San Antonio Missions history: welcome to Triple-A

Mauricio Dubon drives in the Missions' winning run in a 6-5 victory over the Memphis Redbirds on April 9, 2019 in the first Triple-A game in San Antonio history. - photo by Joe Alexander
Mauricio Dubon drives in the Missions’ winning run in a 6-5 victory over the Memphis Redbirds on April 9, 2019 in the first Triple-A game in San Antonio history.
One year ago today, Triple-A baseball was played in San Antonio for the first time.

Mauricio Dubon’s two-run, walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth drove in Lucas Erceg and Jake Hager with the tying and winning runs as the Missions beat the Memphis Redbirds 6-5.

Of the Missions who played in last year’s home opener at Wolff Stadium, these players also spent time with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019:

Keston Hiura, Tyler Saladino, Jacob Nottingham, Cory Spangenberg, Tyrone Taylor, Mauricio Dubon, Adrian Houser, Jeremy Jeffress, Deolis Guerra.

Missions player possibilities for 2020

Missions outfielder Tyrone Taylor chases down a fly ball at Wolff Stadium last summer. - photo by Joe Alexander
Missions outfielder Tyrone Taylor chases down a fly ball at Wolff Stadium last summer.
If and when the 2020 major league and Triple-A seasons get underway, here is a look at who might be playing for the San Antonio Missions:

These Milwaukee Brewers transactions from March list players the big club sent to San Antonio:

Brewers optioned 3B Ryon Healy to Missions.
Brewers optioned 2B Mark Mathias to Missions.
Brewers optioned SS Ronny Rodriguez to Missions.
Brewers optioned C David Freitas to Missions.
Brewers optioned CF Corey Ray to Missions.
Brewers optioned RHP Trey Supak to Missions.

The following players have minor-league contracts with the Brewers and were invited to spring training with the big club. They could end up in San Antonio and include six of last season’s Missions:

LHP Clayton Andrews
RHP Zack Brown
3B Andres Blanco
3B Lucas Erceg
C Payton Henry
RHP Thomas Jankins
RHP Mike Morin
C Mario Feliciano
RHP Drew Rasmussen
RHP Miguel Sanchez
LHP Ethan Small
RHP Aaron Wilkerson
1B Logan Morrison
C Tuffy Gosewisch

Other 2019 Missions who were in the Brewers’ minor league spring training were:

P Bubba Derby
C Skyler Ewing

Outfielder Tyrone Taylor had his 2019 season with the injured slowed by injuries. He is on the Brewers’ 40-man roster by wasn’t playing in spring training while he recovered from surgery.

Update on Friday, Feb. 27, 2020:

The Milwaukee Brewers optioned the following players to the San Antonio Missions:
C Jacob Nottingham
LHP Angel Perdomo
RHP Bobby Wahl
RHP Eric Yardley

Closeups of the 2019 San Antonio Missions

San Antonio Missions catcher/first baseman David Freitas won the Pacific Coast League batting title. - photo by Joe Alexander
San Antonio Missions catcher/first baseman David Freitas won the Pacific Coast League batting title. – photo by Joe Alexander
Even front row seats are a long way from some positions on a baseball field.

During the course of the 2019 San Antonio Missions season, I occasionally got closer a look at some of the players.

That seemed like a good way to wrap up my summer from Wolff Stadium.

Tyrone Taylor, Corey Ray homer as Missions roll into showdown with Express

The San Antonio Missions' Tyrone Taylor hit his 13th home run of the season in the first inning on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Tyrone Taylor hit his 13th home run of the season in the first inning on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
Tyrone Taylor stayed hot with a home run for the second night in a row as the San Antonio Missions beat the Oklahoma City Dodgers 4-0 Sunday night at Wolff Stadium.

Sunday marked the Missions’ last home game before the Pacific Coast League playoffs.

The Missions, who swept the three-game series against the Dodgers, are one game behind the Round Rock Express in the American Southern division. The Missions and Express open a crucial four-game series Monday in Round Rock.

The Missions got the jump on the Dodgers when Taylor hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning.

It was was the 13th homer of the season for Taylor, who is on a 12-game hitting streak. Since Aug. 12, Taylor has hit five home runs and his batting average has climbed from .238 to .275.

The Missions’ other run came when Corey Ray hit his sixth home run of the season in the seventh inning.

The San Antonio Missions' Corey Ray hit his sixth home run of the season in the seventh inning on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Corey Ray hit his sixth home run of the season in the seventh inning on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander

Nate Orf, Tyrone Taylor power Missions past OKC

The San Antonio Missions' Nate Orf watches his fourth-inning grand slam sail out to left on Saturday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Nate Orf watches his fourth-inning grand slam sail out to left on Saturday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
Nate Orf hit his first professional grand slam and Tyrone Taylor added a home run as the San Antonio Missions pounded the Oklahoma City Dodgers 15-3 Saturday at Wolff Stadium.

The Missions are two games behind the Round Rock Express in the Pacific Coast League American Southern division. The Missions play their final home game of the regular season on Sunday at 6:05 p.m.

Orf’s 10th home run of the season came in the fourth inning, when the Missions scored six runs and batted around. That turned the game around, changing a 3-0 Dodgers lead to a 6-3 Missions advantage.

The Missions also put up six runs in the seventh inning. Taylor’s 12th home run of the season came in the eighth inning with one on and accounted for the Missions’ final runs of the game.

Orf finished with two hits, three runs and five RBIs. Taylor had three hits, three runs and four RBIs.

Corey Ray and Jacob Nottingham had two hits each for the Missions.

Trey Supak pitched the first four innings for the Missions and did not get a decision. He allowed three runs on five hits.

Missions reliever Jake Faria (1-0) pitched the fifth and sixth innings to earn the win. He did not allow a run on one hit and one walk with four strikeouts.

The San Antonio Missions' Tyrone Taylor had three hits including a home run Saturday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Tyrone Taylor had three hits including a home run Saturday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander

Missions outfielder and Brewers prospect Tyrone Taylor

Tyrone Taylor playing for the San Antonio Missions at Wolff Stadium during the 2019 season. - photo by Joe Alexander
Tyrone Taylor playing for the San Antonio Missions at Wolff Stadium during the 2019 season. – photo by Joe Alexander
Tyrone Taylor is currently one of the hottest batters in the San Antonio Missions’ lineup.

The 25-year-old outfielder is hitting .254 with 10 home runs. The first three months of Taylor’s season were slowed by nagging injuries. August has been a different matter.

Taylor has raised his average 24 points in 16 days. He is hitting .370 in the last 14 games (20-of-54) with three home runs and 13 RBIs. He has eight two-hit games in that stretch and is currently on a six-game hitting streak.

A second-round draft pick by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012, Taylor batted .278 with 20 home runs last season at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Tyler Saladino returns, Missions homer their way past Grizzlies

Tyler Saladino singled and eventually scored the winning run in the eighth inning Monday afternoon at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
Tyler Saladino singled and eventually scored the winning run in the eighth inning Monday afternoon at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
The San Antonio Missions hit four home runs including three in one inning to beat the Fresno Grizzlies 9-8 on Monday afternoon at Wolff Stadium.

The Missions trailed 6-0 early in the game but narrowed the gap when Tyrone Taylor hit a three-run shot in the third inning, his eighth homer of the season.

The Missions took an 8-6 lead with four runs in the fifth inning. Troy Stokes Jr. hit a solo home run, his eighth of the season. Jacob Nottingham hit a two-run homer, his fourth of the season. Jake Hager hit a solo home run, his eighth of the season.

The Grizzlies scored single runs in the top of the seventh and eighth innings to tie it 8-8.

The Missions took the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth. Tyler Saladino led off with a single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Taylor. Saladino scored the winning run when David Freitas singled to right and Grizzlies right fielder Jose Marmolejos mis-handled the ball, allowing Saladino to advance two bases.

Missions reliever Angel Perdomo (3-0) pitched the seventh and eighth innings to earn the win. Ray Black pitched the ninth inning to earn his second save withthe Missions.

NOTES

  • Monday’s game was Saladino’s first action in a Missions uniform since being called up by the Milwaukee Brewers on June 28.
  • Missions pitcher Jimmy Nelson had his second strong appearance in a row in relief. He threw 1 2/3 innings with no runs, one hit, one walk and four strikeouts
  • Black, who came to the Brewers organization from the San Francisco Giants in a deal at the MLB trade deadline, hit 101 MPH on the stadium radar.

  • Missions break out offense but fall to Grizzlies

    The Missions' David Freitas hits a first-inning home run on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
    The Missions’ David Freitas hits a first-inning home run on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
    After going scoreless in the first nine innings of their last two games, the San Antonio Missions’ bats came alive Sunday night.

    The Missions came up a run short despite 16 hits including a home run by David Freitas.

    The Fresno Grizzlies lashed out 14 hits including four home runs to beat the Missions 11-10 at Wolff Stadium.

    Freitas hit his ninth home run of the season in the first inning. He finished with three hits, including a double, and scored three times.

    Troy Stokes Jr. had three hits and Tyrone Taylor, Cory Spangenberg, Lucas Erceg and Jake Hager had two hits each for the Missions.

    Jake Hager comes up big in late innings again for Missions

    The Missions' Tyrone Taylor slides into home with the final run of the game on Tuesday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
    The Missions’ Tyrone Taylor slides into home with the final run of the game on Tuesday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
    Jake Hager, who had two walk-off hits early in the season, didn’t wait until the ninth inning this time.

    Hager drove in Tyrone Taylor in the bottom of the eighth with the winning run as the San Antonio Missions beat the Iowa Cubs 2-1 on Tuesday at Wolff Stadium.

    Taylor led off the eighth with a single. Hager came up with one out and doubled to left to bring in Taylor and break the 1-1 tie.

    That was the only at-bat of the game for Hager, who entered the game in the top of the eighth inning as part of a double-switch.

    Missions starting pitcher Burch Smith went six innings and did not get a decision. He allowed one run on three hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

    Missions reliever Taylor (3-1) got the last out in the eighth and got the win. Jay Jackson pitched the top of the ninth and notched his seventh save of the season.

    Missions play musical outfielders and shuffle their catchers

    David Freitas, like all the Missions' catchers, also plays first base. - photo by Joe Alexander
    David Freitas, like all the Missions’ catchers, also plays first base. – photo by Joe Alexander
    Among the oddities on the roster of the Triple-A San Antonio Missions:

    There is currently only one active player on the roster listed as an outfielder and there are four players listed as catchers.

    Tyrone Taylor was the Missions’ only active outfielder on Sunday. And he didn’t start in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Oklahoma City Dodgers at Wolff Stadium.

    Corey Ray and Troy Stokes Jr. are listed on the roster as outfielders, but are both currently on the injured list. Ray was the Missions’ main center fielder to start the season. Taylor played primarily in right, but had been playing center with Ray out.

    Sunday’s starting outfielders on Sunday were Jake Hager in left, Cory Spangenberg in center and Nate Orf in right. All three are listed on the roster as infielders.

    Spangenberg has seen action all over the field this season. He has played first base, third base, shortstop, left field and now center field.

    While the Missions are short on players listed as outfielders, they have four active players listed as catchers: Skyler Ewing, David Freitas, Tuffy Gosewisch and Jacob Nottingham. All four got into the game on Sunday. All four have also gotten work as first basemen this season.

    Twice during Sunday’s game, three of them batted in a row and the other was coaching first base. The Missions use a player as a first base coach, so that part of the equation wasn’t unusual.

    Freitas was the No. 7 batter in the order on Sunday and played first base. Nottingham was No. 8 in the order and played catcher.

    In the fifth inning, after Freitas and Nottingham batted, Gosewisch went to the plate as a pinch-hitter. Ewing was coaching first base.

    In the seventh inning, after Freitas and Nottingham batted, Ewing went to the plate as a pinch-hitter. Gosewisch was coaching first base.