The following are updates on local baseball players at the minor league level.
Trevor Bell (Crescenta Valley High, 2005) Pensacola Blue Wahoos pitcher: While it wasn’t to triple-A, Bell recently received a promotion with the double-A Pensacola Wahoos.
The Crescenta Valley High graduate has emerged as the team’s closer and recorded saves in eight of his last nine outings. The increase in responsibility came after he kept a perfect earned-run average in tact through 10 appearances and 13 innings.
Ironically, Bell cemented himself as the shut-down reliever after his worst outing of the season, when he was tagged for his first earned run — four in total — in 10-5 loss to the Huntsville Stars on July 20.
Bell was enjoying another perfect run, not allowing a run and just seven base runners (four hits, three walks) over the next nine appearances and 10 innings pitched, before he ran into the Mississippi Braves’ Tommy La Stella Wednesday.
With the Blue Wahoos clinging to a 2-1 lead, Bell was called on in the top of the ninth as usual. He started out strong, recording a full-count punchout and a groundout, before La Stella connected on a 2-0 pitch to tie the game.
After falling short of a walk-off win, Pensacola sent Bell, who’d struck out 11 batters and recorded eight saves over his past nine appearances, back out to pitch the 10th and he faced the minimum three batters after a leadoff strikeout, single and double-play grounder. The Blue Wahoos went on to the lose the game, 3-2, in the 14th inning.
Bell is currently sporting a 1.73 earned-run average, 13 saves and 31 strikeouts to seven walks in 26 innings. He’s also holding opposing batters to a .180 average and 0.88 WHIP.
The Blue Wahoos were in fourth place out of five teams in the second half of the Southern League South Division season at 25-26 coming into Thursday. They’re 50-70 on the year.
Christian Bergman (St. Francis High, 2006) starting pitcher, Tulsa Drillers: If there was any question, Bergman has bounced back.
The former Golden Knights standout struggled throughout July, when he posted a 5.52 earned-run average in five starts. He gave up 11 runs, 17 hits and four homers in 11 innings in his final two outings in July.
Bergman opened August by recording his third career shutout in the Colorado Rockies organization Aug. 2.
He followed that by winning his next two games, allowing just two runs in each outing to improve to 8-7.
On Aug. 8, he allowed a pair of runs on six hits, no walks and five strikeouts through seven innings in a 4-2 victory over the Midland RockHounds. Bergman’s only blemish came on a pair of leadoff homers he surrendered in the first and fifth innings.
Bergman continued his solid play Wednesday to earn his eighth win, beating the RockHounds, 5-4. He gave up two runs on five hits, two walks and a homer in six frames.
The former Golden Knight has remained a Texas League leader in innings pitched (151 1/3, first), WHIP (1.10, fourth), earned-run average (3.27, fifth) and strikeouts (102, eighth) this year.
After winning the first half of the Texas League North Division season, double-A Tulsa came into Thursday in third place in the second half at 27-25.
Chad Nacapoy (Crescenta Valley High, 2007) Princeton Rays catcher: Still struggling with limited playing time, Nacapoy broke an 0 for 10 cold streak with a single on Aug. 6. He began his first hitting streak of the season when he singled in his next appearance a week later Tuesday.
Nacapoy first broke his cold streak with a single in the bottom of the fifth inning for the Tampa Bay Rays rookie-affiliate in Princeton Aug. 6. He wouldn’t come around to score, nor would any other Ray, as Princeton was shut out by the Bluefield Blue Jays in a 2-0 loss.
Nacapoy went one for three with a strikeout in the game.
In his first action in a week Tuesday, Nacapoy singled to lead off the second inning and then stole second base. He then came around to score on a Hunter Lockwood triple, giving the Rays a 3-0 lead it wouldn’t relinquish in a 6-2 win over the Kingsport Mets.
The backstop and designated hitter finished one for four.
Before Nacapoy started the modest streak, the former Falcon’s previous hit came five appearances earlier on July 18. He went one for two with a strikeout in a July 18 in a 4-0 loss to the Greeneville Astros.
Princeton is in last place in the Appalachian League Eastern Division with a 16-37 record.
Nacapoy has appeared in just 11 of those 53 games, with many of his games coming on the back end of a doubleheader. In that span he’s batting .161 (five for 31) with two runs scored.