For the first time in nearly three weeks, Cole Carrigg slept in the comfort of his own bed in Turlock. Those comforts of home made it a bit easier to adjust to a new teammates, new coaches and a new uniform as the Turlock High alumnus made his Single-A debut on Tuesday for the Fresno Grizzlies, who just so happened to be kicking off a six-game series against the Nuts in Modesto.
Carrigg, the Colorado Rockies Round B pick in last month’s MLB Draft, was called to Single-A Fresno last Tuesday. The 21-year-old was immediately inserted into the Grizzlies lineup, finishing the six game stretch going 12 for 23 with a home run, three triples, three RBI and three stolen bases in five games The highlight of Carrigg’s weekend came on Saturday night, as the former Bulldog went 4 for 5 with three triples, the most in a single-game by an individual batter in the Grizzlies’ 25-year history.
“It’s just kind of surreal to be playing my first games in Modesto, obviously, since I'm so close to home,” he said. “I get to stay at home this week, so I’m just living at my house right now which is cool.”
Prior to his promotion last week, Carrigg had been playing in the Arizona Complex League, where he slashed .396/.464/.688/1.152 with 19 hits (nine being for extra bases), two home-runs, seven walks, 13 RBI and seven stolen bases.
He was promoted alongside Kyle Karros, the Rockies’ 2023 fifth round pick and the son of former Los Angeles Dodgers star Eric Karros.
“We were just playing down in the Complex League, and after one of the games, they let us know that me and Kyle were getting sent to Fresno,” Carrigg explained. “I called my family as soon as I found out and let everybody know that I was coming back and my first series was going to be here… It’s really exciting to be here. It’s just a good group of guys who have similar goals as I do.”
Also excited about Carrigg and Karros in town was Grizzlies manager Steve Soliz.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised with both Cole and Kyle Karros and how seamless the transition has been as far as integrating with the guys and becoming one of the guys as far as being a teammate. Those are things you want to see,” Soliz said. “They are as advertised. They have a lot of talent, which is why they were drafted, so it’s going to be something to look forward to everyday.
“From what I read and from the reports I got from the staff there in the ACL, [Carrigg] is a very versatile kid and he’s a gamer. I [had] heard he goes hard, and I like that. He practices hard, plays hard, so obviously with the versatility of playing catcher, shortstop, center field, we’re going to play him at each of those positions and let his athleticism take over. In the short time that we’ve had him here, I can tell that he takes his job very seriously.”
Fresno and Modesto ended up splitting the six-game set. The Grizzlies won 12-3 on Wednesday, 6-5 on Friday and 10-6 on Saturday, while the Nuts won 9-6 on Tuesday, 18-1 on Thursday and 7-2 on Sunday. Fresno maintains a five-game lead over Modesto in the California League’s North division.
Soliz spoke about the organization’s approach in developing players while simultaneously trying to compete.
“It’s no secret we are in a playoff race,” he stated. “With that said, from day one, we have always preached development, practicing the game hard and playing the game hard. The results, whether we win or lose ball games, is secondary… When you approach it that way, it doesn’t really change much. We have two new faces, we implement them in the program, but the message is no different.”
There are 18 games left in the Single-A season, with the Grizzlies and Nuts scheduled to face off in the last six games of the season from Sept. 5 to the 10 at Chukchansi Park in Fresno. The series could very well determine who punches a ticket to the California League postseason.
Additional MLB notes:
· The Oakland Athletics optioned Turlock High alumnus Tyler Soderstrom to Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday morning after reinstating first baseman Ryan Noda from the injured list. In 27 games for the A’s, Soderstrom slashed .165/.237/.247/.484 with 14 hits, seven walks, two home runs and five RBI.
· Pitman High alumnus Kade Morris made his professional pitching debut Thursday for the Florida Complex League Mets. Morris, New York’s third round pick in last month’s MLB Draft, started the game, allowing one hit and a run to score on a wild pitch in his lone inning of work.
· Turlock High alumnus Blake Cederlind was released by the San Diego Padres organization July 14 after appearing in three games for the Double-A San Antonio Missions. He surrendered three runs off three hits and five walks in 2 2/3 innings.