Four Minor League affiliates of the Colorado Rockies will represent the club in their respective league’s playoffs as the Minor League season comes to a close. Double-A Tulsa, High-A Modesto, Low-A Asheville and Rookie Level Grand Junction will all play for championships in their respective leagues beginning today.
Double-A Tulsa (75-64 overall record)
The Drillers won the first half of the season with a 40-30 record, 3.0 games ahead of second place Northwest Arkansas. Tulsa then went on to finish the second half with a 35-34 record, 7.5 games behind Springfield for an overall record of 75-64, 2.5 games behind Springfield.
Tulsa will host Springfield for the first two games of the Texas League North Division playoff series starting tonight at 6:05 pm MDT. Drillers’ right-handed pitcher Parker Frazier will get the start in Game 1 for the Drillers. The best-of-five series will be a rematch of the Drillers’ previous playoff series in 2007, when they were swept in three games by the Cardinals. Game 3, and if necessary Games 4 and 5, will be played at Springfield from September 7-9.
High-A Modesto (73-67 overall record)
First-year Modesto manager Len Sakata led the Nuts to a first half record of 34-36 to finish third in the California League Northern Division. The Nuts bounced back to clinch the second half of the season with a 39-31 record and ensure their sixth-straight season in the Cal League playoffs.
Modesto will travel to San Jose for the first round of the Northern Division playoffs, starting tonight at 8:00 pm MDT. Game 2, and if necessary, Game 3 will be played in Modesto on Thursday and Friday. The Nuts will start Cal League Pitcher of the Year Christian Bergman on Wednesday against San Jose. Bergman finished the season tied for the Minor League lead in wins (16) and posting a 3.65 ERA (162.2 ip, 66 er) with 37 walks compared to 121 strikeouts in 27 starts.
Low-A Asheville (88-52 overall record)
Asheville ensured their playoff appearance by winning the first half with a 47-23 record. Asheville went on to post a 41-29 record in the second half, totaling a record of 88-52, the most wins by a Rockies Minor League affiliate in franchise history. The Tourists finished 13.0 games ahead of second place Charleston in the overall standings.
South Atlantic League Manager of the Year, Joe Mikulik, and the Tourists will travel to Rome for the first game of the SAL playoffs, starting tonight at 5:00 pm MDT. Right-hander Ben Alsup will get the start for the Tourists. Alsup led Asheville in wins (14) and innings (156.0). The Tourists will host Game 2 and, if necessary, Game 3 on Friday and Saturday.
Rookie Level Grand Junction (41-33 overall record, 2 games remaining)
Grand Junction clinched a playoff berth in their first season as the GJ Rockies. The Rockies tied Ogden for the first half title with a record of 21-17, however the tiebreaker fell to Ogden as they had the better head-to-head record. The Rockies are currently 20-15 in the second half and have clinched a playoff appearance as the wild card due to Ogden also winning the second half and the Rockies posting the second-best record overall in the Pioneer League.
The Rockies will host Game 1 of the three-game series Friday at 1:00 pm MDT at Suplizio Field vs. Ogden. Game 2, and if necessary, Game 3 will be in Ogden on September 8-9. The Rockies will be led by Pioneer League MVP, outfielder David Dahl, who is hitting .373 (103-for-276) with 22 doubles, 10 triples, 7 home runs and 55 RBI in 66 games for Grand Junction.