites now. Both him and Kemp should be impact guys for the ‘Cats in 2013. By the way, the highlight of last night for me was Conrad Gregor bringing home his college teammate Tony Kemp in their first inning of pro ball together with a single. Kemp scored and immediately pointed to Gregor. How cool is that.

-Batting Practice Hero: There were only two homers hit in BP today, and both belonged to Ronnie Mitchell, so we’ll give it to him. Mitchell, a product of Dallas Baptist, went 0-4 yesterday, and is back in the lineup today


Tonight’s Lineup

2B Tony Kemp

RF D’Andre Toney

1B Conrad Gregor

DH Dan Gulbransen

CF James Ramsay

C Luis Alvarez

LF Jon Kemmer

3B Ryan Dineen

SS Thomas Lindauer

RHP Tanner Bushue

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