While the Colorado Rockies have been mired in another forgettable season, there have been reasons to cheer further down the organizational chart. The performance of the Troy Tulowitzki trade pieces – Jeff Hoffman, Jesus Tinoco and Miguel Castro – are included in that. Tinoco, specifically, has been stellar, helping lead Asheville to the South Atlantic League championship series where they met Hickory.
Sadly, a second half of the minor league season that saw Tinoco go 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA in seven starts came to a disappointing end on Thursday as the Tourists fell to the Crawdads, getting swept out of the Sally championship series.
— Asheville Tourists (@GoTourists) September 18, 2015
Down two games to none in the best-of-five series, Tinoco took the ball from rehabbing Tyler Chatwood after the third inning. Chatwood, who is still working his way back to the big leagues after a 2014 Tommy John surgery, allowed two runs on just one hit, but walked three including two leadoff batters.
Tinoco’s appearance came eight days after his last start, a seven-inning one-run effort in a win against Savannah, and the rust showed only slightly. After five three-up-three-down innings, Tinoco finally allowed a hit with one out in the eighth. He could not hang on in the ninth, however.
Down 2-1, Tinoco allowed three runs in the final frame, one of which scored on a third-strike wild pitch that allowed the batter to score. Asheville came up empty in the bottom of the ninth, giving Hickory the SAL championship.
It was a disappointing end to the season for Asheville, who were hoping to repeat as Sally champions, but one that showed extreme promise for one of the key pieces in the Tulowitzki trade.