Bees Bullets: Previewing The Sacramento River Cats

Aug 8, 2022, 5:14 PM | Updated: 5:16 pm


Salt Lake Bees reliever Keith Rogalla throws a pitch at Smith's Ballpark

SALT LAKE CITY – After earning a series split with the PCL-leading Dodgers, the Salt Lake Bees stay home to face the Sacramento River Cats.

Salt Lake welcomes the River Cats into Smith’s Ballpark for a six-game set August 9-14.

This is the third of four times these teams will meet in 2022. Salt Lake won four of six games played in Sacramento May 24-29 before the River Cats returned the favor in Salt Lake in a series played July 4-10.

Salt Lake (51-54) is 5-5 in their past 10 games and now sit a .5 game behind Las Vegas for second in the Pacific Coast League West division. Sacramento (44-61) is 2-8 in the last 10 games and are in last place in the PCL West, 3.5 games behind Tacoma.

Sacramento River Cats – (San Francisco Giants)

No. 5 Heliot Ramos – Outfielder

A 2017 Giants first round draft pick (19th overall), Ramos slashed .254/.323/.417 with 14 homers and 15 stolen bases between Double-A and Triple-A last season.

After missing a few days recently due to the grind of a baseball season, but since returning on August 2 he is 3-for-22 with just one RBI.

Ramos is 12-for-48 with two home runs and four runs batted in against the Bees this season.

No. 14 Gregory Santos – Relief Pitcher

Signed by the Boston Red Sox out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, Santos has been in the Giants organization since 2017.

Relying primarily on a fastball/slider two-pitch mix, Santos touches triple-digits on the radar gun since becoming a full-time reliever in 2021.

Santos has made five appearance with San Francisco over the past two seasons and has been much improved in 2022. After giving up three home runs in two innings as a Giant in 2021, Santos has allowed just three hits across 3.2 innings in 2022. A small, but promising sample size.

Since returning from a stint with San Francisco in late July he has given up three runs five appearances for Sacramento. He struck out the side against Tacoma on August 5.

In 2022 Santos has faced the Bees twice with both appearances coming in Salt Lake. Santos took the loss on July 4 after he allowed a run on two hits in one inning. Two days later he gave up a hit while retiring two Bees batters

No. 16 R.J. Dabovich – Relief Pitcher

Dabovich was a Giants fourth round pick (114th overall) out of Arizona State in the shortened 2020 draft.

Another two-pitch pitcher, he pairs a mid-90’s fastball with a curveball that is considered plus-plus according to

If you throw out Dabovich’s first Triple-A appearance on account of nerves, he has put together a nice stretch for the River Cats. In 9.2 innings since that rough debut, Dabovich has allowed only three earned runs and surrendered four base hits while lowering his batting average against to .171, one of the best marks in the league. The fast rising prospect has struggled with control at times, walking 14 batters since joining the River Cats.

Dabovich faced the Bees twice in early July. The right-hander did not allow a run in two innings pitched in Salt Lake.

No. 26 Sean Hjelle – Starting Pitcher

Measuring in at 6’11, Hjelle is tied with former reliever Jon Rauch as the tallest players in MLB history.

Featuring a low to mid-90’s fastball, Hjelle relies on a knuckle-curveball as his most effective pitch. He uses a changeup on occasion, but the pitch has not developed enough to be trusted consistently.

A 2018 Giants second round pick (45th overall), Hjelle made his major league debut earlier this season when he allowed two hits and two walks while striking out six in two games out of the bullpen for the Giants.

The right-hander has not gotten good results in recent appearances. Since the calendar turned to July, Hjelle has given up 4, 4, 5, 3, 2, and 3 earned runs in consecutive appearances. He has given up 43 hits walked 13 during that time.

Hjelle is 1-0 in two starts against Salt Lake this season. He has allowed five earned runs in 10 innings thrown.

On Deck

The Bees continue their longest homestand of the season welcoming in the Sacramento River Cats, Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Game one is scheduled for a 6:35 p.m. (MST) first pitch on Tuesday, August 9.

Purchase tickets to see the Bees play at Listen to voice of the Bees Steve Klauke on

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Bees Bullets: Previewing The Sacramento River Cats